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‘A poor brahmin in a village…’

This was the beauty of education system of ancient India. Education was not business as now. Teachers was not supposed to do their job for the sake of salary. Person who dream about richness were not supposed to be teachers. Such people used to join army or work as an employee or do a business. To state it in simple Brahmin used to be away from luxuries. He used to depend on other people for his living. Their goal was to discover the truth through studies and teach to future generations. Brahmins used to remain as poor by choice and not by chance.

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Most of the people cannot digest the fact that the education system of Vedic times was independent of Religion, Caste, Creed and Gender. Unfortunately, we criticize our country by believing the false history and fake philosophy presented by west. They did this with the intention of ruling India forever. It is hard to believe that Saints who stated a great statement ‘Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma’ did discrimination. On the other hand, it is impossible to make such great statements with the heart of discrimination.

Just for the matters of Logic – We have a rule stated by government stating ‘Children who are 6 and above shall be eligible for admission of Class 1’. How will it be if someone after 500 years state that ‘In India, children below 5 years were prohibited from getting education’? There is an explanation stating ‘Children who above 5 years will be capable enough to study in schools’. How will it be if someone counters stating ‘Mindset of children below 6 years are not correct and they were treated as mad’?. Finally if we state ‘At the age of 6 and above, the grasping power of mind increases’ and if someone pose a research essay as – ‘Will the grasping power increases at the age of 10 or 20? If yes, then why can’t those be admitted to class 1?’. Remember, we cannot expect anything good from the false historians who see Terrorists as  Hero and Freedom fighters as  Murderer.

Make an attempt to observe the ancient India by removing glass of west. Education only for Brahmins was not Indian culture. One who studied Vedas and understood it was probably called as Brahmin. Then he(she) was respected by the society. That doesn’t mean that we had the concept of universal education system and also the admission was not based on richness. Similar to the current education system which conducts an interview to parents before admission, even in those days capability of a child was decided by his family background. That was not te final. They knew the fact that ‘Lotus grows in a dirty pond’. Remember the story of Satyakama. He was asked about his family when he went to get the education. He boldly said the truth ‘My mother do not know who is reason for his birth’! He was accepted as the student based on the criteria that he said truth. The saint gave a definition ‘One who tries sincerely to get the knowledge of Brahman is called as Brahmin’.

Gurukula-system-of-Education

The true test were stated after he(she) is accepted as student. Studying Vedas was really a challenging task. It was expected to understand and by heart nearly more than 10000 shlokas. Also it was expected that a student has to compete in debates. At last he was expected to preach the truth which is discovered during his studies. Thus, a student has to improve step by step. First step is to become Dvija after Upanayana. Next step is to become a Vipra by studying vedas and finally become as Brahmin after getting the knowledge of Brahman. Similar to a soldier’s son has a capability of being a soldier a son of a Brahmin used to have a capability of being a Brahmin by birth. His was supposed to study Vedas through a teacher and it was possible that a father can be a teacher. There was no chance a father preach fact of Brahman to his own children at least during ancient times.

It was not an easy task to study Vedas in gurukulas. With the reference of Manusmrithi, a student was expected to wake up before sunrise or the teacher wakes up and sleep after teacher does. It was compulsory to take bath in river daily. The student was not expected to take bath in hot water, neither wear scandals, neither participate in dance, drama. It was expected to do Japa standing in the morning until sunrise and sitting in evening until stars are seen. It was expected to get the food through begging and eat after the orders of teacher. Should not sleep during day time, should not stop studies even in the absence of teacher.
Uff! if students are has these restrictions in current days it might be called as torture. Studying of Vedas was getting completed after 12-14 years of studies. After gaining the knowledge of Brahman he was respected by the society. Even King of the state used to come to a Brahmin to understand the concept of Brahman.

the-topmost-yoga-system

Some of them used to move away from gurukulas without being able to study with all restrictions. Some of them used to move in search of another teacher. The one who thus keeping moving was called as ‘Theeta Kaaka’ (Wanderer). It is an indication of how a crow flews from one to another place. The one who used to be with a teacher and concentrate on the goal was called as ‘Ante Vasi’. Thus the one who used to study vedas with all such restrictions was called as Brahmin. Others were categorized to different Varnas based the stages at which they left. People who couldn’t complete the studies chose the path the service and serve under Brahmins. It could be irritating upon using the words Brahmin or Vaishya. Fact is that world runs in a similar way. A person who is completes B. Com and passes banking exam will be in the post of manager while a person who discontinued the studies will be a security guard. Manager’s son will have lot of options for studies while the son of a security guard has to face all difficulties and prove himself. Concept remains the same while the way we see has changed.

Similar to Manu’s script Panini’s Ashtaadyaayi is also an important literature in the matters of ancient Indian education system. Prof. Mavelikar Achyuthan’s ‘Educational practices in Manu, Panini and Kautilya’ is another book which gain importance in the current context. Panini during his studies has divided the literature works into 4. The works universal truth which was discovered by saints was called as ‘Drushta’. The works which was re-stated this truth were called ‘Prokta’. The works based on the discovery of truth while the studies of above mentioned works were called ‘Upjnyaata’. Rest of the normal literature works were called as ‘Kruta’.
It is amazing to observe the scale of studies of Panini’s ‘Ashtaadyaayi’. He mentions about the works namely Drushta, Prokta, Upjnyaata, Kruta.

It is shocking that all these types of works were being taught during those days. There were students who stayed with a single teacher for years together for studies and used to study in the light of lamp which is lit using cow dung when oil was unavailable. This is described by a sage Patanjali.

There were well defined rules even for teachers. The one who taught Vedas should lead such life as stated in Vadas. One who used to teach Vedas was called ‘Upadhyaaya’, one who was a care taker and make the student practice Vedas was called ‘Guru’. The one who lead the student to discover the truth and perform a ritual called ‘Upanayana’ was called as ‘Acharya’. Acharya stood in the highest position. Thus Panini, Patanjali, Chanakya was respected as Acharya.

A person who belongs to a family whose ancestors studied Vedas was eligible to be a Guru. The one who deviated from the rules could never be a Guru. If a teacher neglected the development of a student even after it is reported to him then the student had the freedom to move away in search of new teacher. Even though it was a rule that a student has to to serve the teacher, it was not expected that a teacher misuse this concept. This was discussed in front of king and other teachers. King was supposed to punish the teachers who were not abiding to the rules!
Teachers was not allowed to punish the students as per his wish. As stated in Apastamba, scaring, ordering to fast was kind of punishments. At the most the teacher was allowed to beat at the back with a rope or a bamboo stick.

In the matters of salary, the student was supposed to give ‘Guru Dakshina’ after completion of the studies. Upadhyaaya’s used to accept this for their livelihood. Acharya’s would not used to accept anything from students. The students to whom he performed Upanayana was like a son. They used to be happy to teach all that they have discovered. It was a crime to collect fees from students for studies.

This was the beauty of education system of ancient India. Education was not business as now. Teachers was not supposed to do their job for the sake of salary. Person who dream about richness were not supposed to be teachers. Such people used to join army or work as an employee or do a business. To state it in simple Brahmin used to be away from luxuries. He used to depend on other people for his living. Their goal was to discover the truth through studies and teach to future generations. Brahmins used to remain as poor by choice and not by chance.

And thus most of stories starts as ‘A poor brahmin in a village…’

 

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