Educare and Education
an earlier issue, we discussed the question of spiritual balance.
Presently, we shall look at that issue in terms of education and
educare, especially in the light of the great importance that
Swami attaches to educare, the conferences that have been held and
continue to be held on educare, and the stress on educare that is
constantly being laid in the Organisation.
We begin with what
Swami Vivekananda said over a hundred years ago. He made two
important points and both of these have been elaborately stressed
by Bhagavan in recent years. Vivekananda said that education must
bring out the Divinity latent in man. He also pointed out that
humanity's thinking has been shaped by two great streams of
thought and philosophy. One originating in Greece drew people into
the outside world. This in turn led to exploration, advances in
science and technology and all that. The other stream of thought
originated in ancient India, and sought to take man deep inwards.
As scientist David Bohm remarks, the Western Approach is analytic
and tries to understand the whole by breaking it into parts. The
Eastern Approach, by which is meant really the Indian Approach, is
holistic. Vivekananda says that what modern society needs is a
good and practical blend of the two schools of thought. Let us now
see how Swami describes this blend in terms of what may be called
education and educare.
Education is the name given to
the knowledge that one acquires about the external world. This
knowledge is acquired, among other things, through our senses.
Educare, on the other hand, relates to the knowledge about our
Inner world. This knowledge has already been deposited in our
Heart by a loving and merciful God. This treasure is His gift to
us. It has been given to each and every individual, WITHOUT ANY
Swami describes education and
educare as follows. He says:
EDUCATION: MIND SHAPED BY
EDUCARE: MIND SHAPED BY THE DIVINE SOURCE WITHIN.
IN THE CASE OF EDUCATION, ACTION
IS INFLUENCED AND DETERMINED SOLELY BY THE EXTERNAL WORLD.
IF EDUCARE IS THE FOUNDATION, THE
INTERNAL FORCE GENERATED BY SATHYA, DHARMA AND PREMA ALONE
DETERMINES THE ACTIONS PERFORMED IN THE EXTERNAL WORLD.
PHILOSOPHY [DESTROY OPPOSITION, BEAT THE COMPETITION, ETC.]
EDUCARE: DIVINE PHILOSOPHY
[LOVE ALL, SERVE ALL].
FINALLY, EDUCATION IS FOR
THE HEAD, AND EDUCARE IS FOR THE
Incidentally, the word
educare has its origin from the Latin word 'educare'
[pronounced edukare], meaning, to bring out or develop from latent
or potential existence. On our context, it means bringing out the
Divinity latent in the person.
The question arises: "Why
suddenly EDUCARE? Why was it not there before?" The answer is the
following: Earlier, the forces related to educare were working
silently, implicitly and unobtrusively. There was morality in the
home, morality in the school, morality in the work-pace, and
finally, morality in the community also. Today, the situation has
changed completely. God has been put on the back burner so to
speak. Therefore, an entirely different strategy and set of
priorities are called for. We have to first invoke God strongly
and then only move on to other matters and business.
Just look at the recent
happenings in the Corporate sector for example. All of a sudden,
one is hearing of scam after scam, and how greedy executives at
the top have been taking the public for one huge ride and
swindling money, millions of dollars if not billions. Commenting
on this spate of corporate fraud, one pained teacher of a business
school asked, "Whatever happened to old-fashioned ideas of honesty
and integrity?" They got thrown out because people thought they
were old-fashioned - that is what happened! Who wants honesty when
one has to compete severely in order to survive?
The recent massive collapse of
corporate morality is enough to drive home the importance of
morality in Society. And how does morality come about in a
Society? Swami has the answer. He says first there must be Love
for God; next there must be fear of sin. Given these two, morality
would automatically prevail in Society. That is what was happening
all over the world till even the middle of the 20th century. Then
technology began to run away, consumerism began to swell, and
greed began to grow without limits. Given all these factors, the
crash was inevitable.
The tragedy is that even now, the
lessons are NOT being learnt. Leaders warn that CEOs must be
honest. Legislatures pass bills calling for severe penalties for
fraud. But can lectures and acts of parliaments produce honesty?
Morality comes from within! And it has to be fostered the way
Swami has indicated.
How many schools have time set
apart for moral instruction? Do the press and TV bother to keep
out undesirable news? Do they make any effort to publicise
honesty? No; the standard argument is that honesty is not 'news'
whereas robbery, crime, scandals, etc., are.
