True Education

Dear readers, receive greetings from my heart

Today I want to share a fundamental matter with you: the importance of education and the quality it should have. To illustrate this situation I am going to give an example: the treatment someone receives in rehab is tough; otherwise the process would not have good results. They say: “That’s the way it is, this is discipline. You have to do this for your own good!” Otherwise, the person involved would not be compromised with their own healing process. In this way, we can see that discipline is an essential part of any educational process.

If we analyze the current situation, it is easy to realize that the education system if full of flaws: on one hand, the teacher is not someone that identifies the student as a complete being, but just becomes a number on a list of students and, on the other hand, the students themselves have reached levels of rebelliousness in which they do not accept any level of authority. My opinion does not seek to be drastic with the students, however, discipline is always necessary in educating children and teenagers so they become the responsible adults that we need for the future.

In the extent we do not understand the need for discipline in life; we will not be able to see that there is a lot to change in education. The “Manu Samhita”, the Vedic Treaty that describes the human behavior, is completely straightforward in its teachings and explains that we all must be responsible with the people that surround us, with animals and with Mother Nature.

Currently, organizations (governmental, multinationals, powerful politicians) which make the “rules of society” are completely immoral and inconsistent with their own proposals. That is why so many young people and students are rebellious to the concept of “rules” and we have forgotten that essential meaning of them is to preserve human values and respect for everything that surrounds us. That is the goal of the Vedas (Veda = knowledge). The Shastra teaches that there are four basic principles that regulate responsibility, Srila Prabhupada called them “the regulatory principles of freedom.”, The word shastra is very significant, in our language it is pronounced: shas!, ssshhhh!, that means to end with ignorance and trrra!, which means “free”. In this way the shastras save us from ignorance and in order to understand this, we need discipline.

A yoga monastery is a place to learn how to become a disciplined person, to become a true spiritual revolutionary who fights against the deceptions of this world. Thus, it is our duty to teach people that this is about what a good education should be. Obviously, we can not tell someone: "Here are all the of Srila Prabhupada books, educate yourself". It sounds very nice, but in practice it is not real, because the majority of people do not read; then we have to hold a person’s hand and help educate them. This is our projection for the future, to educate about human solidarity, to establish schools where both parents are active participants in the development of their children, becoming pillars of values and spiritual life for them, not only with words, but with practical example.

We must not make the mistake of thinking that education is a mere compilation of information, on the contrary. In sanskrit there is a difference between two apparently similar terms: jnana and vijnana.

In Chapter Six, eight verse, of the Bhagavad Gita it states:

jñana-vijñana-trptatma
kuta-stho vijitendriyah
yukta ity ucyate yogi
sama-lostrasma-kancanah

Translation:

It is said that a person is established in the understanding of being and is given the name of yogi (mystic), when he is fully satisfied in virtue of the knowledge attained and with the understanding he has obtained. This person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. He sees everything the same, whether it is pebbles, stones or gold.

And Srila Prabhupada explains in the meaning: "Knowledge without the full understanding of the Supreme Truth (wisdom) is useless (...)" "No one can become aware of God through simple mundane erudition". Knowledge (jnana) without wisdom and true understanding (vijnana) is nothing more than a mere accumulation of information. True education, where the foundations of truth is taught is based on the wisdom which descends through causeless mercy. But one must become qualified to receive such mercy; it is then, how once again, discipline comes into action. Then, armed with the sword of knowledge, we can pick ourselves up and fight for our children’s education and for the future generations.

We need to strengthen and expand the school of Universal Love, where the ideal of the students is to benefit the world. That's our mission: a conscious-based education, with responsibility and conscious free- will, where people are educated completely happy and not manipulated by materialistic interests.

Thank you for sharing this message.
With all my affection from Colombia.
Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti