6 What Basic Functions Must Animals Do To Stay Alive Ancient Indian Education and Ethics – Its Relevance Today

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Ancient Indian Education and Ethics – Its Relevance Today

We are here to critically understand the importance of ancient Indian education system in modern times. Has modern ethics of education helped to understand Indian society. Do we want to become original thinkers again or remain in the current system that feeds mediocrity? India should think carefully how much the foreign system of education has helped her. The time has come to return to a high level of education that will produce thinkers.

The basis of Indian education has been learning and understanding. It became only memorized after countless conquests. India was the most prosperous nation in the world in ancient times. She believed in using natural resources only as needed. Overexploitation of natural resources was neither done nor encouraged. In India, people worship nature: plants, wind, fire, water, sun, etc. This shows the respect he gave to all living plants and animals on Earth. In the Hindu religion, it is said that the use of the sea should be avoided and that is known as “samudramanthan”. Giving education was considered a noble work, a solemn duty of the teacher and he should not expect reward from the students. A teacher was once dedicated and took teaching as a mission.

Academics also helped reform societies. We can recall the contribution made by the great economics teacher of Takshashila and Nalanda universities; Chankaya who realized that for economic development in the region it was necessary to create an undivided nation: India. He helped Chandragupta establish the Mauryan Empire which ruled the entire subcontinent and beyond. This empire in recent times gave the system that gave us the ethical standards that Indians value even now. The educational standards were high and people came from far off places to study all streams of subjects here in India. Indians also worship the goddess of education “Saraswati”. Even today it is celebrated with great fanfare.

Hindus have a function where the child is introduced to learning and that is the culture of India. Indian society is based on education. People in education are given the highest position in society called Brahmin. In ancient times one had to work hard to become a Brahmin. In those days it was not from the east. One had to take that profession, then only he could become a Brahmin. Brahmin could not get money to impart education. Education in ancient India was free for all. The kingdom would finance education. India is a country of low education but high education. People know about life, nature, plants and its importance etc.

The Indian education system was based on the principle of total development; mind and emotions. The Indian system laid great importance on the development of the ethical base and therefore, introduced the brahmacharya system. During this period a student should study alone. The Indian system emphasized learning through practice. It was really based on religious practices and religious acts. One must appreciate that religion at that time was only a way of life, therefore, without conflict with education. One had to follow a strict way of life which one still has to follow. Athavaveda an ancient book talks in detail about the education part; the system and methods to be followed.

However, it had some flaws. Education was limited to those who deserved it and was not available to all. Secondly, the guru (teacher) was at the center, ie for everything one had to depend on the guru and his knowledge was considered perfect. Buddhism democratized education by allowing everyone to study. This helped spread education and institutionalize education by forming Universities. Buddhism did not deviate from the Hindu system of imparting education, but made it broad-based. Here too educators and students had to be religious people and had to follow a strict rule. Even here it was not entirely free from the old Guru System. Even the Buddha said “Buddham saranam gachchami” (Come to the Buddha to get enlightenment). Mind you, in ancient times the great saints did their own research and developed a body of knowledge that contrasted with what the Buddha said. However, he challenged the system of concentration of knowledge in a few hands. This may have weakened the quality of knowledge, but it improved the understanding of people in general in India.

This also developed a bond between the people of India that is keeping this country together. This is the secret of India’s unity in diversity. A diverse country became a population with the same principle of life that is attaining mokshya (eternal bliss).

Indians always attached great importance to education which would improve the ethical standard of the population. The resilience of the ancient Indian education system was proven again and again. From the early stages of foreign occupation, India lost all its material wealth, but not the Indian ethos and the superiority of our (Aryan) culture and beliefs. This was possible because of the establishment of the Indian education system. Others talk about Ethics, but Indians practice through education.

The aims of the Indian System as I think were:

1. The immediate aim was to make all students capable of becoming useful members of society, so that they could follow faithfully the duties of all other Ashrams of life.

2. The goal was to create a strong and good character through moral values.

3. The Indian education system made a distinction between mere study and total education.

4. The goal of the system was the development of the total personality.

5. Next was the inculcation of civic and social duties. India in ancient times was a society governed mainly by social laws which gave us our strength. It is the only society where the social system of doing business was so strong and independent that we survived despite foreign invasion and rule.

6. Indian education promoted social efficiency and happiness. We all know that in our ancient books there are examples of people helping society.

7. The ancient education system taught the preservation of national heritage and culture, therefore we still have a different culture from all other societies. This still remains our strength and one day we will be able to restore our national pride. This has given us uninterrupted continuity since ancient times. It is the strength of our ancient upbringing that we survive as a nation.

So the question is where did we go wrong? Our education system was covered in a shell because it had to be protected from foreign influence. This violent slaughter of our culture by foreign invaders made us extremely introverted. The openness of our society was lost and formal education became the domain of the few. This destroyed our academy’s ability to expand knowledge. The burning of our established educational centers scared people. Masa lost his desire to learn because he did not value home-grown knowledge. People moved away from the formal learning process and this gave way to all kinds of raw practices in our society. Indian society lost the basic ability to acquire and benefit from knowledge. The body of knowledge became foreign which was a rare commodity that only the wealthy could afford. British rule took advantage of this gap and introduced a system that suited the needs of the Empire. The system did not encourage beyond copying. This practice is still prevalent in the Indian education system. She discourages boys from having their own independent opinion on a subject.

We stopped learning and all our ancient texts were being considered as part of religion. We need to redesign our education system by incorporating the core morality of our old time-tested system with new knowledge. We need to reintroduce the concept of self-control that has existed in our society. This can make our people appreciate the need for ethical standards. Yes, let’s go back to the relationship that existed between education and society as defined by our old tested system. The quality of some of the books written 2,500 years ago or beyond is so high that people today cannot write. That was the level of our original research why and when we lost that ability is a matter of concern even now. We must revive it and rebuild the education system in India as we want it; total development. Copying the west has not helped and will not help in the future, this must be recognized once and for all. We believe in the Ethical values ​​of society and this cannot be compromised at any price. Society has wasted thousands of years and let us not waste any more time in searching for proper education for India.

Dr Aloke Chakravarty

Dean of

School of Management



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