When the question of what constitutes true education arises the need of looking back at our ancestral period and the kind of learning they had will be felt necessary. In Ancient times, India had the Gurukula system of education in which anyone who wished to study went to a teacher’s (Guru) house and requested to be taught . The guru taught everything from Sanskrit to Vedas and Upanishads and from Mathematics to Metaphysics. Physical education too was an important curriculum and pupil’s participated in Krida (games and recreational activities ) , Vyayama (exercises) ,Dhanurvidya (archery) and Yoga Sadhana (training the mind and body)
Thus the education focused on the holistic development of the students. It focused on the moral, physical, spiritual and intellectual aspects of life. The main objective was to prepare them for life, to help them survive in any situation. It emphasised on the values of humility, truthfulness, discipline, self reliance and respect for all creations. All learning was linked to nature and to life and not confined to memorising some information.
The present system of school education was brought to India by the British in the 1830s. Their main aim of introducing education was to serve their political and administrative interests. Our education system is still having the features that the colonial educators inbuilt. The focus is more on gathering information and learning subjects to prepare one to get a good job. Students memorise the lessons for the sake of marks.
Swami Vivekananda rightly said, “Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain. If you have assimilated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have got more education than any man who has got by heart a whole library”.
Today we find many issues in society-the inability to deal with relationships and adversities, lack of faith, inability to handle uncertainty, disconnection from roots and culture-these are all the results of current education.
So education should equip one with life skills. Life skills are not to be confused with livelihood skills. Livelihood skills are needed to pursue an occupation whereas life skills are the ability to handle uncertainty, adapting to changing environment, understanding relationships, dealing with failures etc.
True education should equip the students to face any type of situation that they might face. I t should aim at making human life better not only through economic upliftment of the individual but also through social, moral and spiritual strength. This will not only improve the human life but also realise the higher truth i.e., ” THAMASOMA JYOTHIRGAMAYA” from darkness to light.
It should develop physical (health) emotional (confidence, inner strength) social (relationships), intellectual (knowledge, skill development, logic, analysis) and spiritual capability (knowing self and divine).
The Greek philosopher Socrates said,”Education is not the filling of a vessel but the kindling of a flame”.
We can rightly conclude with Gandhiji’s opinion about true education. He said,”True education is that which cultivates the soul of the spirit and leads to the full and complete development of man’s body, mind and spirit………..literacy then is not the primary goal of education. It is the cultivation of character and the development of spirit. It is the education of the heart not the head.
Sri Sathya Sai educational institution is one of the well noted institutions for implementing and promoting the principles and values of Sanatana Dharma. Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Learning is dedicated to combining ethics and values with academic and Research excellence .The institute has been established to prepare the students to cultivate self knowledge and self confidence. The institute attaches great significance to integral items of education like yoga , games and sports, participation in morning prayers and morning assembly topics and social work. Thus in every aspect the institute mirrors the Gurukul schools of our ancient times in imparting character building education thereby standing as a true definition for real education.