Man is the most intellectual being in the creation. He is endowed with the power to receive knowledge, to think, to imagine, reflect & speculate about his past as well as his future. Down through the ages knowledge has been handed down from the matter of this master to discipline & this master to discipline & thus from generation to the next. In this hierarchy of education, the Vedas are the first to revealed, the other being evolved from them.
Max Muller said, " one thing is certain namely, that there is nothing more primitive more ancient that the rymus of the Rig Veda, whether in India or in whole Aryan world. Being Aryan in language they thought, the rig Veda is the most ancient of our books.
Vedic education is the mirror of all the edul. System of culture of India lies in the Vedas. There are four Vedas in number:
Silent feature of Vedic education:-
- Rig Veda
- Sam Veda
- Yajur Veda
- Athar Veda.
1). Source of light:-
In Vedic period education Was considered as a source of light of illumination which enlightens an individual in all walks of life. It was only education that truth could be perceived & wisdom could be attained. Vedas where the source of all knowledge and man could understand Vedas. The person who does not have the light of education may be termed as blind. 2). Knowledge the third eye:-
According to Vedas, education in knowledge. It is the man's third eye. It means that knowledge opens inner eye, flooding him with spiritual and divine life, which forms the provision for man's journey through life. Knowledge protects an individual like a mother, inspires him to follow the path of good conduct as a father does.3). Agency of improvement:-
The illumination as described will bring a complete change in the person & this change is for the better education makes us civilized, refined, polished & cultured. This transformation of a beast to cultured human being occurs because education teaches us to be neat & clean.4). Not merely book learning:-
Illumination is them contral concept of education. It does not mean that it has always to come from books. Thus education is not merely book learning. Objectives of vedic education:-
In Vedic period, education has an idealistic form, in which the teachers laid stress upon worship of god, religiousness, spiritually, formation of character, development of personality, creation of an interest, for the development of culture, nation, and society. D.R Altekar writes, " the objectives of education in Vedic period where worship of god, a feeling for religion fulfillment of public & civic duties, an increase in social efficiency & protection & propagation of national culture." The prominent aim of Vedic education can be given as under:-1). Physical and intellectual development:-
people in vedic India believed that strong mind could only be in a strong body. So, a strong body was considered to be absolutely necessary in warldly as well as religious matter. Education was imported in the open & parnayan & Surya namskar were it's regular features. A student has to remain Bramhochari upto the age of twenty five. All through this period he had to lead to a very regular hard & disciplined life. This physical development was followed by intellectual development. A person who did not possess knowledge was considered to be blind intellectually knowledge of four Vedas. ( Rig Veda, Sam Veda, Yajur Veda, & Atharva Veda).2). Religious & spiritually:-
Besides physical & intellectual development, education, must develop moral & spiritual faculties. Religion has play a dominant role in the life of Indians. Education must make the students religious minded. They must also have a sense of piety. A spiritual atmosphere prevouled in the centre of education because of the presence of selfless, humble, religious minded, but talented teachers. During this period many hypothesis concerning spiritually took birth knowledge come to be seen as the instrument of salvation. Fire, sacrifices, fasting, taking of vocus became a part of life.3). Emphasis upon knowledge & experiences:-
The Gurkul's laid emphasis upon knowledge obtaining of experiences. During this period, the practice of distributing degrees did not exist. Students exhibited the knowledge obtained through discourses and discussions conducted in a concourse of scholars.4). Sublimation of instinct:-
Man is the virtual slave of the instincts embedded in his psyche, & when he is obsessed by his senses, he often adopts the wrong path. The objective of education was to sublimate these instinctive tendencies, to turn the mind away from material knowledge, & centre it upon the spiritual world, thus establishing control over materialistic & basic tendencies.5). Preservation and spread of culture:-
Vedic education also aimed at preserving & transmitting the best traditions of thought and actions, manners & vocations of the past.6). Promotion of social efficiency happiness:-
It also mind at promotion of social efficiency &happiness. Proper training was given to the rising generation in different branches of knowledge, professions & industries. Every individual was trained for the vocation, he was expected to follow so that he might became a socially efficient & useful person.7). Development of character & personality:-
Development of character & personality was another aim of Vedic Indian education. It was achieved through an appropriate environment, lessens on right conduct & teachings based on the life, character & ideals of great persons. Education aimed at developing the virtues of self - control, self - confidence, self - discipline, obidence, love, sympathy, co - operation, logical Judgment, fulfillment of social responsibilities & earning a livelihood.8). Immediate and ultimate answer:-
The immediate aim of education was to prepare the different castes of people for their actual needs of life. The ultimate of education in Vedic India was not knowledge as preparation for life in this world or life beyond, but for complete realization of self for liberation of the soul from letters of life, both present & future. The ultimate aim of human society of that age was the achievement of the absolute (brahama) education naturally was bound to be geared to that end. Achieving salvation was the ultimate aim of human life & this is the consequences of the real education. Curriculum:-
Methods of teaching:-
- Vedas & Vedic literature:- During the Vedic - age, education became centered on religion which is essentially an effect to establish an harmony between man's total personality and the totality of the universe. The curriculum was dominated by the study of Vedas and Vedic literature, spiritual and moral lessens. Hymns of the Vedas were primarily composed by Rishis as an expression of the inner light for the benefit of man kind. There are four Vedas namely 1 Rig Veda 2 Yajur Veda 3 Sam Veda 4 Atharva Veda.
