There is no English word equivalent to the Hindi word 'Shiksha'. The word education has a limited meaning. The word Shiksha connotes much wider meaning. That is why we have designated this issue as 'Shiksha Number' not 'Education Number'. The object of the ideal system of Shiksha should not be merely the advancement of theoretical knowledge but also the advancement of life, development of the highest powers and capacities and the unfoldment of the noblest potentialities of the student. He must be enabled at the same time to apply intelligently to his own life all the ideas that he has learnt and gathered and thus promote his growth-physically, intellectually, culturally, morally and spiritually.
These days we consider a man as educated if only he can pass some examinations and is holding some university degrees. Is it Shiksha? Getting by heart the thoughts of others in a foreign language and stuffing one's brain with them and taking some university degrees one considers oneself educated. Fie upon such education or Shiksha. What good will it does to one or the country at large? The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring out the strength of character, a spirit of humility, a spirit of philanthropy and courage of a lion, is it worth the name? Real Shiksha is that which enables one to stand on one's legs. The education that we are receiving now in schools and colleges is only making us a race of clerks. We are working like machines merely.
Our last year's 'Sadhana Number' was much appreciated by our esteemed readers. We feel humbled by their generosity. Our effort in this issue is to provide a glimpse of the real import of education, the educational methodology used in ancient India for developing a young Brahmacari to tackle the dimensions of life which is yet to unfold before him, and a critical analysis of the current educational environment in India. Our schools and colleges are sadly churning out young men and women in large numbers, year after year, who have lot of important but undigested information and are totally unaware of the real purpose of life. This obviously leads them to frustration and all the unhappy situations prevailing all around us. We hope, the present issue of Kalyana-Kalpataru will bring out some of the forgotten areas of human development which might be helpful in reducing the prevailing darkness in educational field.
We have brought this issue as Shiksha Number so that our students should know what is real education or Shiksha. Mere cramming of books or acquiring theoretical knowledge should not be our aim. We must have all round development.
In modem education, our character has disappeared. Our English education has destroyed everything and left nothing in its place. Our boys have lost their politeness and humility. To talk nicely has become degrading. To be reverential to one's elders is degrading. Irreverence has become the sign of liberty. Violence has become so rampant that class fellows go to the extent of murdering another class fellow. Students can have the courage of beating their teachers. The character of our young ones on whom our future depends has degraded so much by the present system of education.
Shiksha should be all round development of the students. There are certain conditions necessary in the taught and also in the teacher. The conditions necessary for the taught are purity, a real thirst after knowledge and perseverance. The true teacher is one who can throw his whole force into the tendency of the taught. Without real sympathy we can never teach well.
During the period of studentship the foundation of life is to be laid properly. If it fails, later life is also bound to be a failure. That is the reason why great stress is laid on the life of Brahmacarya. It was so in ancient times and it should be so in the present time also.
Knowledge is inherent in man, no knowledge comes from outside; it is all inside. What we say a man knows should in strict psychological language be what he discovers or unveils. What a man learns is really what he discovers by taking the cover off his own soul which is a mine of infinite knowledge. All knowledge secular or spiritual is in the human mind. The teacher suggests and helps the taught in lifting the veil. Thus the external teacher offers only the suggestion which uncover the veil of knowledge within the taught. Therefore no young one should feel the despair that he is not capable of making all round development in his life. Everybody is potentially divine. One can raise oneself as high as one ardently desires. Only one's strong will, determination and perseverance is necessary.
We have included in this issue many suggestive articles as to provide us the key to unlock our hidden inherent knowledge in our own selves.
We are all aware of the inadequacy of the presentday system of education. Educationalists are engaged for decades in devising better methods of imparting knowledge and improving the morale of the student community. Despite their best efforts, we are unfortunately left in the same deplorable condition as we were before and much worse, as is generally felt, there is a growing degeneration.
It is universally recognized that we had, in ancient India, a unique system of education, which attracted students from all over the then known world. But unable to appreciate the value of Indian culture, the foreign rulers tried to replace it by their own. The architects of this glorious culture of this great landwere saints and seers. It is to them that we have to turn for light and guidance for reorientating the present system of education in India. The best system will be a harmonious blending of the culture of this land with the scientific methods of the west.
In an ideal system of education the physical body is to be sustained by proper material food, the mind to be developed through the assimilation of the right type of ideas and the soul to be nourished by earnest prayer and meditation.
In this issue we have included many articles of learned contributors suggesting improvement in our educational system. We have also included careers of ideal students and teachers in this issue.
If some students improve their careers by reading this issue or their parents guide their boys to mould their character on these lines we would feel much obliged.
We pay worshipful homage to the Almighty Lord who inspires us and makes us tool and provides all power to bring about this issue.
We thank our learned contributors for the help in preparing this issue by sending their valuable contributions.
We thank our staff for painstaking efforts in preparing this issue. Without their help it was not possible at all for bringing about this issue.
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