Civilization Consciousness Consensus Development Direct Action Education Research School Society

Ascribing a High Purpose of Life

Chandan Sukumar Sengupta

Background

We all may aware of the fact that Learning is a kind of socialization1 as well as skill acquisition process usually take place throughout the active stage of any individual. It is also a self actualization process leading toward attainment and refinement of the performance of the individual learner. Role of school in the life of a learner is obviously a vital issue, but it is not the whole and sole mechanism of acculturation of a learner. It can help in channelizing and actualizing the process of learning through adopting some suitable techniques of content delivery and hands on practices. It should also work toward facilitating the development of body, mind and soul with simultaneous awakening of any individual in terms of spirituality2. Spirituality is the only cleansing process that helps any individual learner and teacher in actualizing the status and degree of the learning process.

What we consider good

What we understand well for us will become the attainable target of our life and all other activities will follow toward the path of acquiring such good things by any means. Understanding of a human being regarding good and bad changes in due course of time on the basis of  the level of the understanding as well as choice factor of the learner. The choice factor in turn is determined by the nature of the achievable goal usually fixed by the individual. Fixation of the achievable goal once again comes up on the basis of the levels of understanding and the individualistic apprehension. That is why we consider the fixation of the achievable goal of human life is a variable entity which is alterable on the basis of the knowledge base of the person.

Superiority- Inferiority Conflict

Even after understanding one cannot consider any other individual as superior or inferior entity, and that is why some of instructional points floated by any instructor may remain untouched in the context of the process oriented learning3. One can reject the learning pointes only because of the prejudice of the complexity of inferiority. On the other hand one can supersede any learning points because of the prejudices of the superiority. The kind of conflict makes the learning and teaching objectives a lopsided affair.  It can also give birth to several other narrow edged conflicts of varying degrees and intensity. Complications may alter in accord to the type of work forces getting involved in the delivery side of the education system. Conflicts of all kinds again confer the process, pace, continuity and effectiveness of the learning process. Gender bias is another factor creating obstacle in the process of personality development. A girl tries to mimic the act and attitudes of her mother; on the other hand a boy tries to acquire visible attitudinal specialties of his father. The kind of affinity ascertains the type of individual a boy or a girl would be in due course of time. A girl often acquires some of the special characteristics from grand parents. They impart various individual variations as per the feed back given to them in due course of time. Side by side teacher, school, syllabus parents and family background become the determinant factor of the visible individual differences of the learner.

Role of Teacher

Teacher is the only entity in the process of learning having a subtle power of influencing the process of learning and self actualization. That is why a teacher is considered as the only individual entity having enormous scope of influencing the teaching – learning process in accord to the previously finalized learning objectives. It can also ascertain the channelization of the individual variations toward a common framework of maturity and aptness. The progression leading toward the completeness of character and skill is thus depend upto maximum extent upon the way a teacher handles the process and mechanism of learning. Content and curriculum are the instruments of teaching having indirect impact upon the personality development. Different teachers may handle the content delivery process differently, that is why variation in the process of self actualization mounted differently. Surfing of the instructional points came to a student start flowing through the interaction of a teacher and a student start relying upon a teacher than upon parents and peer members to a greater extent. It also starts framing the priorities and choices of the learner.

Being a best guide, a teacher can differentiate a good and bad, a best and a better, even a teacher can help in sorting what to accept and what not to accept. It may lead toward development of some sort of intimacy in between a teacher and a learner. It can also formulate the attitudinal change of the learner leading toward the formation of a high purpose of life.

What Next!

