Saturday, June 7, 2014

Value-based Education

Mere desire or aspiration to progress in life is not enough; success should be based on values. And for that value-based education must be imparted in today’s institutions. So that the students may emerge as good leaders in their chosen fields. 

As Swami Chinmayananda in his "We Must" booklet states "All our success entirely depends upon ourselves. Let us never look outside ourselves for help. Let us not fall into the delusion that the influence of others would enable us to do better or accomplish more."[1]

He firmly says : "Spiritual education and religious practices make us realize that we are a part of a whole scheme, and the essential creativeness behind the whole universe is the essential Essence ruling in the heart of each one of us : Shivoham Shivoham ".

Incorporating Spiritual Value Education in society will result in growth of character, growth in virtues like self-control, tolerance, selfless service, practice of prayer, harmony, to love all people, to help them in need & respect them etc…

Man being the ‘cast in the mold of God’ cannot easily deny Him. Even the great scientists like Newton and Einstein have believed in the existence of God as an intelligent power regulating and guiding the destinies of the universe.

In the words of Swami Vivekananda ‘Religion is nothing but a manifestation of the divinity already in man. Man is not just the body or even the combination of the body & the mind. He is essentially the spirit. The aim of our teaching should be to help manifest this spirit in every thought, word and action.[2]

So, it should aim at a full and harmonious development of the body & the intellect and tune it to the spirit within. In other words, spiritual education should help build up an integrated personality, a perfect character.




[1] “We Must” – a booklet by Swami Chinmayananda
[2] “The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda”

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Present scenario of Education!

Today’s education system has lost it’s luster & relevance because of the western influence. It has succeeded in developing within us a hatred towards our own tradition and culture & in making us look at the western way of life with respect & admiration.

       Our country today is in the throes of a moral and cultural crisis & we can say that our education has failed to create a decent society.

       There is a crisis of character, moral decay & breakdown of traditional discipline.

       Quick acquisition of position & wealth by whatever means, fair or foul; good / bad has been the soul motive of the products of such a defective system of education.

       We  can see the way organized crime, financial frauds & terrorists violence (are being headed) by some of the best minds endowed with the best of educational & technical attainments.
       Look at the way even the members of the learned professions indulge in scandalous unethical ways of making money obligations & social responsibilities.
       Merit has been consistently ignored in academic set up.
       Ugly symptoms are seen everywhere.
       Today’s education gives importance to the total marks, merit positions, awards & such thing. The education system has changed into the examination system & now it is becoming an information system; pushing back the value system that the earlier system used to emphasize.

This is the outer scenario, but what about the student?
       Students are obliged to rely on private tutors.
       They require depending so much upon their memory that they have no chance to cultivate their imagination & thinking power.
       They resort to socially destructive and personally devastating ways of coping this stress as evident by increased rate of crime, alcoholism, drug addiction, suicides, accidents, self-harm, running away from home, depression, low self-esteem etc..
           
Ultimately what this mean is that there is a general decline in the quality of life and total absence of moral creativity, which could raise a great voice and summon us to the finest ideals of our ancient tradition.
           
A UNESCO report of Education for the 21st century entitled ‘Learning : The Treasure Within’  also pleads for an education which is rooted to culture and committed to progress.


Indian heritage, culture & values need to be thoroughly studied, analyzed & incorporated comprehensively in the education system. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Suggestions!


Subhash Sharma, (from Indian Business Academy, Bangalore & Greater Noida) in his paper on ‘Indian Management Wisdom’ gives right review of three Indian mythological periods, “The essence of ancient wisdom is captured by three Vs i.e. Valmiki, Vyasa and Vivekanand.  It may be indicated that the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Complete Works of Vivekananda capture the essence of Indian mythology and philosophy. Impact of Valmiki, Vyasa and Vivekananda on Indian consciousness is immeasurable.  From the viewpoint of the impact on Indian consciousness, three periods of mythology and history could as well be viewed as Rama period, Krishna period and Ramkrishna / Vivekananda period”[1].


We cannot escape the beautiful thoughts, rather contemplation given in his famous book, “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra. The spiritual laws which he has explained there, are the must read or must have laws which are to be taught in schools or colleges as a curriculum for Value-Based-Education. According to him following are the seven spiritual laws for any success.[2]
1      Law of Pure Potentiality
2      Law of Giving
3      Law of Karma
4      Law of Least Effort
5      Law of Intention & Desire
6      Law of Detachment
7      Law of Dharma or Purpose in Life

In my favorite smallest book, “Evil Has No Hold On You” Dayis Holocomb Muth has clearly  says that “if you have God (positivity) in your thinking, you have everything and when you do not have God (negativity) in your thinking you are poor, spiritually even if you have wealth, health and everything with you” [3]

I strongly suggest that if we want our students and society to learn the highest spiritual laws or truths, we must incorporate such topics in their studies, whatever may be their stream and means of study.

