Views of Sri Aurobindo on Education/Prasun Kanjilal


Views of Sri Aurobindo on Education

Prasun Kanjilal


Indian thinkers have dwelt on the philosophy of education and all related aspects like knowledge, intelligence, mind and the functions of teaching and learning to which there are ample references in the texts and to the illustrious teachers of yore like Sri Krishna, Vidura, Bhisma, Dronacharya in the Mahabharata and Vashista in the Ramayana. At a much later stage, one encounter teachers like Susruta, teaching Ayurveda to his students, drawing out the characteristics of an ideal teacher and an ideal student. Buddha and Mahavira have been great teachers. It may even be worthwhile to cull out the principles of teaching and learning embodied in their teachings from the available textual evidences. The quality of Indian discourse on Teaching and Learning has been widely acknowledged. There are many more examples during the medieval times of effective teachers, both of the religious and vocational kinds, which may be taken as the main foundations of educational thoughts of the present times.
In the modern India too there have been many original thinkers on education, who have felt the need for a review of the educational system introduced by the British Raj, creating loyal servants of the government. There was a search for a better system of education in the country among the reformers and intellectuals. In this process, a good deal of thinking, combined with actual experimentation on various alternative models of education had taken place. Unfortunately, their contributions have not been adequately reflected in the educational decisions during recent times. Among others, we can remember the contribution of Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, B.G.Tilak, Zakir Husain, S.Radhakrishnan and above all, Mahatma Gandhi. It is high time to review the principles of education expounded by them and to examine their validity in the present context. 

Sri Aurobindo has been widely acclaimed as a modern seer and a Vedic scholar. He had headed the first National College of Education of Calcutta and had written extensively on the subject of education. His approach to ‘Integral education’ is in itself a unique concept. Education of the body, mind and spirit are each expounded in his writings on education, but their integration is even more significant. He has also dwelt on the social and psychological aspects of education. His thought has been put to practice at Sri Aurobindo Ashram’s educational programmes, The Auroville and several other schools of the country.

“The first principle of teaching is that nothing can be taught”. This statement of Sri Aurobindo condenses a whole lot of theories of education and a new form of pedagogy closer to integral approach to education. It puts learning above teaching. It makes learning a self-starting, self propelling process. It redefines the role of the teacher from a mere possessor of information to a facilitator and a guide for the learner. I am not aware of any other profound statement in teaching which has such a permanent validity. His expectations from education are laudable and at the same time, they reflect an ideal to be pursued. It reflects the values of a modern world not scuttled by narrow perceptions and drab materialism. It throws light on several other aspects of education which deserve intensive analyses, discourse and validation.
“The world-state will give its inhabitants the great adventures of peace, economical well being, and general security, the intellectual, cultural, social activity and progress. None of these are in themselves sufficient to create the thing needed. For that certain psychological elements would have to be present in great strength. First as religion of humanity much more powerful, explicit, self-conscious, universal in its approach than the nationalists religion of the country, secondly, the clear recognition by man in all his thought and life of a single soul of humanity of which each man and each people is an incarnation and soul-form, thirdly, an ascension of men beyond the principle of ego and yet without destruction of individuality; fourthly, a principle and arrangement of the common life which would give free play to individual variations by which the soul of man lives and grows great.” But these facts of external freedom do not mean much unless they culminate in a freedom from ignorance. Sri Aurobindo believes that the realization of such a freedom is not only a possibility, but also a certainty inherent in the very nature of evolutionary developments. The true role of education is in preparing and helping man to arrive there—at a new phase of evolution.

Man is neither an accident nor a freak of Nature. He is an evolving being, awaiting his fulfillment. No doubt, he has come a long way from his primitive existence via a stage dominated by vital impulses; he has been a mental creature for long and has achieved marvels with his intelligence and intellect. Proud of intellect we may be, but as Einstein warns, “We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.”

