- Education and Science
Information and Transformation!
Stages of transformation!
Information must lead to Transformation!
We have become information crazy. This is the reason behind the invention of internet. It is amazing that information about everything on earth is available at the click of the mouse if only we have access to the net through any of the gadgets on earth. Previously we needed a telephone line with modem. Now a simple mobile phone with GPRS or Edge is enough to know what is happening around the world!
The vital question is ‘with the enormous amount of information, have we become enlightened? Yes, this is really a serious question which needs correct answer. We have certain terms in English language as ‘enable, empowerment etc. But, enlightenment is entirely a different term. A man who is sitting in darkness, suddenly get light through a candle or any other source. Previously, nothing was visible but now he is clear about the various items or things and their location inside the room.
Of course, everyone should know what is happening around him in the world, so that he can work out his priorities accordingly. Information is really vital for everyone. For instance, a riot who is in a remote village must know the weather conditions, types of crops suited for his field, their availability, the place from where he can get the fertilizers, their cost etc., in every aspect of life, there are latest technological breakthrough. We can get to know about them only through net. Now practically everything is available on net. But how one can harness it for his own use or uplift is another question.
Now we have many people who browse the net simply for time passing or entertainment purposes. If a student wants to improve his knowledge about the subject he is studying, the net is the best way. Now the advanced technologies have enabled everyone to access information on the move. Smartphones caters to all the needs of everyone like locating a nearby place, the directions or route to a new place etc. Motorists all round the world are benefited by the GPS system available in the mobile phones. Likewise, they can access to weather warning and plan their outing accordingly. Nowadays, only the tribal populations have no access to the outside world or they are unaware of a world beyond their territory.
Mobile penetration in India is comparatively good. Even the remote places are connected by wireless system. The government has planned to connect all the villages by net through fiber optic cables. Prior to that we had radios, transistors, newspapers and today we have many source of information. There are separate dedicated news channel in TV. Also we can access them through the net with the latest updates.
All the above has empowered the common man and enabled him to take correct decisions regarding improving his earning capacity through various means. Many of the poor villagers are unable to get any inputs about the government schemes in vogue to improve their living condition. Illiteracy is the main cause. Hence, educating the boys and girls until a satisfactory level has become the main priority of governments all over the countries. Internet can definitely play a vital role in education even in the absence of qualified teachers. Audio and Video cassettes can demonstrate the boys and girls with practical examples and thus the students can learn them enthusiastically.
Knowledge insemination can be achieved by the above. This is the first part. There is another vital part which needed inculcations in the young mind. They need transformation. They were like raw earth before. They need to be molded into required shape. First they gather information through various sources. What is transformation? They should become useful citizens of future societies. They should be taught the fundamental human values and virtues. How they should be cultivated. They should learn discipline and devotion. Discipline really work wonders in the minds of young children. They should learn to control their desires slowly. In younger days, the mind is easily enslaved by many distractions of the senses. Taste, sound, vision and touch are the primary things they should try to have a control. Yes, everything is possible.
In the olden days, education systems started in forests. Yes, in the deep forests several sages and saints have formed hermitages. They lived a life of discipline. They imparted knowledge to the young seekers who visit the hermitage. They were admitted there. They have to stay in the hermitage for ten to twelve years, sharing the frugal life of the hermitage. Fruits, tubers, leave and vegetables and milk formed their main diet. They have to brave the weather. They have to move inside the forest to gather fuel for fire ritual as well as for cooking. The wife of the sage cooked for the entire students. They treated her as mother and the sage as father. Since they learned discipline in the hermitage, they were known ‘disciples’. Apart from the knowledge and skill needed to earn their livelihood, they learned to worship, pray, meditate and practiced Yoga. In addition, they learned martial arts as per the needs. At the end of their schooling in the hermitage, they presented to the sage whatever is possible. It may be astonishing to note that the King too sent his sons to live in the ashrams to learn from the preceptor. All the students were treated equally until they stay there.
During the period, the students learned about the purpose of human life and its ultimate aim. Thus they were made to follow the worship of the Divine unknown through some forms and they were taught to meditate on the forms. The human virtues like honesty, Truth, brotherhood, service to society, respect to elders, and sacrifice were taught to them as the highest values. Thus they were transformed into useful citizens. But look at the condition of present day education. All the students are taught about information about the subjects and not transformation. They were taught to use their degrees as begging bowls and not to render useful service to the society from where there hailed.
To summarize, today’s education aims at commercialization of the various skills acquired. Hence the educational institutes have become commercial establishments. The health care systems have become commercial. Ordinary or poor people can have no access to such educational systems or healthcare.
To correct such wrong priorities, many philanthropic persons have founded free value based education to one all without any other consideration. Also the latest medical advancements are incorporated in many hospitals who offer free health care to one and all. When there is a stalemate in introducing “Obama Health care” in US which is really a boon to many, politicians are hindering such mass benefits to the public clearly for the sake of power. Governments are meant only for the welfare of the public and not otherwise. Hence they should allow such schemes to fruition.
In India, Sri Sathya Saibaba has demonstrated to the Government that a single Institution can practically provide free education and health care to majority of the people from the rural villages. It is really a miracle of sort how a selfless person could place such a system in operation for the future of humanity as a whole. The Governments the world over should emulate such examples and formulate schemes to provide free education and health care to one and all. Hence mere information is non-productive. It must transform every individual into conscious and useful citizens of future societies!