In society there are many ways and means to educate people for example public places like Gardens, Transportation means, Stations, Bus-Stops, Exhibitions, lecture-halls, gymnasiums, medias etc. Using such places, we can definitely teach values to the public or the society. 



[1]Subhash Sharma, (from Indian Business Academy, Bangalore & Greater Noida)- paper on ‘Indian Management Wisdom’http://www.aims-international.org/tmf/postedarticles/t8019.pdf
[2] Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – Deepak Chopra
[3]Evil Has No Hold On You – Dayis Holocomb Muth, 1976, The Christian Science Publishing Society, Place of publication, pages.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Role of Spiritual Education in Society!

Bikas C. Sanyal, Senior Advisor, International Institute for Educational Planning, Paris, in his paper “Need For Value-Based Education In The Twenty-First Century” takes good review.
  
Since the establishment of UNESCO, a number of standard-setting instruments have been developed to delineate basic principles of education for peace and human rights. Among them are the following:

1      The recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace, and Education Relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom. (Paris, 1974)
2      World Plan of Action on Education for Human Rights and Democracy. (Montreal, 1993)
3      Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference on Human Rights (Vienna, 1993)
4      Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action in Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy. (Paris, 1995)
5      Plan of Action for the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education 1995-2004.

These action plans are executed under the guidance of the UNESCO Advisory Committee on Education for Peace, Human Rights, Democracy, International Understanding and Tolerance.
The educational institutions of the Member States of UNESCO have now the necessary courseware to introduce value-based educational programmes – incorporating both spiritual and secular values to build a culture of peace.

In the words of the Director General of UNESCO "I proclaim forcefully, … we must hence forth be ready to pay the price of peace as we have paid with millions of human lives the price of war; that the diversity of cultures, the very basis of our identities and sense of belonging should unite us around ideals proclaimed by our constitution and never again divide us; that religions founded on love should not lead us to confrontation and hatred; and that ideologies, through freedom of expression and participation, should serve democracy and not coercion."[1]



[1]Federico Mayor: Address at the opening of the "International Consultation of Governmental Experts on the Human Right to Peace", delivered on 5 March 1998, UNESCO, Paris.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The most adorable values !

Bodhavachanas: The most adorable values :[1]

Satyam Vad |
Dharmam Char |
MatrudevoBhav |
PitrudevoBhav |
AacharyadevoBhav |
AtithidevoBhav |
SwaddhyayanmaPramadah |
ShraddhayaDeyam |

Here, Shobha Kulkarni tries to give the list of most adorable human values from Indian culture. Speaking the Truth, going on the path of Dharm, giving respect to parents and teachers as well as the guest, daily studying the religious and spiritual granthas and last but not the least is to give with shraddha. 

Character :

Our present crisis is in fact the crisis of character - the crisis of value. Sethi blames the Government for this crisis. He observes that after independence, the crisis in India is not due to economic factor but is politically created by faulty planning.[2]

According to Dr. Manohar Wadhawani, “Noble, spotless, shining, moral Character is the sum of Purity of Thought And Its Power, Purity of Speech And Its Power, Purity of Action And Its Power, Positive Mental Attitude And Its Power, Purity of Love And Its Power, Robust Enthusiasm And Its Power, Self Confidence and Faith in Others And Its Power, Discipline And Its Power, Industry, Patience and Perseverance And Its Power, Appreciation of Others And Its Power, Strengthening of Emotional Intelligence.”[3]

The views of Mr. R. Rena about the Value-based Education for Human Development in Eritria are most fitted to the Indian contemporary education scenario. “The student community is drowned neck-deep in poverty, ignorance and unhealthy surroundings. Hence, they are not in a position to understand the real values of contemporary India. The present curriculum some extent reflect human values and the value system. Besides, the Indian schools and colleges have to promote the value-based education.”[4]



[1]LeNaSamskaaraanche (Marathi) - ShobhaKulkarni, SiddhagiriGurukul Foundation, Kaneri, Kolhapur,2008, pg. 82-86
[2]India In Crisis - Sethi, J. D, Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., Delhi, 1975.
[3]A B C of the Enlightened Leadership - Dr. ManoharWadhawani, Sultan Shah Publications, Mumbai,2007, pg.169-232
[4]Value-based Education for Human Development – Eritrean Perspective by Ravinder Rena, Eritrea Institute of Technology – Mai Nefhi Asmara, Eritrea

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Values and Vedanta !

