1.1 Education as State Subject
But what does the word education mean? It differs from one person to another. In the Greek, idea of republic was a concept of Plato. In those days, education was a process, of making citizens out of a laymen by indoctrination into a procedures /laws of the state. University system to this day is filled with terms like a ‘degree’ (legal sanction), ‘senate’ (a group of law makers) and ‘ordinances’ (communication of laws), and so on. These terms are from the family of legal terminology.
Do we really mean the same meaning of education what it was in 700 BC? In those days, degree or legal status gave an individual an authority to get employment in work of the state, and in course of implementing different laws. To under go a procedure of education and those who qualify it were awarded a degree by the senate or court of the town. The one, getting a degree is essentially a product of a procedure or law. He/she is not a man or women in flesh and blood but in essence, becomes an instrument of law or procedure (also called legal machinery).
1.2. Laws and actors of the Laws
‘Father in law’ is a very common example. The term ‘in law’ is denoting a shadow (or acting in the role) of father with respect to a certain references in the law, or an artificially defined father. This position of ‘father in law’ is a result of a procedure or application of public laws of marriage of his son or daughter. By this procedure ‘marriage’, a couple can legitimately live together in a society and their children become legal heir.
Procedure is a formal and public act such as rituals involving several witnesses, and thus, is recognized by the state. Although he is not a ‘natural father’ but is ‘a father in law’ produced and defined artificially (man made) by methods, formal and legal procedure of ‘marriage’. ‘Father in law’ is neither a birthright nor a family tradition.
In a similar way, education makes ‘citizen in law’ or ‘engineer in law’ artificially by award of a degree. An engineer in law is a practicing laws of engineering. Similar is a ‘doctor in law’ holding a degree in medicines and is allowed to practice laws of medicine, and ‘architect in law’ by a formal training in the procedure of architecture. All ‘in laws’ are like actors in a cinema, where script of logic, emotion and action is practiced in real life. A magistrate or police or judge or convict or lawyers are a sort of artifacts of legal (defined ‘in law’) conduct; and for this reason, have to conform to a strict dress code while acting (authorized or assigned roles) in the public domain.
Education is a formal and state processes of regulation of public conduct which apply to every specialist activity in public domain. Any other way of doing even better than the prescribed by the laws is illegal and punishable. Interestingly, all scientific research is illegal and prohibited to practice in public domain unless that becomes a law. Word of ‘allopath’ (branch of scientific study of medicine) meant ‘alternative medicine’ because it was not a legal practice but an alternative treatment. This dramatic construction of state or any man-made organization is an attempt of defining various conducts and by it, introducing some kind of art and discipline.
1.3. Disease of Specialization
For the Greek, a character of human was never easy to understand, and it remained inconclusive and unknown. On the other hand, conduct was relatively easier to define (‘in laws’) by observation and evidences, and can be treated as a prescription of the state and statesmen for peace and prosperity. In this way, precision of sword gets converted into the precision of making of the laws, and in establishing a framework of education for people in practicing those procedures and laws. Results are initially very good. In Greek, every house was constructed as per provisions of laws or codified procedures. The way of taking food or etiquette and rituals of ceremony, were all regulated by some or the other laws. Western nations have practiced diligently the idea of the Greek education and that made them good citizens.
This prescription of republic in India is unusual. Laws in India were of colonial interpretation, and ideas of laws and education were alien. In India, laws were taken more seriously and sacrosanct. Laws become a tool of control rather than a tool of equality. In any republic, ordinary people take roles in it by practicing different laws and procedures, but not becoming the one. When actors of laws get mad, he/she begins to change the principles so that the role played becomes his/her monopoly. In India, people when claiming pension from state, need a certificate of a physician to prove to the bank that they are alive.
