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HINDU EDUCATION

Rose-Maria C. Mamaoag, RN
INTRODUCTION
• The fundamental principles of social, political, and
economic life were welded into a comprehensive
theory which is called Religion in Hindu thought.

• Learning in India had been prized and pursued not


for its own sake, but for the sake, and as a part, of
religion. (It was sought as the means of self-
realization, as the means to the highest end of life
viz. Mukti or Emancipation
• Ancient Indian education is the outcome of the
Indian theory of knowledge as part of the
corresponding scheme of life (which includes
Death) and values that form the whole truth.

• Hindu is the most impressed and affected by


the fact of death as the central fact of life. The
individual's supreme duty is thus to achieve his
expansion into the Absolute, his self-fulfillment,
for he is a potential God, a spark of the Divine.
• Education must aid in this self-
fulfillment, and not in the
acquisition of mere objective
knowledge
Purpose of Education:
• achieve 4 aims of human life: dharma (virtue or
duty), artha (wealth), kama (pleasure) and
moksha (liberation)
• for the preservation and propagation of dharma
• gain right knowledge, control desires and learn
to perform obligatory duties with a sense of
detachment and devotion to God
"He who is possessed of supreme knowledge by concentration of mind, must have his senses under control, like the
spirited steeds controlled by a charioteer.”-Katha Upanishad
Two types of knowledge:
• Lower knowledge – knowledge of the rites and
rituals and scholarly study of scriptures; often
equated with avidya or ignorance because it
is acquired through senses and deals with the
material aspects of our existence

• Higher knowledge – knowledge of Atman and


Brahman, gained through personal
experience of self realization; liberated people
from the cycle of births and deaths the pupil
(Dvija-born afresh) must find the teacher, live
with him as in member of his family and is
treated by him in every way as his son.
Guru or teacher :
• remover of darkness; is a god in human form; he is
verily Brahman Himself
• without serving him and without his blessings, a
student cannot accomplish much in life
• in imparting knowledge, he shows the way by his
own example and through his understanding of
scriptural knowledge, gained by his own
experience, sadhana (practice) and deep insight.
• Ensures that students learn by heart each and
every subject taught; understand and memorized
each and every verse thoroughly
2 types of teachers:
• acharyas – was considered superior for 2
reasons: he had both theoretical and
practical knowledge; lived in a gurukula
and taught his students for free, look after
them and keep them in his household; he
was both a father figure and a venerable
teacher
• upadhyayas - only theoretical knowledge;
usually collect fee for his services
Gurukula:
• a place where a teacher/guru lived with his
family and establishment and trained the
students in various subjects
• usually existed in forests
• student had to serve his guru for years and
convince him about his discipline, sincerity,
desire, determination and level of
intelligence, before he was given a chance
to learn advanced subjects
• no written books
Methods of teaching:
• oral – priestly
class were
reluctant to put
the scriptures
into writing and
make them
public

• Memorization
and imitation
Other institutions for
learning:
• vocational education – carpentry, jewelry, metal
works, stone carving, cattle breeding, agriculte
and sculpture, elephant taming, political science,
trade and commerce weaponry
• local guilds – served as professional associations
and financial institutions for their members
• workshops – children worked as apprentices
under their more senior family members
• Charakas – wandering teachers; held training
camps, public discourses
• Religious conferences – held by kings; scholars
were invited
Curriculum:
• 9-36 years – for the successful completion of
education in a gurukula
• religious learning – Vedas, sastras, scripture
• vocational education-some knowledge were
imparted secretively, only to qualified
students, under oath, either for reasons of
competition or under the belief that free
dissemination of such knowledge would be
harmful to society or misused
Important vocational
courses of the period were:
• Brahma vidya – knowledge of Brahman

• Sarpa-vidya – knowledge of snakes

• Kshatra vidya – knowledge of weaponry


and martial arts

• Tantra vidya – knowledge of the


charkas and energies
• Bhuta-vidya – knowledge of spirits
and animals

• alchemy conversion of base metals


into gold
• Ayurvedra – knowledge of medicine
• Jyotisha – astrology
• Nakshatra-vidya –astronomy

• Pasu-vidya – cattle breeding,


rearing, branding, etc/.
Some important facts about
Indian education:
• Ayurveda is the earliest school
of medicine known to the world
and 'charaka' is known as the
father of Ayurveda. He
developed this system some
2500 years back.

• Takshila was the first university


of world established in 700 B.C.
• Nalanda University, built in 4 AD, was
considered to be the honor of ancient
Indian system of education as it was
one of the best Universities of its time
in the subcontinent.

• Indian language Sanskrit is considered


to be the mother of many modern
languages of world.
• Place value system was developed
in India in 100 B.C.

• India was the country, which


invented number system.

• Aryabhatta, the Indian scientist,


invented digit zero.

• Trigonometry, algebra and calculus


studies were originated in India.