According to Vedanta, soul is covered with five koshas. Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vigyanamaya and anandmaya. Hence, when anybody crosses the demands and bondage of any kosha, he goes higher and higher and deeper and deeper in the attainment of knowledge. The highest value is the state of mukti (liberation of the soul from the bondage of the cycle of birth and rebirth) and the union with God, the Brahman. Thus the hierarchy of values exists according to Indian philosophies.

According to the Upanishads the main aim is moksha which is acquired by the acquisition of knowledge, the performance of social and religious duties and above all the formation of character.

The Indian doctrine of four Purusarthas is a comprehensive theory of human values. The four Purusarthas are:
Dharma : Moral value such as duties, virtues, etc.
Artha : Wealth and political values.
Kama : Happiness and Aesthetic joy.
Moksa : Liberation or true Self-realization.

The term “Purusarthas” suggests that man consciously and knowingly seeks the realization of values. Hence they are human values. They are not merely desired by man but they are desirables. They are worth-while experiences or objects. Human awareness of them and their deliberate pursuit makes them human values or Purusarthas. Thus Purusarthas are human values because they are consciously sought by human beings. Besides, they fulfill the specifically human needs and interests. They also do justice to all sorts of demands which stem from man’s multidimensional self or personality.[1]

Ved Vyas says in Shanti parva, “The man of dharma removes all the impurities of mind and all stains from his heart. He is free from falsehood and does always good to all.” In Dharma everything is established - the five qualities preceding Dharma are truth, tapas or spirituality, shama i.e. control of senses, dama - control of mind and lastly daan or alms giving.[2]

In the following diagram we see the four stages of human life depicted in Vedas. At the certain age there is a fixed goal which is to be achieved. We the human should go on this path and we can definitely achieve the Moksha, the summum bonum of our life.[3]



[1]Indian Conception of Values And Value Education - Dr. S. G. Nigal, TattvajnanVidyapeeth, Thane, 2006, pg.10-11
[2]The Cultural Values of Adolescents - Mrs. SarojBagheeayavalle, ShaheedPrakashan, Udaipur,1991, pp. 17-21.
[3]Sadachar – Shankaracharya -

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Values!

Concept of Values: 

The word “value’ is derived from the latin root “Valere” meaning “to be strong and vigorous” To be a value, is to have a certain value, that is the power to be some specific thing. It is the value of a thing or an idea that makes us desirable or useful to us and that can give rise to an urgent demand for or interest in something that we regard as having great value. People can love only what is dear to them (i.e. of very high value) and only what is felt to be of high value can give rise to the energy and motivate for possession.

 Life is a matter of choices. In human life there are certain things looked upon as admirable, honorable, to be approved of and there are other things which entertain and please us but we may view them as not admirable, not honorable and not to be approved of.

The concept of values is presented by Bethel from various angles.[1]

a      Value connotes a subject-object relationship; value relates the object to man.
b      Value i.e. utility, is imparted to raw materials only by labour and skills.
c      An important aspect of value creation for Malinowski was the development of a harmonious balance between individual and social values. It is a responsibility of each individual, as a creator of value, to work for gain in such a way as to contribute to the welfare of both - himself and his society.
d      Value means the total amount of force with which an object (material or spiritual) causes a subject to attain it’s purpose as the means to an end.


Definitions of Values :

What is a value? Value is one by which men live, for which, they are willing to sacrifice comforts, facilities and even lives to preserve their values. Describing the dominant characteristics of the Raghu KulTulsi Das writes -

“Raghu Kula Rita Sadaa Chali - aaie
Pran Jaay Par Vachan na Jaai”

This is the highest value according to Indian Philosophy.

International Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences (1968) defines values as “a set of principles whereby a conduct is directed and regulated as a guide for individual or social groups”[3]

Values as defined by Good[4] (1959, p. 636) are “any characteristic deemed important because of psychological, social moral and aesthetic considerations.”

Mrs. SarojBagheeyaawaalle has done a thorough research on The Cultural Values of Adolescents in 1991. She has nicely shown how values change and control the environment.[5]





[1]Malinowski - The Value Creator - Bethel, Dayle, M., Wather Hill, New York, 1973, pp. 50-56
[2]MulyaShikshan (Marathi) - Dr. Suresh Karandikar, PhadkePrakashan, Kolhapur,1997, pg 16
[3]International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences - David L. Sills, MacMillan, New York, 1968.
[4] Good 1959
[5]The Cultural Values of Adolescents - Mrs. SarojBagheeayavalle, ShaheedPrakashan, Udaipur,1991, pp. 17-21