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Ideology of Education in Ancient and Present Society of India - A Study Report

Niladri Sekhar Ghosh*

Sai Nath University, Ranchi, India

Corresponding Author:
Niladri Sekhar Ghosh
Sai Nath University Ranchi
C/O-Suresh Ghosh, Paschim Sukanta Pally
Rabindra nagar, Kolkata, India
Tel: 08057112225
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date June 15, 2016; Accepted Date July 06, 2016; Published Date July 14, 2016

Citation: Ghosh NS (2016) Ideology of Education in Ancient and Present Society of India - A Study Report. Bus Eco J 7:234. doi:10.4172/2151-6219.1000234

Copyright: © 2016 Ghosh NS. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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In present society, education is a way to skills development programme. Ideologically it is far away from the philosophy of education. Indian civilization came in earth thousands years ago with the hand of Indus valley civilization. The philosophy of Vedic education is to make a mankind. Spirituality is a soul of education. According to the direction of Rig Veda, first literature in world “Education is something, which makes a man self-reliant and self-less”. Indeed, Vedic people were used spirituality as a method of psycho-behavioral therapy. Continuous up growing number of law and criminal activities are indicating uniquely criminal administration is not able to control this social misery, even education system is failure to produce a mankind in society. Ancient literatures are indicating that seers were incorporated spirituality in informal education system to devolve the sense of humanity and simultaneously they were promoting yogic education to keep emotional balance in life. Practically yog is able to produce healthy body and mind, the effect of yogic practice is universally proved therefore it is also need to add in formal education. On the aspect to include spirituality in education a remarkable outcome has been seen on research report released by Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU) at the University of Warwick under the title of “Spirituality in Education: Promoting Children’s Spiritual Development through Values”. It seemed from these report that Children and teachers both are highly benefited due to Sathya Sai Education in Human Values programme (SSEHV). Therefore with the expectation to make a mankind and establish a peaceful social system spiritualism and yogic practice are the basic requirements.


Ideology of education in ancient India; Education in present society; Manners and social ethics


Expectation to getting secured and establishing a peaceful social system against different social barriers had always been a core demand of human race. People are incorporating social skills through their day to day struggle. History of Indian civilization is related with thousands years old Indus valley civilization. Historical anecdotes are indicating that human is itself an animal by nature and it is called social animal. Indeed intellectuality is the power of human being which separating him from other animals. Socialization process is a method to annihilate the animalistic behavior of a person. Socialization process plays the crucial role to establish a person as a civilized personality or an antisocial personality. Ideologically this is the philosophy of Indian mythology. For the expectation to consist peaceful social system ancient sages incorporated social ethics and duties in the socialization process to use the name of virtue and vice. For the effect of timeline and social reformation these ethics and civil duties have gradually emerged with mainstreaming education system. However social status of education always being top, underwritten rhyme is an example of academic position in society.

“Knowledge is certainly a man’s greatest beauty. It is a safe and hidden treasure. It provides prosperity, fame and happiness. Knowledge is the teacher of all teachers. It acts as one’s friend in a foreign country. Knowledge is the Supreme God. It is the knowledge, not wealth, which is adored by kings. Without knowledge one remains as animal”. Nitismriti, 121.

Social anatomy has been changed by the rule of nature but prototype of problems is same as before. Throughout the thousands years practice people are incorporating civilization skills but they are not able to annihilate their eternal evil. Upholding number of unethical activities and criminological incidents are indicating that till date human being are not free from their unfair aspiration of mind. Yet, criminal administration and rectification processes are there to address the issues but upgrading numbers of unlawful incident or animalistic attitude are signifying that uniquely criminal administration is not enough to fight with this issues. It is true that fear factor is one greatest angel to establish social control but somehow it has been failed in-front of dissatisfactory aspiration of a person. Indeed final distraction of body is sensual enjoyment; it is a never ending process and growing day to day. Immensely the ultimate distraction of mind is satisfaction. However the point is mind cannot exist without body. Generally people try to find the way to satisfaction throughout sensual organ, because the sense of libido has been emerged with five sensual organs i.e- Pani (Hand), Pada (feet), Payu (Rectum), Upastha (Genital), Bak (Mouth) [1] and the five sensation are Rupa (Visibility), Sparsa (Sensation), Rose (Taste), Gandha (Smell), Sabda (Sound) [2]. Throughout the activities of above sensual organs people are adopting comprehension from external world. The function of education is to carry this comprehension from one outer world to inner world. This yogic ideology is the inner essence of education philosophy. Although the word education is coming from the two Latin words Educare (Educere) and Educatum. The word “Educare” means to train or mould and “Educatum” denotes the act of teaching. However the Indian philosophy is totally different, in Sanskrita education is renowned as a “Siskha” and uniquely it is a separate division of Vedanga, the indication found underwritten rhythm of Mundaka Upanishad.

