The Science of Living: A New Dimension of Education

Chapter-17 : by Acharya Mahapragya

Jain Vishva Bharati

The Science of Living: A New Dimension of Education

Intellectuality is undoubtedly a part of education but it is not all that there is to education.

It has to be supplemented by a sense of social responsibility, humanistic values and sound character. In fact, mere intellectuality can prove dangerous. Even those engaged in criminal activities gain from it and it is for this reason that educated thieves prove more skilled and professional. Our main problem today is a glut of intellectuals devoid of character and therefore having a lopsided personality.

It does not amount to belittling the importance of intellectual knowledge. All that is being said is that full and complete growth requires that it be supplemented by proper development of the endocrinal system.

The Science of Living, comprises combined training in the art of worldly success, spiritual progress and yoga. Modern education lays emphasis on physiology, anatomy and psychology. If all the six are combined, a total and integrated course of complete human development can be devised. We should inculcate in them the power of concentration, will power and determination.

Education must cater to all the three types of developments – physical, mental and emotional. Today we are laying a lot of stress on the first two and totally ignoring the third. Here it is worth remembering that in order to achieve integrated development it is not enough to read and cite examples from religious literature. Such reading can be inspiring but it cannot bring about the desired change – the change of consciousness. Sermons and preachings are incapable of achieving this goal for the simple reason that the real carriers of change are the hormones and unless their secretion is controlled, all development will remain partial and one-sided.

Hence the importance of modern Physics, Psychology and Physiology. It is our firm conviction that the findings of modern science must not be ignored in the name of the infallibility of the solutions offered in religious texts.

Ignorance and infatuation are two different things. The former merely implies lack of knowledge but the latter affects individual behaviour and character. Modem education trains all, its guns against the removal of ignorance by flooding the learner’s mind with statistical details, but makes no effort to cure his infatuation. Such education cannot discipline life. For it to be meaningful it will have to be made two-dimensional and both the dimensions will be mutually complementary. We are thus not in favour of imposing moral education as a separate subject. It should be an integral part of the curriculum. For practical training special camps can be organized, for what one learns in them far outmatches any theoretical knowledge.

Under practical training some experiments should be conducted in modifying the endocrinal system. For this purpose training may first be imparted to a select group of teachers. Gradually the scope can be increased. There are instances of people coming to attend camps and returning home both physically and mentally transformed as a result of the training received. In order to obtain optimum results a three-pronged programme will be necessary under which simultaneous training will have to be given to students, teachers and guardians. Such an effort is bound to yield results – far more astounding and enduring than those accruing from mere preaching.

Modern education is object-oriented; it must be made self-oriented. In other words it should aim at building character. But we believe that mere bookish knowledge cannot help bring about student’s moral development. What is really needed is to cognize the Science of Living as a branch or part of education. It should enjoy the same independent status as Biology, Physics or Botany. There can be a revolution if the Science of Living is both theoretically and experimentally used to awaken consciousness. Education will then turn out balanced individuals.

As noted earlier, the endocrine glands like the pineal, the thyroid and the pituitary influence individual character. Up to adolescence or puberty the pineal remains very active. This is the reason why boys and girls up to the age of 10 or 12 remain relatively free from moral contamination. As they grow, the pineal grows slack. If, through practical means it could be activated, prolonged good would result. Young boys and girls could then stay clean and disciplined. It would require, besides education in Physiology, holding of weekly camps for practical training in activating their ductless glands. Ultimately it would help build a new generation of highly balanced and disciplined people.

Mere textbook knowledge or sermonizing will not create discipline. Without underplaying intellectuality efforts will have to be made to curb its unwanted growth through the activity of the endocrine glands. Once the intellect starts developing beyond a point, unresponsiveness to the call for discipline emerges. It proves how mere intellectual development can prove disastrous.

The enormous and precious findings of science should be the decisive criteria and should provide the overall context for the practical use of religious instruction and textbook knowledge. Then only will be able to build a new generation of people enjoying perfect and all-round health – physical, intellectual and emotional.