Spiritually Better, we offer below the
fourth instalment. We hope you like it, and
would share it with others who are interested in
enquiry and self-improvement. Do write and tell
us what you think, how you find it, whether it
is useful, and in what ways this feature can be
Thank you and Jai Sai Ram.
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
education and educare as follows. He says:
SHAPED BY EXTERNAL FORCES.
EDUCARE: MIND SHAPED BY THE DIVINE SOURCE
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.
SURVIVAL PHILOSOPHY [DESTROY OPPOSITION,
BEAT THE COMPETITION, ETC.]
PHILOSOPHY [LOVE ALL, SERVE ALL].
IS FOR THE HEAD, AND EDUCARE IS FOR 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.
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
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 compassion etc.
In a good man, the
Source overwhelms the Force [due to the external
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
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.
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 ABOVE
The Mind is
the seat of all knowledge.
The Mind has
two pipelines for receiving inputs:
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
carefully the comparison between Educare and
education as given in the Guide Book. Additional
comparison is presented below:
Love & compassion