Similarly, many people are walking but are dead in record of the state and have no right on their property. Government and physicians take money for this. Physicians and government in such example taken the advantage of and misuse the law for controls. Of course, the Greek civilization reminds us how it collapsed with best of the judges, architects and every artifacts of the republic. Laws or procedures if not constantly renewed and not open to criticism, it gives rise to a ‘disease of specialization’ and laws take shape of the sword in a reverse integration and are misused. Civilizing in that case, becomes an incurable disease by the reluctance to change.
1.4 Separation of Character and Conduct
Greek education builds conduct; because only conduct is public, whereas character is private. If conduct gets somehow controlled by the state, character gets controlled as a result. Codification of conduct became important because the concept of gentleman or those who fit as judges with an unquestionable integrity were impossible to find. Judges were corrupt and they compromised on integrity or gentleman status. Gentleman agreement is a sort of agreement where what another party says is unquestioned. Greek philosophers then zeroed on a principle of “judge, not a man but a procedure”. As a machinery of state, the education de-humanized the public conduct by adopting codified laws of the state that made anyone and every men as judges of their own and others action.
Judges were then law bound and not by a character of integrity, or any birthrights. Graduating in law (of public conduct) from university and practicing judges, for example, wore black attire in workplaces that make them faceless and free from any bias of personal character. Even a convict can practice laws and become a judge, and simultaneously can endure the punishment. Also, a man who is sick can become a doctor and can, without a problem, practice laws of medicine. In India, the offenders of laws or erstwhile criminals constitute a sizable proportion of lawmakers.
In this way, character and conduct got separated, and state action based on conduct was called secular (means, without bias of character of individuals).
1.5 Abolition of birthright and nepotism for making a place of the framework of laws
This Greek education leading to a degree was strictly ‘legal’ activity, and not flexible. By Greek tradition, state has a role to make artificial (man-made) citizens by awareness of the laws (acceptable public conduct in every field) by a formal process of education. Only a degree holder could be employed for a position of authority such as in act of judges or magistrates. Skill, knowledge and authority flowing from birthright or family tradition or without formal state regulated procedure, were unlawful and were in those days, known as nepotism.
1.6 Market and invention of Lawless States
State action of education also came into crisis because it is generally felt even now that those having degrees and authority associated with it cannot succeed outside the state protection. And it is often found that education for degree did not made good human being even though they were indeed practitioners of the great laws as engineer, or doctor or architect. Things changed. In a market economy, education is defined not in strict legal sense and degree is no longer a prestige of state authority; but the acquisition of knowledge that encourages liberty and experimentation, and doing and becoming what one wants to be. This is a sort of lawlessness as far as the state control was concerned, and market is an alternative state or a lawless state with people having right of choices.
1.7. Indian dilemma with defining education
In India, education is not a state or citizen/public legalization subject. Greek idea of education in making of a citizen of laws is not valid. Even lawmakers in India need have no formal education, or any sense of formalized ‘acceptable public conduct’. Citizenship of state here is not artificial (legal, man made) but a birthright. Education, indifferent of a state, is nothing to do with ensuring laws and conduct of citizens in a town or a country, but in serving market of occupation and skills, and assumed a very different dimension of intellectual development. In the present context, purpose of education has grown much bigger and not remained in hand of the state and in serving its limited purpose.
It is also interesting for India to know how do the government defines it? Of course, it is yet to define the word of education and what properties should be inside ‘educated’ human. Same is the problem with word ‘development’. If a person asks what should I do to be called ‘developed’ and what all can make our country ‘developed’, it has no correct or even incorrect but ONE answer. For example, if we call a man ‘white’, it is easy to recognize it by color. But without a definition, how can it be known and what tests apply who is educated and who is not, in an impartial manner. In pondering at finding any meaning of education, there are interesting points of views even in judgments of supreme courts, especially in its judgment of abandoning Chhatisgarh based Universities, and one certainly can read them.
2.1 New Definition of Education
If we have to define education for our country we should be certain what educating means to us, and its traits.
Becoming Human is all about Education.