NATIONALISM AND EDUCATION 

It was Sri Aurobindo’s influence on the Indian National Congress, in the first decade of the century which made the organization include Swadeshi, Boycott and National Education in its programme. He wrote editorial in the Bande Mataram, more than once, urging the party to give sufficient attention to education, which was divided in two groups. One favoured running a chain of national schools, parallel with the government schools and the other group was much more ambitious. It wanted its ideas to infiltrate all the government schools! The grotesque defects in the system of education that prevailed in India pained not only patriotic Indians, but also some Englishmen. For example, wrote W. W. Hunter, “Your State education is producing a revolt against three principles which, although they were pushed too far in ancient India, represent the deepest wants of human nature—the principle of discipline, the principle of religion, the principle of contentment.” He said further, “What are you to do with this great clever class, forced up under a foreign system, without discipline, without contentment and without God?”

In his well-known work, Indian Unrest (1910), Valentine Chirol observed: “The fundamental weakness of our Indian educational system is that the average Indian student cannot bring his education into any direct relation with the world in which, outside the class or lecture room, he continues to live. For that world is still the old Indian world of his forefathers, and it is as far removed as the poles asunder from the Western world which claims his education.”
 “In 1906, the National Council of Education was founded in Calcutta. The Bengal National College and School started its working career since August 15 at a rented house at 191/1, Bowbazar Street, with Aurobindo Ghose as its first Principal and Satis Chandra Mukherjee as its first Executive Head or the Superintendent.... Aurobindo’s name alone proved a very valuable asset to the Bengal National College and added enormously to the prestige of the institution in public eyes. But as he soon became,—particularly since October 1906,—more and more involved in active politics and in the conduct of the famous Bande Mataram,—he could not turn up regularly in the college whose life-force was, in fact, Satis Chandra Mukherjee, the silent inspirer of Young Bengal.”

 That was a turbulent time. The freedom movement was gathering momentum. The character of the Indian National Congress was to undergo a radical change at its historic “Surat session in 1907”, the nationalists meeting under the Presidentship of Sri Aurobindo and the government bringing the charge of sedition against the Bande Mataram and then arresting him in connection with the “Alipore Conspiracy Case (1908)”.

But the need for a greater experiment in national education continued to be felt by him. In the Bande Mataram of 24 February 1908 he wrote, under the title ‘A National University’:- “The idea of a National University is one of the ideas which have formulated themselves in the national consciousness and become part of the immediate destiny of a people. It is a seed which is sown and must come to its fruition, because the future demands it and the heart of the nation is in accord with the demand. The processes of its increase may be rapid or it may be slow, and when the first beginnings are made, there may be many errors and false starts, but like a stream gathering volume as it flows, the movement will grow in force and certainty, the vision of those responsible for its execution will grow clearer, and their hands will be helped in unexpected ways until the purpose of God is worked out and the idea shapes itself into an accomplished reality. But it is necessary that those who are the custodians of the precious trust should guard it with a jealous care and protect its purity and first high aim from being sullied or lowered.”
The anguish Sri Aurobindo felt found expression in an article entitled ‘National Education’, published in the Karmayogin (January 1, 1910), the weekly he edited after his acquittal in the “Alipore Conspiracy Case” and before leaving for Pondicherry:- “National Education languishes because the active force has been withdrawn from it; it does not absolutely perish because a certain amount of Nationalist self-devotion has entrenched itself in this last stronghold and holds it against great odds and under the most discouraging circumstances. A certain amount only,—because part of the active enthusiasm and self-sacrifice which created the movement, has been deliberately extruded from it in obedience to fear or even baser motives, part has abandoned in disgust at the degeneration of the system in incapable hands and the rest is now finding its self-devotion baffled and deprived of the change of success by the same incapacity and weakness at headquarters.
“The National Council of Education, as it is at present composed, has convicted itself of entire incapacity whether to grasp the meaning of the movement or to preserve or create the conditions of its success. To the majority of the members it is merely an interesting academic experiment in which they can embody some of their pet hobbies or satisfy a general vague dissatisfaction with the established University system. To others the only valuable part of it is the technical instruction given in its workshops. The two or three, who at all regard it as part of a great national movement, are unnerved by fear, scepticism and distrust... It is folly to expect that the nation at large will either pay heavily or make great sacrifices merely to support an interesting academic experiment, still less to allow a few learned men to spoil the intellectual development of the race by indulging their hobbies at the public expense... Unless this movement is carried on, as it was undertaken, as part of a great movement of national resurgence, unless it is made, visibly to all, a nursery of patriotism and a mighty instrument of national culture, it cannot succeed. It is foolish to expect men to make great sacrifices while discouraging their hope and enthusiasm. It is not intellectual recognition of duty that compels sustained self-sacrifice in masses of men; it is hope, it is the lofty ardor of a great cause, it is the enthusiasm of a noble and courageous effort. It is amazing that men calling themselves educated and presuming to dabble with public movements should be blind to the fact that the success or failure of National Education is intimately bound up with and, indeed, entirely depends upon the fortunes of the great resurgence which gave it birth. They seem to labour under the delusion that it was an academic and not a national impulse which induced men to support this great effort, and they seek to save the institution from a premature death by exiling from it the enthusiasm that made it possible. They cannot ignore the service done by that enthusiasm, but they regard it merely as the ladder by which they climbed and are busy trying to kick it down. They are really shutting off the steam, yet expect the locomotive to go on.”