This raises a fundamental issue
of rights versus
responsibility. Once upon a time,
responsibility was considered over-riding but these days everyone
is concerned more about rights than about responsibility.
Practical Dharma is all about
discharging one's responsibility. How can people be expected to
behave in a responsible manner when Dharma
is hardly ever mentioned, while rights are stressed all the time?
In this respect, the media has become a law unto itself.
Let us go back to education
versus educare and see how the two together can lead to balance in
daily life. Swami says that a human being is a combination of the
body, the Mind and the Atma - he is
thus an MBA complex! Here, we shall use the words
Atma, Heart, and Soul
interchangeably. A person who ignores the
Atma/Soul would be guided entirely by his body and his
Mind. The senses would feed information about the external world
to the person concerned, and the person would react to situations
based entirely on the dictates of his senses and the impressions
coded into his mind/brain. This would be true of even a
highly-educated person who is totally Heartless. His actions and
decisions would never show even the slightest trace of any
compassion. He would always be guided by selfishness and
self-interest. The two words that Baba often uses in this context
are: SWAARTHAM [selfishness] and
To make matters explicit, let us
consider a doctor. Let us say that this person knows nothing about
Inner Divinity, human values, etc. He is very intelligent, has
passed with laurels from the medical school, and is a great
surgeon. He is shaped entirely by the external world. He is very
proud of his skill, is keen on earning name and fame, and of
course also a lot of money. Such a doctor would never think of
going near a patient who cannot afford his fees. This is not an
imaginary scenario. There are innumerable examples of such doctors
these days. This is what happens when a person receives only
education and has zero exposure to educare. On the other hand,
there are many doctors for whom saving a life is more important
than making money. These are people guided by their Heart rather
than their head.
In short, the external world
applies a force on man, compelling him to conform, keep up with
the Joneses, etc. The Heart, on the other hand, directs man's
attention to the SOURCE as Swami puts it, and arouses feeling of
In a good man, the Source
overwhelms the Force [due to the external world]!
The EHV program avidly promoted
by the Organisation is nothing but a balanced diet of educare plus
education. It is important that educare is seamlessly blended with
education, and is not offered as an appendage stuck with tape as
an after-thought! A few examples are in order.
Say there is a course on
molecular biology. The technical part of the course would
naturally deal with genes and all that. But along with all that
scientific stuff, the students must also be given a strong dose of
the ethical issues involved in genetic engineering, cloning, etc.
Say there is a course on the
environment. The students must be taught not only about the
physics and chemistry of the biosphere, but also about the dangers
to it thanks to pollution etc. Further, there must be special
stress on how all this can be avoided by curbing desires, and
resorting to a model of sustainable living and development.
In every sphere of human
endeavour it is necessary to temper worldly knowledge with
spiritual overtones. Swami often states this in terms of two
words: NIVRITTI MARG and
PRAVRITTI MARG. The former means the
spiritual path and the latter means the worldly path. Swami adds:
"When you walk, you use both feet and not just one. It must be the
same in life. You walk concurrently in the spiritual and worldly
paths. It means that you perform worldly actions like teaching,
nursing, cooking, piloting an aircraft, or whatever. But
spiritualise all your actions by thinking of God and offering it
to Him". This is what is meant by hands in Society and head in the
You may get a salary for the job
you are doing - for example as a teacher. But do not do the job
thinking of the salary and promotions. Do your best as a teacher
with the good of society in your heart. That would amount to
achieving a good blend of education and educare.
Shakespeare talks of tempering
justice with mercy. The judge administers justice based on his
legal training - that is education. But the feeling of mercy flows
from the Heart - that is educare!
ADDITIONAL NOTES RELATING TO
The Mind is the seat of all
The Mind has two pipelines for
One input is connected to the
external world. It brings knowledge about the world. The other
input is connected to the Heart; it brings feelings from the
Study carefully the comparison
between Educare and education as given in the Guide Book.
Additional comparison is presented below:
Survival & upmanship
Harmony with Creation
Greed & aggression
Love & compassion
- In earlier times, it was 1)
LOVE FOR GOD, and 2) FEAR OF SIN. These automatically lead to
MORALITY in Society.
