True Education

In the language of the moderns, ‘higher education’ means securing university degrees, and institutions where students are prepared for these degrees are known as institutes for higher studies or colleges. A body which control several such colleges called a university. ‘Higher education’ in the true sense of the term should, however be taken to mean that education which elevates the heart of man, which acquaints him with the higher truths of life – in fact, which enables him to know and realize the ultimate truth. An education which develops only the reason or intellect of man, and keeps him away from truth, is anything but ‘higher education’
If there is need for this latter type of education, we may go in for it and impart it; but designate it as ‘language study’. ‘Science study’, ‘Agriculture study’ or ‘Mathematical study’. Even if w e do not adopt this terminology, at least know that what you term ‘higher education is nothing more than that. At the same time do not ignore ‘higher education in the true sense of the term. That education is knowledge of the soul or spiritual knowledge (adhyatamvidya). Remember the words of the lord uttered in the Gita “adhyatamvidya vidyanam- “(of all knowledge, the knowledge of soul is the highest; it is divine in essence).
The initial advantage derived from this knowledge is that life becomes disciplined. He whose life is not disciplined, who has no control over his body, senses and mind, who is infact a slave to his senses, cannot be called a true man of learning. The man of discipline alone is free, even though he may be physical bondage. Contrary to, this he who obeys no law, who is unrestrained and licentious, is wholly under subjection. The knowledge which has its first fruit removes the fetter of this subjection is true spiritual knowledge. In the seminaries of the ancient Hindus, boys were given practical training in this discipline at the very start of their career as student.
Another advantage of that we derive from this knowledge is the acquirement of noble sentiments and divine virtues. The knowledge which fills our mind with vicious ideas and evil propensities and corrupts our action is only a euphemism for ignorance. Spiritual knowledge fills the heart with noble sentiments and adorns our conduct with the best of virtues.
The goal of human life is to realize this supreme truth; keeping your eyes fixed exclusively on this goal, advance steadily towards it with a determined will. Spiritual knowledge is that which aims at the realization of this goal; that alone is ‘higher education in the true sense of the term; nay that is real and true education.
This is however no substitute for secular education, whose utility cannot be denied in the practical field of life. Do not neglect the world. Attend your worldly duties properly, but keep your eye fixed on the goal. If you always keep the goal before your eyes, your worldly duties will prove helpful to you rather than a hindrance.
But a preliminary training is required even for determining one’s goal and holding fast to it. The training is called religious education. Therefore try to make this education available to every child at home as well as in the schools and colleges, so that the boy or girl may be able to determine his or her goal and keep his or her gaze fixed on it even while receiving training for practical life.

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