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Learning Through Gurukula System

WebdeskAug 01, 2021, 12:47 PM IST

Learning Through Gurukula System

Guruji Shri Nandkishore Tiwari

 

Unlike today’s classroom bound bookish education, gurus in those days made pupils learn in the open in natural surroundings. It is in the comparatively recent phase of history that gurukula began to be seen as the poor places which teach only Sanskrit or mantras for performing various ceremonies to be precise

 

Those who are sad (dukhi) run in search of pleasantness (sukh) in the world. Those who are happy seek bliss in their heart. Those who are blissful they aspire for ecstasy. Those who are ecstatic they run for immortality. Those who taste immortality they vie for endless expansion. Those who experience infinite expansion they crave for merging their identity into eternity. But how many are worthy of seeing eternity and moment as two sides of same oneness!

 

Ironically most of us are not progressing beyond the maze of sukh and dukh. Despite possibility of attaining the highest goal of life being very real before us, we keep wandering at the lowest rung of consciousness. This is a human predicament in a nutshell. Who is responsible for this state of affairs?

 

Gazing at the oneness (ekatva) of eternity and moment, living guru parampara has been incessantly instilling and awakening among seekers (mumukshus) through transmission, sat-sang and indirect indications (paroksh-sanket) that they should aim only at the highest goal from the very beginning of inclination and attraction towards their inherent divinity. It’s a question of choosing values. And, values are imbibed through education.

 

In the Gurukula system of imparting education it was only after awakening in their hearts craving for the highest goal of life that the students were sent back to society to contribute as householders. This awakening made them responsible to live for higher values. However, it is a folly to imagine that ancients were imparting only spiritual realisation to the students. Gurukuls were akin to modern day universities where students were trained in many branches of knowledge. The emphasis was on applied knowledge. However, whichever inventions were made to add to material prosperity it was kept in mind that nothing that pollutes nature irreversibly is encouraged to invent and manufacture. Style of imparting knowledge was holistic. Unlike today’s classroom bound bookish education, gurus in those days made pupils learn in the open in natural surroundings. It is in the comparatively recent phase of history that gurukula began to be seen as the poor places which teach only Sanskrit or mantras for performing various ceremonies to be precise. It’s ironic to note that the knowledge system which was best for humanity lost its sheen in lieu of worst. And what is the reason behind it? Our wandering at the lowest rung of consciousness. Losing courage to uphold higher values.

 

Gazing at the oneness (ekatva) of eternity and moment, living guru parampara has been incessantly instilling and awakening among seekers (mumukshus) through transmission, sat-sang and indirect indications (paroksh-sanket) that they should aim only at the highest goal from the very beginning of inclination and attraction towards their inherent divinity 

 

Indic spiritual values are different from other traditions in one sense that these are closely linked with living. And, the ones who could see the difference between other philosophies and Indic Darshans have been pointing this out. But mere pointing out is not sufficient.

 

These values come into practice from life of people who practice certain way of living and attain to some dimension where they get access to unlimited universal thoughts and depending on the need to do so infinite number of bunches of thoughts may be created by such people. Yoga and Ayurveda are integral part of this life style. And, as the awareness about the benefits of yoga and efficacious sustainability of Ayurveda system of healing is rising across the globe, side by side tendency to demean it is also on the rise. It is not difficult to figure out why and who does it. Educational curriculum can play a vital role in setting things right.

 

Those among us who know the real value of this lifestyle must be alert to expose this demeaning tendency. Response to such tendencies must be credible and authentic. Story of the Gurukula system is before us to depict that however valuable a system may be, if public perception about it is maligned then determination of common people to practice it suffers. And, once the number of practicing people falls, it becomes impossible to prove its efficacy on the basis of data. From where and how can there be any current data available to prove efficacy of anything as data is generated only through usage.

 

Those who are well-meaning and in favour of universal well-being they must stay alert. It is important to truthfully keep our narrative before global humanity as it really is. Staying as living credible example of oneness (ekatva) in their word, mind and deed is what humanity anticipates from Gurus. Are various education systems prevailing in the world today imparting values (vaishvik-mulya) in right order of priorities? On this guru Purnima let us ponder over it.

 

(The writer is the propounder of Sahaj Smriti Yog System of Self Realisation and founder of Darpan Foundation and Darpan Ashram)

 

 

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