Saturday, 23 July 2011

Integral Education with Science and Spirituality for Holistic Human Growth


During the present globalised age, there is a rapid technological advancement and the world has shrunk in size. The concept of global world civilization is slowly emerging. It has allowed a culture of rampant consument society. Education, as an institution of today’s society has reacted accordingly by becoming more market oriented. At present, education is more a means of acquiring the ability to deposit wealth or secure a white collar job. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the commoditization of education has a central focus on profit. Various technological and vocational courses of study have mushroomed, with least emphasis on values such as peace, love, truth, forbearance and compassion in the present day curriculum. Modern education system in India is fabricated on western materialistic and imperialistic ideals, thereby creating situation of unrest, turmoil, absence of sensitivity and empathy.
We can say education today sharpens our mind but hardens the heart. There is a phenomenal development in intellectual’s abilities and technical expertise in various spheres but unfortunately at the cost of moral and spiritual well being. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr, “Our scientific power has overturned our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” The present age is witness of thus…..reality that how excess of knowledge and power without holiness make human beings devil. It’s imperative for us to realize that value education needs to get priority in our curriculum in order to come out of this death trap.
Dr. Radhakrishnan has very rightly expressed “Education to be complete, must be human, it must include not only training of the intellect, but the refinement of the heart and the disciple of the spirit. No education can be regarded as complete if it neglects the heart and the spirit. No nation in the world can hold its place of primacy in perpetuity. What counts in the moral contribution we make to human welfare. Let us, therefore try and develop the qualities of charity in judgement and compassion for people who are suffering. If we adopt such an approach the tensions of the world will diminish rapidly.”
Education is the instrument as well as a catalyst for social transformation, and it has to act again as a torchbearer for the upheaval of humanity, love, happiness and purity. Gandhiji too was against following the western thoughts in our education system and even derogated it as mere factory for making government employees or clerks. He expressed very eloquently, “I do not want my house to be walled on all sides, nor windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.” He stressed that the true education is that which draws out and stimulates the spiritual, intellectual and physical faculties of the child. The end of all knowledge must be the building of character and self-realization, in itself. It should comprise all a comprehensive ideal. It is only by such an integral education system, envisaged by that we can bring about a qualitative change in human life and establishes peace on earth.
Swami Vivekananda emphasized on a curriculum which could lead to multi sided and all round development of education. He talked about synthesizing Science and Vedanta, Modern and Ancient Knowledge. According to him what is really needed in India is a harmony between Western Science and Indian spiritualism. The right kind of Education is one which combines science with spirituality, reason with faith, empirical knowledge with intuition and insight. Only then, Holistic Human Development will occur and Peace and Integrity will prevail on Earth.

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