"Education's whole purpose is in the very word "education." The root meaning of the word "education" is: to draw out. Whatever is your potential, education is to help it come out of you, from the seed to the flowers. It is not the purpose of education to mold you into a certain pattern – that's what
Reagan is saying."
"Education cannot be concerned with God, because God is the biggest lie invented by the priests. Moreover, almost half of the world does not believe in God. Communists don't believe in God, Atheists don't believe in God, Buddhists don't believe in God, Jainas don't believe in God. It is almost half the population of the world. What are you going to do with these people?"
"The first of all the values is freedom, which you are denying. You are forcing students to believe in God. There is no value higher than freedom."
"What values are you going to teach them? Love? But how can a man who believes in a Christian God love the Jewish God, love the Jews who crucified Jesus? For two thousand years Christians have been destroying Jews in every possible way., And the Mohammedan God has no similarity to the Christian God...."
"If you want to teach values, then teach freedom."
"Teach how to think, how to think clearly, and how to come to your own decisions. Those decisions should not be imposed on you."
"Education itself is the ultimate value."
"There is no need for other values to be taught."
"To educate a person means to sharpen his intelligence, to make him more centered, to bring his potential to its flowering."
"Education itself is the value – to give the person total freedom to inquire, to doubt; total freedom to grow according to his nature, not according to some pattern given by some prophet, messiah, savior."
"Education means making an individual so strong that he does not need any God, that he does not need any church, that he does not need any prayer; he can stand on his own feet and he can find his own way."
"Certainly education is devoted to the search for truth. And these are the real values: truth, freedom, authenticity, responsibility."
"But politicians and priests go on changing the meanings of words. Reagan is saying, "They should be taught responsibility for the family, for the community, for the nation, for God." So that they are not to be responsible towards themselves; they have to be responsible towards everything else. A person who is not responsible towards himself, how can he be responsible to anything else? He knows no art, no taste, no experience of responsibility. And to be responsible for oneself may not be necessarily to be responsible to the family. The family may be wrong. The family may be believing in all kinds of lies."
"It does not mean necessarily to be responsible to the community, because the community is in a mess, almost insane."
"It does not mean, it cannot mean to be responsible to the nation. This idiotic idea of responsibility to the nation has been the cause of dividing humanity. And the basic root of all the murders, wars, massacres in the whole of history: responsibility to your nation."
"Responsibility has to be something bigger, not so small – family, community, nation. Responsibility has to be towards yourself, and then it spreads towards the whole humanity. Then it goes on spreading and growing towards all life. Then still it goes on spreading, towards the whole existence. But first the basic seed has to be there.
"They deny that. They don't talk about responsibility towards yourself, because that is dangerous. If Americans were responsible towards themselves they would have refused to kill innocent people in Vietnam. But they killed poor innocent people. They had done no harm to you – but responsibility to your nation...!"
"It is a very tricky game. Where is the nation? In the name of the nation, it is responsibility towards the politicians. So whatsoever the politicians say you have to follow it, you cannot question it. And who are your politicians?"
"Adolf Hitler teaches Germans to be responsible to the nation. If all the Germans were responsible towards themselves there would have been no second world war. They would have simply refused to kill innocent people: "Why? Why invade, why destroy? – just for the glory of this madman, Adolf Hitler?" But they were never taught responsibility. They were taught, in the name of responsibility, something false: responsibility to the nation."
"And what is a nation? Just lines on the map. The earth remains undivided, humanity remains undivided. In fact the whole existence is an undivided, organic whole."
"What values are you going to give to your children in the schools? Are you going to make them murderers in the name of responsibility for the nation? Are you going to make them murderers as part of their duty towards their religion? No, these are not values to be taught. And politicians should not poke their noses in the educational system. Education has to be completely free from the state, from the government."
"Education has to be devoted to freedom, to individuality."
"Education is the time when a person should learn silence, serenity, peace. These are the values. These are his responsibilities: he should learn sensitivity, aesthetics, the beauty of the sunrise and the sunset and the stars, the flowers, the people. He should learn how to be natural and not be diverted by any vested interest, from his nature – that is his responsibility."