At Pondicherry, with the appearance of the monthly Arya, Sri Aurobindo’s vision and reflections on all the great issues of life and of Yoga and spirituality found a distinct medium for their serialized presentation. He wrote “A Preface on National Education” (1920-1921) in which he clearly analyzed, in the backdrop of the 20th century, how a national outlook of education can be synthesized with the modern development. He says “National education was not a mere change of control of the educational institutions, the authority passing from the hands of the Westerners to Indians. “I presume that it is something more profound, great and searching that we have in mind and that, whatever the difficulty of giving it shape, it is an education proper to the Indian soul and need and temperament and culture that we are in quest of, not indeed something faithful merely to the past, but to the developing soul of India, to her future need, to the greatness of her coming self-creation, to her eternal spirit.”

“There could be questions on the idea of a national education. Is it not true that the training of good citizenship is the same in the East or the West? Is it not true that man is same everywhere and his needs are common? Education should have a universal character and not limited by any concept. No nation can reject the discoveries or inventions in science because they were possible in another country. We cannot dismiss Galileo and Newton and stop with Bhaskara, Aryabhatta and Varahamihira. We cannot revive the syllabus followed at Takshashila or Nalanda. After all we live in the twentieth century and cannot revive the India of Chandragupta or Akbar; we must keep abreast with the march of truth and knowledge, fit ourselves for existence under actual circumstances, and our education must be therefore up to date in form and substance and modern in life and spirit.”

To such possible observations, Sri Aurobindo’s answer was:-“There is no doubt plenty of retrogressive sentimentalism about and there have been some queer violence on common sense and reason and disconcerting freaks that prejudice the real issue, but these inconsequent streaks of fantasy give a false hue to the matter. It is the spirit, the living and vital issue that we have to do with, and there the question is not between modernism and antiquity, but between an imported civilization and the greater possibilities of the Indian mind and nature, not between the present and the past, but between the present and the future. It is not a return to the fifth century but an initiation of the centuries to come, not a reversion but a break forward away from a present artificial falsity to her own greater innate potentialities that is demanded by the soul, by the Shakti of India.”