Of these, the lower comprises the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, Shiksha (Phonetics), Kalpa (the code of rituals), Vyakarana, (Grammar), Nirukta (Etymology), Chandas (Poesy) and Jyothisha (Astrology including astrophysics). The higher knowledge is the one by which the Imperishable One is attained. Upanishads are soul of Vedic thought. With the help of these intellectual powers anyone can reach in top of materialistic or celestial world. And the role of education in ancient India was distributing the knowledge on the basis of capacity of scholar. As per the identified database Rig Veda is renowned first literature in world which is related with 4000BC [3]. The perception of education is Rig Veda “Education is something, which makes a man self-reliant and self-less” [4]. The main motto of education is awakening the self-reliance and self-less feelings of a person. Ideologically the motive of present educational system is far away from ancient educational system. The world famous philosopher Max Muller’s remarks on this context is “Vedic education is a mirror of all education” [5]. Social status of an academic or intellectual personality was higher than a king in ancient India, it is also remarked from the common proverb “Swadeshe Pujyate Raja, Vidwan Sarvatra Pujyate”, means “A king is honored only in his/her own country, but the honour of a scholar is everywhere.” Apart from subjective content personality development and character formation, logical and moralistic promotion, intellectual progress, spiritual engagements are basic pillars of educational pedagogy in ancient India, these are generally passing throughout ‘Chaturashram’ system. According to the norms of Chatur Ashram system life of a person was divided with four several stages i.e-Brahmacharya (student), Grihastha (householder), Vanaprastha (retired) and Sannyasa (renunciation) on the basis of age group and particular objective. In Chatur Ashram system first one is Brahmacharya, it is the getaway of Ashram and related with childhood of a person, this programme is allocated for taking education from Guru or teacher. The Gurukul or teacher’s house was the first formal education institute school in Indian history. Perhaps “…the process of Education does not only start in a child first attends school. Education begins at home one does not only acquire knowledge from a teacher, one can learn and receive knowledge from a parent, family member and even as acquaintance” [6]. Education system is there in present and past but the main deficiencies in the present education system are as follows.

“(1)The present education does not generate or fortify the type of knowledge that is relevant to our changed society.

(2)Technology associated with a particular body of knowledge is inappropriate to our stage of development in terms of its employment potential or investment demands.

(3) Education has failed to provide value framework which may prepare committed politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats, and professionals on whom our nation can depend for sophisticated system of support services to be useful in taking the country to the highest level” [7].

Merely the situation is perception of morality and spirituality and is gradually reducing from life, there is no scope to spiritualistic promotion for a scholar in school. Yet it been true that in-front of capitalism the concept of morality or spirituality is not appraisable. However absent of morality and lack of spiritualism make a person cannibal. Gandhi’s philosophy on education is “By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in child and man’s body, mind and spirit” [8]. Without spirituality education is just teaching programme and the result of absenteeism of spiritual essence in education is contributing to increase in number immoral activities. Simultaneously arising number of laws and criminal records are indicating that uniquely law is not able to control human behaviour or displeasing aspiration in life. According to the record of NCRB (Nation Crime Record Bureau) total number incident and crime in India during the period of 2002 to 2012 are like- on 2002 total 55,26,528 cases, on 2003 total 54,94,814 cases, on 2004 total 60,28, 781cases, on 2005 total 50,26,337 cases, on 2006 total 51,02,460 cases, on 2007 total 57,33,407 cases, on 2008 total 59,38,101 cases, on 2009 total 66,75,217 cases, on 2010 total 67,50,748 cases, on 2011 total 62,62,729 cases and on 2012 total 60, 41,559 cases [9]. Among the age groups of victims major venerable slot is 18 years to 30 years, in the year 2012 total number of arrested people 74, 20,091 where 35, 46,963 people were from the age group 18 years to 30 years [10]. Although the scenery of West Bengal is not appreciable, according to the statistical database of NCRB West Bengal became top rank in 2011 on the issue of incidents of crime against women 29,133 cases were filed, where 2,317 cases were filed for rape. In the year 2012 total 2,046 cases were registered from West Bengal on the issue of rape. This is the highest position in the country after Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where out of the total cases 1,382 were under the slot of 18 years to 30 years age group [11]. On Kolkata 21 cases from total 68 registered rape cases in 2012 had been filed under the slot of same age group [12]. On 18th of February, 2011 in evening of Kolkata, over 100 eve-teasers were arrested from Esplanade metro station, Victoria memorial, Alipur zoo and in front of some market and metro stations by the anti-rowdy squad of the detective department [13]. Actually this is one kind of mental warp, one part of human mind always want to expose primordial behavior but another portion tries to protest it. Manny the people cannot successfully protect this primordial behaviour, so they find the way of exposing. They use the approach of eve-teasing as a way of stress rendering and rendering of jealousness. The Nirbhaya gang rape incidents in Delhi on 16 December 2012 is an open threat in-front of humanity. It is noticed that major numbers of the rape incidents in present society are related with gang rape and oppressors were performing cruelty without any hesitation; it is also seemed that during or after rape, victims prefer to do cruelty with main victim or outsider. And the matter of thinking that major numbers of criminals are youth, which are the future of nation. According to views of Michael Parenti “rape culture manifests through the acceptance of rapes as an everyday occurrence, and even a male prerogative” [14]. Not only the problem about murder, robbery, violence or something is a single problem, even it is an outcome or bunch of other problems. Socialization process, cultural outlook, political occurs, biological structure of person all are interconnecting to each other. Actually people are born as a baby not criminal or nobler – as an outcome of social conditioning people are identifying as an immoral or moral person. Now a day’s psycho-behavioral therapy is common in social science. Majorly social scientists are using the technique of psychobehavioral therapies to change outlook, life style, attitude and behavior of a person. Conceivably it is a new initiative of present society but contextually same perception is seemed in ancient manuscript where spirituality was also using as a psycho-behavioral therapy and it was merged with formal education system in boyhood of a person namely Brahmacharya. Categorically two types of education are generally exit in present society as (Figure 1).

