New Man : New World: [18] New Dimension of Education

Published: 27.12.2008

Human life is multidimensional. Life has many aspects, physical, spiritual, economic, social, cultural, political, etc. It cannot be explained in terms of any single aspect. Likewise, education also cannot be unilateral. How can it be given to highlighting a single aspect of life? True education fulfils all requirements of life.

Generalization vs Specialization

We sometimes use generalization and sometimes specialization. Earning the M.B.B.S. degree is an act of generalization, while earning exclusive expertise in treating the problem of the eyes or nerves or the heart is an act of specialization. Let us discuss both these processes in relation to education. Studying up to the Higher Secondary level is an act of generalization, which comprises first literacy, and later the ability to read, write and think, all facets of intellectual development. Then the stage of specialization begins and a student may opt for commerce or science or arts.

The Aspect of Character

Economic, physical and therapeutic aspects have their respective branches of knowledge, but all of them relate to the body and its health. In fact, there is a branch for practically every aspect of life, where a special study of the subject turns specialists in that field. But there is no branch of study, which independently takes care of character. Behavioural Psychology does mention a thing or two about it but no one ever felt the need for a specialized training in building character. Is it not surprising that amidst scores of departments and faculties in the universities there is not one devoted to the science of character or training in nonviolence? It indicates that whereas all other branches are thought to be helpful for earning a living, character was left out as being of no consequence.

How about a Character School?

It is said that Narada once visited Ravana. The latter was a great scholar. He had mastered innumerable branches of knowledge. Ravana took Narada to the building where he had his study, laboratory etc. Narada put him a question: “You have shown me so many workshops. But how about one relating to character?” Ravana said that he did not have it. Thereupon Narada remarked that in the absence of the workshop for character-building all the others would destroy him.

Character Training must be compulsory

It is a very serious matter. In the absence of character training, all teaching proves disastrous. Why then does the world of education give it no importance? Why have educationists neglected it?

There are two possible solutions to the problem:

  • An independent school for character-building, specialization in good conduct
  • Good conduct in general

The first one appears to be preferable. Whatever branch of knowledge one opts for, one should have education in character-building as a compulsory component. This is generally true. But there must also be a provision for specialization in the science of character-building. Of course, specialization cannot be compulsory. Only those interested in it may go in for it. What is needed is a Faculty in universities under which such a specialization may be undertaken. As far as general instruction is concerned, there should be compulsory training in character building right from the primary to the university stage. General education about character should be imparted in every class of every subject. The question is how to do it. It is necessary to have at the primary stage an independent subject relating to the awareness of the science of character, morality and spirituality. It should be obligatory to give pupils at the primary level knowledge of and practice in all the aspects of spirituality like truth, non-violence etc. At the graduate and postgraduate levels, it should be incorporated right in the subjects that are being studied.

Method of Incorporation

Elements of character should be fused with the study of Economics even as sugar and milk become one with the added quality of sweetness. All forms of non-violence devoid of racial frenzy and sectarian dogmatism are a call to human unity as are freedom from drug-addiction and awareness of the purity of environment and democracy. All these aspects of non-violence may be so amalgamated with the subject, that the learners may enjoy and experience them without feeling that something extra has been added to the subject. Along with qualifying as economists, sociologists and environmentalists students should become aware of spirituality, so that a mental transformation may come about. This awakening and transformation is lacking at present.

Nonviolence and the Concepts of Economics

Once Gurudev Tulsi was staying at the Jain Vishva Bharati. The Vice-Chancellor of the Ajmer University, Dr. Ahuja, came there. During discussions, we said that nonviolence should be incorporated in economics. It should be non-violent economics. She said that on the contrary economics since its inception had been teaching violence. All economic concepts are violence-oriented and are geared to consumerism and competition. Endowed with the intellect, man tries to earn more and more. Increasing needs, desires, acquisition and production are economic concepts. How then can one talk of non-violent economics? The two things are incompatible. We asserted that it was very essential at present to change the concepts of economics. Those wedded to Gandhian economics did make some efforts in that direction, but people living in the modern materialistic and money-centred environment, do not feel attracted towards them. The modern concept is that is all that matters is money. Moral concepts have, therefore, taken a back seat.

A favourable Atmosphere

We have again an opportunity to change the concepts because of the phenomenal rise in economic crimes, complexities and violence. Today, the best way to grow rich is to first kidnap and then demand ransom. It has almost assumed the proportions of an industry. Newspapers are full of news stories relating to this and other economic crimes of a nature unimagined in the past. Education has increased intellectual efficiency, which is being abused in committing social and economic crimes.

Obviously, when a problem becomes extremely acute and endemic, people are compelled to think of possible solutions. And those who have been victims of abductions for which huge amounts have been demanded as ransom and for which they have to come to some sort of compromise particularly think along these lines. Even Governments are required to make such compromises. People in whose houses there are robberies in broad daylight think all the more about these things. Those who are living under the shadow of terrorism and have been forced to give huge bribes and dowries, definitely think that the situation should change. Therefore we now have a very favourable atmosphere for training in Jeevan Vigyan or non-violence. If educationists miss the present opportunity, they will not excuse them. History will record this dangerous lapse.

Religious Teachers' Responsibility

Religious teachers also face the same problem today. There are only two institutions, which can bring about a transformation of mental awareness, education and religion. If people connected with them miss the present opportunity, history will not spare them.
Revered Gurudev Tulsi has given serious thought to it. It is inspired purely by the feeling of doing good to others. The entire thinking is altruistic. Praising Lord Mahavira, Acharya Hemachandra said, “You are a brother to the brotherless and spontaneously affectionate.” This spontaneous disposition is the outcome of vibrant altruism. Its only aim is to ensure good conduct of individuals and society. Educationists should also think of the ways of bringing about mental transformation. New dimensions will have to be discovered and there will have to be a bold departure from the present stereotyped thinking.

