Celebrating Matribhasha Divas – 21st Feb in Schools

In a country as diverse as India with more than two dozen commonly spoken languages and hundreds of local languages and dialects; with people spread and settled across the country where their mother tongue need not necessarily be the official language, celebrating international mothers language day in schools – Matribhasha diwas on 21st Feb is a welcome initiative.

http://cbseacademic.in/web_material/Circulars/2015/13_Matribhasha%20Diwas.pdf

This initiative if well received and implemented by the schools will provide opportunity for children to deepen their connect with their mother tongue. Mother tongue is the best way one can relate to one’s culture. It provides the most convenient medium of communication with the outer world. It also provides for uninhibited and free expression of self.

Celebrating the festival as envisaged in the circular also helps children develop respect and regard to the diverse cultures and traditions of various language speaking people in the country. This festival will also motivate children and provide an opportunity for parents to educate their children about their mother tongue.

Looking forward for the event to be well received by schools across the country. Laud the initiative by CBSE. Hope other educational boards in the country also emulate the example.

WISH YOU ALL

‘HAPPY MATRIBHASHA DIWAS’

‘INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY’

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SSM Lecture Series on LifeSkills education

“Sastra Sagara Mathan”

 “Gems of LIFE-SKILLS education from our scriptures – A journey into the Indian Wisdom”

Milk ocean churning

Ancient Indian scriptures abound with universally applicable life-skills wisdom. Ancient Indians evinced interest in the minds of people from across the world as they excelled in all spheres of life – economics, science, politics, astrology, astronomy, medicine, mathematics, fine arts, philosophy, education, tourism, trade and commerce, etc. by integrating scriptural wisdom into their life-style.

India was a leading world economy till about four centuries ago. Disintegrating our educational system from traditional wisdom by the colonial powers led to loss of national pride and rapid downfall of our society. It is now time to dive deep into this ocean, bring out gems of wisdom and reach this valuable treasure to humanity in an organized structure so that one can learn, understand and apply the same in daily life to be happily successful in pursuit of life’s goals.

“Sastra Sagara Mathan” is an initiative by Beeja – a trust involved in study, research and archiving of traditional Indian wisdom apart from structuring and evolving programs to enhance the life-skills of children of current generation in an enjoyable format. In these sessions scriptural oceanic treasure is churned by the learned to bring out gems of life-skills education and reach it to the education community to ultimately take it to the children in a joyous format.Samudra-Manthan-The-Churning-of-the-Ocean-of-Milk

The plan…

  • A series of lectures are held wherein one scripture/book of wisdom is taken in each lecture and the expert shares stories, concepts, philosophy, tools and techniques mentioned in the scripture under discussion to enhance one or more domains of life-skills in an Individual.
  • The expert then engages in discussion with the teaching community to clarify doubts and explore means of integrating the wisdom into the education system.
  • The conclusions and learning in the session is then integrated into the life-skills curriculum, syllabus, books and other programs & tools.
  • These sessions are held in schools or common venues with school principals and teachers as invitees apart from other educationists.

Ankur is glad to reach out this series to education community.

Requests for holding SSM lectures in your education institution may be forwarded to ankur@blissgroup.com

Education for the SPECIAL – Part 1

Every travel has been a wonderful experience for me, a learning experience that changed my perception of education in our country. Travelling far and wide in the journey to improve the quality of education in schools spread across the length and breadth of the country the definition of quality changed with every visit and every endeavour.

When I visited the Social welfare and the Tribal welfare schools in the state I was amazed at the kind of money being pumped into these learning institutions that are grooming the young generations of the underprivileged sections to access mainstream education and lay a foundation for a successful after school life. These schools do not boast of a lavish infrastructure or basic facilities but are cradled in nature’s lap which brings back the memories of vedic universities. Undoubtedly the buildings are dilapidated but the shortfalls are compensated by the availability of abundant natural resources. The natural settings around some schools can awe any visitor and give an illusion of high standard education being delivered.