- Vedangas:- It includes the study of i. siksha ii. Kalpa iii. Nirukta iv. Chandas v. Jyotisha v. Vyaleama (granner).
- Logic:- It develops the resonsry facilities.
- Scheme of Arts & Crafts (silpa - vidya):- It develops aesthetic sense & practical skill in construction regarding symmetry, proposition & beauty.
- Physical Education:- Meditation & salvation are possible only when one is physically healthy. Hence intense physical education was also included in the curriculum. It built stamina students had to learn riding, wrestling, hunting, swimming, running, jumping, etc. for developing physical & mental strength, early marriage was not in practice in Vedic â€“ age. They strictly observed celibacy upto a particular age to avoid premature old age & death. (Atharva Veda).
- Professional &technical subjects:- Some professional and technical subjects like medicine and surgery, astronomy, Astrology, Mathematics, economics, were given the importance the curriculum.
- Dharma:- It was also the part & parcel of curriculum.
- Meditation:- It was also included. Hymns of Vedas were composed by Rishis as an expression of the inner light for the benefit of mankind. This was in fact the main object of Vedic education. The education of Vedic period was the education of the complete man.
- Student centered:- A great quality of curriculum of Vedic education was that it was student centered i.e. according to the educational needs, interests & aptitudes of the student. the curriculum was planned in such a way that it met the requirements of every student.
- stress on other worldliness:- Curriculum in Vedic age, laid more stress on other worldliness. Although provision was made for all the student, yet he was not prepared for this world, but for the eternal happiness in the other world. The highest wisdom was to seek release from worldly claim & the highest knowledge was to acquinted with the method by which self - realization could be attained.
In this period Verbal education was imported in such a way that it could be preserved for thousands of years. The hymns were learnt by remembering & they were realized through meditation. The sounds words to verses were pronounced in their organized forms. The Acharya, corrected the mistakes of their disciples by repitation. The people of Vedic age believed that the pronunciation of the hymns caused sin and destroyed their effect.
The method of mediation was also practiced meditation helped preservation of the meanings of the mantsas & development of the sound of the disciplines. The discipline tried to understand the sense and echo of the sense by meditation of every world of the hymns. Role of teacher during Vedic period:-
During the Vedic period, the Gurukul method prevailed in which the students lived in the house of the Guru. The process of education passed through three stages of comprehension, Meditation, & memory. The Gurukuls were the centres of education in which education was imparted only by individuals of characters & ability. The students remained with his Guru for 12 years. Teachers laid stress on the integral development of the individuals personality.
Every student was required while residing in the gurukul to serve his teachers compulsorily. Teacher was a very respectable person who had qualities of head, & hand. Any violation of Guru's instruction was regarded as a sin & subject to stern punishment.
The student has to bear the responsibility of feeding both himself & his teacher D.R Altekar had said that a relation between a student teacher was a direct one. It did not function through an institution. The duties of the teacher including teaching, making arrangements for the boarding & hodging of the students.
Man has started that the prime teachers prime task & moral duty was to discharge his obligations towards his students. He must not only treat the students as his own child, he must also impart of him true & complete knowledge without concealing any knowledge from him. Conclusion:-
Education system in the Vedic era was of the height & comprehensive. It was fully capable of development of physical & intellectual & character development, development of civis, social, moral & spiritual values, social efficiency & happiness, preservation & spread of culture, infusion of piety, & religiousness & development of best type of personality.Questions:-Q1.
Define the meaning of Vedic education?Q2.
Describe the salient features of Vedic education?Q3.
Describe the role of a teacher in Vedic period also give the curriculum in Vedic period?