Continuing our feature Getting
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 improved.
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 SwamiVivekananda 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
Swami describes education and educare as
follows. He says:
EDUCATION: MIND SHAPED BY EXTERNAL FORCES.
EDUCARE: MIND SHAPED BY THE DIVINE SOURCE WITHIN.
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.
EDUCATION: SURVIVAL PHILOSOPHY [DESTROY
OPPOSITION, BEAT THE COMPETITION, ETC.]
EDUCARE: DIVINE PHILOSOPHY [LOVE ALL,
FINALLY, EDUCATION IS FOR THE HEAD,
AND EDUCARE IS FOR THE HEART!
Incidentally, 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.
The question 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 rights
versus 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
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 SWAPRAYOJANAM
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
In a good man, the Source overwhelms the
Force [due to the external world]!
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 the forest.
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.
Shakespeare talks 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
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 the Inside.
Study carefully the comparison between
Educare and education as given in the Guide Book. Additional
comparison is presented below:
In olden days, people in all societies
and communities believed in being honest, helping each
Thus, there was morality in the home,
in the school, in the workplace and in the community.
Hence, there was no special need to EXPLICITLY invoke
Fifty years ago, normal education,
i.e., subjects like history, geography, economics, etc.,
were taught without any special reference to morality.
There was no need to, because morality was a part of
the general ambience. In other words, Educare was built
into daily life, and no special reference to it was
Prior to the advent of the media on
a large scale, in every house, the children listened
to the advice of their parents and conducted themselves
properly. When children got together, each of them brought
with them a moral armour. And together, they upheld
First it was the books and the magazines
that pandered to a low taste. But then, not everybody
could read. Then came the movies, and even the illiterate
could be easily mislead to the path of bad ways. But
one could not see movies all the time, and that was
a bit of saving grace. Now there is the TV which spread
poison all 24 hours. That is why Baba refers to Television
as TELEVISHAM - visham
means poison! True there are some good programs but
which parent finds the time to carefully steer his or
her children through the nonsense that pours out from
the idiot box?
Thanks to all this, God has been consigned
to the "back burner" as they say. Agnosticism
and atheism are the fashions of the day, with scientists
and "intellectuals" leading the pack. The
propaganda often go like this:
SCIENTIST: There is no God!
POLITICIAN: Political power is the greatest
thing; it gives both power of patronage and leverage.
BUSINESSMAN: Money is the ultimate power.
With money, one can buy anything!
BEAUTY QUEEN: Glamour is the greatest thing.
ROCK STAR: Being a hero is the greatest
MEDIA: Have a ball! Live like there is
no tomorrow! Buy! Keep buying all the time! Consume without
limit! Life is meant to experience excitement.
This kind of barrage makes humans
slaves to the six famous enemies that are worse than
deadly serpents. They are: KAMA
[desires of various kinds, including lust ], KRODHA
[anger], LOBHA [greed and
miserliness], MOHA [attachment],
MADA [pride and arrogance]
and MATSARYA [jealousy].
To these six may be added two more: AHAMKARAM
[ego], and MAMAKARAM [sense
of mine, or possessiveness].
Man is deluded into welcoming these
serpents as honoured guests! Speaking once to students,
Swami said that man welcomes these demons and, extending
hospitality, asks, "What would you like to drink?
Tea or coffee?" That is how gullible we are made
by external propaganda.
WE MUST GET BACK TO GOD. THE ALMIGHTY MUST
BE IN POSITION NUMBER ONE.
MANKIND MUST FURTHER DEVELOP LOVE
PEOPLE MUST BE MADE TO REALISE THAT EVERYTHING
COMES FROM GOD - THE EARTH, THE SKY, THE RIVERS, THE OCEAN,
THE LIGHT, THE HEAT, ETC.
AND THE PRIORITIES MUST BE AS SWAMI SAYS:
1) Love for God, 2) Fear of sin,
and 3) the restoration of morality in Society.