These schools have been set up with an idealistic vision of providing quality education modelled along the lines of gurukul system which provided shelter and food along with education on the guidelines of our scriptures that say that “no learning can happen on empty stomach”. Apart from accommodation these students are assured a small sum of pocket-money which they use for their personal needs.

The quality of education provided in these schools range from least effective to effective, of course these students sit for various competitive exams and few successfully get entry into different engineering and medical studies; however the number getting into these fields is not very high. Then, how far can we say that these schools are successful in achieving the outcomes.

Walking through the corridors of these schools, looking at the young boys and girls whom we promise quality provision that fuels their dreams of a good life for themselves and their kith, I mused on how many really make it happen with the kind of support they get in these schools. Are these schools able to achieve the goals? Where do these children go with bits of knowledge and understanding of subjects and ineffective communication skills? Sometimes I wonder, are we able to make it with this section of the society that means and matters a lot in the national development and assure us a better place in the world ranking with improved human development indices.

I leave the schools with an agitated mind and confusion on what could be the next steps for these schools to improve. The rigid regulations and policies that govern the Indian school system make it very challenging to import innovative ideas to change the eco system of these schools. I really ponder why did we think of a typical traditional system for these students who need more than knowledge of social sciences and language to raise the standard of their lives. Why do these children have to suffer the consequences of erroneous planning?

When the agenda of human development takes precedence then the policies that script the destiny of the weaker sections should probe the factors that favour their progress. There is no denying that education is the overall panacea for all problems. The question should have been what sort of education will help the weaker section get into mainstream successfully?

Within the traditional set up a different scheme of things would lead to better outcomes. The students come from different social settings and background, addressing and arranging a system for this group requires radical ideas and divergent thinking.  A total overhaul of the system is required for the transformation of these institutions into universities of learning, preparing young men and women to fight all odds to move forward in life and contribute to a peaceful and progressive society.

Proficiency in three languages is not imperative for a successful life. Therefore, two language formula in these schools will not derail the overall education system or disqualify the students in appearing for competitive exams.  A choice to study any one language other than English will benefit the students and the schools in the long run.

What else is required to make a good living?  Undoubtedly, it is the proficiency in the global language which opens up better opportunities. This is the language of communication, of facebook and twitter that enables the young to contact people all over the world. Furthermore it is the most dominant language of diplomacy, business, science, and economy and web world.  More than 90% of the data on the websites is created and written in English with about 80% stored in the computers around the world. Therefore it becomes exigent that the schools focus on developing the communication skills. The locus should be the functional aspect of the language and not the unit lessons. These schools bind themselves with the syllabus so tightly that they end up teaching content than the language which complicates the issue, the acquisition of language skills hence becomes challenging for both the teacher and the taught.  An innovative and interesting blend of curricular goals with vertical and horizontal progression enables the schools to achieve outcomes in a short span of time. The English language curriculum has to be contextualised in view of the background of the students. The main aim of the language module should be the development of effective communication skills. With a clear mission and mile stones, accomplishing outcomes would rather become easy.

When the focus shifts from communication skills mathematics and science stands out as important subjects, movement and progress in life depends on the calculation, estimation and problem solving skills. Immaterial of the career, knowledge of calculations will endow the skill of tackling challenges head on. These two sciences support an individual’s capacity to think logically and differently.  The main question still remains- what percentage of students attain minimum levels in maths and science that empower them to become progressive thinkers. The thinking of young generation becomes vulnerable if science and math subjects do not teach them reasoning skills and unfortunately it is a fact.

What are the young boys learning with wandering minds and quivering thoughts? These youngsters behave as aliens in class and as warriors in playground. Well, here is the clue, the young spirits are bubbling with raw energy waiting to be shown the right direction, I have spoken to several young boys in these institutions who are more interested in sports and games than in theories and theorems.  They need “sports schools” or “sports classes” to encourage them to participate in their own rise and success. Their thought process belong to a totally different genre as they have seen and heard of their generations living in penury and inaccessible pockets of civilizations therefore drawing them into the current society norms may be challenging.  India cannot sit basking in the glories of Vijay Kumars or Mary Koms, these species have to be multiplied in the playgrounds of learning institutions.  Therefore it becomes necessary to rewrite the education plan for these schools, directed and targeted focus leads to specific and definite outcomes, generalised education and a blanket program may still leave several gaps which makes the entire planning a naught.  Playgrounds and sports fields are the suitable learning places for these adolescents which trains them to accept defeat and exhibit positive sportsmanship skills. In defeat they learn valuable lessons of life. These students enjoy the sporting experience because it is close to their roots and run in their genes. Sports will teach them innumerable lessons which may last longer than monotonous class lessons.

(To be Continued…)

– Ms Anitha Jagathkar, Member – Advisory board, Ankur Learning Solutions Pvt ltd

Letting the Child be Both the Sculpture and the Sculptor

“Education is The Manifestation of The Perfection Already in Man”… This quote by Swami Vivekananda demonstrates the clarity and crispness with which Swami Vivekananda delivered his messages.

Three important messages pop out from this statement – Manifestation, The Perfection, Already in Man…

Manifestation – It is not assimilation, but Manifestation. Mere intellectualisation of concepts and ideas do not suffice. True education is to ensure that the learning gets manifested in actions.

There is no purpose learning hundred things, without giving scope to find expression in life. It is advisable to take one thing at a time and internalise, before claiming to have learnt that.

Perfection – Whatever we learn should be manifested. But the question arises… what should we learn? What should be manifested? Swamiji talks of manifestation of perfection. As it is the case with most of Ancient Indian Scriptural Concepts – Perfection, as used by Swami Vivekananda needs to be viewed from two levels/perspectives.

  • At the spiritual level, it denotes the divinity or completeness of an individual. The perfection or divinity in man should find expression as a result of education. In Swamiji’s own words…

“The Light Divine within is obscured in most people. It is like a lamp in a cask of iron, no gleam of light can shine through. Gradually, by purity and unselfishness, we can make the obscuring medium less and less dense, until at last it becomes transparent as glass”. Note that Swamiji talks not only about the Divine within, but also the means by which that Divinity has to be brought out. Education should provide tools for one to be pure and unselfish.

  • At the day-to-day practical, worldly level, perfection denotes the ability to address various problems human beings encounter in society. Again in Swamiji’s words…

“The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring out the strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and the courage of a lion – is it worth the name? Real education is that which enables one to stand on one’s own legs.”

Education must provide “life-building, man-making and character making” assimilation of ideas to evolve as a holistic individual – one who has learned how to improve his intellect, purify his heart, handle his emotions and stand firm on moral virtues and unselfishness.

Already in Man – This is the key message in the above quote. The perfection which has to be manifested, Swamiji declares, is already in man. When we already have it, what is the role of education? What are we learning? The process of education is actually a process of purification.

It is a process of removing the blinding mask and realise the perfectness within.

It is a process which brings out the strength within and makes us courageous like a lion and help us stand on our own legs.

Here lies the critical role of an educator – be it a parent at home or a teacher at school, we need to make education student centric.

It is an educator’s responsibility to throw light on the strengths of the student and facilitate ways to bring out those strengths, to nurture a confident and courageous adult. An educator’s role is that of a farmer, not a sculptor.

A Sculptor carves out a beautiful image from a barren rock. There are many sculptors who do such fine job that the sculptures look real and life laden. A sculptor replicates the image he had conceptualised, in the rock. The stone with no inherent characteristics simply takes the shape, its sculptor gives.

Many a time, a parent or teacher act as sculptors and the children their sculptures. They try to mould and carve them into wonderful human beings. A noble objective… Is it really so?

We frequent with parents wanting their children to grow up and become like them or like what they wanted to be, but could not. Several others want to mould them into money-making machines. They force them to get into a field which is sought after in the market so that they can make more money. This market driven trend in human development is one of the main cause of stress. We come across youngsters – four to five years in the industry and disinterested in what they are doing, because their heart, passion and skill-set is elsewhere. This is counter-productive for all – the individual, organisation, family and the society.

A Farmer grows a mighty tree or a small plant, all with same amount of Love and Care. A farmer knows that each seed is different. Like all living beings, seeds have a unique inherent nature. The farmer provides the right environment for the seedling to emerge and simply act as a facilitator in its growth process.

Similarly an ideal educator has to provide the Right, Conducive, Compassionate and Loving environment for the child to grow into establishing his full potential…

An ideal educator sees the child from child’s eyes and let him grow based on his inherent strengths…

An ideal educator remain as helper/facilitator in the process of learning providing the child with necessary environment and tools letting the child be both the sculptor and the sculpture…

Self Made Man

Yoga is a time-tested and effective tool to realize the above objective. Yogic science explains five facets of human personality – Physcial, Vital, Mental, Intellectual and Spiritual. Different elements of Yoga help develop and hone these aspects of human personality at the individual level creating an ideal foundation for evolution of a responsible social personality

The five primary aspects of human personality are highly integrated. Evolving on one aspect also help evolve the other aspects. A good yoga teacher aware of this subtle aspect, provides student-centric tools, so that one is able to use the strengths to work on the weaknesses and evolve in a balanced manner.

For example let us take asana – one of the yogic tools. A single asana can work on all five aspects of human personality:

  • physical personality – making the body relaxed, fit, flexible and healthy
  • energy levels – directing the energies to the right place at the right time keeping one energetic
  • mental and psychic personality – making the mind calm, relaxed and focused
  • intellectual persona – brining out the spontaneity and creativity within
  • spiritual persona – helping one realize the completeness within and unity without

Similarly other aspects of Hatha Yoga like pranayama, various types of meditation practices etc., can also be used to evolve one or more aspects of human personality. Apart from Hatha Yoga, there are also other types of yoga, like karma yoga, bhakthi yoga, jnana yoga, etc., which can be practiced by all.

Practiced under expert guidance Yoga helps develop a clear, pure and focused mind making one more effective in life. The clarity and focus help one identify the strengths and weaknesses, prioritize needs and wants, discriminate right and appropriate from the wrong and make right decisions both in simple day-to-day activities and in life-influencing career choices. Thus Yoga is an effective tool with which children can sculpt their own life.

On this Children’s Day let us educators, resolve to help the child become a good sculptor of his own sculpture.

Need to Indianise Education – Why & How? (2/2)

While there is an urgent need to Indianise education and revive the lost glory of this country, careful steps are to be taken to take all people along and be successful. Unreasonable resistance and intentions has to be dealt with severely and appropriately without affecting the objective. Two primary approaches help in the process…

A Common Platform for people to discuss, debate and evolve a Truly Indian Education System:

The new government under the leadership of Narendra Modi, which has come to power on the plank of “India First” is reported to have decided upon forming a commission on education reforms. We hope this commission will work to include traditional Indian wisdom, values and methodologies into our education system.

Several organisations, more prominent among them like – Saraswathi Vidya Mandirs, Vivekananda Education Society, Ramakrishna Mission, Chinmaya Mission, Aurobindo Ashram, Sathya Sai Institutes, Shanti Niketan, etc., have established educational institutes across the country and are providing Indian touch to the education for decades. Symposiums held by these institutes on indianising education based on traditional values highlight challenges they face in providing complete and truly Indian education. These need to be addressed.

There are reports of a Non-Governmental Education Commission (NGEC) under the leadership of Dr Batra which would introduce education models based on Indian roots and submit a report to the government. This reportedly is a high level panel involving who’s who in the industry. Heartening to learn about the objectives of this – probably one of the most serious and mega non-government initiative to Indianise education.

Several other organisations are also working in the same direction, but at a smaller level.

Consolidating the efforts of all these organisations would well be in the direction of Modi’s inclusive governance – where people actively participate in formulating policies and governance. National symposiums on these lines involving all these organisations will provide a common platform for people to exchange ideas, discuss, debate and evolve recommendations to the governmental commission to Indianise education that will be acceptable and relevant to people from all walks of life.

