Real meaning of education

May 13, 2017

Fathers need to be more friendly towards their children more so when they attain the age of 16. Famous Indian teacher-turned politician Chanakya, (4th  century BC) known for his diplomacy and knowledge on worldly affairs too has very rightly pointed out that fondle a son until he is five years of age, and use the stick for another ten years, but when he has attains his 16th  year treat him as your beloved friend.

Greek philosopher Aristotle, too, believed “those who educate the children are more to be honored than their parents because these give them life only but those the art of living well”.

In ancient India, education was perfect and complete because of the sacred and selfless personal relationship between the teacher and the taught which we are tremendously lacking in recent times.

Today, the whole educational world is surcharged with gross and violent indiscipline manifesting through the various forms of students’ unrest.

To avoid this unwelcome tendency in the field of education, we must evoke heartily this high ideal of teacher-pupil relationship which prevailed in the ancient world. The pious and selfless relationship between a teacher and his pupil has always been one of the main features or contours of olden times more especially of the Indian culture.

In Indian concept, a teacher is the spiritual and intellectual father of the taught. Without the help of the teacher no education is possible. He is regarded as the “Guru”—a great friend, a philosopher and the guide.

His relation with his disciple was social and spiritual. Nowhere in this world was the implication of this statement been better implemented than in ancient India. A development of the relation between the teacher or guru and the pupil was the exaltation of the teacher to such an extent of reverence that he the guru was worshipped by his pupil.

The pupil felt genuine 'bhakti' (devotion for the guru). In fact, the disciple was taught to worship his guru as God. Guru gobind dou khade, kaake lagoon paay, balihari guru aapne gobind diyo batay - (Kabir)

It means, Guru and God both are standing before me, whom should I bow to first? All glory be unto the guru, who unfolded for me the path of God! It won’t be out of context here to take stock of parent-children interaction dispassionately. Parents, too, owe much to reform, supervise and monitor the day to day working of their children from time to time.

Leaving everything to the school and school teachers is not fair enough. Parents need to involve themselves actively to watch the daily progress of their school going children. But unfortunately that is not happening.

Whatever time parents have at their disposal is consumed by newspapers, television and other recreations. As a result, the younger generation hardly gets any opportunity to share ideas with their elders or to enter into a meaningful discussion.

Similarly, this idea is gaining ground among enlightened parents, too, that modern education is not meant to build up better human beings, but only to get better jobs.

Consequently, the students' minds are obsessed with better jobs and dreams for higher social status. It is therefore the duty of the parents, too, to take active interest in the day-to-day progress of their children both in and outside the institution and apprise them of the real meaning of education.

Dr Shiben Krishen Raina