"No priest should be allowed inside any educational institution, because whatever the priest says is going to be against you."
"My idea of education is that it should help you get rid of all beliefs, because all beliefs are hindrances in your journey towards truth. You should be freed from Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Mohammedanism. By the time you come out of the university you should be simply a human being, responsible to yourself and to the whole universe."
"My idea of education is very clear. All institutions should be free from politics, from religion. And religion should be allowed to have educational institutions, because they are destroying people's minds. Educational systems should be free from any pressure – either from politics or from religion."
"They should have an autonomous, independent existence. They should decide themselves what has to be done so that every child who enters the world of education blossoms to his full potential. He is not to be molded, he is not to be ordered. He has to be awakened."
"Prayer is not needed, but meditation is certainly needed. And meditation has nothing to do with religion. Meditation is simply a scientific method, exactly the same as science – their areas are just different."
"Science begins with doubt; meditation also begins with doubt. The method of science is observation of objects, the objective world; and the method of meditation is to observe the inside world. Science experiments with objects; meditation is the experience of your interiority, your subjectivity." "In fact science has two wings: one, moving into the outside universe; the other, moving into the inside consciousness."
"Meditation should be absolutely necessary in every educational system, because meditation is not Hindu, not Christian, not Buddhist. Meditation has nothing to do with any religion. It has nothing to do with any belief. Meditation does not require you to believe in God first, heaven and hell, Jesus Christ as the only begotten son. It needs no belief of any kind."
"Meditation is an inquiry, a search, a pilgrimage towards your own center. And the person who knows himself cannot do anything wrong. That is an impossibility. The person who realizes himself needs no morality. Morality is needed by blind people."
"Meditation gives you eyes to see. With your eyes, you cannot do anything immoral. It is just impossible. There is no question of choice – to be moral or to be immoral. There is no question of choice. "
"Every student coming out of the university should be able to meditate. And that's enough; he needs no commandments, he needs no moralities. He will be free to act, and he will always act rightly. It is impossible for a meditative person to act wrongly."
"Teach meditation to every student; teach meditation to every prisoner; teach meditation to every senator."
"Make it a point that unless a man is fully aware, you are not going to choose him as your president or your prime minister. That should be his qualification. Only then can this world become a beautiful garden of human values, can it become full of the fragrance of life. And to me, that is godliness."
AT THE GATES OF UNIVERSITIES IN INDIA, IT IS WRITTEN, "EDUCATION IS THAT WHICH LIBERATES." TODAY IN INDIA EVERYONE AGREES THAT THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IS A MESS, BUT NO ONE TRIES TO CHANGE IT. WHAT ARE THE DEFECTS OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN INDIA? WHAT KIND OF EDUCATION CAN BE HELPFUL FOR THE INNER AND OUTER GROWTH OF THE INDIVIDUAL SO THAT THE NEW MAN AND THE NEW SOCIETY CAN BE BORN? WHAT SUBJECTS ARE NEEDED FOR THE RIGHT TYPE OF EDUCATION?
"Education is certainly the process of liberation, but it has not been actualized anywhere in the world. Liberation means liberating the mind from the past, liberating the mind from theologies, liberating the mind from political ideologies; liberating the mind in such a way that when a student comes out
of education he is just a clean pure seeker with no prejudice."
"That beautiful sentence at the gates of the universities in India, simply shows how man can be unaware and a hypocrite."
"In India, there are Mohammedan universities, Hindu universities. The first step should be that there should be no Mohammedan university. How can it liberate people? – it is going to program people into Mohammedanism. There should be no Hindu university. This is simply ugly. Now Jainas have been trying to create a new university, a Jaina university. In the West there are Catholic universities."
"Liberation becomes impossible by the very fact that the university itself has a certain prejudice, a certain program to put into the minds of the students."
"So my suggestion is: first dissolve Hindu, Mohammedan, Jaina, Catholic – these names, from the universities."