That a policy of national education did not mean merely infusing in the student the spirit of the nation’s culture, aspirations and other qualities peculiar to it, but something more, to make the student a worthy unit of humanity, :- “It follows that that alone will be a true and living education which helps to bring out to full advantage, makes ready for the full purpose and scope of human life all that is in the individual man, and which at the same time helps him to enter into his right relation with the life, mind and soul of the people to which he belongs and with that great total life, mind and soul of humanity of which he himself is a unit and his people or nation a living, a separate and yet inseparable member. It is by considering the whole question in the light of this large and entire principle that we can best arrive at a clear idea of what we would have our education to be and what we shall strive to accomplish by a national education. Most is this largeness of view and foundation needed here and now in India, the whole energy of whose life purpose must be at this critical turning of her destinies directed to her one great need, to find and rebuild her true self in individual and in people and to take again, thus repossessed of her inner greatness, her due and natural portion and station in the life of the human race.”

It is this aspiration to know the hidden realities which gives the spirit of India, as reflected in its literature, philosophy and traditions, often distorted though, an exclusive feature. An education to be truly Indian must light in the consciousness of the student the flame of this quest. Hence, said Sri Aurobindo:- “India has seen always in man the individual a soul, a portion of the Divinity enwrapped in mind and body, a conscious manifestation in Nature of the universal self and spirit. Always she has distinguished and cultivated in him a mental, an intellectual, an ethical, dynamic and practical, an aesthetic and hedonistic, a vital and physical being, but all these have been seen as powers of a soul that manifests through them and grows with their growth, and yet they are not all the soul, because at the summit of its ascent it arises to something greater than them all, into a spiritual being, and it is in this fact that she has found the supreme manifestation of the soul of man and his ultimate divine manhood, his paramartha and highest purusartha. And similarly India has not been understood by the nation or people as an organised State or an armed and efficient community well prepared for the struggle of life and putting all at the service of the national ego,—that is only the disguise of iron armour which masks and encumbers the national purusha,—but a great communal soul and life that has appeared in the whole and has manifested a nature of its own and a law of that nature, a Swabhava and Swadharma, and embodied it in its intellectual, aesthetic, ethical, dynamic, social and political forms and culture. 

