Guiding Light of The Month

OH, let Light be poured on all the earth and Peace inhabit every heart. . . Almost all know only the material life heavy, inert, conservative, obscure; their vital forces are so tied to this physical form of existence that, even when left to themselves and outside the body, they are still solely occupied with these material contingencies that are yet so harassing and painful. . . - The Mother

From the Editor’s Desk

We know that education is dictated by the needs of its place and time. The way it operates today, now, in its own place is so because we have endorsed it and we subscribe to it. We have come a long way in mainstream education and how long more we would go is anyone’s guess. Voices there are, raised against its ills, even as its goodness passes by lost in the travail of life’s challenges or championed by it. These voices will potentially spark a small trail of change, sometime in the future, decades maybe or centuries later, in the way children are schooled. The collective consciousness will certainly shape education. It is evolutionary.

We also know that however we educate the young shows itself up in the population decades later. Can we turn the clock back?  Probably not. But lessons there are to learn from. Who is the policy maker who shapes the education system? Who frames the ideology? How and why? We do or are at least, equipped to and certainly contribute. It has always been that, based on collective ideology, education is shaped and so too our young and therefore our future. Maybe the question to ask is, “what is the destiny I want for this country?” than “what is the benefit I want for my child, the family and the school or the institution?” A greater question could be, “what is the destiny we want for the world?” and an even greater question, “what is the destiny we want for humanity?” These questions will put into perspective any attempts we make at educating the nation. But then, who will think of the world? Who will think of humanity? It is still a world of divide along the lines of clime, country, nation, state, colour, creed, culture, conflicts. Yet something deep within us dreams of a better world, has glimpsed a beautiful one, harmonious, united; there is something that hopes and watches and waits with faith. In all the chaos and mayhem that confronts us collectively, some do think of the world, of humanity and the way forward. Sri Aurobindo saw the greater destiny of man and decisively thought of education as a means to manifest the ideal of a greater man on a transformed planet, a humanity that lives on the truest principles of Truth, Beauty and Goodness and more. His was a realisation that saw the Spirit of Divinity shaping mind, matter and life on earth. It is a way of being that actually challenges and hopefully defeats the defeatist, the fatalist, the negativist, the denouncer and the denier in us. 

Sri Aurobindo recognised that this would in no way be accomplished in the next many decades or even centuries perhaps, but still, it was this stamp, without compromises, that he laid on the educational framework he outlined for India and for the world at large, in detail. It was meant for children of the future in whose hands he confidently placed the seeds of posterity. These are the children meant to pave pathways to achieve the unexpected high, for all of humanity, not for one man, for a family, for the institute, for a community, or for a country. It was an education that embraced all of civilisation in its ambit. That too, not for now, or tomorrow, but for all of time to come, for existence here on earth. The start point is always small, minute, so minute, so small and so ordinary it misses the eye, the ear. The start point is this tiny dot, this tiny murmur within that seeks for something more perfect in the way things are done and then based on which the decisions we make for ourselves and those left in our charge, our children. The rest proceeds in its own steam. Reference is made here to an integral system of education which Sri Aurobindo and The Mother envisaged for souls ready for the adventure of self-discovery, no matter how long it would take, no matter where it would lead, what the discovery may be. 

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