Property of human is very hard to define, only this is the reason why it is much easier becoming doctor or engineer or lawyer and not human. From this point of view, becoming human is key to education, and these get reflected in the three forms:
Relative ‘success’ i.e., strength, livelihood and dignity. Strength is merit or ability of being useful and not armtwisting or seeking control. This means, the individual is concerned with pains and pleasure of others, and finds skill and knowledge in being a solution. Strength is fearless and sensitive aptitute with a purpose. All of these are called relative Success because individuals own none of these by birth, and this is a decision of challenging evil. This means, an individual is ‘unsuccessful’ if he/she cannot such an strength, is unable to find decent livelihood or in fulfilling worldly responsibility for self and family and those dependent on, and is without dignity.
Being ‘unsuccessful’ is ‘not education’.
Self “life’ i.e., liberty, happiness and self realization
Life as we all know is not produced by specification and comes naturally. In Sanskrit, “ya vidya sa vimuktye” i.e., education is known by its property of liberation. A child for example, has liberty, and happiness naturally, which are not ‘relative Success’ but very much of his/her own. To loose liberty and happiness to relative success is not a bargain that educated persons can choose. Education is provisioning of environment in which an individual can express himself/herself, and remains not influenced in any undesirable way. This evolution of self is called ‘self realization’.
Co-existence i.e., peace, co-operation and being unharmful
This is non-interfering way of living, and helping and receiving help from one another without asserting control or fear. Sense of authority is deterioration of our co-existence. And every effort of control manifested in technology, market and governance becomes a liability to manage. And has detrimental effect on nature, society and family. Every next day, the cost of management rises, consumption of natural resources rises, and effluents and pollution rise. And these cause conflict.
The potential of harm increases with skills and techniques. These substitute self-awareness. For example, a man/women with gun in hand does not become developed. More care is needed with high technology to give it in right hands. Earth is sitting at brink of collapse only because of high technology in hand of idiots.
Purpose of education is far greater than acquiring skill, and technology. This aspect of education is for guiding human spirit in regard to serving nature and togetherness for mutual gain, and not being harmful. Sri Krishna in Bhagwat Gita says, ‘yasmaannodvijateloko’, he who is not a source of annoyance to his fellow creatures, and who in his turn does not feel vexed with his fellow creatures and who is free from delight and envy, perturbation.
2.2 Choices of Work as Worship or War
Education in a lower realm of mind, from time immemorial is associated with physical or intellectual precision and strength like in swordsmanship, power of law and authority in kings, and administration (measurement and control) in public/citizen. All are acts of warriors. Schools in China, India and Japan taught art of war and treated every work as wars. Dronacharya, Chanakya were chancellors of major thoughts in those times, and run their schools. Educational tradition started from kings and warriors had its origin in military schools. Even now, most of our business and technology schools is a sort of civil military schools. Europe and America build character of warriors even now and war is used as the only arbiter of peace.
In an alternative way, in Rishi tradition in contrast of King or state), there existed Gurukul in India for higher education that considered work as worship instead of the war. The climate of worshipping is very different than those who considered work as wars. Highest ideal of knowledge is therefore peace, derived from strength as first step, to liberation in second step, and finally the peace.
Surprisingly, India has just opposite ideas of education than the Greek. In India, character was more important and character was codified instead of the conduct. Here, no faceless instruments of laws but names that identify character. For example, very famous scripture in India reads as Ram Charit Maanas i.e. Reflections in mind about the character of Sri Ram.
In India, character was codified in color (varna) or personality traits such as Shudra (owner, warrior, egoist, attached to things or with a responsibility, uncompromising character) – Vaishya (compromising character, give-take, experimentation ‘not loyal’ prostitute, businessmen, professionals) – Chhatria (neither compromising nor uncompromising, creative character in self indulgence, research minded, contemplative/struggling mind for liberation) – Brahman (truth, liberation).
