In the days of yore, the entire course of an individualís life span was likened to a retreat in which the individual progressed in four progressive stages of development Ė Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa, connoting the stages of learning, family and progeny, withdrawal and silent contemplation, and renunciation. The socio-cultural traditions were grounded on the bedrock of the four-fold motivated efforts or Purusharthas - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha meaning righteousness, commerce, aspiration and liberation. Conducting the commerce of life in a righteous manner, never wavering from the aspiration for liberation from the continuum of birth-death was the way of life of the people. In such a vibrant social system, children were initiated into the domain of learning from a tender age, within the precincts of the forest academies Gurukula where the young initiates lived with their teachers. The teachers were paragons of virtues and wisdom. The halo of total accomplishment crowned their personality. After attaining mastery over all the sciences and arts, they fervently prayed to be blessed with virtuous and deserving pupils to whom they could impart their knowledge gained through arduous penance, and thus sustain the teacher-taught tradition of Higher Learning guru-shisya parampara
Unfortunately, such a splendid value-oriented system of education comprising of both teaching and learning is now a far cry. Instead of individual perfection and excellence, students today are caught in a competitive rat-race for material success in terms of job placements, social security and economic prosperity. Educational institutions of any denomination today are profitable business enterprises. Even the scope of education has dwindled down to mere transferring of information to the students without any commitment for their inner transformation into good human beings.
Updated on: [October 30, 2018]