Make people open to debate, experiment and experience the claims of Indian Wisdom:

When fanaticism and pseudo-secularism by political class closed doors of people to even listen to the values of Indian wisdom, people in the west experimented on the same with an open mind. Today yoga, vastu sastra, etc., is accepted by more Indians across religious beliefs because their minds have opened after the west validated the same through systematic scientific research and debate.

The same is happening with Sanskrit education. While sanskrit text and slokas are taught in the schools in europe and west, we are finding it difficult to popularise the same in Indian schools. Through scientific research people in the west have understood the applicability and suitability of sanskrit in computing technology and balanced development of a person. It is a matter of time, when people in India will realise that sanskrit as a language, its literature, slokas and mantras; has global relevance; has the potential to propel the global growth curve to the next level.

Providing platforms and environment for people from all walks of life cutting across beliefs systems to experiment, experience, discuss and debate on traditional Indian philosophy and wisdom will help them realise the value of this wisdom and embrace it. We can understand the urgent need, when people of high repute speak about reverting back to our ancient traditions. However, care has to be taken to ensure that we are not touching the raw nerve that will immediately raise the wall of resistance and prove counter-productive.

Flavouring Indian wisdom, techniques and tools without religious connotations will help people from all belief systems to look at it with an open mind, understand their relevance and applicability to all.

Dealing Vested Interest Groups

Needless to say despite sincerest of efforts, vested political interest groups may still try to thwart the attempts and they have to be dealt sternly and politically appropriate way. The country has given the Modi Government overwhelming mandate relying on his ability and proven track record to do the same. We hope he lives up to the expectations and fructify the current efforts to Indianise education.

Need to Indianise Education – Why & How? (1/2)

Every country has a culture and value system that makes it unique amid innumerable cultures across the world. While each country has to respect other’s cultures and values, it also has responsibility to protect and promote its own unique culture.

Monotony is boring; Diversity makes world beautiful and interesting

India is a representative of respect for diversity. Traditionally people from across the world turned to India for guidance and wisdom to resolve conflicts. Swami Vivekananda’s strong impact on world community starting from world’s parliament of religions is a testimony to this in recent times.

Centuries ago, when Parsis were thrown out of their country, they spread out to various countries. Some of them landed on the shores of Gujarat. The ruler of the land not only gave them space to live in but also complete freedom to follow their own cultural values and protect their individual identity. Today they have become very much Indian and grown to utmost glory in this country by imbibing the value of “respect for others while following their own”. The whole country is today proud of Tatas and their contributions.

These are just two of innumerable examples to showcase the value of Indian Culture.

How did people in this part of the world manage to preserve their culture and evolve it into a guiding force, while other great civilizations of the past disappeared?

Why did great men from various fields across the world get attracted to this? 

What is happening to this culture in the era of globalisation and what is our responsibility as inheritors of this great culture to pass on this legacy?

The uniqueness of Indian Culture is that it did not let go of the core, but adapted at the outer to cope with the changing needs reinventing itself during challenging times. It imbibed the goodness in other cultural practices while letting go of those that are proved to be non-progressive, thus making it global and time relevant.

Its values, beliefs and cultural practices are not something exclusive of, but integral to their daily life.

These have been made part of their education system and imbibed as what is described as samskaras during early formative years. Long before Maria Montessori described to the modern world the absorbant mind of a child, wise men in this part of the world knew this and used it to evolve daily practices and routines, so that the utmost important values are imbibed by the child during the early formative years.

Colonial rulers under the guidance of Macaulay understood this and destroyed this great education system so that they can establish their supremacy. Leaders like Gandhi and Patel, who have integrated these values led the way to freedom from colonial rule, but the subsequent rulers failed to free us from the colonial education system.

Freedom from colonial education system and reviving Indian education system is the answer to completely revive the glory of India and once again make India the guiding force for the rest of the world.

There has been some sporadic and some consistent efforts by certain thought leaders to revive Indian-ness in Indian education. But attempts at the Government level has been sparse, probably due to political considerations. In the past few years there have been significant attempts by various educational boards including the premier education board CBSE, to make education holistic and effective (We have discussed about this in our earlier blogs). But all these attempts did not focus on the Indian-ness aspect.