Brahman is Akshar which is never deteriorated ; and from it, comes Shabd, Arth, Zyan and Satya
Shabd – Words or identification label, proper noun, object, physical recognition or name plate information
Arth – Meaning of the word, subject or storyline of character or common noun or defined knowledge
Zyan – Knowledge, symbolic truth that can be applied universally like theorem of science that take differet names and measurement
Satya – Truth
Education in India was aimed at integrating the purpose of life with the work, and these were based on character recognition.
Shiksha -> ‘Shiksha’ is a means of ‘sakchatkar’ or realization. A teacher or ‘shikshak’ is like a tourist guide that introduces a new visitor to the reality of contemporary (time-space bound, transitional) world. This process brings realization for things that were unknown, brought into experiences by our senses and intellect. Otherwise we are blind in an unknown world even though with the eyes and all the faculties of senses. How do we find out those harmful bacteria in contaminated water cause diseases? How did we know of electricity, New York City, or planetary system?
A human born in the world, like a tree from a seed, is complete already. In an analogy with manufactured product, products when get out of factory, is complete, and date of manufacture and expiry printed. No one can improve a human in its basic design after it has come out of the womb of mother. Education or any external protection is only to delay the process of deterioration. Humans like a freshly harvested fruit are complete in design and life faculty already, but a fruit can deteriorate if it is not processed correctly, and this is what is the objective of education. Seed has to get environment and its relation to its design and faculty of awareness and for its lifelong action.
Shiskha is a process of realizing (‘sakchatkar’) formless or invisible (‘nirakar’) knowledge (i.e., in thoughts/theory), into the reality (‘sakar’). Anxiety in absence of the realization causes all the work. Search for Truth is the origin of all work. In Bhagwat Gita, Arjuna could not believe in the theory until Sri Krishna shown him His true form. After realization, one becomes aware and achieves an enlightenment (perfect thinking) that dissolves difference between a theory (‘nirakar’) and its applications of reality (‘sakar’). Shiksha gives an ability to have understanding of the nature and tools of exploration of reality.
Endless opportunities of human ingenuity exist by a combination of science (laws and property of nature), communication (language and memory) and art (forms and expression). Shiksha is an access the reservoir of various theory and its practices. Sciences, economics, politics and religion and so on … are products of ‘shiksha’. All of these influence our lives and belief at different co-ordinates on time – space canvas of the universe and allows choosing a path for oneself. ‘Shiksha’ or education thus, offers endless possibilities i.e., we can fly like birds (airplane), listen and see from distance (telephone/TV/Internet), and explore new realities in science, economics, management, politics and society and so on. Without ‘shiksha’ or education, life cannot work; and our senses and intellect are at risk of getting drowned into severe ignorance causing corruption, disease, crime, poverty and social evils.
Anu-Sandhan -> Shiksha is awareness (realization) of the world outside while Anu-Sandhan is awareness of the self. ‘Anu’ means SELF, ‘sandhan’ means FOCUS. Self-realization or ‘anu-sandhan’ is an experience of regaining consciousness after a long sleep of sensual recreation.
No journey of life is complete without knowing oneself. Purpose of Anu Sandhan is individual’s ability to put his/her life on right track and to live in the world with own consciousness. Anu-sandhan is an act of solitude, to work for independent self-exploration. Intuition, self-inquiry and conviction of pure reason make an individual free from all biases, erroneous beliefs and possessiveness. People realizing their self, can thus become independent, without limitations and can chart their own course of action. Those people live in a state of truth, self-control and nurture universal values irrespective of the limitation of time and space.
It is act of ‘becoming’ by self-realization
1. RE SEARCH – new ways of looking
2. DETERMINATION – commitment
3. IMPROVEMENT – causing change for better
4. TRANSFORMATION – relaxation in realization of state of self
Anu-sandhan transforms itself instead of the world outside. Persons like Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Buddha got transformed themselves by ‘self research’ or ‘anusandhan’.
“Self realization does not come from what one knows but what he/she becomes as a result of that knowledge”.
– Bhagwat Gita
Date of writing 1.11.2008
Krishna Gopal (KG) Misra
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