Advaitam and Science

OM, Purnamata purnamitam purnat purnamutachyate, purnasya purnamataye purnamevavasishyate – Bri.Up V.i.1


Education must be had with interest and enthusiasm.  Learning is a lifelong process.  Our formal education may end in a few years; however learning continues till life time.  Our education, education system and educators must sow the seed of learning in us, and it is helpful for our lifetime.  In education, education system and educators part1, I have expressed facts and my views about the meaning of education, the present education system and the need for quality education.  In education, education system and educators part 2, I would like to express facts and my views about the role of the educators (teachers), role of the parents in the education of their children, responsibility of the students and the importance of spirituality in education.

Role of the educators (teachers) in educating the students

Educators or teachers have an important role in the education of a student.  Parents, siblings, relatives, friends and society have only a secondary or supplementary role.  Even though parents are the first teachers of a child, after a certain age parents leave their children in the hands of the teachers with confidence that the teachers will mould their child.  If a teacher fails to fulfill this responsibility then she has crossed her professional ethos and disrespected her profession.  This behavior earns only disrespect for the educator.  Teaching is not a profession.  It is a service.  It is not a 9AM to 5PM job.  A teacher has to prepare very hard to deliver during working hours.  In Vedantic term teaching is said as a life style. 

The prime duty of a teacher is to teach a student by understanding his talent, knowledge, intelligence, emotional quotient, behavior, interest and tendencies.  A teacher can receive help from the parents in this endeavor.  No two students are alike.  Each student is different in their own way.  Understanding a student and imparting the right education with the common syllabus for all students and molding the student for success is the talent and the intelligence of the teacher.  It is a real task.  The intellectual capacity, interest, emotional quotient of each student are different.  The course material or syllabus will be very easy for one student, at the same time it may be very difficult for the other student.  It is the duty and the talent of the teacher to ease out the differences and bring out equally successful result.  A good teacher will not make the student feel the stress of learning.  No student will prefer to get low marks or like to sit idle at home.  If a student’s interest, his incapability, emotions are not addressed in the right way then it will lead to frustration and depression in the student.  A student (whether in school level or higher level) will not do pranks or roam around without studying unless he has some serious fear, emotional imbalance or interest in some other field.  Instead of immediately punishing the student or embarrassing him in any way, it is the duty of the teacher to observe the student and guide him in the right path. 

During the phase of education a student will spend more time with the teachers and the educational institution than with his parents at home.  In such a situation, a student will never disrespect a teacher or let the educational institution down if they are the real cause for the upliftment of his life.  Respect must be received and not demanded.  A teacher must help the students to come out of their ignorance without damaging the dignity and self-respect of the students by passing personal comments, insulting his personality, intellectual capability, family background and his situations in life.  Pointing out mistakes and accusing one for their mistakes is an indecent way of correcting others and this will only create deep emotional scar in a person.  He must be shown the right path.  You can only correct a person by showing the right path and never by accusing or insulting a person for their mistakes. 

Students must be encouraged to ask questions.  The ideas in the books must not be forced on the students.  A good teacher will encourage the students to think one point in many ways.  This develops thinking capacity in the students.  Memorizing type of education will not improve the creativity of the students.  If a student understands the subject then he can answer the questions easily.  Therefore, instead of being an answer book a teacher must encourage the students for innovative thinking.  A teacher must not be a mere dictator; instead, a motivator to achieve the students goal.

In the kinder garden level, before a child learns to think, walk or play, he is loaded with information in the name of rhymes.  By this a child thinks that learning is stressful and he ignores education before understanding it.  Teachers, parents and education system must have a little patience to see the child grow before loading information.  A child must be first taught to concentrate else he will spend the whole time studying leaving little time for other activities in life.  It is very common to see today’s children learning for more than ten hours and leaving no time for other activities in life.  If he spends eight to ten hours to study school lessons what will be his situation when he goes to higher education level like research level.  He will be good for nothing other than studying and earning.  Unfortunately, today this is the pathetic situation of many highly educated people. 

