Education in Ancient India

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Education in Ancient India
Education in ancient India was tremendously important for the society and was given to the 3 upper classes, namely Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishya

Introduction http://www.sciforums.com/Education-System-In-Ancient-India-t-16676.html

It may be said with quite a good degree of precision that India was the only country where knowledge was systematized and where provision was made for its imparting at the highest level in remote times. Whatever the discipline of learning, whether it was chemistry, medicine, surgery, the art of painting or sculpture, or dramatics or principles of literary criticism or mechanics or even dancing, everything was reduced to a systematic whole for passing it on to the future generations in a brief and yet detailed manner. University education on almost modern lines existed in India as early as 800 B.C. or even earlier. Introduction

It may be said with quite a good degree of precision that India was the only country where knowledge was systematized and where provision was made for its imparting at the highest level in remote times. Whatever the discipline of learning, whether it was chemistry, medicine, surgery, the art of painting or sculpture, or dramatics or principles of literary criticism or mechanics or even dancing, everything was reduced to a systematic whole for passing it on to the future generations in a brief and yet detailed manner. University education on almost modern lines existed in India as early as 800 B.C. or even earlier.

The ideal of education has been very grand, noble and high in ancient India. Its aim, according to Herbert Spencer is the 'training for completeness of life' and the molding of character of men and women for the battle of life. The history of the educational institutions in ancient India shows how old is her cultural history. It points to a long history. In the early stage it is rural, not urban. British Sanskrit scholar Arthur Anthony Macdonell (1854-1930) author of A History of Sanskrit Literature says "Some hundreds of years must have been needed for all that is found" in her culture. The aim of education was at the manifestation of the divinity in men, it touches the highest point of knowledge. In order to attain the goal the whole educational method is based on plain living and high thinking pursued through eternity. 

As the individual is the chief concern and center of this Education, education also is necessarily individual. It is an intimate relationship between the teacher and the pupil. The relationship is inaugurated by a religious ceremony called Upanayana. It is not like the admission of a pupil to the register of a school on his payment of the prescribed fee. The spiritual meaning of Upanayana, and its details inpsired by that meaning, are elaborated in many texts and explained below in the proper place. By Upanayana, the teacher, "holding the pupil within him as in a womb, impregnates him with his spirit, and delivers him in a new birth." The pupil is then known as Dvija, "born afresh" in a new existence, "twice born" (Satapatha Brahmana). The education that is thus begun is called by the significant term Brahmacharya, indicating that it is a mode of life, a system of practices.

This conception of education molds its external form. The pupil must find the teacher. He must live with him as in member of his family and is treated by him in every way as his son. The school is a natural formation, not artificial constituted. It is the home of the teacher. It is a hermitage, amid sylvan surrounding, beyond the distractions of urban life, functioning in solitude and silence. The constant and intimate association between teacher and taught is vital to education as conceived in this system. The pupil is imbibe the inward method of the teacher, the secrets of his efficiency, the spirit of his life and work, and these things are too subtle to be taught. It seems in the early Vedic or Upanishadic times education...
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