CONCEPT OF INTEGRAL EDUCATION  

Thoreau and Emerson, both alumni of Harvard, were once reminiscing over their alma mater, in the course of which Emerson is believed to have said that the University had by now all the branches of knowledge. “Branches are fine”, Thoreau is believed to have commented. “But what about the roots? ” The primary purpose of education, if not forgotten, had remained ignored for long. Way back in 1909, Sri Aurobindo wrote in the Karmayogin. “The first necessity for the building up of a great intellectual superstructure is to provide a foundation strong enough to bear it. Those systems of education which start from an insufficient knowledge of man, think they have provided a satisfactory foundation when they have supplied the student with a large or well-selected mass of information on the various subjects which comprise the best part of human culture at the time. The school gives the materials, it is for the student to use them—this is the formula. But the error here is fundamental. Information cannot be the foundation of intelligence; it can only be part of the material out of which the knower builds knowledge, the starting-point, the nucleus of fresh discovery and enlarged creation. An education that confines itself to imparting knowledge is not education. The various faculties of memory, judgement, imagination, perception, reasoning, which build the edifice of the thought and knowledge for the knower, must not only be equipped with their fit and sufficient tools and materials, but trained to bring fresh materials and use more skillfully those of which they are in possession. And the foundation of the structure they have to build can only be the provision of a fund of force and energy sufficient to bear the demands of a continually growing activity of the memory, judgement and creative power.”                                                     —The Brain of India. 
We find his concept of an ‘integral education’ already inherent in this passage, although the phrase was used much later by the Mother. In a series of articles published in the Arya in the second decade of the 20th century (subsequently compiled under the title War and Self-Determination), we find him laying emphasis on the child as a soul—a truth which any sound system of education must recognize, first and foremost, and then proceed to help its other faculties to develop. “The child was in the ancient patriarchal idea the live property of the father; he was his creation, his production, his own reproduction of himself; the father, rather than God or the universal Life in place of God, stood as the author of the child’s being; and the creator has every right over his creation, the producer over his manufacture. He had the right to make of him what he willed, and not what the being of the child really was within, to train and shape and cut him according to the parental ideas and not rear him according to his own nature’s deepest needs, to bind him to the paternal career or the career chosen by the parent and not that to which his nature and capacity and inclination pointed, to fix for him all the critical turning-points of his life even after he had reached maturity.” Between the twenties and the thirties of the 20th century, Sri Aurobindo’s seer-vision encompassed the entire range of human life—with all its activities, social, political, cultural, educational, etc., so much so that we do not know of any other savant in recorded history to have tackled so many subjects at so very lofty planes. His return to the issue of education again and again was unavoidable and again and again, in different contexts, he highlighted the unique role of the soul. Reflecting on the possible contribution of education to a divine life on earth. We stand convinced that the awakening of soul in man is the answer to the state of human predicament, but how to bring about the fulfillment of that condition? There comes the relevance of Yoga. But what is Yoga? While Yoga means union, union with the source of our being, people often understand by Yoga Hathayoga, practice of a system of physical postures, breath-control etc. to arrive at certain experience or to achieve certain powers. There are also other distinguished schools of Yoga: Rajayoga, which leads the seeker to various states of trance, Jnanayoga, a discipline to grow closer to the goal through Knowledge, Karmayoga and Bhaktiyoga which lead the seeker to the same goal through Action and Devotion respectively. But Sri Aurobindo presents Yoga in a far more natural perspective. “In the right view of both life and Yoga, all life is either consciously or sub-consciously a Yoga”, he says and proceeds thus: “For we mean by this term a methodized effort towards self-perfection by the expression of the potentialities latent in the being and a union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent Existence we see partially expressed in man and in the Cosmos. But all life, when we look behind its appearances, is a vast Yoga of Nature attempting to realize her perfection in an ever increasing expression of her potentialities and to unite herself with her own divine reality. In man, her thinker, she for the first time upon this Earth devises self-conscious means and willed arrangements of activity by which this great purpose may be more swiftly and puissant attained. Yoga, as Swami Vivekananda has said, may be regarded as a means of compressing one’s evolution into a single life or a few years or even a few months of bodily existence.” —“Life and Yoga”, The Synthesis of Yoga. 

  Needless to say, a concept of Integral Education is in line with the Integral Yoga, both the disciplines pointing at a progress in the direction of realizing the best qualities inherent in man, an urge for perfection and thirst for knowledge and truth. Like Integral Yoga visualizing not only a realization of the soul, but also a transformation of the gross physical, vital and mental aspects of man into Divine instruments, the Integral Education intends at preparing all aspects of the students through a creative cultivation of their potentialities, to become, with full awareness and a sense of joy, vehicles of a higher consciousness. Since there is always the fear of the meaning of the phrase ‘Integral Education’ being diluted—for much will depend on the capacity and understanding of those who are trying to put the idea into practice and the opportunities available to them—it is necessary that those concerned do not forget its sublime goal. 
An integral education will recognize the individual not as a vague combination of matter (body) and spirit, but a personality having four distinct aspects: (a) Physical, (b) Vital, (c) Mental and (d) Psychic. An ideal system of education must open up avenues for the best possible development of each of these faculties of the student.

In a right environment, the inner being of the student, the soul, the psychic, must dominate the other aspects of his being. That will ensure harmonious growth of the person.
Each child is unique. Creation finds a delight in variety and multiplicity. Hence, clubbing a group of students together and judging them applying a common, mechanical yardstick is wrong. Each one has a possibility, a hidden capacity, a talent. Environment and opportunity must be created for that latent quality to blossom.

Man as he is, is not the final product of Evolution. Sri Aurobindo visualizes the advent of a new man. The mental man must prepare to pave the way for the advent of the Supramental man. The mental man will be transformed into or evolve into the new being.
The syllabus for Integral Education is all life—and promises that are there beyond the present conditions of life—and behind the appearances of life. For it neither matter nor spirit is unreal, but the traditional dichotomy between them is unreal.

CONCEPT OF SPIRITUAL EDUCATION 
There are two misconceptions about the term ‘Spiritual’ and both are too stubborn to give way to an objective explanation of the word. First, ‘spiritual’ and ‘spirituality’ are understood as synonyms of religious and religion. Second, ‘Spiritual’ is taken to be the opposite of material, pragmatic or practical, an idea that inspires in our minds the picture of other-worldliness and asceticism. To confuse spirituality with religion, of course, is not always wrong, for much depends on what one understands by religion. 
Says Sri Aurobindo, “There are two aspects of religion—true religion and religionism. True religion is spiritual religion that which seeks to lives in the spirit, in what is beyond the intellect, beyond the aesthetic and ethical and practical being of man, and to inform and govern these members of our being by the higher light and law of the spirit. Religionism, on the contrary, entrenches itself in some narrow pietistic exaltation of the lower members or lays exclusive stress on intellectual dogmas, forms and ceremonies, on some fixed and rigid moral code, on some religio-political or religio-social system………. In the use of them toleration and free permission of variation is the first rule which should be observed. The spiritual essence of religion is alone the one thing supremely needful, the thing to which we have always to hold and subordinate to it every other element or motive.”  —The Human Cycle.    

   “Matter means the involution of the conscious delight of existence in self-oblivious force and in self-dividing, infinitesimally disaggregated form of substance”, says Sri Aurobindo— (The Synthesis of Yoga).  It is our ignorance which does not allow us to get over the dichotomy between Matter and Spirit. But, says Sri Aurobindo, “The affirmation of a divine life upon earth and an immortal sense in mortal existence can have no base unless we recognize not only eternal Spirit as the inhabitant of this bodily mansion, the wearer of this mutable robe, but accept Matter of which it is made, as a fit and noble material out of which He weaves constantly His garbs, builds recurrently the unending series of His mansions.”                            —The Life Divine. 

A true spiritual education has to teach the students to recognize this relationship between Spirit and Matter, so that one neither looks down upon Matter and all the problems the material life presents, nor shuns Spirituality as a lesson in escapism. A spiritual education would prepare the student to face life armed with a greater faith and face with an outlook which is integral. His recognition of the problems of life will not depend entirely on their appearances; he will be able to delve deep into them and see the play of hidden forces behind them. He will be able to grow spiritually through tackling the hurdles, presented by life. 
“All life is Yoga”, says Sri Aurobindo, giving a radically expansive definition to the concept of Yoga. The same can be said of education; all life is education. So far as the body is concerned, at least the present human body, it grows mechanically and grows old; so far as the growth of consciousness is concerned, it waits for man’s conscious aspiration and it never grows old! 

Commenting on this passage, Dr. K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar says in his Re-thinking on Ends and Means in Education (A lecture delivered on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the British Council Library, Chennai): “In education, therefore, it is of the utmost importance to awaken this veiled and withdrawn soul within—as Ramakrishna awakened the inner self of Vivekananda—and make it ‘the leader of the march’. Population explosion, knowledge explosion, and the threat of nuclear explosion, all seem to indicate a crisis in human civilization. Life, knowledge, power—all threaten to destroy by their very surfeit. For what is lacking is Love, and Love fails us because our understanding is partial and defective. But for such a fuller understanding a new education centered in the soul or the psychic entity can alone have the key.” 