"Secondly: India is a poor country yet it has more than one hundred universities, which is simply futile, meaningless. At the most, each state in India can have one university. Right now each state has almost five, six, seven universities. There are thirty states and there is a competition to have more and more universities. The ultimate result is that the standard of their education goes on falling." "Consolidate universities so that each state has one university, all other universities become colleges affiliated to that university. There is no need for so many universities. It is a wastage of money; and when you have so many universities you cannot get the best geniuses as professors."
"To do that, India has many services, for example, the Indian Administrative Service – IAS. It should have an Indian Educational Service – IES."
"Just because somebody has a university degree does not mean that he becomes automatically capable of teaching. Teaching is a totally different art. Passing an examination is one thing; teaching is totally different. It needs articulateness, it needs a vast range of knowledge – not only the textbooks that you have read in the university – it needs you to be constantly in touch with the growing knowledge."
"The Indian universities are suffering from lack of up-to-dateness. So create a central system, IES, which chooses the professors not just because they have a Ph.D. or a first-class master's degree;
their degrees don't mean anything. IES will examine them again to know whether they are up to date or not."
"Consolidate the universities, so there are not one hundred of them. The very meaning of university in India has been lost. It has become a political thing; every state wants more universities than the other state."
"What is the reason? The reason is that politicians are becoming vice-chancellors. Retired politicians, politicians who have been defeated in the elections, who are no longer chief ministers, cabinet ministers – they need some place of respect. The vice-chancellorship has become a refuge."
"So make it an absolute law that no politician can become a vice-chancellor, because what does a politician know about vice-chancellorship? What does he know about education? He will pollute the whole university with politics – that is his profession. His whole life he has been in a wrong place, absolutely against the world of education, and suddenly he becomes the vice-chancellor."
"And of course because vice-chancellors are chosen, elected by the professors of the universities; those professors can be pressurized. Their promotions... somebody is going to become dean, somebody is going to become the reader, somebody is going to become the professor – their own ambitions can be used."
"When I was a student, one defeated chief minister of the state was fighting for the vicechancellorship against a professor who was in every way capable of being a vice-chancellor but had no influence, no pull: out of three hundred votes he got only twenty-five."
"I was in his favor just because he was not a politician; he was purely an educationist and a profound thinker. I went to every professor who was going to vote and told them, "This is a question of deciding between politics and education."
They said, "We understand, but we are sorry because our promotions are due, and there is so much political pressure from the present chief minister." He has promised this minister who is fighting for election as the vice-chancellor that if he does not fight for chief ministership again, he can have a very respected place in the university. And seeing the situation, his old age – he is becoming senile – he thought this is better. After all the troubles of politics, now in the end of his life he can live peacefully in a university."
I said, "Don't vote for him. If you vote for him, that means this university is dead." But two hundred and seventy-five professors voted for him. And I had met each single professor and they all said, "You are right, but we have to look after our own position."
"So make it a rule that no politician can be a vice-chancellor. Keep education pure, without politics; politics is poison."
"The universities should be teaching, as far as possible, the latest discoveries, the latest literature, the latest poetry, the latest in everything. What they are doing is thirty years, forty years old. It
takes time for people to become well known, but the universities should be sensitive enough: each year there are new novels, new music, new dances, that should become part of the curriculum."
"Universities have to remain always up to date, not lagging behind the world. My feeling is they are lagging behind in everything, and the reason is that the professors were taught thirty years before – and whatever they have been taught is what they are teaching. That's why India is unable to produce great scientists, great mathematicians, great philosophers. Greatness has disappeared from that country. Where the greatest geniuses have been born, suddenly there are no great people. The reason is the whole education system is lagging behind, far behind."
"So only one university in one state, and choose the best. And there should be a special examination for the professors – just the ordinary educational degree is not enough, because they are going to do something for which they are not prepared."
"I have seen professors lecturing – nervous, perspiring; they have never spoken in their life. They may have been good at the examinations but that is a totally different matter. They are so afraid facing a class... and if there is somebody who knows more than them, then they are so embarrassed."
"And secondly, the Indian Educational Service should have every year at least a one-month refresherM course for every professor of the country, so that they are made up-to-date. Knowledge is exploding so fast and to remain up to date is an absolute necessity, at least for the professors; otherwise the whole country will remain backward."