- On account of his love for
God, the individual was moral. Individual morality then led to
- In olden days, people in all
societies and communities believed in being honest, helping each
- Thus, there was morality in
the home, in the school, in the workplace and in the community.
Hence, there was no special need to EXPLICITLY invoke Educare.
- Fifty years ago, normal
education, i.e., subjects like history, geography, economics,
etc., were taught without any special reference to morality.
There was no need to, because morality was a part of the general
ambience. In other words, Educare was built into daily life, and
no special reference to it was necessary.
- Lord Nelson said: "England
expects every man to do his duty." Shakespeare said, "Above all
to thine own Self be true!" Thus, truth and duty with sacrifice
were the accepted norms.
- Prior to the advent of the
media on a large scale, in every house, the children listened to
the advice of their parents and conducted themselves properly.
When children got together, each of them brought with them a
moral armour. And together, they upheld morality.
- Today, things are very
different, as the graphic below shows.
- Parents may advise their
children but when boys and girls get together, they are lured by
the attractions paraded by the media. The media has thus become
a very powerful disturbing force.
- First it was the books and the
magazines that pandered to a low taste. But then, not everybody
could read. Then came the movies, and even the illiterate could
be easily mislead to the path of bad ways. But one could not see
movies all the time, and that was a bit of saving grace. Now
there is the TV which spread poison all 24 hours. That is why
Baba refers to Television as TELEVISHAM -
visham means poison! True there are some good programs
but which parent finds the time to carefully steer his or her
children through the nonsense that pours out from the idiot box?
- Thanks to all this, God has
been consigned to the "back burner" as they say. Agnosticism and
atheism are the fashions of the day, with scientists and
"intellectuals" leading the pack. The propaganda often go like
SCIENTIST: There is no God!
POLITICIAN: Political power is
the greatest thing; it gives both power of patronage and leverage.
BUSINESSMAN: Money is the
ultimate power. With money, one can buy anything!
BEAUTY QUEEN: Glamour is the
ROCK STAR: Being a hero is the
MEDIA: Have a ball! Live like
there is no tomorrow! Buy! Keep buying all the time! Consume
without limit! Life is meant to experience excitement.
- This kind of barrage makes
humans slaves to the six famous enemies that are worse than
deadly serpents. They are: KAMA
[desires of various kinds, including lust ],
LOBHA [greed and miserliness],
MADA [pride and arrogance] and
MATSARYA [jealousy]. To these six
may be added two more: AHAMKARAM
[ego], and MAMAKARAM [sense of
mine, or possessiveness].
- Man is deluded into welcoming
these serpents as honoured guests! Speaking once to students,
Swami said that man welcomes these demons and, extending
hospitality, asks, "What would you like to drink? Tea or
coffee?" That is how gullible we are made by external
- Young people are all the time
subjected to a barrage of falsehood. But no one has the time or
the patience to guide them and correct them, both parents and
- The net result is that a wall
is built on the road from the Heart to the Mind.
Buddhi is blocked and not allowed to play its role, then
man is entirely under the control of external forces.
- In today's Society, God has
been put on the back burner. The wall of ignorance built up by
vested interests must be smashed like the Berlin Wall!
- The approach needed today is:
WE MUST GET BACK TO GOD. THE
ALMIGHTY MUST BE IN POSITION NUMBER ONE.
MANKIND MUST FURTHER DEVELOP
LOVE FOR GOD.
PEOPLE MUST BE MADE TO REALISE
THAT EVERYTHING COMES FROM GOD - THE EARTH, THE SKY, THE RIVERS,
THE OCEAN, THE LIGHT, THE HEAT, ETC.
AND THE PRIORITIES MUST BE AS
SWAMI SAYS: 1) Love for God, 2) Fear of
sin, and 3) the restoration of morality in Society.
- Swami says: MAN = BODY + MIND
+ ATMA; in other words, he is an
MBA! Man must go through life in such a manner that all these
three entities are in harmonious balance.
- However, today's lifestyle is
such that man tends to totally ignore the
- Now the Mind has two major
constituents, the lower Mind that looks outwards [drawn there by
the senses], and the Higher Mind that looks Inwards, i.e.,
towards the Heart or the Conscience.