Opportunities may come when one has to select the best alternatives of life. What is good, what will be best, what will be acceptable, what will be objectionable and so on. The stage comes when a teenager start shifting from one stage of life to the stage of life through a series of alteration. The alteration may follow two prominent path of progress having two steep divergences from the originating point. It may lead the individual toward a life guided by the Pleasure Principle or it may lead the individual toward a life meant for attainment of happiness as an expression of the acquisition of true Knowledge. While expressing the nature of Knowledge Acharya Rishabhdev4 explained the Knowledge as a part of life and intellect that can be assimilated as anything become completely soluble in water and lose the very existence. Absolute Knowledge is a kind of achievable state in which sharing of the Knowledge will bring a subtle refinement in the content and clarity of Knowledge itself. It will also fix the high purpose of life in which any individual can ascertain the role to be played in the society as a successful entity. Knowledge is the only thing that comes in a pure state and brings completeness for any individual. It also determines the role of a person in society. Question may arise at this juncture that is there any difference in between the attainable knowledge of boys and that of girls? Are they tow individual entity utterly separable during the process of education? Is there any difference in their developmental and intellectual needs?

Spreading a Positive Vibration

It is not the fact that girls are comfortable in a school of girls and boys are comfortable in a school of boys. But more perpetually one can say that coeducational process is the better option in which they start forgetting individual differences. They start recognizing each other as an individual entity irrespective of the difference of certain physiological factors. Situation may come when they start attaining some sort of maturity of organs and system and may start redefining their role in the society in the changing context. That may be the point of diversion in which a teacher can play a vital role by fixing a high purpose of life through experience sharing, case studies etc. Softness and sensitivity of human intellect is the factor that requires utmost care to be taken from the side of a teacher and from the educational institution. Some of the probable measures I this context may be of following types:

    1. Neutralize the difference of boys and girls while delivering any content;
    2. Adequate importance should be given to both the boys and girls while delivering any content.
    3. Try to use the stories of heroism, stories from the life of great thinkers, social reformers and successful leaders so as to facilitate the dramatic change periodically mounted in the intellect of the individual.
    4. Appointing a teacher in a School can be taken up on the basis of the ratio of boys and girls for maintaining a neutralized situation in which priority should be given only to the education irrespective of the gender differences.
    5. Attraction of opposite sexes toward each other can be diverted toward attainment and refinement of qualities in life through setting examples in front of them. For instance Leelawati5 shifted her aim of life when there developed an obstacle in her life during marriage.
    6. Being a human any person can contribute a lot in society. Example from the life of Dr B. C. Roy 6 is the best one.
    7. Fixing a high purpose of life and planning for the attainment of knowledge toward attainment of the same will initiate some sort of alteration in the life of a learner. For instance, Sister Nivedita 7  considered Girl’s Education as her only mission of life.
    8. Taking part in social life and catering the role as per the individual status is not the only attainable purpose of a human being. One can define the successful role only by defining their role in bringing some sort of contribution in the attainment, formation as well as refinement of Knowledge. Attainment of the Knowledge of Indian philosophy attained a dramatic change in the life and mission of Swami Vivekananda8.
    9. One can pay respect to individual learners for ascertaining the rapid progress of intellect and self actualization process.
    10. Rather than pointing out defects and limitations of any individual it will be an indirect motivational factor when we start pointing out good and appreciable points of any learner.
    11. Students should take part in the collective worship9 and collective meditation on a regular basis. It can shift the intellect of the learner toward the persistent change of mindset for accepting the positive vibration of the educational processes.

Only the way out

It is evident from the fact that learning can be made result oriented only through a successful intervention. It can be framed as per the objectives of the individual that make an ascent of the individual life to a National Life10. It is also a process of subtle assimilation of National Characteristics within the specified activities of a life. Even it can help a person in defining the goal of life as a National Entity. In that context “Knowledge” will be the only attainable goal of life. Elfinstone11 was the only British officer of the Bombay Province of British India having a master plan of making India slave for thousands of years by impregnating British Culture through English Model of Bombay School. The master plan remained successful. Indians silently lost their cultural base and became slave by mind and thought process in which pleasure principle of life has become the highest attainable goal of human life. Sainthood, sacrifice, Indian Spirituality, lessons of Brotherhood etc all positive apprehensions of a national life came in trouble. Trouble is still mounting with a greater degree of affinity and corrosion in the context even after the attainment of the freedom from the British rule. Even today education system itself is in the clutch of British model in which Pleasure is prioritized over happiness.

After attaining the contextual clarity it is becoming clear day by day that we have to go for a prolonged revival through impregnating Indian Culture and Indian Spirituality in the education process for strengthening the Indian Cultural base. Simply making people literate may not solve the problem of the contextual as well as socio-cultural refinement. Value Education as a subject might give a temporary healing. One has to consider spirituality in each and every aspect of the educational system. Values in science, values in mathematics, values in linguistics and even values in technology education can be explored. That will be the only way out from the overriding turmoil of trouble in which India and Indian intellects frequently come in trouble.

References

  1. Complete works of Swami Vivekananda, Belur Math, Kolkata.
  2. Education by Swami Vivekaknanda, Ramakrishna Mission, Chennai.
  3. Report of the Network of Girls Education Capacity Building and Empowerment, NCERT, Dept of Women Studies Govt of India. 2004.
  4. Research in Education by John W. Best.
  5. Rousing calls to Hindu Nations Compiled by Eknath Ranade , Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan, 2002.

Endnotes….

1 Socialisation is the process of making a person aware of the context in which people jointly survive as a part and parcel of a family. In gradual progression a person attain awareness of the village life, local life as well as National Life. It is the process in which self actualization is also advanced.

2 Feeling the omnipresence of god or some supreme power within oneself will ascertain the role of an individual for considering the high purpose of life is the only instructional clarity of the Indian Philosophy. Each and every life is potentially divine is the only lesson that India can teach the world.

3 It is one of the types of learning in which priority is given only to delivering the content and evaluating the achievement of the learner through series of tests on the basis of the contents previously delivered. It cannot reflect any analytical or intellectual progress of the individual learner. Refer Competency based National Curriculum Framework of Govt of India, 2005.

4 Rishabhdev coined the concept of absolute Knowledge and absolute knowledge irrespective of any subject or any dialect. It was the term that defined the appropriate nature of knowledge in attainable form. Refer Jain Philosophy, Acharya Rishabhdev and others. Articles of Acharya Tulsi.

5 During the period of Aryabhatta the incident took place in which the exact time of arranging marriage ceremony of Leelawati has silently passed away. After the expiry of the time Leelawati has decided not to go for any second trial of fixing the proper time for her marriage. She preferred sacrificing her life in the study of Mathematics. By doing so she has contributed a lot in the field of mathematics.

6 Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy has made the development of Bengal as the only mission of his life. There was a failure in his personal life in which he has dissociated himself from the life of Kalyani(the only doughter of one of his professor of MBBS college). He has decided not to marry throughout the life and started constructing big ventures in the name of Kalyani. It became a divine love that charged Dr B. C. Roy for considering big ventures in the name of Kalyani.

7 Swami Vivekananda assigned Sister Nivedita with a critical job in which she started bringing Bengali girls in the main stream of modern education. She has started the school for girls with four students.

8 Being one of the aspirant of Thakur Ramakrishna,  Swami Vivekananda started the study of Indian Philosophy. Yoga Philosohy of Maharshi Patanjali influenced him upto a greater extent. It was the turning point of the complete thought process of swamiji in which spreading the message of spirituality became the only mission of his life. He felt the divine omnipresence of god in each and every individual and appealed to all for remembering the same. According to Swamiji Lord Buddha is the only prophet who said, “I do not care to know your various theories of God. What is the use of discussing all the subtle doctrines of soul? Do good and be good. And this will take you to freedom and to whatever truth there is. ” .. refer Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Belur Math, Kolkata.

9 The type of worship in which participants create a collective vibration by pronunciation some selected rhymes from Bhagwadgeeta or from some other old scriptures.

10 Swami Vivekananda considered the nation as an individual having certain specified objectives. Being a citizen of India one should know the nation up to that extent and device the plan of life accordingly for leading a National Life.

11 It was the plan proposal forwarded by the British officer for seeking the sanction for the British model of Bombay schools dirong 1860s. In the forwarding letter Elfinstone stated that culture is the backbone of a society. That backbone should be broken first for making Indians slave for centuries by impregnating the British Culture through English Education. Being convinced by the approach Prince has sanctioned the plan of Bombay model of English School.

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