There can be twofold education, education without language and that with language. There is a segment of science education where language is not used or used sparingly. For the rest, language is needed as a vehicle of instruction and this applies to mathematics, grammar, logic and a sizeable segment of science. One of the aims of Jeevan Vigyan is to add language-free education to education carried out through language. It is a new dimension of education.

Language is a useful tool for training the brain, but there is a section of the brain, which does not respond to language. It is activated only through practice and experience. The right lobe of the brain responds less to language; it is chiefly oriented towards practice, experience and activities. It is language-free education, which is needed to activate that lobe.

Problems and Tension

Students have to be kept free from tension or else they will become undisciplined and aggressive. Is it possible to keep the mind free from tension in the face of examination time, teachers' watchful eye, domestic and social problems? If we tackle the problem intellectually, the answer is no. But they can be kept free from tension with the help of the language-free method. This is what the art of living implies, staying free from tension even in the midst of problems. It is important to remember that it is not problems, which cause tension. It is our mental weakness or one part of the brain, which always remains active, which gives birth to tension. Even the most acute problem will fail to generate tension in us if we succeed in awakening that part of the brain, which releases tension and does not allow it to accumulate. With its awakening, man will be able to rid himself of tension and find solutions to his problems.

The Formula of Victory

In ancient times there used to be contentious debates on scriptures resulting in arguments and counter-arguments. There were set positions to which the debating parties firmly stuck. The Agama literature advises people caring for success to remain calm and un-agitated when the opponents in a debate behave excitedly. The other side is already excited and you will unfailingly lose if you too get excited. If you remain calm while the opposing side is excited, you are bound to win. The illustration of revered Kalugani is very apt: Two persons are engaged in a tug of war. If both pull it hard the tug will give way and both will fall down. If one pulls hard and the other loosens his grip, the former will fall down. Jeevan Vigyan enjoins that all problems should be addressed in a tension-free manner. Calmness within and activeness outside is the formula of problem solving, Whereas activeness within and calmness outside is sheer pretence.

Change of Mentality

Training in Jeevan Vigyan imparts inner calmness and induces outer activeness to enable a person to find a solution to his problem. Today, people believe in the principle to return wickedness for wickedness. This mentality has to be changed. Do not sit back idly, try to solve a problem, but not through reciprocal crookedness, because it will further compound the problem. Life's secret lies in leading a tension-free life and using the right lobe of the brain when faced with a problem.

The Problem of Education

The right lobe of the brain is responsible for good conduct and self-discipline. Its very function is related with character. For mundane matters, the responsibility lies with the left lobe. Modern education concentrates on the left lobe. It is time the right one was activated too. Not that life can go on without the use of the left lobe, but along with it, the use of the right lobe is a vital necessity.

Jeevan Vigyan insists on activating the right lobe with a view to keeping the student free from tension, balancing his nervous system and properly regulating the endocrine glands.

Various Aspects of Education

Education has been viewed from different angles giving rise to such concepts as basic education and vocational education. They are useful as far as they go, but they neglect the biological aspect. Not much thinking has been done from the point of view of bringing about biological-cum-chemical transformation. Psychologists do take it into account, but only marginally and not in practical terms. On the other hand, Jeevan Vigyan has given it a deep thought, has deliberated on it extensively, and has determined the nature of practices calculated to develop the student's mind in a balanced manner and to activate all those segments of the brain which are intimately related to life, so that the imbalances of the nervous system may be set right. A methodology combining spiritual, yogic and scientific techniques have been evolved which is intended to be used as a supplementary and complementary technique of education.

A Complementary Method

In our country, we have effectively worked out a method of using complementary items in addition to regular food. Turmeric, cumin seeds, dried ginger, black pepper etc. are all complementary materials. This is how we look at Jeevan Vigyan. It provides the art, mysteries and principles of life, which act as supplements, and complements of common education in a manner, which avoids putting an extra burden on the students.

Thinking unselfishly

Gandhi ji had laid great stress on education without books. It is unacceptable today as it would put an end to the multi-million rupees business of publishing books. No profiteer will like it to happen: in fact many ancillary businesses are prospering as a consequence of the book trade. Vested interests are at work. But even if books are found indispensable at present, let something be added to them so that a new dimension and new thinking emerge in the field of education. It appears that this fact is being gradually understood and some people are thinking along the above lines. There is no other alternative if we are interested in transforming society. Jeevan Vigyan should not be treated as something connected with revered Gurudev Tulsi. It is a practical need, one that cannot be wished away. Accepting facts alone will provide the best solution to our problems.

Edition 2005
ISBN No. 81-7196-019-7

© Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
210 Deendayal Upadhyay Marg,
New Delhi-110 002

Edited by:
Muni Dhananjay Kumar

Translated by:
Prof. R.P. Bhatnagar

Published by:
Kamlesh Chaturvedi
Adarsh Sahitya Sangh,
210 Deendayal Upadhyay Marg
New Delhi

Printed at:

R-Tech Offset Printer Delhi-110032

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Hemachandra
  3. Agama
  4. Ajmer
  5. Body
  6. Brain
  7. Consumerism
  8. Environment
  9. Gurudev
  10. Hemachandra
  11. Jain Vishva Bharati
  12. Jeevan Vigyan
  13. Kalugani
  14. Mahavira
  15. Non-violence
  16. Nonviolence
  17. Science
  18. Tulsi
  19. Violence
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