The Problem of Education

Chapter-11 : by Acharya Mahapragya

Jain Vishva Bharati

Why Teach The Science of Living ?

The most burning issue at the present time relates to the mad and unbridled arms race between the major powers. The whole world is in the grip of fear and the greatest need of the hour is disarmament. The different feelings, attitudes and desires are all arms. One can then classify arms into two main kinds: those which relate to material objects (objective) and those that are connected with our inner attitudes and propensities (subjective). A mind given to jealousy, prejudice and passion is the greatest and the most lethal weapon. A bad thought or a bad feeling has more capacity for harm than an atom bomb. If not curbed, it may prove most destructive.

In the family the most baneful weapon is ambition, immoderate desire. Most mishaps within the family between brothers, father and son, husband and wife have at their base the same desire or ambition. When it is roused, all else becomes secondary, unimportant and irrelevant. This arsenal consisting of thought, speech, body aberrations, feelings and ambitions is truly formidable.

The Science of Living or Jeevan Vigyan is the most effective means of disarming all physical, mental and emotional aberrations. We have to revamp the present-day education system by introducing into it the above concept of spiritual training whereby the learners are able to achieve ‘disarmament’ in its primary sense. Let body, speech and mind all become purged of their abuses and the individual, the family and society will automatically be cleansed of the poison of hatred, malice, terror and injustice.

In the absence of a disciplined body, a disciplined mind and disciplined speech, self-discipline is impossible. If there is no proper flow of blood within the body, the latter cannot be disciplined. If something is wrong with the essential ingredients of the body (phlegm, air, bile) or with the intestines, stomach, liver, pancreas, lungs, and the heart, how can one be disciplined ? It is only when they are in order that the mind can be disciplined. The body and the mind are so closely related and interdependent, that for the health of the one the health of the other is a prerequisite. The more basic of the two, however, is the health of the body, perfect functioning of the total physical system. A healthy body ensures discipline.

The spiritual preceptors in the past discovered many important ways of disciplining the mind. They recognized that the most difficult thing is to stop the mind becoming a prey to innumerable uncertainties.

A ceaseless procession of images in the mind, most of which unrelated to real life, weakens the mind and the only way to stop it lies in spirituality.

The spiritual science had discovered a very important method of achieving a sort of mental vacuum – a mind free from thoughts and uncertainties of all kinds – and complete peace of mind. It consisted in steadying the tongue and the vocal cords. Anyone experienced in yoga will also prescribe what is known as khechari mudra for quietening the mind, which requires a fixed retroflex position of the tongue without letting it touch either the palate or the sides of the mouth. He might as well suggest to press the tongue against the roots of the teeth and not letting it move at all and the most experienced practitioner of yoga will prescribe kayotsarg or total relaxation of the vocal cords. Even the slightest mental activity is invariably accompanied by the vibrations of the vocal cords.

Whenever the mind’s activity gets out of hand, yoga requires bringing the chin close to the laryngeal cavity and pressing the former hard against the latter. A five-minute exercise of this kind will bring all mental activity to a halt.

We noted earlier that the most important aim of education is the inculcation of self-discipline and that it can be achieved only through the Science of Living. If one aims at controlling the body, the speech, the intellect, the mind, and beyond them all, the centre and apparatus of emotions deep inside our being, it can be possible only through the spiritual science. It is therefore vital that the discoveries of the great masters of spiritual science be given due attention to, analysed, investigated and experimented upon.

It is in this context that the experiments being conducted on the basis of Preksha Meditation constitute an important achievement of the modern times. As a result of them the individual is able to perceive his breath, his vibrations and his electricity together with all his hormones and hormonal changes. Doing this is a great spiritual endeavour – one that strengthens the foundations of self-discipline.

All those who want to follow the above way have to cultivate the following beliefs :

Self-discipline will be possible only

(1) after acquiring a balanced life-force or vital energy,

(2) when one becomes practised in leading a life, transcending excessive attachment and aversion,

(3) when there is a complete balance between the strengths of the body, the mind and the intellect.