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LIFE SKETCH OF MAHATMA GANDHI
i. Birth and Parantage (An outline of the life of Mahatma Gandhi)
ii. Childhood and Early life of Mahatma Gandhi
iii. School Years
iv. Simple Life
v. Study in England
vi. In south Africa
vii. Influence of Religions
viii. Influence of litracy Person and their Books
ix. Service for Humanity as the core of Gandhi’s Life
x. Resistance to Injustice
xi. Moral life of Mahatma Gandhi
xii. Instrument of Mahatma Gandhi
xiii. Mahatma Gandhi as a national Leader
xiv. Mahatma Gandhi as a Father of Nation
SARVODAYA PHILOSOPHY OF MAHATMA GANDHI
iv. Litrary Meaning
v. The Root of Sarvodaya
vi. The Goal of Sarvodaya
vii. Sarvodaya in Outline
viii. Sarvodaya-A Socialist Philosophy
ix. Social basis of Sarvodaya
x. Importance of Sarvodaya
xi. Economics of Sarvodaya
xii. Difference between Communism and Sarodaya
EDUCATION PHILOSOPHY OF MAHATMA GANDHI
iii. Aims of Education
iv. Scope of Education
v. Fundamental Principles of Gandhi’s educational Philosophy
vi. Methods of teaching
vii. Wardha Scheme
viii. Feature of Basic Education
ix. Philosophy behind Basic Education.
x. Basic Tenent of Basic Education
xi. Gandhi’s concept of Education
xii. Contribution of Mahatma Gandhi to education
xiii. Gandhi’s views on Education
GANDHI AND VEDANTA PHILOSOPHY
i. Vedanta and Modern Science
ii. Vedanta and Environmental Crisis
iii. Vedanta and Modern Education in India
iv. Vedanta and Modern Management
v. Definition of Vedanta
vi. Kinds of Vedanta
vii. Significance of Study
FUNDAMENTAL OF SARODAYA ETHICS
i. The Basic Roots of Morality
ii. The Man and Society
iii. The criterian of Moral Behaviour
iv. The discipline of moral life with special reference to truth and non violence
v. The problems of ends and means
vi. Non stealing and non-possession
vii. Brahmacharya and other Vows
viii. Respect and reverence for all faith
ix. Universal religion of human being
xi. Spirituality : the womb of revolution
GANDHI’S EXPERIMENTS IN EDUCATION
i. Phoenix settlement and Tolstoy form
ii. Experiment in champaran school
iii. Nationalist experiment in education
iv. Experiment in Gujrat Vidyapeeth
v. Education conference at Wardha
IMPORTANCE OF SARVODAYA IN EDUCATION AS A NOBLE FORM IN SARVODAYA
i. Satyagraha and Educational Goal
ii. Satyagraha as a content of Education
iii. Satyagraha as a Method of Education
iv. Satyagraha as Providing Direction in Education
v. Satyagraha as a noble form in Sarvodaya
vi. Impact of satyagraha in society
IMPACT OF SARVODAYA PHILOSOPHY IN INDIA AND ABROAD
i. Impact on individual
ii. Impact on Women class
iii. Impact on Education
iv. Impact on Panchayti Raj
v. Impact on Economic Equality
vi. Impact on Social Life
vii. Impact on Political Power and State
viii. Impact on Art and Beauty
ix. Impact on Human Nature
x. Attainment of Moksha
xi. Impact on Pattern of Social Life
xii. Impact on learning and living
CONTRIBUTION OF MAHATMA GANDHI FOR SARVODAYA AND EDUCATION
i. Upliftment of Social Development
ii. Upliftment of Minority Classes
iii. Upliftment of Labour
iv. Upliftment of Education
v. Attainment of Psychological Revolution through Education
vi. Upliftment of Women Education
vii. Contribution to different class, Society and Religion
viii. Attainment of Faith
ix. Upliftment of Rural Area
x. Upliftment of Children
xi. Upliftmet of Employment
xii. Attainment of Goal of peace
Chapter - 1
Mahatma Gandhi is the unquestioned 20th century prophet of the world with great concern for all the oppressed and depressed and depressed which made him committed to serve them through his motherland. These ideas and activities gave the Indian movement for independence a method and content that transcend the local Indian context. Especially his choice of a strategy of nonviolent resistance forms an important object of study and a continuing source of inspiration.
For Gandhi himself, however these were only a part, to be sure essential, of a spiritual movement for the creation of new India. His immediate task was to release India from the foreign yoke and to safeguard the freedom thus won through the implementation of his constructive programmers. He started a number of institutions to be manned by chosen experts in their field and gave them the perennial message wiping every tear from every eye.
Gandhiji the great philosopher, educationist and experimenter of third world who gave a standing in the global community. He is the product of national liberation movement. He tried to his best to understand an oriental society. Gandhiji attempted to create an image on an integral personality on the place of political theory.
It is difficult task to redefine Gandhi’s thoughts in a schematic manner. Gandhiji’s thoughts are three dimensional one individual, societal and ecological dimensions integrated into a whole. He desired to establish a Sarvodaya Samaj through granting power to the people at the grass root.
The quest for a new society or the struggle for a new social order is not .New phenomenon. Human have looked forward to the establishment of an ideal society on Earth , and throughout the ages they have worked for it earnestly .Mahatma Gandhi struggled hard for a new society in independent india. This can not be forgotten or ignored. Gandhi ‘s is not only in that he is the father of the Nation and the leader of our liberation struggle but also that he visualized a radical philosophy of , which is later described as Sarvodaya.Sarvodaya is the picture of a new society for the integral liberation and the welfare of all human beings.
Through Sarvodaya Gandhi attempted to recapture the spiritual heritage of India, which had thrived in the villages and used it to build the nation. He criticized western civilization not because it was totally corrupt, but because it was contrary to the needs India. In western values he saw a craze for comfort, multiplication of wants and self indulgence, which could lead to greed, conflict suppression of the weak by the strong and social disparity Gandhi was convinced that decentralization of power is the key to just and equitable society. On economic level decentralization of power meant discovering big industries and encouraging village cottage industry. “Small is beautiful “ thus would become the economic slogan. In a social level, the Harijans, Tribals and members the lower castes would be given all the rights of equality.