The new government has come to power with resounding majority banking on the promise of India First. There are already certain signs to add the value of Indian-ness in the Indian education system.

We will look at how this can be effectively achieved in the next part of this post…

“Ache Din” for Young India’s Education

“Ache Din” (Good days) for education sector and thus for the country is around.

If the multi-pronged approach for holistic education and skill-building continues as per the policy statements, we will be well on the way to building a stronger India. Let us take a look at some major developments in the past couple of months in this direction.

The NDA manifesto promised focus on education sector and Skilling India. After coming to power with an overwhelming majority the new Government under the dynamic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi has made several policy announcements in this direction.

Appointment of Smriti Irani for the responsibility is the first positive step. The sheer determination and conviction with which she handles her projects is a promise for the development of Human Resources in the country.

The President’s address talks about establishment of National Sports Talent Search System. This measure apart from enhancing the sports ecosystem in the country also helps build professionalism, team-spirit and enhance overall personality development among the youth. National Talent Search systems for science, mathematics, geography, etc., has been in force in the country for decades. Now sports education gets this special impetus and hope this will encourage nurture sports talent as it nurtured other talents.

Physiologically it is proven through clinical studies, that involvement of boys in sports, helps them better channelise their youth vigour in the right direction and evolve as stronger personalities. Integrating sports education with the regular academic stream will further aid the process. Sports education along with Life-SKILL education and yoga (These two are already on focus) is a wonderful combination for holistic evolution of children. Let’s hope the new establishment’s National Education Policy will do much more for furthering these steps.

Prior to the budget presentation, economy survey identified primary education and skill development as the twin challenges for our country. Addressing this challenge the Modi Government has announced SKILL INDIA Program in the budget speech. National multi-skill mission to enhance skilled labour in various sectors of the economy has multiple benefits like – enhanced employability levels of our youth, improve the GDP through efficient utilisation of the labour, enhance the quality and standard of living and propel the country into developed economy status. Effective implementation of this program is the key deciding factor in this direction.

In June, India gained permanent membership in Washington accord which provides our engineering graduates, recognition for their educational qualification in all the signatory countries. This means better employability opportunities for our graduates.

Another Good news is wide spread acceptance of the CCE pattern of assessment and evaluation introduced by CBSE. Not only are more schools opting for CBSE education due to this initiative, more state education boards are also introducing CCE pattern of evaluation. Slowly but steadily we can see all education boards – state and national boards, inching towards a common pattern of education, assessment and evaluation which is holistic and child-centric.

Truly Ache Din Aage Hain… Good Days are Ahead…

Sanskrit Education gets a fillip

While we grow, we should remember the roots. India is now returning to its core strength… its roots.

We have discussed about the importance of Sanskrit education and its future in an earlier blog. Latest step in this direction is CBSE’s initiative in sanskrit education.

Welcome to our earlier blog on Sanskrit education…

The Guru-Sishya Story

Ankur: “Hi Rishi. I understand that you have been looking for me”.

Rishi :  “Hi Ankur. What are you doing on 12th July?”

Ankur :  “I am not doing anything specific.  What is so special about that day?”

Rishi : “We are celebrating Guru Purnima on that day”.  I am honouring all the reputed teachers in the city on that day. I thought you could help me out in making the arrangements.”

Ankur : “I have been wondering about this Rishi.  When the whole country celebrates teachers’ day on September 5th, you are always in a hurry to celebrate this a couple of months earlier. Why hurry? Relax…”

Rishi :  (Laughs loudly) “Why do you think September 5th is celebrated as Teachers’ Day?”

Ankur :  “It is the birthday of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, our former President, who was a great teacher. We celebrate this day as Teachers’ Day in his honour.”

Sarvepalli

Rishi :  “No doubt… Dr Radhakrishnan was a great teacher.  But are you aware that “Teachers’ Day” has been celebrated for thousands of years on full moon day of the lunar month of Ashadh as Guru Purnima; Grand festivities are made on that day and teachers honoured.”