- Lower Mind + Body [inclusive
of the senses] ? External world. Swami refers to this pathway as
Pravritti Marg or the Outward Path. The Higher Mind
[which is essentially the Buddhi],
on the other hand, draws one to the Heart. Swami refers to the
Inward Path as Nivritti Marg.
- The Inner Path is more
important than the Outward Path. In today's parlance, INNERNET
is more important than the INTERNET!
- At the same time, Swami is
quite realistic. He says that since we live in the world, we
cannot ignore the outer world and live like a recluse. What is
required is a balance. He says that when we walk we use both
feet; in the same way, we must go through life keeping both the
Outer and the Inner paths in view. Swami gives beautiful
expression to this idea in Summer
Showers in Brindavan, 2000, p. 131.
- In other words, live in the
external world but be guided from within.
- The essence of this chapter
Education is incomplete unless
based on fundamental values [Truth, etc.].
The true end of education is not a prosperous career but
BLEMISHLESS CHARACTER. As Baba often reminds us, if
character is lost, everything is lost.
Without character, education can produce only clever devils!
Eminent scientist Victor Weisskopf says: "[Scientific] knowledge
without compassion is inhuman. On the other hand, compassion
without knowledge is ineffective."
- Amplify the statement of
Weisskopf, especially with some good examples.
- Important: Educare should not
be interpreted as something intended merely for the classroom.
Just as education does not mean learning merely in the
classroom, so also, educare is a continuous process of drawing
out from within, that goes on throughout life.
- Let us say there is a tribal
living in a forest. Just by observing, he picks up a lot of
information about his environment. He then codifies this
information into his brain, forms patterns of knowledge, and
draws upon this resource in times of need. Thus it is that
tribals know how to read footmarks of animals, how to
distinguish between poisonous and non-poisonous plants, where
and how to hunt, etc. All this comes from self-training and
self-education, via his parents, friends etc.
- In the same way, long before
the child enters school, it learns a lot from its mother by
watching and observing. In fact, the child learns an enormous
amount, including a language! It would be a good idea to expose
the child to values, and learn intuitively about educare, as
indeed used to be done in the olden days. How?
- Basically, the parents must
unobtrusively set an example. For example, the parents must
always be smiling, especially when speaking to the child. They
must never fight with each other, especially in the presence of
the child. They must speak politely to all so that the child
makes politeness a way of life. And so on.
- The important point to note is
that intrinsically, no one is bad to start with; people only go
bad in the interim. Hence, right from an early age, the child
must be encouraged to bring out the latent goddness in every
possible way; that really is what educare is all about. It is
not something that is taught. The parent/teacher merely
facilitates the emergence of what is already within.
- Senses drag the Mind to the
outer world. That is but natural. However, in today's
environment, the Mind can become an easy prey to the dangerous
attractions in the of the external world, most of which are
nothing but deadly poison though heavily sugar-coated. So there
must be a counter force. That necessarily has to come from
within, and the required training for that must start early.
POINTS TO PONDER OVER
- Construct examples like that
of the doctor given above, relating to various
professions/vocations like law, government administration,
military service, business, industry, etc. In each case see what
modification educare can bring about.
- Just imagine how different the
world would be if people were guided in their decisions not
merely by their educational training but also by the voice from
- Why is it that people refuse
to listen to their Heart? Duryodhana, the chief villain of
Mahabharatha once said, "I know very well what is right and
Dharma, but I simply cannot get myself to follow it!" How
come? This is an important point because in today's world, it is
often the brilliant people who are responsible for many of the
ills that one sees in Society. In fact, one educator lamented,
"Today's universities produce only clever devils!" Think it
- Finally, it is good to bear in
mind the following:
To see diversity in Unity is
To be in harmony with diversity is human.
To see Unity is diversity is Divine.
Modern education pulls one to the
level of the demon. Educare, on the other hand, raises on to the
level of the Divine.
- Someone tells you that today's
education is great and produces great achievers, etc. How would
you try to convince this person that all is not well with modern
education? [Points you might consider discussing: Growth of
greed and excessive competition, life style accelerated far
beyond body's physical capacity to withstand today's speed,
enormous growth in mental stress and consequent rise in
depression, decline of quality of life consequent to excessive
emphasis on the standard of living, daring to tamper with
evolution itself and play God?.]
- Compile quotes of Swami that
you think are relevant to this chapter.
E-Magazine, December 15, 2003