Moral education for the abolition of social inequalities and injustice plays is important role in the Sarvodaya education system. Through reforms what Gandhi sought to achieve was the moral and cultural education of the people at large. This was the preparation for the realization of Sarvodaya ideal. He had firm faith in the goodness of human heart and equality of human nature. Accordingly the weeding cut of the psychological and social hindrances that cloud the fundamental and purification of all social, economic and religious institutions along with the building of new revolutionary habits in individual’s lives became a prime necessity for Gandhi. For this purpose, besides propagating reformative ideas in these fields, he put forward his revolutionary concept of new education _ Nai Taleem. It was called by himjivana- Siksana- or Basic Education.
The education system prevalent in India was based on Mecauley’s conception. It the innumerable Indian villages were to raise their heads and be free not only form the British rule but form the dangerous European civilization, they should follow a different path. New habits are to be formed education should go hand in hand with living. Living is empty without doing Basic Education cenrred round a craft. In 1937 Gandhi invited Education. The educationists attacked his idea of seif supporting education. It would be a heavy burden on children, they thought, the Zaire Husain Committee prepared the report with less emphasis on self support. The scheme started its working in primary schools. But Gandhi could devote little time to give his scheme a fair trial, what the congress Government accepted as Basic Education in primary school is considered to be most unsatisfactory by Sarvodaya leaders.
“Like a colossus he stands astride half a century of history A colossus not of the body but of the mind spirit pope.”1
Gandhi wished to build a new human civilization based on time honored values of Love and Truth. He clearly saw the pitfalls and dangers of the modern civilization based on Industrialization. It was eapable of bringing material abundance, but the centre of its attention was not human life but efficiency and success of machine. He accepted the challenge and surove hard to make man the concern of the human world. He put forth the values of human dignity and freedom, Comforts and pleasures deserved no merit. Irrespective of religion and race eminent men from all over the world were attracted towards his heroic
struggle of a novel form. Under his leadership masses became fearless and conscious of their strength.
Deeply rooted in India traditions, both philosophical and cultural, Gandhi Represented the Indian genius at it’s.
John Paul II acknowledges: “He stands as a symbol of the highest qualities and values of the Indian people, and is admired in every country of the world”.2
Gandhi continues to live through his ideas and ideas and ideals, which inspire and challenge us to take the new step for realizing his vision of Sarvodaya.
Benudhar Parham clarifies the vision of Gandhi as: “When Gandhi championed the cause of Sarvodaya he not merely had before him the objective of welfare of all. But also the all round welfare of all the individuals in the society, that embraces ethical and spiritual developments as much as material development.”3
Gandhian philosophy of Sarvodaya- welfare of all is based on the ancient scriptures and traditions of India. The Sarvodaya is a combination of two words - ‘Sarba’ and ‘Uday’. It denotes the meaning uplifts of all. It also gives the meaning -good of all, service to all, welfare of all; etc. Sarvodaya (Devanagari :loksZn; ,Gujarati:loksZ/;) is a term meaning ‘universal uplift’ or ‘progress of all’.
It is concerned with Gandhi socialism. Its purpose is the socio-economic development of all. The base of philosophy is commonness, i.e. What is done not for any particular individual or group but for all. Its main problem is to reconcile the demands ofegoism and altruism. The main purpose of Sarvodaya is to create moral atmosphere in the society. Truth, non- violence and purity are the foundation of Sarvodaya. Gandhi concept like Sarvodaya and satyagrah are product of the Gita or the Upanishads. Gandhijiwas a real devotee of Gita.
Sarvodaya is a strong ideology for prevention of socio-economic ills of the society. It is based on ‘AdvaitaVendanto’ doctrine. It stands for creating high moral character in the society. It is only possible by truth, non-violence, self sacrifice, and purity etc.
It aims at adopting self sacrifice for the sake of others, taking and giving to one others. It is the best principle in Sarvodaya. It keeps importance for the development of villages. For that village should be given priority in giving aids.Villages are the keystone of Indian democracy. It is the duty of every Indian to look for the welfare of villagers. Truth and non-violence are the two main points of Sarvodaya. If everybody practices these two principles, the social corruption and irregularities will be checked. It is not a political ideology rather it is a socio religious creed. It stands for self limitation of human wants. Sarvodaya stands for national unity and solidarity. It condemns provincialism and regionalism.
Gandhiji’s Sarvodaya has its roots in the vedantic concept of spiritual unity of existence and the Gita. The ideals of Sarvodaya opposes the concept of majoritarism, concept of class racial struggle and the principle of greatest good of the great numbers.
Gandhiji constructed the theory of ‘Sarvodaya’ out of his own experience. Having western education at abroad gave hima chance to have a close observation of the different facets of capitalism. The ethics of idealism of Gandhi is profounded by his philosophy of Sarovodaya. Gandhi considered the state as an organization of violence and force as he was repelled by the coercive character of the state.
Sarvodaya is concerned with Gandhiji’s social ideal and ideal of a community on the word of Gandhi. It is the casteless and classless society. Freedom,equality,justice and fraternity are the basic parts of Sarvodaya. The philosophy of Sarvodaya is hostile to the state. According to Gandhijifor’Swaraj’,Sarvodaya is necessary.InSarvodaya there is no space for politics of power.It is the base for politics of co-operation. Sarvodaya is the realization of the happiness and elevation of all. There are Two techniques for stabilization of power of the people -
(1) Constant propaganda and publicity.
(2) Decentralisation of power.
The aim is to change the heart of people. Sarvodaya opposes the ideas of egoism and wealth. There is no scope for class struggle in Sarvodaya. Social good, rationality and communal harmony are basic principles of Sarvodaya.
Gandhiji was impressed by all the aspects of human life.He had got an education of Vedic philosophy in his family. As he was a real devotee of Bhagwad Gita, Gandhiji tried to see the real picture of Bhagwad Gita in present form. Gandhiji tried to display the importance of Gita in present form of the people. He cleared that all the people of world have aequal spirituality. We should develop the spiritually in every body of the world. The new discovery of Gita philosophy was Know as “Gandhi philosophy”,’Gandhian’ and “Sarvodaya philosophy”.
Gandhi’s values and his vision of what constituted a truly civilized and free India was not surprising that he developed firm views on education. Education not only moulds the new generation, but reflects a society’s fundamental assumption about itself the individual which composes it.Gandiji’s ideology regarding general concept of value Education.There sins: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, pleasure without principle.