How to excel as a teacher

1. A teacher in the first place must have the passion to teach.  Teaching is a service or charity where a teacher shares his/her gained knowledge with others.  By this, the student gets its benefit and the knowledge of the teacher also improves.  Teaching is a noble profession.  Teaching is not a profession or job which someone can choose when they do not have any other option or can choose it merely for remuneration.  Teachers are respected for their teaching ability.  Teaching establishes a relationship between the teacher and the student.   A good teacher is seen as a guide, father or mother by a student.

2.  A teacher is a role model for the students.  A teacher is an observed object for the students.  A teacher must be aware of this responsibility and behave accordingly.  Especially, when the students are very young (kinder garden and basic school level), a teacher creates a lasting impact in the students mind.  Students observe the way a teacher communicates, how he behaves, his mannerism, knowledge, teaching style, lifestyle all are under observation of the students.  A student, later in his life develops his personality based on this.  Therefore, a teacher must be aware of this responsibility and privilege and act accordingly.  A teacher touches many students life and this is the greatest privilege for the teacher.

3. A teacher must have clear subject knowledge, good resources like books or access to the library.  Every day he must prepare for the classes to bring the subject back to memory.  He must update the subjects regularly to have the latest knowledge in the chosen subject.  He must have good communication skill, teaching methods and presentation methods.  If a teacher has good subject knowledge and lack communication skill or presentation techniques, then the students are not benefited by that subject knowledge.  Knowledge is always in thought form.  A teacher’s knowledge passes to the student through sound and again it becomes thought in the students mind.  Therefore clear explanation of the subject material is very important.  Only a good student can be a good teacher.

4.  A teacher’s manner of teaching must not raise any doubt in students mind.  Some teachers confuse the subject matter and make the subject boring.  This should be avoided.  Main and strong points in the subject must be repeated and at the same time over repetition must be avoided.  A good teacher will definitely capture the students attention by his subject knowledge, communication skill, presentation methods and his gentle behavior.  

5.  Every class must have an introduction section which summarizes the portions covered in the previous class, the main headings for the present class and gradually build up the subject matter based on the main headings.  A dedicated teacher with good teaching spirit will have all these qualities automatically.

6.  If a teacher enjoys teaching then the students will enjoy listening to him.  If the teacher focuses on cent percent result exclusively, then the students are driven towards the result, which results in frustration in students.

Teaching is an art; it has to be developed according to the subject, situation and the student’s capacity.  Students must be treated in the right sense.  They must not be discouraged; at the same time they must not be over encouraged.  Over encouraging a particular student will create an insecure feeling in other students.  Instigating jealous among students is a himsa (subtle torture). 

A good teacher must always be a good listener.  A good teacher talks to the parents, not to complain about the student or to find fault with the parents, but to uplift the student as a combined effort.  Shouting at the parents in front of the children (students) for the children’s mistake or passing harsh criticism of the student to the parents is a barberic act.  This will affect the student’s mentality in an adverse way.  This must be avoided by the teachers and the educational institutions.  Teaching atmosphere must be serene and happy.  Schools or collages are not psychological torture cells. 

Ancient teachers of India gave the students knowledge, freedom, accommodation, food and trained the students as good human beings, as scholars and as great personalities; whether modern teachers and educational institutions have this ability is a great question.

Role of the parents in education

Parents also have an important role in educating the child; after all it is for their own children the teachers are trying hard.  Parents must cooperate with the teachers and educational institutions to educate the child.  The main duty of the parents is to give psychological and physical security to the children.  It is very absurd to expect the lost dream life of the parents in the children.  Parents must know the talent, interest and capability of their child by closely observing them.  Talk to the children with patience to know their mind.  It is the responsibility of the parents to find the educational institution suitable for the child’s ability and talent.  It is also the responsibility of the parents to keep the atmosphere at home as serene, calm and free from emotional disturbances.  Giving too much material comforts to the child at the very young age itself, weakens the child emotionally.  Parents adjusting to the whimsical demands of the child at home will make the child to expect the same from others.  When it is not possible he becomes emotionally weak, frustrated and he suffers.  Children must know the value and meaning of “NO”; only then they can adjust to any situation in life.  Parents must train the child to adjust to any physical, social and psychological atmosphere. 

Teachers alone are not responsible for a student’s education.  It is the duty and responsibility of the parents to ensure the child with right atmosphere at home and attend to the child’s needs and desires with maturity.  Parents fighting in front of the children will definitely create a feeling of insecurity in the child.  When the child grows up, it will have the same fighting tendency with everyone.  A child’s observation power is very sharp in its early stage (up to 7 to 8 years).  During this period a child observes everything like a sponge from the parents and teachers and later develops its personality based on this observation.  Parent’s immature, irresponsible and indignity in behavior or lifestyle will lower the energy of the child and this in turn will affect the child’s studies and other activities.  They either become very aggressive or they become introvert, frustrated and depressed.  In future, this affects the child’s very personality and behavior. 

Parents must have the patience to hear their children.  If they criticize, judge, insult or prejudice the child while he is speaking out his mind, then the child will not approach the parents the next time.  Therefore, the child must be respected with kindness and compassion even in his worst moment without ego, hatred, anger or disrespect. 

Responsibility of the children or the students

Children must recognize and understand the importance of education in their life and must realize that it is for their good the parents and teachers are struggling.  Children must have a marginal fear of respect for the parents and teachers.  Today’s children have tremendous information by using technology, but lacks wisdom.  Children must recognize the love and respect given to them by parents and teachers.  They must not take the parents or teachers for granted.  Some children take love, respect and facilities given to them for granted and in turn they disrespect the parents and demand facilities from parents.  They must realize that not all get the right education and opportunity to study and they must utilize the facilities and opportunity.  They must take it as a privilege in the right sense.  If a child understands the importance of education then he will not waste the rare privilege. 

Children must open up their mind either to the parents or teachers about their difficulty in learning or education.  They must train their mind to adjust to different situations, circumstances and train themselves to cross barriers and hurdles to reach a high position.  They must understand that opportunities are rare and they must use the opportunity in the right way to avoid repenting later.  They can take individual decisions, however up to a certain level, till they attain intellectual maturity, it is advisable to follow the decision taken by the elders.  Independence is not disobeying.  Many children/students take freedom or individuality in the wrong sense and they are going on the wrong path.  Wrong decisions make us more dependent.  Ignoring everyone in the name of independent thinking may make them land in problems.  Therefore, till they attain mental maturity to deal with life situations it is advisable to talk to the elders about their ideas and views.  Education is an important as well as rare opportunity and the children must use it properly.

Importance of spirituality in education

It is common to see well educated people behave in an authoritative, rude manner and disrespecting others.  They are not content, matured and they involve in many unlawful acts.  They try to control others in the name of education by their arrogant behavior and in the end they lead a distasteful, frustrated and lonely life.  THEN, what is the quality of education they received so far?  Therefore, Spirituality is absolutely needed at the basic school level, secondary school level and higher education level.  Spirituality means respecting the spirit (soul) or knowing the spirit.  It is more than respecting the attributes.  Spirituality makes a student understand life.  It will help a person to have a balanced mind at the time of stress and strain.  It will make a person to behave in a humble, cultured and dignified way.  It will help the youth to understand the feeling and emotions of others and to behave in a dignified and well mannered way.  These are the results of quality education combined with spirituality.  


A guru instigates us to think.

A teacher imposes facts and theories he has studied on the students.

A lecturer just gives lecturer on what he knows and gives no place for students opinion.

Today’s time limit and financial situation give place only for teachers, lecturers, and not gurus.  Spirituality must be combined at all levels of education. 

Education is the combined effort of the parents, teachers, students and the education system.  Each one has an important role from their side.  Education does not stop after getting a degree or job.  It is life long process.  A person who has received quality education is known from his composure, dignity and mannerism.  A person’s personality is the mirror of his/her family background, upbringing, disciplined lifestyle, teachers and the quality of the education he/she received all these years.  Education is a privilege, only a few in this world are fortunate to get it.  Let us not waste our education.


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