Exploring the Quality of Education in Ancient India as we Homeschool – A Father's Heartbeat

Exploring the Quality of Education in Ancient India as we Homeschool

The ancient Indian Education system is considered as one among the oldest in the world, it had peculiarities which were not found anywhere else in the world.

According to ancient Indian philosophy, knowledge was gained in 3 steps.

Stage 1: Shravana or Sravana (Hearing)

Hearing from the Guru is called Shravana, secrets which were meant to be reflected upon to gain an intellectual conviction. One learns by listening, it is the first stage of learning.

In other words, receiving the wisdom on which you contemplate is called sravana.

Stage 2: Manan (Meditation)

Manan means deep thought, contemplation, or profound reflection. The root of the word Manan comes from the Sanskrit word — the mind — i.e., the faculty that produces ideas and feelings.

This process of using the mind and its instrument to contemplate on this wisdom with the use of words is also called manan.

Stage 3: Nididhyasana (Realisation)

Nididhyasana is becoming wholly absorbed in contemplation that no other thought enters the mind leading the student to go to the depths of the great sayings and determine to practice them with the mind, action, and speech.

Here he acquires a comprehensive knowledge of the Ultimate Truth.

Two other agencies of education apart from Gurukula were Parishad and Sammelan.

Parishad

Parishads were more prominent educational institutions where several teachers used to teach different subjects. This may be compared to a college.

Sammelan

Sammelan means getting together for a particular purpose. In this type of education, scholars from all around the world gathered at one place for discussions and competitions generally on the invitation of the king.

Conclusion

Today, the concept of Nidhidhysana is almost absent. Allowing children to reflect on the subjects & topics that are taught to them and helping them derive their own interpretation and application of the subjects should be encouraged or else our children will end up becoming robots.

Education is not meant to program our kids like software and machines. It is meant to help them embark on a life-long journey of discovery and fulfilment.

In an interview, the famous Entrepreneur Jack Ma once said…

“We should be teaching kids values and skills that no machine can possess. Qualities like ‘independent thinking, teamwork, and care for others’ will not just set students apart, they will ensure students can be valuable contributors to society in ways that make them irreplaceable.

We should teach our kids sports, music, painting – the arts – to make sure that they are different. Everything we teach should make them different from machines.”

Homeschooling gives us the freedom to help our children explore new pathways & experiences, of course being watchful that they don’t cross the moral & logical framework of life.

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