His experience in south Africa not only changed his outlook on politics put also helped him to see the role of education played in that struggle. He was aware that he had been a beneficiary of western education for a number of years while he was in South Africa. He still tried, persuade Indians to take advantage of it.
Gandhiji said, “let us wipe every tear from every eye”4
There is need to say a word about Gandhi’s attitude to industrialization. He was in fact, absolutely opposed to modern machinery. The need for a machine - less society, Gandhi developed his ideas on education. The core of his proposal was the introduction of productive handicraft in the school curriculum. The idea was not simply to introduce handicrafts as compulsory school subject of curriculum. The idea was but to make the learning of a craft, the centerpiece of the entire teaching programe. It implied a radical restructuring of the sociology of school knowledge in India where productive handicrafts had been associated with the lowest groups hierarchy of the caste system.
Gandhiji’s proposal intended to stand the education system on its head. The social philosophy and the curriculum of what he called ‘basic education’ thus favoured the child belonging to lowest stratum of society in such a way it implied a programe of social transformation. It sought to alter the symbolic meaning of ‘education’ and to change the established structure of opportunities for education.
Gandhiji said, “Purity of personal life is the one indispensable condition for building a sound education”5
Gandhi proposed the introduction of productive handcraft into the school system, was not really ass outrageous as many appear. What he really wanted was for the schools to be self supporting as a as possible. There were two reasons for this, firstly poor society such as india simply could not afford to provide education for all children unless the schools could generate resources from within. Secondly, the more financially independentthe schools were, the more politically independent they could be.
Gandhiji’s scheme of education is known as basic education. Most distinguished feature of basic education is its craft centeredness. Craft is the core of education. He said that students should “learn and earn” at the same time. He propagated the idea of manual training and to develop the vocational efficiency of the students. His philosophy of education was based on his findings derived from scientific research of theories of economic, political and child development (both western and oriental), and his successful experiments in South Africa. According to him true education is all round development of the faculties, best attained through action. It bases itself on the fact that knowledge and understanding develop in relation to problems set right by action. Information thrust on the mind only burdens the memory and causes intellectual indigestion, casting learning into oblivion. Education must be concrete and interconnected, not abstract or given is isolated sections. Concrete education allows the learner to manipulate problems or sets of problem and study their relationships, character and artistic sense. It allows the mind, heart, hand and eyes to work simultaneously in a right manner, resulting in a harmonious and well balanced personality. Education must be originally connected with the child’s social and cultural environment.
The ultimate aim of education according to Gandhiji is to realize God. All other aims are subservient to this supreme aim. It is the same aim of selfrealization which is coming down since the very early times of Indian wisdom and which constitutes the essence of Indian philosophy. Gandhiji wishes that every child should grow in to divine human being by realizing Godliness in his self. Gandhiji rights ‘to develop the self is to build character and to prepare the self for complete realization of Godliness. So, at least it can be quoted that Mahatma Gandhi as an educationist synthesized three philosophy (Naturalistic, Idealistic and Pragmetic) into his philosophy of education. The philosophy is idealistic in aim, Naturalistic In setting and pragmatic in approach.
Gandhiji said, “I want the whole process of education to be imparted through some handicraft or industry.”6
The right of autonomy that Gandhi’s educational plea assignsto the teacher in the context of the school’s daily curriculum is consistent with the libertarian principles that he shared with Tolstoy. Gandhi wanted to free the Indian teacher from interference from outside, particularly government or the state bureaucracy. Under colonial rule, the teacher had a prescribed job to do, that was based on what the authorities wanted the children to learn.
Aim of education should be develop to the full potentialities of every child at school in accord always with the general good of the community of which he is a member. For Gandhiji the potentiality of the child in the center of the picture. The school has to help the child to realize this potentially to make his life better, further happier-both individually and socially.
The teacher must prepare the environment in which the child may best blossom and make himself most fruitful. Success of any educational experiment depend on teachers even Gandhiji acknowledge that if teachers were not what he expected them to be, the scheme would not succeed, therefore he has always stressed. We must procure the best teachers for our children whatever it may cost .the student has to learn more from the teacher than from books. Like Swami VivekanandGandhiji viewed in ‘character making education. He said that all our learning and knowledge will be of no avail if they do not enable us to cultivate absolute purity of heart’.
“The end of all knowledge must be the building of character”7
People should know to discriminate between what should bereceived and what rejected. It is the duty of a teacher to teach his pupil discrimination.
In this regard Gandhiji said “An education which does not teach us to discriminate between good and bad, to assimilate the one and eschew the other, is a misnomer”.8
Only knowledge of letters will not help a child. A peasant has ordinary knowledge of the world. He honestly earns his bread, Know how to behave with others and observes rules of morality. He only does not know how to read and write.What do you propose to do by giving him a Knowledge of letters? Will you add on inch to his happiness? No This will make him discontent with his lot. As such there is no need for such an education. Gandhiji does not however run down a Knowledge of letters. He would not make a fetish of it by making it compulsory. Only the capacity to read and write does not make a maneducated literacy in itself is no education.
“Literacy is not the end of education, not even the beginning. It is only one of the means where by men and women can be educated.Literacy in itself is no education”.9
Gandhiji’s plan on the other hand, implied the end of the tacher’s subservience to the prescribed text book and the curriculum. It presented a concept of learning that simply could not be fully implemented with the help of books. Gandhiji’s basic education was, therefore an embodiment of his perception of an ideal society consisting of small, selfrelient communities with his ideal citizen being an industrious, self respecting and generous individual living in a small cooperative community.
According to Gandhiji end is the last aim of life. Firstly Gandhiji talked about the end of physical, mental, economic and political. He also talked about spiritual end. Education purifies the soul and develops the mind.
Gandhi’s theory of Sarvodaya places him with in broader movement begun in the late eighteenth century when many thinkers because of western influence started revitalizing Indian traditions for the modernization of Indian society.
Gandhiji was agreed that there are two basic elements - man (God) and nature (matter). God is superior. God is immortal. So god is truth. Matter is mortal. So it is false that God creates the universe with the help of matter. According to him soul is the bit of god. As God is truth, so soul is also truth. Gandhiji considered that man is that man is the combination of body, mind and soul. Last aim of life is spiritual knowledge of God. God gave him a valuable gift otherwise there would be no difference between the man and an animal.