"Refresher courses are needed. Or, if it is felt necessary, then before entering the examination of the educational services there should be a certain training of three months, six months, where they are taught how to teach."
"This is strange: school teachers need training for teaching; they have to have a Bachelor's degree in teaching. Strange: primary school teachers have training – and university professors have no training. They are untrained people – and almost always the wrong people, because the people who top the universities are not articulate people. They are involved so much in reading their textbooks, preparing for the examination, that they don't have any time."
"Speaking is an art, and a professor should be an artist. His words should not be simply words; they should carry some poetry in them, some music in them."
"As far as subjects for teaching are concerned, in India there is a problem: there are thirty national languages, and every state wants its language to be used as a medium of expression. This is impossible. The whole country would become divided into thirty segments which have no way of communicating with each other. So a very clear-cut decision is needed."
"The people are not willing to accept any Indian language as the national language. Hindi is spoken by half of India; still they are not ready, the other half is not ready to accept it as a national language."
"And I can understand their difficulty. If Hindi becomes the national language, then all other languages – Bengalese, Assamese, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayanam, Telegu – they will all be losers, because in every national competition the person whose mother tongue is Hindi is bound to be superior."
"The only way is that English, which is foreign to everybody, should be the national language. So each state should have two languages from the very lowest school to the college, to the university: English as the national language and the local state language as the state language."
"But a certain language is needed which makes communication possible. English is spoken and understood by only two percent of the people and Hindi by fifty percent of the people, but the percentage is not the question. The point is, English is acceptable to everybody because nobody is going to be benefited, it is nobody's mother tongue; everybody has to work hard to learn it."
"And in another way also it is good to make English the national language, because it automatically has become the international language. Any country knowing English perfectly well becomes contemporary, a part of the whole world, although English is still not the language spoken by the largest number of people. That credit goes to the Chinese."
"But who is going to use Chinese as an international language? It needs at least thirty years to learn Chinese."
"One-fourth of the world is Chinese. Of course their language comes first as far as the number of people who speak it is concerned. But that number of people is confined to one country. English comes third in numbers; Spanish comes second, but that too is confined to a few countries – most of them poor, uneducated, belonging to the third world.
"English is the language of the intelligentsia, of science, of all the developments that are happening; so numbers don't count. One language is certainly needed by the whole world, and I don't think there is any other competitor to English."
"So it will be good for India in both ways: Indians are ready to accept English so it becomes the national language, and automatically India becomes part of the international communication system."
"All these universities should be under the federal government, the central government, so their standard remains the same. They should not be under the local politicians of each state. It should be a completely separate section, just like justice is. Your courts have a separate world, uninfluenced by your political system. Education should also be a separate world. It is far more important that it should not be pressurized by politicians: your future is being developed in the universities."
"So reduce the number of universities and make a separate section of administration for education. Keep it up-to-date."
"And one of my suggestions is that each professor and each student should learn a simple meditation method. He can choose one. There are one hundred and twelve meditation methods; the simplest is vipassana. Through vipassana Gautam Buddha became enlightened. It is the most simple, without any complication. Make vipassana absolutely compulsory – and unless a person passes in vipassana he cannot get his degree."
"Then it will be real education. Then it will be a liberating factor, because vipassana will liberate you totally from your religions, from your races, from your countries. It will make you an individual. You will not be anymore a member of a mob. You will have your own integrity, your own centeredness, your own roots."
"And if vipassana is made absolutely compulsory for professors too... before they become professor,they should pass through a vipassana training."
"And every university should have a meditation place. It will beautify the university to have a beautiful Zen garden, ponds, rocks, ancient moss on the rocks, a silent, peaceful atmosphere, small cottages for people to meditate in...."
"Meditation is an absolute necessity for humanity to survive. All other subjects should be taught, but no other subject is so important as meditation. But no university is teaching it. If all the graduates from the university come out with a meditative mind, they will change the whole structure and fabric of the society.
"These are my simple suggestions, absolutely practical; there is nothing utopian about them."
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