Speaker: Over the last 15 years or so of your education, what have you studied? You have studied languages, Hindi and English. You have studied History, Politics, Geography. Then you got into Maths, Physics, Chemistry. And now you are students of technology. This is what you have studied. This is what you mean by results.
Are you Hindi, English or Sanskrit? Are you the laws of physics? Are you the formula in Chemistry? Are you the theorems of Mathematics?
Listener 1: No, Sir.
Speaker: Too bad! Are you the rivers, mountains and glaciers that you read in Geography? Are you the wars that the kings fought in their respective domains in history? Are you Akbar or Ashoka? Are you a software? Are you a hardware? Are you a motorcycle engine? Are you an electrical circuit? This is what you have studied so far. Don’t you see that all these are things outside of yourself? Somebody wrote the constitution and you are reading the constitution. You are studying how this tube-light works. But are you this tube-light? This is what your normal education has given you so far. Knowledge about other things, objects. But are you other things? You are not other things. Has your education ever brought you close to yourself? It has taught you about the wall, about the curtains, about the projector, about the mike, about the camera, about the floor. Has it ever told you anything about yourself? Has it ever told you anything about your heart? Has it ever told you about freedom of mind? Has it ever asked you to pay attention to love? Has it ever raised this question to you: ‘Who am I?’ Now I am asking you today, who is more important? All the objects around you or you What is more important? Yes? Is the sofa more important or is the man sitting on the sofa more important?
Quickly! Is the mobile phone more important or is the man holding the mobile phone more important? Unfortunately your education is such that it will tell you everything about the mobile phone, but nothing about the man. Is the theorem of mathematics more important or is the mind that solves the question more important? Mathematics or mind?
Speaker: Lorentz theorem or Love? Quickly!
Not so sure here. And this is such a tragedy that those who are setting the syllabus guidelines know nothing about life. That’s why they keep filling up your mind with knowledge about this and that. They ask you to keep looking outwards but they will never tell you to look inwards. And that is the reason why you have a very peculiar situation. We are living in a world where objects are wonderful, beautiful, shining, polished, sophisticated. Objects! And man is ugly, man is ugly. Man has learnt the secrets of the atom. He has been able to break open the nucleus. Because all these are objects. Right? Outside of yourself. And what has he done with nuclear energy? Created bombs. Bombs that can destroy the earth a thousand times. More and more advanced equipments are coming and what are you doing with those equipments? What is the point of holding the most sophisticated mobile phone in your hand if your mind only wants to gossip using that phone? Now is the mobile phone a boon or a curse?
Speaker: Because you do not know anything about the mind. You know everything about the mobile but you know nothing about the mind. So you will only use the mobile phone to gossip. That is what happens as a result of our normal education. Great advances in science, and what happens after that? You keep producing and consuming. So the climate change, and climate change of such devastating nature that the earth is feverish today. The average global temperatures have already risen by around 1 degree centigrade and in your lifetime, in the next 30-40 years, you might see the end of many cities. Only because of our education. An education that does not know the human being. That never asks that “What is it to be human? How does the mind work? What is the source of the mind?” When you have education of this kind you get only devastation. You will get people who will have all the comforts in life, all the material possessions, and still they have a deep anguish in their heart, still they have a restlessness and they do not know how to get rid of that restlessness. This is what your education is doing. Now you decide what is more important. You decide. Man is closer to complete annihilation today than he was ever in the history of mankind. You know, even the ancient man who had no science, no means to defend himself, even he was in a lesser problematic situation. At least he did not face the realistic possibility of being wiped off from the face of this planet.
What have all your technological advancements given you? They have given you 8 billion people. 8 billion people, that’s what the population of the earth is today. And to be 8 billion you have killed rivers. Thousands of species are extinct today so that there could be 8 billion human beings. Do you understand how much resources are required to sustain these 8 billion people? And that’s what your education is doing; resource generation. How to have more and more resources so that these 8 billion can survive and become 10 billion or 15 billion, and kill more of the birds, kill more animals. Mountains are being denuded, rivers are no more. Getting it? Please know what is it to be really educated. I never tire of telling my audiences, never, I repeat it endlessly that if all your education is kept on one side and self-education is put on the other side, then self-education is more valuable than the rest of your education put together.
Self education is a thousand times more valuable than the rest of your education put together.
-Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: How important is education of the self?
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