Gandhiji expressed his views on everything from God to birth control. He was deeply influenced by the humanist idealism of India’s past. Gandhi had firm faith in God. To him god is all pervasive reality, immanent in man and also in the world. He is ultimate reality and supreme ruler. He is truth and love, ethics and morality, source of light and life. He is the creator, dissolver and recreator.
To Gandhiji, God is truth and truth is God. Truth is the inner voice. He also inspired everyone to be a seeker of truth. Ultimate truth or god is the end of philosophy. Truth which is the end and which is all pervading can be realized only through truth. Through a way of living characterized by strict discipline, poverty, non possession, non-violence, sense of humanity and a discipline of mind, body and spirit.
Ahimsa or non-violence is the means to attain the goal of truth. Ahimsa implies complete freedom from Himsa (violence); freedom from hate, anger, fear, vanity and ill-will. Ahimsa includes humility, charity, love, patience, purity of the heart and freedom from passion in thought, word and action. Satyagraha is the practical application of ahimsa. It is method of securing a right by personal suffering and not by inflicting injury on others. Defense of peace can be constructed only through satyagraha. A satyagrahi is one who has faith in truth, non violence, brahmacharya, fearlessness, not stealing and non possession.
Gandhiji believes that individual has a divine spirit. He is a spiritual being, therefore the aim of individual must be spiritual and non materialistic.
The Ethics and moral value have been cherished in religion and spirituality. The religion is the most powerful source of value, norms or standards.
As in Indian culture spiritualism finds great place. Truth beauty and goodness are main spiritual values, spiritualism ends exploitation, selfishness, chaos, distruction, disorder, hate red and aggression. Human brotherhood and better social order is thee result of spiritual perfection. Religio-spiritual source of human value prescribes duties of human being toward thee fellow-and God.
Fundamental principles of ethics are common to all religion. These should be certainly taught to the children and that should be regarded as adequate religion instruction.
So teaching of all religion that they laid emphasis on the idea of love truth and justice of co-operative character, national-international solidarity and brotherhood of man. He was also activisit.
He was infavoring of that equal regards for all faith and creed. As God is one, wise men call him by different names.
Gandhiji had a firm faith in the love for mankind. To him, love is essence of morality; no morality is possible without love. Truth can be attained through love. Love takes him towards the God. It makes all dirties pleasant. Hence love should guide al lives. Social and political revolution started by Gandhiji was prompted by his inherent love of humanity. Gandhiji was anxious to establish a spiritual society based on the principal of love,Non-violence, truth justice and equitable distribution of wealth.Such a society will be free form any kind of exploitation-social, political, economic or religious. The spiritualism is the important element of the religions. The relationship between religion and spirituality has been considered in a fairy large way. This society will be free from all type of conflict and struggle. More forces and moral sanction would be the guiding factor of such a society. Service of all should be the first fundamental of every human being. Service to God and humanity was the great follower of religion.
Gita is the spiritual references book of Gandhiji. While vinobaBhabe is maddened by the spiritual depth of it. The sathiprajna of the Gita represents, for both of them. The spiritual ideal of human life.The Gita according to Gandhiji is the gospal of selfless action. Gita ideal man must therefore be active in day to day life. Like Arbindo and Tilak, Gandhi too feels it necessary that a liberated person should be active and should set an instance of ideal behavior to the persons insociety. But Sankara has been taken to have declared the absence ofaction after thee attainment of realization, Since thee liberated soul becomes one with the reality that nether acts nor enjoys. Vinobabridgs the gulf between these seemingly opposits views by pointing out that. The ideal man may be full of action but never active. There is a subtle but clear distinction between action and activity. Life is action itself, while activity springs with. The motility, that is to say, with the initiative of individual’s ego-which is absent in a liberated person, Thoughoutwardly he may seem to be active.
Here is an old controversy about the priority of matter of spirit. Materialist either reject consciences or any spiritual and now spiritual realty altogether or consider it to be the after effect or epiphenomenon. It is an altogether different matter when we approach the scientifically. Our spiritual life should start even with our actual experience of the unity of all life which is the foundation of real faith in God. Neither logic nor a laboratory need to help this faith, they are helpless before a psychological fact.
Gandhiji already a leading part of history. Most of us who lived in to time of Gandhi felt charged with a vision of an emergence of a new mind and a new world in which, not the compulsion of modern technology or of ideologies based on them, but the self realizedimperative of the supreme importance of truth and friendliness for men all over the world; would be the decisive factor in the shaping of humany destiny.
E. Stanley Jones called Gandhi ji,
“The voice of dumb-millions”10
Gandhiji has become for us Indians not a mere national hero as the father of Nation, but a living voice exhorting us and inviting us to renew our commitment to built a nation of physically and spiritual free persons. Increasing problems leaves us in ever greater bondage and Gandhiji voice is a liveratingvoice, provided Indian and the world at large are willing to renew there commitment to truth and brother-hood. We are rediscovering Gandhiji as the powerful light that is capable of shining over the whole modern world with the potent rays spiritual integrity and spiritual revolution. One of most valuable lagacies Gandhi has left to posterity in his life and teaching are crystallised in Satyagrah and nonviolence. These great principle are envisaged to help modern world contemplate and practice truth and love penetrating all lifes a activities.
As George C.Marchallsays,Gandhi,
“Was one of those rare spokesman for conscience of all man-kind.”11
He has become again the voice of mankind for a liable world of peaceful co-existence that is facing nightmare threads. Gandhi is the need of the days,not only for Indians but for the entire world on the face of over whelming problems. He saw the redemption of the world through weapon of humility and simplicity and shoed Indian that these values can be morepowerful —than empires.
Gandhiji vision was most comprehensive. This was manifested in all his teaching and action as a man of great principles every minute detail of life was significant for him from the view point of his principle. He possessed an all pervasive spirit that encompassed these details of life no matter how in significant they mean to the on looker. This included every thing right from dieteties to the vision of the supreme reality who is identified with truth in all his teachings. All these Gandhi developed through a lifetime of hard-core experiments and reflections. Its vision of religion was solid, unshakable, complete and perfectly down to earch.
