Friday, 29 July 2016

Swamiji on Ideal of Ancient India

My idea of education is Gurugriha-vasa. Without the personal life of the teacher, there would be no education. One should live

from his very boyhood with one whose character is a blazing fire and should have before him a living example of the highest

teaching. In our country the imparting of knowledge has always been through men of renunciation. The charge of imparting

knowledge should again fall upon the shoulders of Tyagis.

The old system of education in India was very different from the modern system. The students had not to pay. It was thought that

knowledge is so sacred that no man ought to sell it. Knowledge should be given freely and without any price. The teachers used to

take students without charge and not only so, most of them gave their students food and clothes. To support these teachers, the

wealthy families made gifts to them and they in their turn had to maintain their students. The disciple of old used to repair to the

hermitage of the Guru, fuel in hand, and the Guru, after ascertaining his competence, would teach him the Vedas, fastening round

his waist the threefold filament of Munja, a kind of grass, as the emblem of his vow to keep his body, mind and speech in control.

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. Purity in thought, speech and act is absolutely necessary. As for thirst after

knowledge, it is an old law that we all get whatever we want. None of us can get anything other than what we fix our hearts upon.

There must be a continuous struggle, a constant fight, an unremitting grappling with our lower nature, till the higher want is actually felt

and victory is achieved. The student who sets out with such a spirit of perseverance will surely find success at last.