August 3, 2011
In ancient India, spirituality and education went hand in hand. Likewise, knowledge and values were inseparable.
However, in today’s world values are generally not considered an integral part of education.
The decline in value based education which cultivates the qualities of love, empathy, tolerance, patience and humility is reflected in growing societal problems.
On the one hand, society is developing faster than ever before in science and technology. But can we call this true development when values are simultaneously deteriorating?
Chancellor Amma says love, faith and respect for fellow beings is being replaced by fear, anxiety and conflict, and the gap between people and Mother Nature is ever widening.
Addressing these modern dilemmas, Amrita once again turned to the wisdom of India’s ancient traditions to give teachers the tools and the inspiration needed to prepare students to effectively meet modern challenges.
During the annual two-day Teacher’s Camp on Indian Culture conducted at Coimbatore campus during July 18-19, faculty members attended lectures on cultural values illustrated through mythological anecdotes, learning how scriptural wisdom can be practically applied in daily life and in the classroom.
One of the directors of Vivekananda Education Society and Trust, Krishna Jagannathan, known for his selfless work for the welfare of society, praised the honorable Hanuman in his talk and encouraged teachers to imbibe his qualities of fearlessness, clarity of thought and humility.
Drawing from a rich cultural background, speakers like Michel Danino, renowned Indologist, elucidated the value of India’s inspiring history and its many achievements in the sciences, fine arts, literature, yoga and spirituality.
“Learning more about India’s history made everyone realize the wisdom that has been passed through the ages and how the present education system could be enhanced by following the Vedic system,” said one professor.
Other talks by Swami Bodhamayanandaji, Director of the Vivekananda Institute of Human Excellence, Br. Nijamrita Chaitanya and Shri M. R. Venkatesh expounded on the value of following examples set by great masters including Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi and Swami Vivekananda. They emphasized that by imbibing moral values, teachers themselves can also guide pupils in their quest for wisdom.
Additional camp activities emphasizing cultural values included paper presentations, group discussions and a quiz.
India’s ancient spiritual culture is its strength. Amrita programs like the cultural camp bring the wisdom of India’s heritage to life today. By nurturing value-based education in India’s youth, society is naturally uplifted.
Dharma is declining and civilization has reached a critical juncture. Chancellor Amma has said, “The future of humanity depends on the choices we make.”
The role of teachers is more important than ever before, for it is they who can help youth make the best possible choices. And it is the youth who will decide the world’s future.