Gandhi says in several occasions,
“What I want to achieve is self realization, to see God face to face and to achieve Mokasha”.12
In the very core Gandhi confessed that he was an aspirant of mokasha.
John Gunther says,
“His approach to everything is religions, but aside from Hinduism it is difficult to tell what his religion is.”13
His whole life was an obedient God. He had no personal ends to serve. This vision of religion, and spirituality formed the very foundation of Gandhian thought is in politics could not for a moment forget that he was committed soul and body to truth and love,the two great epitomizing embodiment of all religious conceptions. Gandhi would never for a moment conceive of a pattern of education delinked in its essence from spirituality and religion. Gandhi’s vision of God, religion and spirituality was highly personal one, in the sense that he never agreed with the idea of an institutionalized religion: Real religion should radiate from thee individual the attitudes of love and service.
Gandhi’s vision includes a comprehensive system of moral principle. His religion is often called an ethical religion for a variety of reasons. We are often supervised at the very Gandhi speaks of morality.
“When morality incarnates itself in a living man, it becomes religion, because it binds, it holds”14
It sustains him in the hour of trail,” owing to an exclusive and intense concern for the moral perspectives of life, Gandhi speaks in term that sound categorical and leaves the impression that he is speaking in a defining manner. But a looser look at his perspectives and beliefs in religion shows that he was equally concern bout God, religion, prayer, ascetic attitudes, sense of sacrifices heaven and every thing that makes a phenomenology religion complete to the very details. So it will not be right to say it is only ethical concerns that make his religion.
“Prayer is the heart and soul of religion. Therefore prayer should be the core of human life and we one can live without religion,”15
The Gandhi thoughts and trends, and all the values that he held as precious for himself, for the nation and the world lay hidden in the annals of decades without receiving adequate recognition, when he lived he reached people through direct contact, action and example, coming down to and moving in the mildest of the people for whose freedom he dedicated himself.
To most of us who not only witnessed but actually participated in the social political upheavals of the time, no response so for attempted to explain. This ever challenging phenomenon seems adequate enough to ring really true in our hearts.
The tradition bound mind of India (our country), has been and still remains, a sphinx-like colossus. It never responded to the calls for social political-Changes on such a massive scale, throughout its wide history of not less than five thousand years. It did not respond to the call if the Buddha, the enlightened one on a gigantic scale-a call that exercised its self illuminating spell on India and Asia for over a thousand years. Actually it was almost a non-political call. It was a such type of call to awaken human being to a dynamic awareness of his identity, uninfluenced by out-side pressures and internal conflict or tension. It was a call to stand alone and be light unto one-self and move on this earth to awaken fellow human beings to there existential destiny. And strangely enough, this aloneness unified isolated identities of millions in India and Asia in a manner that still remains a challenging mystery to the intelligence of man.
Worlds which are almost used by Gandhiji such as, truth and non- violencewere so well known India right from .The ancient Vedic times that to describe Gandhi as an Apostle of Truth and Non-violence is to explain. The living new in terms of the dead old when he was 18 years old he was sent to study law in London when he remained almost Three (3) years being called to the bar in 1891 in 1893, he want to south Africa where he was drawn so completely into the struggle for political rights that he gave up his lucrative loge practice and undertook drastic course in self discipline in order to devote his whole life to public work. In course of the fight with the South Africa government he suffered imprisonment and assaults during 1914, he returned to India threw himself actively into the work of Indian nation congress. Gandhiji was in fact confronted with such challenging situation in India in 1919 to 1920. The massacre of the Jallianwala Bag stirred. The wrath of the people Gandhijicalled on the people to withdraw from all government appointment and institution and to under take mass civil disobedience. The movement was later with drawn as at some places. The people became violent. The battle of independence however continued in different ways. Angry protest rocked-the whole land from end to end. But anger was no answer to the situation which demanded immediate and effective action.Allthenational leader were found unequal to the challenge. Beyond the passing of strongly worded resolution of protest in mass meeting held all over the country they could think of no other way of responding to the challenging situation. The cult of the bomb could also be no response.
Gandhi had implicated faith in British justice. But this was uprooted when a demand for a judicial enquiry into the massacre at jallianwala bag was unceremoniously rejected by the British government. And a non-official public enquiry with which Gandhi was associated had come to the conclusion that the massacre was absolute. Unprovoked, brutal, barbarous. This conclusion undermined the foundations of Gandhi’s faith in British justice. He found himself totally near the sea. Even his past experience of satyagraha could show him no effective light. Sometime wholly new was called for to provide an adequate response to the challenge posed by the British administration which showed such scant regard for elementary justice and human decency.
It was in a situation like this that Gandhi, while addressing a public meeting, suddenly hit upon a germinal idea of non- violent and cooperation with all British instruction, including schools, college, and law courts. It came to him like a flash of lighting. While speaking he was also thinking aloud, as though he was asking and challenging himself as to what possibly he, as an individual, could do to meal the challenge of the situation.
His loud thinking took the following form: I see that violence can offer no solution to any human problem, at any times. I see that the elementary right to justice, the very basis ofcivilised life, is denied to us; justice that results after an impartial judicial probe into a punishment of the wrong doers. A Government that denies such natural justice to its citizen, quiet a part from politics is a satanic Government. It is a evil. It is a sinful what do we do when confronted with sin or anything evil? We don’t do it. We non cooperate with it at all cost. That is it. We, the people of India, must resolve, here and now, to non-viol entry non-cooperate with all Governmental Institutions.
Gandhiji also fought for the equality of the sexes. Man and women “live the same life, have the same feelings. Each is a complement of others-but some how or other man has dominated women from ages past and so women have developed an inferiority complex”. She has meekly submitted to the social, economic and moral justice. Gandhi tried to arouse in her a sense of dignity and honour. It was under him that women, right to serve the major cause of nation on large scale and in a new way adjusting to them. Satyagraha opened for them a new path of self expression. It provided an opportunity for them to show that women, though weak in body, are not cowards in mind. They could lay claim to equality, since human strength lies in spiritual capacity and not in physical power. Spiritually both men and women are on the same status and level. It was to deliver Indian woman from her slavery that Gandhi preached against child marriage, parda and dowry system. Gandhiji served for the betterment of all section in the society.
