Intellectually he was sharp, and he was thus a great votary of clarity and illumination. That he was not even merely a thinker but acted vigorously to change the world gives us an inspiring example of heroism. Finally, it can easily be seen that his love for humanism was an expression of his love for harmony in the world.
He had rightly come to the conclusion that communism can survive only if the ideal of comradeship and brotherhood of mankind could come to be practiced. Thus Lenin can be seen as a great visionary who wanted fraternity as a basis of equality and liberty; indeed, liberty, equality and fraternity can be harmonised only if communism comes to be spiritualised. It seems that the near future will hold out a proof for spiritualisation of communism.
There is, first, the idea that value-oriented education should be exploratory rather than prescriptive, and that the teaching-learning material should provide to the learners a growing experience of exploration.
Secondly, it is rightly contended that the proper inspiration to turn to value-orientation is provided by biographies, autobiographical accounts, personal anecdotes, epistles, short poems, stories of humour, stories of human interest, brief passages filled with pregnant meanings, reflective short essays written in well-chiselled language, plays, powerful accounts of historical events, statements ,.., of personal experiences of values in actual situations of life, and similar other statements of scientific, philosophical, artistic and literary expression.
Thirdly, we may take into account the contemporary fact that the entire world is moving rapidly towards the synthesis of the East and the West, and in that context, it seems obvious that our teaching-learning material should foster the gradual familiarisation of students with global themes of universal significance as also those that underline the importance of diversity in unity. This implies that the material should bring the students nearer to their cultural heritage, but also to the highest that is available in the cultural experiences of the world at large.
Fourthly, an attempt should be made to select from Indian and world history such examples that could illustrate the theme of the upward progress of humankind. The selected research material could be multi-sided, and it should be presented in such a way that teachers can make use of it in the manner and in the context that they need in specific situations that might obtain or that can be created in respect of the students.
The research team at the Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Educational Research (SAVER) has attempted the creation of the relevant teaching-learning material, and they have decided to present the same in the form of monographs. The total number of these monographs will be around eighty to eighty-five.
It appears that there are three major powers that uplift life to higher and higher normative levels, and the value of these powers, if well illustrated, could be effectively conveyed to the learners for their upliftment. These powers are those of illumination, heroism and harmony.
It may be useful to explore the meanings of these terms - illumination, heroism and harmony - since the aim of these monographs is to provide material for a study of what is sought to be conveyed through these three terms. We offer here exploratory statements in regard to these three terms.
Illumination is that ignition of inner light in which meaning and value of substance and life-movement are seized, understood, comprehended, held, and possessed, stimulating and inspiring guided action and application and creativity culminating in joy, delight, even ecstasy. The width, depth and height of the light and vision deter-mine the degrees of illumination, and when they reach the splendour and glory of synthesis and harmony, illumination ripens into wisdom. Wisdom, too, has varying degrees that can uncover powers of knowledge and action, which reveal unsuspected secrets and unimagined skills of art and craft of creativity and effectiveness.
Heroism is, essentially, inspired force and self-giving and sacrifice in the operations of will that is applied to the quest, realisation and triumph of meaning and value against the resistance of limitations and obstacles by means of courage, battle and adventure. There are degrees and heights of heroism determined by the intensity, persistence and vastness of sacrifice. Heroism attains the highest states of greatness and refinement when it is guided by the highest wisdom and inspired by the sense of service to the ends of justice and harmony, as well as when tasks are executed with consummate skill.
Harmony is a progressive state and action of synthesis and equilibrium generated by the creative force of joy and beauty and delight that combines and unites knowledge and peace and stability with will and action and growth and development. Without harmony, there is no perfection, even though there could be maximisation of one or more elements of our nature. When illumination and heroism join and engender relations of mutuality and unity, each is perfected by the other and creativity is endless.
Lenin marked an important stage in the history of the world. The world has been revolutionised, and no more can capitalism have the monopoly of the earth. The injustice that is inherent in capitalism was greatly understood by Lenin, not merely by his reading of Marx but by actual experience of Russia of his own times. Intellectually he was sharp, and he was thus a great votary of clarity and illumination. That he was not even merely a thinker but acted vigorously to change the world gives us an inspiring example of heroism. Finally, it can easily be seen that his love for humanism was an expression of his love for harmony in the world. He had rightly come to the conclusion that communism can survive only if the ideal of comrade-ship and brotherhood of mankind could come to be practiced. Thus Lenin can be seen as a great visionary who wanted fraternity as a basis of equality and liberty; indeed, liberty, equality and fraternity can be harmonised only if communism comes to be spiritualised. It seems that the near future will hold out a proof for spiritualisation of communism.
It was the overriding preoccupation of keeping the empire together that had marked tsarist rule for the last 300 years. The principal instrument of this policy was a class of dependant landowners who received and retained their estates in return for doing the royal bidding. As "service men" of the tsars, they ruled over the country-side with absolute authority, leading the peasants into battle, levying taxes from them to wage war and punishing those who refused to pay or to fight.
The peasants, who had, over the years, been gradually reduced from the status of independent farmers to that of serfs, were bound to the land and service of the local squire. Starved, beaten and despised, the Russian serfs were, in fact, close to being slaves. In the eyes of members of the Russian ruling class, the peasantry was a wild beast that had to be feared, chained and kept under guard.
By the 19th century, the more enlightened and intellectual members of the nobility, especially those who had been educated abroad, were increasingly dissatisfied with a system which kept the majority of the Russian people in a state of medieval ignorance and poverty. In 1825, their discontent erupted in an anti-tsarist coup, led by liberal noblemen and army officers. The uprising though quickly suppressed, was the first sign of a conflict between the autocracy and the intelligentsia that was to dominate Russia through the 19th century and into the 20th. The surviving demonstrators, who called themselves Decembrists, were arrested and exiled to Siberia. In the coming years, they came to be seen as heroes among Russian revolutionaries.
Russia entered a catastrophic war with the French, British and Ottomans in the Crimean peninsula, in 1853. The cause for Russia's defeat three years later was not only the incompetence of the military leadership but Russia's primitive economic and social system. Against a rising tide of popular frustration, Tsar Alexander II thought that the best way of averting disaster was to introduce his own reform programme, the principal point of which was the liberation of the serfs. In spite of great opposition from the landowners, Alexander signed the emancipation decree.
Though the rural agrarian peasants were emancipated from serfdom in 1861 its results were far from ideal. The peasants received only half the land that they had been cultivating as serfs, and they had to pay even for that. They were quick to show their displeasure: in the first four months following the emancipation, there were 647 incidents of peasant rioting; and during the year there were 499 major disturbances which had to be put down by the military. In the province of Kazan, 70 rioting villagers were shot dead.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
Art & Culture (744)
Emperor & Queen (484)
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend