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Education System in Hinduism

The Hindu system of education has its roots in the Vedic culture. There are certain ideals and values that have been cherished in and fostered through education in Hinduism.

Vedas are the foundation of Hindu education and of everything else Hindu. Hindu ideals and values are enshrined in Vedas in the form of prayers offered by the Rishis and sages.

Lead us from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality. This is the famous Upnaishadic aspiration and serves as the goal of education in Hindu religion.

In the Hindu system of education, great emphasis is laid on understanding the nature of reality and the relation of self to this reality.

It is taught that reality is invariable and imperishable and the individual self, like other transient forms, is a part of this real Universal Self. Thus, one of the goals of education is self-realization and realization of the Self.

The Hindu system of education is based on the following principles:
  • Every individual is a spark of the Paramatman and education should help an individual in becoming one with Paramatman, as the inner life is as important as the outer life.
  • Cultivation o the pursuit of truth is another important principle.
  • Oneness of humankind is the third principle underlying the Hindu system of education. It is also related to the principle of the unity of life, nature and the environment. The attitude of reverence for all is developed through the Hindu system of education.
  • Good character is another important principle to be cultivated.
  • Attainment of Hindu ideals and values through education for an all-round development of character and personality is an important principle.
Perhaps the most important feature of the Hindu system of education is the teacher-student relationship. Right from ancient times, the teacher, guru, has been considered almost equal to God and is worshipped as God, for it is Guru who enables pupil to see the Truth and attain realization.

Four stages of life that have been accepted in Hinduism are the heart of education as well – Brahmacharya, the first stage is the period of education. In ancient times, the students lived with their teacher as members of his family. They were Brahmacharis and observed the rules pertaining to the first stage of life, brahmacharya, a life of self-control and abstinence for a period of twenty five years.

Education System in Hinduism sought to promote an integration of the physical, mental and spiritual dimensions.

Bibliography – Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume IV – page 10 and page 11