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The Quest for the Royal Road: Education, Spiritualism and Morality

Published: 19.02.2016

Spiritualism and education are two significant aspects of life. Spiritualism symbolises inner-development and education leads to intellectual-development. Education without spiritualism can awaken one's mind, it can enable one to make material progress, it can enrich physical science, but the question of raising one's mental attitude to lofty heights remains of secondary importance. Even in other activities, spiritualism cannot develop so long as extroversion prevails.

We have been hearing the discussion about constructive activities for the past several years. Different people think about it from different points of view. Therefore, there is no fixed definition of constructive activity. Some people think khadi and village industries etc. are constructive activities. Some people regard the establishment of schools and colleges and the setting up buildings for that purpose as constructive activity. Others too have their own view about it. In my view, greatest constructive activity is the creation of a good human being. This is not only a great task, it is also most important, concrete task and provides a solid ground for other constructive activities. Other activities cannot be considered in their totality without this basic constructive activity.

The need for the creation of good human beings is very great in India, because India is basically inclined to spiritualism. No one is unaware of what the situation of a country would be, where spiritual values are considered supreme and yet its society is not able to cast itself in that mould. This statement of mine is not with reference to any particular class, because no class is ideal from this point of view. Special efforts and experiments are required to create ideal classes or an ideal human society. Keeping this need in mind, we placed before the country a code of conduct based on anuvrat 25 years ago. The enlightened sections of the people took interest in it and the detailed ideological background was prepared for the creation of good human beings and new experiments also began with regard to righteous conduct.

Terrible tensions are being created in human society for the past several years. These tensions become a great obstacle for mental peace and constructive activities. When the situation created by these tensions became extremely complex, the need was felt for some experiments, which would help in maintaining mental equilibrium. The programme of yoga-sadhana began for that purpose. The practice of yoga- sadhana began in certain fields under the guidance of some experts. Some people experience lightness within as a result. We have been conducting experiments in preksha-dhyan at our end. This sadhana is not related with any particular class. This programme is being carried out at the Sadhana Section of the Jain Vishwa Bharati (Ladnun) for fundamental and concrete constructive work.

This task of creating good human beings is not so easy as to expect success in the short period of about a fortnight devoted to this experiment: For that purpose, we would require to prepare the persons who can take up that task and who, after preparing themselves in this manner, are contributing to the creation of a new generation. Three types of persons can be included among such people-guardians, teachers and saintly persons, who deserve to be revered as gurus. In ancient times, there were gurukulas for the character-building of children. They were provided training in every field and in comparison with other children, the children trained in the gurukulas appeared to have developed special characteristics. There is no such provision in present times. From that point of view, short-time camps acquire added value. In children's camps, training is given to suit their level. However, teacher's camps are being organised under the auspices of the Jain Vishwa Bharati with a view to observe how the children are practising in their life, what they have learnt during that fortnight of their training.

The first camp was organised during December 25-31, 1977, where nearly 25 teachers from the Nagore district got their training. That training brought good results. A similar programme is being started from May 16. The fact that nearly 50 teachers are joining this programme proves that teachers can learn a lot by participating in these camps.

In the present Indian system of education, nothing much is included that is necessary to build a good pattern of life. New fields are opening in the Education Department, but spiritual training is not gaining support. This is the main defect. Education cannot bring the desired results unless this defect is remedied.

Last time, some of the teachers who took part in the camp said that had they known about such things before, the level of their life would have been very much higher. Some teachers have felt that there have been unprecedented changes in their lives. It can be said on the basis of these results that the shortcoming in our education system can be eliminated by including spiritual and moral education in our educational system.

I have great expectations from teachers. Let them understand their responsibilities and show alertness to carry out those responsibilities. Actually, it is quite easy for us to organise these camps, because people with an intellectual desire to learn come here. There is no need to have long-term courses to train teachers. Nor do we have to make too much effort. All they need is some guidance. By beginning to take steps in the right direction, they can attain their goal.

Let the teachers who come to these camps get a thorough training to build lives and aspire to shape the lives of the children after the same pattern. The sole purpose of discussions, talks and questions during the period of the camp should be to relate the discussion to spiritualism. Those who regard earning livelihood as the main result of education, forget that even an illiterate person is capable of maintaining himself and his family. The purpose of education should not only be earning livelihood, but also living a good humane life. Then only it could fulfil the task of constructive work of creating good human beings.

Only when the Tulsi Adhyatma Needam (The Sadhana Department) of the Jain Vishwa Bharati's plan of teachers' training extends beyond the Nagore districts and is implemented on a wider scale, would it be possible to bring about important changes in the educational system of the whole country. It seems to me that the teachers present here would be able to provide inspiration through their ideal conduct, and their transformed lives.

Sources

Title: The Quest for the Royal Road
Authors:
Acharya Tulsi
Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 2013
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Adhyatma
  2. Anuvrat
  3. Jain Vishwa Bharati
  4. Ladnun
  5. Sadhana
  6. Science
  7. Tulsi
  8. Tulsi Adhyatma Needam
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