Formal education

Formal education is planned education system and it is developed with a particular predetermined objective of modification of behavious. People are receiving it under institution.

Informal education

Informal education is not pre-planned. This education is started with the hand of birth and finished under the way of death. In brief, it is that modification of behaviour and comes naturally and spontaneously without any conscious effort. People are taking it under the way of motor development.


Figure 1: Type of education.

The ideology of education is not easy to interpretation on a single point of view, because the perception of education define on various approaches. In today’s society the concept of education is a skill development programme for livelihood, and school is an initial center to promote these services. With the name of globalization and sustainable development Indian society has been reached lot of facilities. Whole world come on a hand, technology taken the position of superiority on life. No one have a time to think about his or her self. Sunrise to sunset life cannot moved without technology. As a result of this multinational and technological promotion life became more speedily, commercial, mechanical. To promote the luxury product and enormous profit advertising medias are taking derisible role in society. They are indicating that no one cannot fulfill without adopting luxury product. People are conditioning as a fantasizing life style to reach sensual happiness. Indeed, it is also an issue of global politics to isolate people from intellectual world. The remarkable point is if people are not able to inform about their capacity and inner power, they always used by any superior authority. As an outcome of this barrier free market economy people are pulling by a system. Concept of society had developed on thousand years ago through the common interest of people. Courtesy is the outcome of socialization and humanization process- to stay together, to think together. Interaction is a method, people are developing socialize skills as power of adjustment, emotion, morality and ethics of life etc.. throughout the process of interaction with other. Humanity and morality are the two basic points, these are separating a person from an animal but now a day’s people are truly busy on their life- boundary of a person has been decreasing day to day. Therefore the humanistic and moralistic skills are automatically going down stair and the result is there in front of everyone. Morality makes peaceful society and final destination of immorality is social misery. On the basis of present situation the ideology of education is not only to promote such skill for livelihood. To develop sense of manners and morality of a person as following (Figure 2).

After critically analyze the present incidents it seemed that absence of moralistic, ethical or spiritual base in schooling system is the root causes of imperfect behavior of a person. Perhaps incident of gang rape, sexual abuse, molestation, robbery or murders are not the unknown issues in Indian mythology, so many relevant stories are present in mythological manuscript. The differences is number of incident, it became large day to day. The criminal administration is a common from modern and ancient in both societies but basic difference is education system. Ancient education was consisted with spiritual based and ideologically it was based on quality development of pupil, but modern education is considering the skill of earning and promoting moneymakers. Knowledge is a power, education is a weapon and morality is a direction in a life. Humanization is an ongoing process and education is a method to promote it. Vivekananda’s views on this aspect “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man’ [15]. This perfection is the name of fulfillment of civilization skill i.e- social ethics and morality. Perhaps formal education is not only the way to personal development, education is universal process! the character Dattatreya is a noble scholar in Indian epic, the story of Dattatreya is famous because of his perfect trait and personality. According to direction of Canto-11, Chapter 7 on Srimad Bhagavatam lord Dattatreya was adopted twenty four types of qualities from twenty four different creations of nature. In Uddhava Gita, lord Krishna tells how Dattatreya discovered 24 gurus by observing this world. His teachers were: the Earth, wind, sky, water, fire, the Moon, the Sun, some pigeons, a python, the ocean, a honeybee, a beekeeper, an elephant, a deer, a fish, a reformed prostitute, a small squirrel, a child, a hawk, a young housewife, an archer, a snake, a spider, and a wasp [16]. Merely after incorporate twenty types of qualities he declared “My Body teaches me Gyaan (knowledge) and Vairaagya (detachment). Birth and death are along with it. It means that if we hold on to this body then we have to bear sorrows. Although it helps to think about Tattwa (elements) still I never consider it mine” [17]. The story of the Dattatreya in ancient manuscript is not only a story of morality, it is an example of inner sprit and realized own.

