Shiksha in the Indian tradition – Part 1

I recently recorded two videos about Shiksha in the Indian tradition and found that it opened up many new perspectives for me. The videos are each almost one hour long and I don’t think many people will go through them. I thought of extracting the main points to generate interest in seeing the full video. The main points of the first video and the YouTube link are given below.

– ‘Bha’ is gyan, so Bharath is a civilization that is ‘rath’ in ‘bha’, or steeped in knowledge.
– We have two paramparas: Shruti parampara (Tatva chintan, universal truth, codified in the Vedas) and Smriti parampara (vyavahar chintan, that changes over time, detailed in Puranas/ Dharmashastra etc).
– Basic tenets of Bharatiyata include Samagrata (holistic thinking) and Ekaatmata (interdependence and integration in the diversity of life, for example, a lamp made of a cotton wick, oil and earthen container work together and give off light).
– Vedas have two main subjects – Yagya (a productive work done by a group of people, all work has the possibility of being a yagya) and prarthana (a prayerful bhava or feeling).
– In Bharat the objective of Shiksha has been vyakti-nirmaan (man-making towards becoming a useful member of the family, society and world) and not livelihood (as it is in modern education).
– Our idea of Shiksha is not limited to schooling but something that continues over our many lifetimes.
– In the Indian tradition the subjects are all interconnected (Bhasha, Darshan, Vigyan, Ganita etc. all interconnected) (Bhaskaracharya’s ‘Lilavati’ about Ganita has exquisite poetical verses)
– Saraswati means ‘with rasa’. In our tradition knowledge has been something full of rasa, full of ananda. Modern education is therefore not Shiksha but probably only transfer of burdensome information.
– Taittiriya Upanishad Shikshavalli has a prayer by the student for ‘sahano yashaha’, that the student and teacher move towards the goal together.
– Shiksha has been seen as a process of creating the environment in which the knowledge inside (the student and teacher) reveals itself.
– The teacher knows that in his relationship with the student, he is working towards his own and not the student’s growth.
– In the Indian tradition a lot of emphasis is placed on bhasha, language. The purity of knowledge is considered to be linked to the purity of the language.

– About the current scenario: Nature has its self-correcting mechanisms and materialism is also part of Nature. (If everything is Rama then Ravana is also a part of Rama). Our civilization has always looked to the future with hope.

The YouTube video is linked below:

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