Now the Mind has two major constituents,
the lower Mind that looks outwards [drawn there by the
senses], and the Higher Mind that looks Inwards, i.e.,
towards the Heart or the Conscience.
Lower Mind + Body [inclusive of the
senses] à External world. Swami refers to this
pathway as Pravritti Marg
or the Outward Path. The Higher Mind [which is essentially
the Buddhi], on the other
hand, draws one to the Heart. Swami refers to the Inward
Path as Nivritti Marg.
At the same time, Swami is quite realistic.
He says that since we live in the world, we cannot ignore
the outer world and live like a recluse. What is required
is a balance. He says that when we walk we use both
feet; in the same way, we must go through life keeping
both the Outer and the Inner paths in view. Swami gives
beautiful expression to this idea in Summer
Showers in Brindavan, 2000, p. 131.
Education is incomplete unless
based on fundamental values [Truth, etc.].
The true end of education is not a prosperous career but
BLEMISHLESS CHARACTER. As Baba often reminds
us, if character is lost, everything is lost.
Without character, education can produce only clever devils!
Eminent scientist Victor Weisskopf says: "[Scientific]
knowledge without compassion is inhuman. On the other hand,
compassion without knowledge is ineffective."
Important: Educare should not be interpreted
as something intended merely for the classroom. Just
as education does not mean learning merely in the classroom,
so also, educare is a continuous process of drawing
out from within, that goes on throughout life.
Let us say there is a tribal living
in a forest. Just by observing, he picks up a lot of
information about his environment. He then codifies
this information into his brain, forms patterns of knowledge,
and draws upon this resource in times of need. Thus
it is that tribals know how to read footmarks of animals,
how to distinguish between poisonous and non-poisonous
plants, where and how to hunt, etc. All this comes from
self-training and self-education, via his parents, friends
In the same way, long before the child
enters school, it learns a lot from its mother by watching
and observing. In fact, the child learns an enormous
amount, including a language! It would be a good idea
to expose the child to values, and learn intuitively
about educare, as indeed used to be done in the olden
Basically, the parents must unobtrusively
set an example. For example, the parents must always
be smiling, especially when speaking to the child. They
must never fight with each other, especially in the
presence of the child. They must speak politely to all
so that the child makes politeness a way of life. And
The important point to note is that
intrinsically, no one is bad to start with; people only
go bad in the interim. Hence, right from an early age,
the child must be encouraged to bring out the latent
goddness in every possible way; that really is what
educare is all about. It is not something that is taught.
The parent/teacher merely facilitates the emergence
of what is already within.
Senses drag the Mind to the outer
world. That is but natural. However, in today's environment,
the Mind can become an easy prey to the dangerous attractions
in the of the external world, most of which are nothing
but deadly poison though heavily sugar-coated. So there
must be a counter force. That necessarily has to come
from within, and the required training for that must
POINTS TO PONDER OVER
Construct examples like that of the
doctor given above, relating to various professions/vocations
like law, government administration, military service,
business, industry, etc. In each case see what modification
educare can bring about.
Why is it that people refuse to listen
to their Heart? Duryodhana, the chief villain of Mahabharatha
once said, "I know very well what is right and
Dharma, but I simply cannot get myself to follow
it!" How come? This is an important point because
in today's world, it is often the brilliant people who
are responsible for many of the ills that one sees in
Society. In fact, one educator lamented, "Today's
universities produce only clever devils!" Think
To see diversity in Unity is demonic.
To be in harmony with diversity is human.
To see Unity is diversity is Divine.
Modern education pulls one to the level
of the demon. Educare, on the other hand, raises on to the
level of the Divine.
Someone tells you that today's education
is great and produces great achievers, etc. How would
you try to convince this person that all is not well
with modern education? [Points you might consider discussing:
Growth of greed and excessive competition, life style
accelerated far beyond body's physical capacity to withstand
today's speed, enormous growth in mental stress and
consequent rise in depression, decline of quality of
life consequent to excessive emphasis on the standard
of living, daring to tamper with evolution itself and