4 Most Important Implications of the Upanishadic Era for Modern Education
Educationists like Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda and many others in our country have also emphasized the ideal of the development of the whole man. But the words of our wise men have not made any impact on our modern educational system.
With the result that today we happen to see many stunted specimens of humanity in the forms of graduates of our colleges and universities. These specimens do not know how to make a decent living.
Despondency is writ large over their faces. Hence all of us should take a lesson from the Upanishadic age and strive to develop the whole personality of our students in general.
2. The ideal of good moral character:
An ideal man does not live for himself alone. In fact, he lives for others as well. In essence all his activities are directed towards social good. The aim of education during the Upanishadic age was also to enable the pupil to develop himself in such a manner that he might contribute to the development of society.
The third and fourth order of life, i.e., the Vanprastha and Sanyas meant only to stimulate the individual to shun his personal desires and work for the social good. Even the order Ashram of Sanyas the life of a recluse meant to realize the ultimate spirituality with a view to guide others towards the same goal.
Thus we find the practice of highest moral ideal during the Upanishadic period. Today many of our youths happen to be so misguided as to work as social miscreants disturbing the peace of our society. So we must incorporate in our modern educational system the ideal of high moral character.
3. The concepts of the ideal teacher and the ideal student:
We have seen in the foregoing pages that the Upanishadic Gurus assumed the roles of ideal teachers and they derived spiritual pleasure in helping their pupils to understand the truth of human existence
So in the Upanishadic age the pupils presented themselves before their Guru as real seekers of truth. In our modern educational system we have to incorporate the concept of the ideal teacher and the ideal pupil. Only then our Bharat will be Mahan (great) as sometimes we speak today about our sublime goal in the interest of our country.
4. The high Ideals of the Upanishadic Gurus to be achieved:
Our modern training college’s preparing-teachers for schools profess to develop in the trainees the ideals which were actually praised by the Upanishadic preceptors. But so far they have not succeeded in the professed ideals.
Many of the educational departments of the various universities in our country have fallen short of everything that is desirable for an ideal teacher. Man of these educational departments are now also producing B.Eds, either through correspondence course or through summer courses in addition to their regular B.Ed. courses.
The main purpose of these B.Ed., summer and Correspondence courses appear to mint money. So much so that many of the invitee-lectures in these courses have adopted the slogan Paisa Peeto B.Ed. Banao, i.e. make money and produce B.Eds. Such is the pitiable position of our centres which are supposed to prepare ideal teachers.
Even the B.Eds from regular courses is not getting jobs corresponding to their technical qualifications. Many of them are working as clerks in many offices. Then what has been the necessity of starting B.Ed, through summer and correspondence courses, except that of making money?
Due to such a deplorable tendency we have to forget the high ideals that a teacher must profess and practise. It is high time that we revert back to the great ideals of our ancient preceptors of the Gurukul system and produce ideal teachers.