Gandhi wished to built a new human civilization based on time honoured values of love and truth. He clearly saw the pitfalls and dangers of the modern civilization based on industrialization. It was capable of bringing material abundance, but the centre of its attention was not human life but efficiency and success of machine. He acceptedthe challenge and strove hard to make man the concern of human world. He put froth the values of human dignity and freedom. Comforts and pleasures deserved no merit. Apart from his spiritual convictions, his attempts were boiled down to the moral and cultural upliftment of human beings. Irrespective of religion and race eminent persons from all over the world
were attracted towards his heroic struggle of novel from. Under the fearless leadership masses became fearless and conscious of their strength.
Man on earth is the central theme of Sarvodaya thought. It is not interested in life hereafter. As it comes very near the faith of humanism.Socrate and Budha have been reffered to as the ancient humanist who drought philosophy from heaven to earth. Similar seems to be the endeavour of Sarvodaya. But humanism of modern time leaves no scope for any reference to a state beyond the human world.It recognizes moral values and a sense of aesthetic union with the natural world,but it eschews all concern with spiritual values that link man with the rest of the universe and point to the unity of all creation.
This foundation of the unifying spiritual reality brings holiness to human life. ‘Humanism’,in the sense, is secular not Holy.
Sarvodaya thought almost emphases the moral values at the stage of human existence. It stands supreme for individual responsibility and initiative in society. It lays stress on the one’s duty towards fellow beings.
Moral education for the abolition of social inequalities and injustice plays an important role in the Sarvodaya educational system. But it was for the realization of God that Gandhi had turned towards the service of humanity. The Sarvodaya thought feels compelled to concede the metaphysical ultimate reality. The whole of human experience points to it. in acknowledging this, Sarvodaya links it self with the Indian philosophical traditions. The Upanishad speaks of this non-dual character of spiritual reality as Brahman. Seer and saint’slikesankara and Jnanesver live and reveal its implication. This unifying reality express itself and through the things and happenings of this world.
For Gandhi, truth stands for this ultimate spirituality. VinobaBhare calls it Paramasamya (final or fundamental unity and identity). The moral and spiritual principles and teaching of Sarvodaya are well expressed by vinoba is term “SAMYAYOGA”. The art of reading everything with same reverence and love is the key to spiritual enlightenment. It is the message of Bhagvad Gita.
Gandhi called himself a practucal idealist. Inspired chiefly by Ruskin Tolstoy and the Gita he launched upon the taste of the actualisation of his ideals when circumstances offered a challenge he set forth to correct the wrongs. In South Africa in 1906 he started the first satyagraha movement for the removal of unjust laws. He equally emphasized that the way to remove injustice, whether political, social or economic, is not through violation of the oppressor
“while we may attack measures and system,we may not must not attack men.”16
This was his demand. As the same spirituality is the true core of the oppressors, it is through an appeal is that inner consciousness that he can be lifted from his lowly level. A Satyagrah is one who insists on the realization of the truth as he sees it. He is not infallible. He may not see the world truth in a particular matter. He is, therefore, eager to understand what others say in matter of moral and social importance. He is ready to learn from them.
“There must be no trace of compulsion in our acts. We must not be impatient.” Hence what he sees he express politely, discusses frankly and if he differs he suffers himself to reveal the truth to the other party. Not through inflicting pain oncsatayagrah wins them over.”17
Gandhi developed the technique of satyagrahi through his various nation widemovements organized for the attainment of the freedom for India. He trained hundreds of satyagrahi to fight the slavery imposed by the British imperialism. He provided a moral substitute of war. Today, making the diagnosis of human disease need no special qualification, but it requires a genius who can suggest a remedy. What a human world needs most is a proper method and a technique of resistance and the removal of evil and injustice without losing the balance of peace and progress in society. This is an era that provides ample proof of what the Buddha maintained that hatred begets hatred violent war. The world is thirsty for peace. Hence, the method of satyagraha as preached and practiced by Gandhi is hailed by many thinker of the East and West. This is what Joan Bondurant in her ‘conquest of violence; calls the most valuable contribution of Mahatma Gandhi to the modern age Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution in the field of politics and social reform has been so great and spectacular that his work in the sphere of education has not received the attention of the world it deserves. It may be because of its recent growth or want of proper valuation. It is not justified to confine Gandhi’s educational philosophy within the pricinets of the wardha scheme. It is concerned with those eternal values which give content and significance to life. The legacy he has left to posterity is his teaching that the woeld could yet be relived from mutual distruse and distruction by conscious reorganization of life through truth and ahimsa.
This is how Gandhiji summed up his idea of true collection, all round implies a harmonious development. Drawing out of the best in child recognize a great potentiality coild up in the child which can be realized and developed to its perfection through education. ‘Body, mind and spirit is a vision of the whole man’.
According to Gandhiji,
Education should be for the hand, head and heart. Education for the heart means spiritual training. The aim of education is self-realization, the Summon Bonn (the highest good) of life and education.
The first emphasis is on the body and the culmination point is the spirit. It is through practical work one attain intellectual development. But intellectual attainment is neither the beginning nor the end of education. It is a mid-point. Thus education can not be confined to childhood and youth. It has to take into account the whole life of a man and that is the significance of the phrase ‘best in child and man; so education will not be complete till one realizes the self the perfection.
Gandhiji showed that the principle of bread labour is also one of the messages of Gita. In the word of the Gita it is yajna or sacrifice that keeps society going uninterrupted. Gandhi valued the Varna dharma of the ancient India as the supreme principle providing non competitive basis to society the attacked vehemently the western civilization in his ‘Hind -Swaraj.’33 This civilization lakes note neither of morality nor of religion.” he declares, again he contends.
“The people living in it make bodily welfare the object of life.”18
Gandhiji considered manual work as one of the important means of controlling passions. Bodily labour is enjoined to all people belonging to different Varnas.
It was Tolstoy who impressed upon Gandhijimind the importanceof bread labour. But to Tolstoy goes also the credit of winningGandhiji back to creed of Non-violence. Tolstoy guided properly through out the latter’s struggle for justice and equality against the mighty British Empire that wielded all violent might to crush the feeble cry of freedom .Tolstoy who like Gandhi himself ,was much impressed by Ruskin’s unto this last and its diagnosis of modern social disease firmly believed in non violence. Destruction through violent war is not the way to the construction of new world wherein the crushed and caste way humanity can breathe happily. In the Tolstoy farm Gandhi was a living monuments. It was not merely a shelter and source of living to the Satyagrah is in South Africa, it stood for the principles that prompted Gandhi and his fellow Satyagrahi to give a taught fight for justice. The science of Satyagraha was cradled in tolstoy’s concept non violence
Gandhiji was man of action. As a spiritual reference book or a dictionary, the Gita gave him the necessary guidance to achieve self-lessness in action. As per him non-attachment, while doing once duty is the message of Gita. Like all other Hindu scriptures self-realization is the subject of the Gita.