Ankur :  “Wow!  This is interesting.  I never knew that. Why have we been celebrating Teachers’ Day on this particular day?”

Rishi :  “Ankur.  I always appreciate this inquisitiveness in you.  This day is celebrated in honour of Sage Veda Vyasa, our badharayana who is considered as our first Guru.”

veda-vyasa

Ankur : “Is there any specific reason he is considered as the first Guru?”

Rishi : “Actually I need to explain to you two things in answer to this question.  First, our ancient seers had developed immense capabilities beyond their normal senses and were able to come in contact with the universal laws.  For millennia, they passed on these laws to their students orally.  As times passed, capability of humans to grasp the entire knowledge started diminishing.  At this juncture, Sage Veda Vyasa compiled all this knowledge into different sections and simplified them through many stories and historical events so that they are easily available and within the reach of common man.  In this way he made available a huge amount of wisdom to the common man and hence he is considered as the first Guru.”

Ankur : Oh!  This is a very interesting story.  So do you mean to say that he had written a book?  If so, what is the name of the book?  I would like to read that.”

Rishi :  “Sage Vyasa had been a great author.  He wrote lots of books (on palm leaves) in different formats for people with different personality types.  The Four Vedas, several Upanishads, 18 Puranas, Brahmasutras, etc., all together amounts to more than million verses… This is his contribution.”

Ankur :  “Oh!  That is too much.  One would not be able to complete a fraction of that in his life time.  So how is one going to benefit from this?”

Rishi :  “You must remember that he is a master teacher – the prime Guru.  He identified different sets of Gurus and made them each expert in one set of books.  Those teachers in turn passed on the parts of knowledge in which they specialized to their disciples.  In this way the entire wisdom was preserved and handed over across generations for thousands of years.”

gurukul

Ankur :  “To collate and compile all this information requires several TBs of space. Once we put that in cloud anyone can easily access it. This can be an interesting project to compile our wisdom.”

Rishi :  (Laughs again) Now I need to explain to you the other part called the Guru-Sishya parampara or Guru-Sishya tradition.  You may read volumes of information but it will not make sense to you if you don’t understand the inner meaning and its relevance to you.  In Guru-Sishya tradition, the Guru transfers not just the information but also the experience in a way that is appropriate to the student and thus actually it is the experiential knowledge which is transferred from a Guru to his discipline and not bookish knowledge.  It is for this reason that Indian culture and civilization is the longest and the only civilization whose date of origin could not be determined even now.  The computers may go, the papers may go, the palm leaves may vanish, but the wisdom in the form of experiences is there in man and that is transferred to the upcoming generations. As long as man exists this knowledge will remain…”

Ankur :  “Now I understand the greatness of our culture and the importance of Guru-Sishya parampara.  Hey!  Another truth strikes me.  Today there is a lot of buzz happening around experiential learning and activity based learning.  I thought this is a very innovative way for teaching discovered by the west.  But now I realize that is the essence of original Indian educational system.  I love this great country and feel grateful to all the great Gurus for keeping this civilization and culture alive.”

Guru-and-disciple

Rishi : “So what is your plan for next Saturday?”

Ankur : “Of course, I will be with you the whole day.  You are my Guru anyway.  It is my duty to offer my services to you on that day.  Can I invite Ankita also?”

Rishi :  “You are most welcome”

Jiva Vigyan – An opportunity for school principals – says HIS EXCELLENCY

His Excellency, Governor of Tamil Nadu lauds “Jiva Vigyan” as a platform for principals to collaborate in the field of life-skills education

“Ankur’s initiative through ‘Jiva Vigyan’ seems to be an obvious choice for schools to partner and work out strategies that help the youth to get equipped with life skills to become successful in the 21st century. Principals and school management should make use of this platform to collaborate, exchange ideas, learn new methodologies, concepts and reach out the same to the children and nurture Indian citizens as Global citizens. This is what our country had always stood for.”

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