Bhagavad-Gita is a collection of teachings of Lord Krishna to his disciple Arjuna. The essence of the philosophy as contained in the Gita is with inner convictions. We should discharge our duties diligently and honestly irrespective of the consequence and leave the rest to Almighty. We must fight for justice and right cause. Holy Gita is also called the Gospel of Humanity or Song Celestial. Its teachings are well known; Do your Duty. Do not expect any fruit. Duty itself is a reward in itself. It is Action which is important and only action will take you to salvation. And fight the evil. ‘Karma’ is supreme.
Educational Implications of Bhagavad-Gita
Meaning of education (Vidya): Education is the process of performing one’s own duties for the attainment of peace, joy, satisfaction and salvation being rid of the three wraths (lust, anger and fear) with the steady mind and wisdom. Education is the process of cultivating completeness in human being. That implies knowledge, skill, ability and wisdom for Karmic and Dharmik life. When a human is free from the three wraths (lust, anger and fear), is the state of attainment of knowledge and wisdom. Education on salvation, education on action and education on wisdom are the more relevant aspects of the Bhagavad-Gita.
Developing virtuous knowledge: In Gita Krishna remark Arjun’s ignorance and motivates him towards performing his duty. From this position we may take up the idea that the ideal of education should be to remove ignorance and to provide the virtuous knowledge.
Develop and effect sublimation of personality: Everyone’s personality is equipped with evil (Asuri) and virtuous (Daivi-godly) traits. In other words, Kauravas (Asuri) and Pandavas (the virtuous) exist in each of us. Krishna awakens in Arjun the virtuous powers inherent in him and motivates him towards the right path. This is exactly what a Guru should do for his disciple. Thus the ideal of education should be to develop and sublimate the personality of the student.
Co-ordinate between the individual and social aim: In the battle-field Arjun is lost between his individual freedom and the social responsibility. His individual freedom was to fight or not to fight. The social responsibility warranted his participation in the battle for punishing the evil-doers for establishing peace in the land. Krishna impresses upon him to sacrifice his individual freedom and take up the Gandeev for annihilating the wicked persons and their allies. According to Gita, one of the chief aims of education should be to affect a co-ordination between the individual and social aspects of things.
Develop the inner consciousness: Arjun desires to keep himself away from the ghastly battlefield. Krishna does not want to force him against his will. Instead, he (Krishna) takes recourse to logical reasoning’s and tries to convince Arjun about his sacred self- duty (Swadharma). Ultimately, on his own, Arjun decides to fight against his opponents. Thus Krishna, his Guru and Friend, succeeds in awakening the inner consciousness (Anthahakaran). This is exactly the ideal that we should follow in the field of education.
Steady wisdom: The Bhagavad-Gita states that the state of steady wisdom is such a state when achievement and failure, profit and loss, joy and sorrow can be perceived in equal terms, that is a state of the fullest satisfaction or the end state of desires.
Self-realization: The Bhagavad-Gita indicates that the state of purified and controlled mind, purified intellect, strong determination and lost state of false ego, pride, anger, greed is the position of self-realization. Position of self-realization is the situation of Vidya that is education. So, it can be interpreted as an important principle related to the meaning of education.
Enabling the individual to react: Education makes human Dharmik thereby developing capacity to raise voice against injustice of any sort, involve in welfare of living beings, be impartial to truth and discern between what is human and what is inhuman.
Types of Knowledge: Mainly two types of knowledge have been discussed in Bhagavad-Gita; logical knowledge (rational, academic and standard or materialistic) and spiritual knowledge. The logical knowledge has been identified as the ability to discuss the external form of things available in the world through wisdom perceiving them with the senses. The logical knowledge has been called the ‘Science’.
Education: Philospohy, Sociology and Economics (edited by Naseerali M.K.)
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