But it was to show
“The most excellent way to attain self-realization”19 that the Gita was written. The matchless remedy is renunciation of fruits of action. The worship of God through such detached action. Thelife of an active devotee-became Gandhiji’s ideal.His God pervaded the hall of the cosmos nothing but God existed for him.
Gandhiji was a real devotee of truth and non-violence. To Gandhiji God is truth and truth is God. Truth is the inner voice. It is the call of conscience. He wanted to realize truth himself. He also wanted everyone to be a seeker of truth. Ultimate truth or God is the end of philosophy. Truth is the means to achieve that ultimate truth or God.
Violence is kind of attitude inclined to cause harm. Harm may be physical mental, societal etc. The attitude of non harming (any kind of harm) anybody is an elementary form of non violence Mahatma Gandhiji preferred, non violence to violence because of following reasons:
In the words of Gandhiji, “Ahimsa and truth are so intertwined that it is practically impossible to disentangle and separate them. They are like the two sides of same coin, who can say which is the obverse and which is the reserves?” .
1. More Fruitful :- Non-Violence or Ahimsa os more Fruitful Tan Violence.
2. Victory of Moral Principles :- Non-Violence is the Distinguished success of the moral and spiritual principles over the atrocities.
3. Harmony with Reality :- Non-Violence and love in harmony with the reality remain victorious ultimately.
4. Destabilize Opponent’s will :- Non-violence shakes opponent’s will and discriminatory desires.
5. Spirit’s Purification :- Non-violence has cleaning effect over the spirit. Non-Violent person is called as Tapsvi (One who practice “Tapsaya”)
Non-violence rises and permites the entire life with purity and permanence. When the stage is reached the individual Divine becomes one with the ‘Supreme Divine’ and non-violence integrated in it becomes impersonal and continuously express itself in respect of everything.
Gandhiji said, “Non-violence is the quality of heart.”21
To highlight the importance about non-violence remarked that, Ahimsa is not the way of brave ready to face death. He who perished with sword in hand is not doubt brave but he who faces death without raising his little finger and without flinching is braver.
Gandhiji considered the main requisites for practicing Ahimsa.
b) Purity of Heart
d) Freedom from Greed
e) Honesty of purpose”22.
According to Gandhi, “The highest form of freedom carries with it the greatest measures of discipline and humility.”23
With Gandhiji’s assassination a powerful and direct influence in Indian Society came to a close. Those who worked with him for independence did not form a coherent group. Some assumed Governmental power some formed the opposition party. Some took the khadi and village Industry - work. And some who had firm faith in Gandhian constructive programmed as suggesting a means for socio-economic revolution started thinking about the method and technique of realizing such revolution in the changed circumstances.
In the international field also Gandhian discovery of the new technique of Satyagraha became well known. It has impressed many freedom movements in the world. During the quite India movement, a speech given by Gandhiji.
“I believe that in the History of the world, there has not been a more genuinely democratic struggle for freedom Thanours. I read Carlyle’s French Resolution while I was in prison, and Pundit Jawaharlal has told me something about the Russian revolution. But it is my conviction that inasmuch as these struggle were fought with the weapon of violence they failed to realize the democratic ideal. In the democracy which I have envisaged, a democracy established by nonviolence, there will be equal Freedom for all”24
Gandhiji education focuses on education for social welfare. Gandhiji never diverted his attention from his fundamental goal of rural reconstruction for the salvation of the rural massage: -
“Gandhiji said, “Rural electrification will fulfill dream of every Indian.”25
My mind is living in the villages. They are calling me to bury myself in them. Education for Gandhiji is a primary means of reaching out to these suffering millions in rural India and lifting their lot to the human level. Gandhiji education is built on the concept of service and he spares no word to exhort students to take up the cause of social service as part of their education especially during their vacations.
“I would develop in the child his hands, his brain and his soul.”26
Gandhiji education as out lines in the present work in a most comprehensive system. The tentacles of this system reaches out every aspects of the life of an Indian in particular and in a world citizen in general Gandhiji’s vision of education did not develop in isolation as it happened with several other world visionaries.Gandhiji’s education becomes an integral constituent of the total Gandhian system for the holistic welfare of man.
Gandhiji perpetual search for the refinements of truth and Ahimsa manifests itself magnificently in the frame work of Gandhianeducation and becomes a consistent response to the contemporary knowledge explosion that seems to threaten us. Long after he was assassinated Mahatma Gandhiji lives - in the heart of those who regard him with awe; in the minds of those who read his work and seek to follow his path on the lips of politicians of all hues, who profess to be his followers; and in the pages of writer and researchers who mine his teaching and life as a part of their literary pursuits.
Joseph Lelyveld is the latest, and by for not the last biographer of the man whose own collected works run into a 100 volumes of around 500 pages each.
Gandhiji’s greatness does not need any special certificates. While it is often stressed that he accomplished much, what is sometimes ignored is his zest for exploring various facets of life. Gandhi was a multi - dimensional personality - he had many quirks, some imperfections and a variety of fads.
In each approach there is always a man who personifies the peculiar spirit of the age and whose ideals continue to influence humanity for centuries to come. Rightfully revered as the man of the Millennium, Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi was the 20th Country pasha of patriotism. Who exerted a powerfull influence over the history of India as well as the world.
1. Jawaharlal Nehru, Freedom from Fear: Reflection on the Personality and Teachings of Gandhi, ed. T. K. Mahadevan (New -Delhi: Gandhi SmarakNidhi, 1960), 7-8.
2. John Paul II, The Pope Speaks to India (Bombay: St. Paul Publications, 1986), 39.
3. Benudharpradan, the Socialist Thought of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol . I(Dilhi:G.D.K.Publication,1980),312
4. 2nd Oct. 2011TheTribune.
