Spiritual Education in Schools

datta

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Spiritual Education in Schools

Shri Kishore Ram, Shri Hrushikesh and Kum. Purnima asked: Is it not necessary to introduce spiritual education in schools, at least in the present time?

Swami replied: There are two stages in spirituality, which is the subject of God: (i) Pravṛtti or worldly life and (ii) Nivṛtti or spiritual life. For worldly life (pravṛtti), spiritual knowledge of a basic level is sufficient. Spiritual knowledge pertaining to pravṛtti mainly contains the concept that the omnipotent God exists and He punishes sinners even if they succeed in escaping from the police and the courts of law. That much knowledge about God is sufficient to develop an in-built resistance towards sin in the minds of human beings. This in-built resistance to sin controls sin at its root and is far more effective than external control. External controlling agencies fail to control sin in society because the agencies are made of human beings, who themselves have become corrupt. The in-built control is based on the most fundamental concept that the omnipotent God actually exists as told in the Veda (Astītyevopalabdhavyaḥ).

If a female employee wants to maintain only the basic employer-employee relationship with the owner of the company, only a little knowledge about the owner and his company is sufficient. That little knowledge includes the work timings from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, the rules to be followed by employees and the fact that employees will get promoted if they follow the rules and do good work, while violators will be punished. Apart from this, knowing any personal information about the company-owner is not necessary. Similarly, every soul is an employee in this world-company and the company-owner is God. The soul-employee has no choice in choosing to join the company, because the soul is already in the world-company owned by God. Souls must follow the ethical rules and regulations given by God. Souls who follow the rules and do good deeds, will be promoted to heaven. Souls who violate the rules, will certainly be punished in hell. This much knowledge about God is enough for souls following pravṛtti, who form the majority in the world. No personal knowledge about God is necessary for such souls.

But if that female employee is impressed with the company-owner and wants to marry him, the above information about the owner is not sufficient. She would want to know the complete information regarding his personality and behavior before developing a special permanent bond with the owner. Similarly, the soul who is impressed with God, wants to know the complete information about God, His divine personality and divine actions. Such a soul follows the path of nivṛtti, which is spiritual life. The detailed knowledge of God related to nivṛtti or spiritual life, is a vast subject. Spiritual knowledge or spiritual philosophy, more properly, means this knowledge of nivṛtti.

The ancient kings were very wise in promoting spiritual education in their education systems. In the early years of school, children were mainly taught basic spiritual knowledge, which formed a strong foundation for their character. As a result, the children grew up to become adults with a strong in-built self-control and a resistance to sin. The wonderful outcome was that the public would rarely commit sins and if at all they committed sins, they would not try to escape the punishment through crooked ways. The present governments of most countries have given total importance for professional education alone. There is zero place for spiritual education. Therefore, the present-day citizen is not convinced about the existence of God. He has never studied the entire logic that clearly establishes the existence of the omnipotent God. Apart from the logic which supports the existence of God, God’s existence can also be known through experience. Miracles performed by God in this world can be personally experienced by people. Miracles are unimaginable events proving the existence of the unimaginable omnipotent God, who possesses unimaginable powers. It is using those unimaginable powers that He inevitably punishes sinners. So, the existence of the omnipotent God is not only declared by the scriptures like the Veda, but logic and experience also prove the same. Unfortunately, the modern citizen is unaware of the detailed analysis and experience proving the existence of God. He simply hears from others that God exists. In the absence of deep analysis and experience, it is not sufficient to make him develop a strong faith in the existence of God.

In the ancient days, due to the public’s in-built resistance towards sin, there were no courts of law and no police stations. In a kingdom, there used to be only one court with four judges and the king was the executive authority of the judicial bench. Since there were no cases, the king and the judges would spend their time in the court enjoying dance performances or other exhibitions of fine arts like poetry, music and so on. Today, even though there is an uncountable number of courts and police stations, the number of cases are indeed infinite. Many a time, the judgements of the few disposed cases are unjust. It is because crooked people use influence and corruption to tilt the judgement in their favor. The main reason is that neither the public nor the keepers of the law are afraid of committing sins. They do not fear God because they doubt whether God even exists. Ultimately, the present governments are unable to control sin in spite of having so many different controlling agencies. The present governments think that ancient kings wasted time and money in promoting this unnecessary subject of God! But the above analysis proves that ancient kings were very wise and the present rulers do not have the slightest clue of running a country’s administration smoothly by first developing in the public an in-built resistance towards sin.

In the ancient education system, in every field of education, the main subject taught was spiritual knowledge. All other subjects, including technology and other professional subjects, were ancillary subjects. What is the use of materialistic development without ethics in society? The lack of ethics will inevitably lead to chaos in society. Even if society reaches the climax of materialistic development, due to the social chaos, it will all be totally useless.

The minimum and maximum expectation of God from the human beings created by Him is that they should not harm and do injustice to any fellow living being. Fellow living beings include other human beings, animals, birds and even harmless insects. Plants too are living beings, but they have no awareness due to the absence of nervous system. To be called a full-fledged living being, the being must show respiration as well as the presence of a nervous system (awareness). Based on these two criteria, plants cannot be considered to be a full living being. Other than this minimum and maximum expectation from human beings, God has no other expectations. He never wants anybody to worship Him. All the forms of worship and the various types of devotion were only developed by devoted human beings. God has no connection with these temples, ways of worship and devotional procedures. God is not like the politician, who spends a lot of money in getting a huge poster of himself erected and then tells the public that the poster was erected by his fans, in spite of his resistance!

Therefore, the essence God’s preaching to humanity is about pravṛtti (worldly life) alone. The subject of nivṛtti developed only when devotees initiated the field of nivṛtti by wanting to form a special personal bond with God. It is important to remember that even if one is a climax devotee of God in nivṛtti (spiritual life), the person will be severely punished by God if the person fails in pravṛtti and commits sins. All the devoted demons like Rāvaṇa are examples of this concept. The female employee trying to marry the owner of the company should not engage in corrupt practices in the company because, when the owner comes to know about it, he will refuse her marriage proposal. The owner will doubt her character and fear that she might continue the same corruption in his house after marriage! Not only that, but the owner will also punish her by expelling her from the company. Pravṛtti is mandatory whereas nivṛtti is optional.
 
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