Value Based Education: a Need of Today

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The Phrase 'Value Based Education', in wide use in present times comes closest in meaning to the Sanskrit word 'Vidya' as it was used by the Gurus or preceptors of ancient India. 'Vid - ya' means that which illumines. As such, it was identified with knowledge that illumines the mind and soul. Since the imparting of knowledge was the aim of education, over a period of time, education also came to be known as 'Vidya'. But, the highest goal of Vidya as visualized by the seers and seekers was to understand the Ultimate Truth or Reality. Adisankaracharya, one of the foremost spiritual teachers that India has known, expounded "Vidyahi - ka? Brahma Gathi Pradaya" - what is Vidya ? It is that which explains the Brahmatatva, the nature of the Primordial.

The more practical aspects of 'education' involved alongside intellectual training, the laying of a moral foundation which helped to make the individual a good citizen who was conscious of his innate strength.

Swami Vivekananda points out "Education is the manifestation of perfection already existing in man". According to him that Education is required by which character is formed, strength of the mind is increased, intellect is expanded and by which one can stand on ones own feet." Dr. S. Radhakrishnan emphasizes the role the heart needs to play in aiding the intellect. He says "Education to be complete, must be humane. It must include not only the training of the intellect, but the refinement of the heart and the discipline of the spirit". Education thus brings out all that is unique in the individual helping him to establish the right relationship with not only the life, mind and soul of the nation to which he belongs but with the larger life, mind and soul of humanity of which he is a unit. All religions have upheld the idea that man, more than being an economic, social, political or reasoning animal, in actuality is a spiritual soul limited by the various attributes of a human existence for the time span of...
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