What the teacher—who was often a “Rishi” or a seer—wished to see was, all the faculties, all the parts of the pupil’s personality, must be governed by his soul, instead of by his crude physical desires, mental preferences or impulses. A great doctrine to which they subscribed was the doctrine of Swadharma. In the phenomenal world marked by multiplicity, each human being had a specific inner nature, apart from his share of the common stock of desires, emotions and passions, constituting his superficial personality, his ego-self. To transcend the ego-self and to illumine the consciousness in the splendor of the soul was looked upon as the true goal of education. 
But what was most significant, this process of discovering one’s Swadharma or inner nature and probing the soul did not mean a breaking away from the world, the trial and tribulations, challenges and risks offered by the normal life. A significant incident concerns the childhood of Aruni, an illustrious sage. Aruni had satisfied his guru with his mastery over the scriptures and the different lores he was required to study. Yet the master did not tell him that he had completed his course. Then came a rainy night. The Gurukul or the Ashram school owned a plot of paddy field. The guru feared that the nearby tank might overflow into the field, submerging the tender crop to its detriment. He asked Aruni to go and ensure that the embankment between the field and the tank stood intact. Reaching the site, Aruni saw a breach in the embankment, already causing a steady flow of water into the paddy field. He tried to fill up the breach with handfuls of earth, but in vain. Without a moment’s hesitation he lay down against the breach, stopping the flow. He fainted and was found by his guru and his fellow-students when the weather improved at dawn. That day, when he had fully recovered from his exhaustion, the guru told him, “Today I am satisfied that your education has been completed.” 

The incident illustrates how theoretical knowledge alone was not enough for one to be deemed educated. We see some distinct undercurrents beneath Aruni’s action: his was an enlightened pragmatism. That is to say, not that he did not know that it was not proper to risk one’s life for a temporary material gain. But he took the risk because his zeal belonged to another plane where to defy the odds and to stand up to a commitment was an ideal worth achieving, its utilitarian worth or worthlessness notwithstanding.“Education must have an end in view, for it is not an end in itself,” said Sybil Marshall in An Experiment in Education. And if we recognize that goal to be at least helping to student to become a better human being, then the spirit in question is absolutely relevant. 
The spiritual education is not a specific subject like history, geography or mathematics. It begins with the very formation of an individual’s consciousness. Today the proliferation of educational institutions and the phenomenal growth in student-population have made a personal relationship between the teacher and the pupil very difficult. The students feel harassed and they don’t mind harassing their educators in return. But, luckily, the key to ignite in the children a spiritual outlook is in the hands of those who have the sole monopoly of the child’s attention and the sole hold on the child’s time at the most important stage of the child’s growth. Needless to say, they are the parents.
Next in importance, no doubt, is the teacher. Discussing with the teachers of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education the issue of teacher-student relationship and how a teacher can really exercise his or her influence on the students, the Mother said, “Teachers who are not perfectly calm, who do not have an endurance that never fails and a quietude which nothing can disturb, who have no self-respect... will get nowhere. One must be a saint and a hero to be a good teacher. One must have a perfect attitude to demand a perfect attitude from the students. You cannot ask anyone to do what you don’t do yourself. That is a rule....”

“.....I don’t mean an outer, artificial and superficial success, but becoming truly good teachers—this means that they are capable of making an inner progress of impersonalization, of eliminating their egoism, controlling their movement, capable of a clear-sightedness, an understanding of others and a never-failing patience”. (Collected Works of the Mother, Vol. 8). 

References :-

1. Davies, Paul; Superforce: A Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature; Unwin, London 1990. 

2. Beecher, H. W.; Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887). 

3. Einstein, Albert; Out of My Later Years. 

4.  Mukherjee Haridas and Uma Mukherjee; A Phase of Swadeshi Movement. National Education: (1953).

5. Manoj Das; Sri Aurobindo in the First Decade of the Century (1972). 

6. The Souvenir published on the occasion of 125th year commemorative celebration of Sri Aurobindo, by the initiative of Prof. C.H.K. Mishra, Consultant, N.C.T.E.

7. Internet

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রাষ্ট্রীয় মূল্যায়ন ও স্বীকৃতি পরিষদ (NAAC) এর মূল্যায়ন ও স্বীকৃতি: উদ্দেশ্য ও প্রস্তুতি - কলেজ ভিত্তিক অভিজ্ঞতা /সজল কুমার মাইতি