Wednesday, August 18, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 58 (Vol #4) Dated 18 Aug 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 58 (Vol #4) Dated 18 Aug 2010.

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. Today we are proceeding from the last para on page number 323 of Vol 4 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)
{Note: In these talks, PeriyavaaL is talking about Educational Institutions of yore, which were bigger than a single Guru Kulam, of the size of a School or College or even University, with a number of teachers, curriculums and syllabuses. These were called variously as Gatika or Gatikai or Katika or even Kadigai. As per English grammer rules, a pronoun can be spelt differently based on the pronunciation. In these translations, I am sticking to Gatika and Gatikai.}

466. The most important point about starting a new school for Arts, Crafts, Sciences and Saastraa-s of ancient Indian Culture is that, instead of being on the lines of a modern day school or college, it should be on the lines of what it was in olden times. (KTSV adds: - It may please be noted that Shantiniketan in West Bengal started by Rabindra Nath Tagore initially as Patha Bhavana and later turned into a University, was based on his vision that education should be in an environment closer to Nature! Similarly Kala Kshetra in Adyar, Chennai started at the behest of Rukmini Devi Arundale, is a centre for ancient Indian Fine Arts run in rustic surroundings. The Central Hindu College in Varanasi which later became the Benares Hindu University, started on the initiative of Madame Anne Besant was another such creation that came into being, keeping similar ideals as this above point expressed by PeriyavaaL in view!)
467. If the subject being taught is of old vintage, the method of its teaching should also be based on ancient concepts and principles. When visiting our temples, do not we see even western ladies wearing saris? Similarly things have a life force in their natural environs, which would be lost when placed out of its context! The temple may be located in America. But the ‘Neivedyam’ offered cannot be Pizza or Pasta but, Puliyodara! Bharata Natyam will not jell if the dancer is going to wear a jean pant but the classic dress of a danseuse as depicted in our temple walls! Similarly, if you have a school of learning for the Hindu Vidya Saastraa-s, it has to have an ambience of Indianness, as far as possible!
468. The old Guru Kula-s of ancient Rishis were located in forests. You cannot go for creating a college deep inside a forest now, agreed. But it does not mean that you can have a college for Saastraa-s in the middle of the hustle and bustle of modern life inside the concrete jungles of today, with students in fancy dresses flitting between flirting and dating! The education in those Guru Kula-s was conducted in complete celibate environment without a chance for sensual diversions. Then of course, there were very few townships anyhow. Instead of being stuck inside buildings, their life was closer to nature. All around was greenery with rivers flowing with some wild animals sneaking in! Some of the domestic cattle were grazing around peacefully. The sky was the roof and earth was the floor. There was no lighting, no fans and no Laptops! In such an environment the students sat under the canopy of ever green trees and chanted the Gayatri Mantra, to be echoed by the jungles. There was a vibrant life force making a real happy experience of every moment of living. Appreciating this very fact, Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Laureate, established his Forest University of Viswa Bharathi. Even when they were not as huge to be called a University, when in the olden times these Rishis formed their ParNasaalai-s, as each one was a Guru Kulam, the whole of India was dotted with such, to become a Land of Vidya. You had Scotland and Ireland elsewhere, here it was pure Vidyaland!
469. In the conditions obtaining nowadays, we should establish such schools as far as possible, outside the cities in an area of natural scenic spot. We should form such schools with discipline in mind, thoughts and action, as against the concept of total freedom that exists in academic circles these days! We should endeavour to form at the least some schools and colleges for teaching Arts, Crafts and Sciences originating from Hindu Saastraa-s, on the lines that I have described here.
470. Village Statistics. As I keep roaming about from place to place in India, I have seen some information boards at the village borders. (PeriyavaL walked around every nook and corner of India, covering remote villages and hamlets for more than 60 years.) Some of them, I have noticed contain information about the Population, Area in Square Miles, Details of Agricultural Land under cultivation and what is planted, Details of ‘Padittavar’, that is, people who have had some education and number of people who are Unlettered. Not only that, it also gives similar comparative data in other countries such as Japan, U.S.A., U.K., China and so on; showing how poorly are we in comparison. Evidently those in government at the village and higher levels, seriously concerned about improving the education levels in our country, in comparison to all those countries only, are likely to have put out such statistics. It is true, that the unread may never be able to read these details. But, whosoever put up the boards must be looking forward to making an impression on the minds of those who can read, who may feel ashamed enough to favourably motivate others!
471. But, something else occurs to my mind. If it can be somehow found out as to what is the percentage of people who are honest, sincere and truthful; and if that data can be put on notice boards, how much better that could be. In every city, if they can give information of how many are educated and against that data, can it be shown as to how many amongst them are honest? I would rather agree with you if you say that it is an impractical suggestion! You are likely to wonder as to, “How can that be? How and who is to get these figures?”
472. I have an alternate suggestion. May be you cannot list out as to how many are honest and how many are not. But, we can do something else. Police department and civil courts people can give us some information on the number of Pick Pockets, Tax Evaders, people caught stealing and or conducting robbery, prostitution, murders, frauds and so on! So, in these notice boards if they can show as to how many are involved in various criminal activities, it will be an eye opener. Even if it is not possible to directly relate as to who has done which crime, at least the statistics could be given on these notice boards at the entrance and exit of the villages, it will be useful.
473. That is, this information will clearly point out that, all over the world, where there is more of this so called modern education, crimes are also on the increase! Where there are more high schools, colleges and universities, there are more criminal activities too. In areas where there are more primitive unsophisticated people of tribal origins, there is very little work for police and lawyers. With more education, there is an increase in the number of crimes too. Actually with more education, more of these crimes never get detected. Sophistication leads to not only fraudulent transactions but also into painting a false picture in the eyes of the public. Corruption has become all pervading involving the executive, administrative, investigative agencies and the judiciary and communication media, in its fold! So, many crimes do not even get reported because, even when noticed, a massive cover up operation comes into effect immediately!
474. With more education, it does not mean that only cleverer crimes are being committed increasing the civil cases only but also increasing the blatant crimes of open robbery, abduction of women for prostitution and such. People have become more confident of fooling the public. Then public too have become inured to a daily dose of such news, which are forgotten in the next wave of crimes inevitable the very next day! To add fuel to the fire, journalism thrives on sensationalism!
(To be continued.)



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