“Self” to make a man perfectly. Ancient seers were introducing social ethics and morality in informal education system to devolve the sense of humanity and simultaneously they promoted yogic education to keep emotional balance and healthy life. On the basis of practical experience they initiated yogic education for healthy body and mind. In a reality desire, happiness, loneliness, angriness, jealousy, guilt, pleasure, aspiration etc. are the basic emotional component of a person and these are the barrier of ethical development of a person. Not only that, even for the effect of yogic practice people are easily overcome common diseases and immunization power also bring incising for regular exercise of yog. Moreover wealthy body and healthy mind is primary requirement to incorporate essence of education.


Figure 2:Civil Manners.

On the perspective of effect of spirituality in education one scientific research report had released by Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU) at the University of Warwick under the title of “Spirituality in Education: Promoting Children’s Spiritual Development through Values”. In this report it is seeking that Children and teachers both are benefited due to Sathya Sai Education in Human Values programme (SSEHV). The outcome of that initiative as following:

“Children the opportunity to

• Explore and discover for themselves what is meant by right and wrong

• Develop greater empathy and therefore more compassion for others

• Acknowledge the uniqueness, value and worth of themselves and their friends, teachers and families

• Take greater responsibility for the consequences of their actions

• Discover how to be happy, confident and respectable members of society (see SSEHV promotional leaflet)

• Teachers benefit from

• Ready-to-use lesson plans which require minimal preparation

• Calmer classrooms, as children become more considerate towards their teachers and one another

• Profound insights into how they themselves respond to situations; improvement of self-esteem after going through SSEHV training” [17].


This is a report of qualitative study. It is prepared on the basis of literature reviews and analysis of exiting database. The methodology of this study is called hermeneutics. The word Hermeneutics came from the name of Greek God Hermes, the messages of the Gods. In the current context, hermeneutics has been described as the interpretation and understanding of ancient literatures. Hermeneutics methodology is widely applied in many fields of social science such as philosophy, religion and theology, law, sociology, social work, international relationship etc. Hermeneutic method was chosen as a suitable methodology for this research, informed by the work of Max van Manen. Basically hermeneutics is the art of interpreting. It began as a legal and theological methodology towards governing the application of civil law, canon law, and the interpretation of Scripture; it was developed into a general theory of human understanding through the work of Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm Dilthey, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, and Jacques Derrida.

The perceptions of hermeneutic also is defined as ‘Interpretation, in the sense relevant to hermeneutics, is an attempt to make clear, to make sense of an object of study. This object must, therefore, be a text, or a text-analogue, which in some way is confused, incomplete, cloudy, seemingly contradictory - in one way or another, unclear. The interpretation aims to bring to light an underlying coherence or sense’.

Ven Manen suggest that there is no fixed set of methods to conduct this type of research. Data is recommended to be processed uncovering the thematic aspects by van Manen. Data analysis is often performed applying the hermeneutic cycle that constitutes of reading, reflective writing and interpretation in a rigorous fashion. Process of hermeneutic cycle is as following Figure 3.

In keeping with the methodology adopted in this research, data analysis methods are developed from hermeneutic principles and from guidelines in the literature about systematic which is the useful way of interpreting research data.


Figure 3:Hermeneutic Cycle.


As a conclusion it is like to interpret that the enclosing spiritualism in education is not only the theory of ancient literate, it is a proved fact. This is the time to take decision about what is the motto of the education? -deliver skills for earning or manifesting mankind. If first one is on priority list therefore present education system is absolutely perfect and if second one is on priority list so social ethics spirituality and morality must be enlisted among educational curriculum. Indeed, the reality is inside of enclosing spiritualism in education system promotion of yogic practice is also required to consist a concrete base to incorporate education.


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