5. Gandhi, M.K. Towards New Education page 31.
6. Gandhi M.K Basic Education p-191.
7. Narasima Char. K.T., A day book of thoughts from Mahatma Gandhi, P. 74
8. Gandhi M.K Basic Education P-90.
9. Tendulkar Mahatma vol.IV P-175
10. Joseph C Mukalel, Gandhian Education Dicovery Publishing House 4831/24,Ansari Road. Darya Ganj, New Delhi. P-1
11. Ibid. P-2
12. Ibid. P-2
13. Ibid. P-3
14. Joseph C Mukalel, Gandhian Education Dicovery Publishing House 4831/24,Ansari Road. Darya Ganj, New Delhi. P-3
15. Joseph C Mukalel, Gandhian Education Dicovery Publishing House 4831/24,Ansari Road. Darya Ganj, New Delhi. P-3
16. Gandhi M.K. young India 25.5.21 Ibid. P-11
18. Hind Swaraj P.37
19. Gandhi M.K. Harijan 16-12-39
20. Agarwal J.C Education for Values Environment and Human Rights, Shipra Publication P-39
21. Agarwal J.C Education for Values Environment and Human Rights, Shipra Publication H.O. LG 18-19, Pankaj Central Market, Patrarganj Delhi, P-39
22. Agarwal J.C Education for Values Environment and Human Rights, Shipra Publication H.O. LG 18-19, Pankaj Central Market, Patrarganj Delhi, P-39
23.2nd Oct. 2011 The Tribune .The International Day of Non-Violence.
24. Quit India Speech by Mahatma Gandhi, Retrived from a Note Book.
25. 2nd Oct. 2011 The Tribune.
26. Gandhi, M.K Towards New Education page 31
Chapter - 2
LIFE SKETCH OF MAHATMA GANDHI BIRTH AND PARENTAGE (An Outline of the Life of Gandhi)
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, later called Mahatma Gandhi, was born on 2nd October 1869 at Porbander, a port town in Gujarat in the western part of India. Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai were his parents. Gandhi’s family belonged to the sub-caste of ‘Bania’ who were originally grocers. But for three generations from his grandfather, he had been remained prime minister in several Kathiawad state. Uttam Chand Gandhi alias Ota Gandhi , his grandfather was a man of principle. State intrigues compelled him to leave Porbander, where he was Diwan , and to seek refuge in Junagadh. There he saluted the Nawab with the left hand. Someone, noticing the apparent discourtesy, asked for an explanation, which was given thus: the right hand is already pledged to Porbander.
Ota Gandhi married a second time, having lost his wife, he had four sons from his first wife and two from his second wife. The fifth of these sixth brothers was Karam Chand Gandhi alias Kaba Gandhi and sixth was Tulsi Das Gandhi, both these brother were prime ministers in Porbander one after the other. Kaba Gandhi was his father. He was a member of the Rajasthani Court.
Kaba Gandhi married four times in succession, having lost his wife each time by death. He had two daughter by his first and second marriages. His last wife Putlibai bore him a daughter and three sons. Mahatma Gandhi was the youngest all of them.
Gandhi recalls his father as a lover of his clan, truthful, brave, generous as one who was just and impartial in his dealings with people. Gandhi’s mother Putlibai was deeply religious and virtuous. He learned from her the qualities of religious tolerance, respect and love for human beings, which later became the basis of his philosophy.
CHILDHOOD AND EARLY LIFE OF MAHATMA GANDHI
Gandhi must have been when his father left Porbunder for Rajkot to become a member of the Rajasthan court. There he was put into a primary school, and he can very well realized and recollected those days including the names and other particulars of the teachers who taught him. As at Porbunder, these were hardily anything to note about his studies. He could only have been a medinere student from this school he went to the suburban school and to the high school heaving already reached his twelfth year. He did not remember having ever tell a lie. During this short period, either to his teacher or to his school mates. He was very shy and avoided all company. His books and his lessons were only his sole companions. To be at school at the struck of the hour and to run back done as soon as the school closed-that was his daily habit. He literally ran back because he could not bear to take to any one. He was even afraid lest anyone could to make fun at him.
Mahatma, the great soul, epitomizes the meaning of a man who was possibly human being the 20th century has seen.
Mahatma Gandhi was a modern messiah whose life became the message to the message was truth and freedom through non-violence. Non violence it beautiful gift mankind has received since the existence of civilized evolution.
Violence, wars, terrorism and human injustice are the focus of the central issue problems. The constructive aspects of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy can reworld bordering on the chaos.
Gandhi’s altruistic philosophy man appears to be an utopian ideal. However, if find permanent solutions to life’s problems, it is essential to adopt universal w central precept. Only an individual with considerable self-respect, unshakal human nature and detachment can find sanity where alienation, soaring unmitigated violence are ripping the society apart.
Today Mahatma Gandhi is no more a person, he has become a phoneme lifetime he fought for many causes; colonialism, racial discrimination, exploitation and India’s Indian’s Independence, but predominantly he fought for hu which was the pivot of his existence. His weapons were Satya (truth) and Ahviolence).
Gandhiji’s entire life was a powerful message for mankind. His every dedicated to the pursuit of truth (god), in its most pristine manifestations, liberty for man.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October2, 1869 in porbunder later became known as ‘Mahatma’-the great soul.
Born in an illustrious and distinguished family, Gandhiji married Kasturba at the Gandhiji’s experiments with truth reflect his early childhood. Mundane inside otherwise would have been relegated to posterity are the foundation of his for meat-eating being sacrilegious, as a boy Gandhi dared to defy this profanity convinced of its sacrament. Similarly, his confession of stealing, refusing to cl behest of his revered teacher, trying to reform Sheikh Mehtab, his school friend evidence of a mind confronting an introspective conscience. However the inci haunted his entire life was his inability to be present at his father’s deathbed. Which he felt he lost owing to his ‘lustfulpangs’ towards his young wife.
After completing his school education, he left for England to study law. In Eng from studying law, he becomes an ardent supporter of vegetarianism.
Gandhiji also devoured theosophical and mystical works. He read the Koran, New Testament and Indian religious books, of which the Gita was to have influence on his life. The Bhagvad Gita is a Hindu religious book based discourses and practice of yoga.
In 1891, after having been admitted to the British bar, Gandhi returned to India and attempted to establish a law practice in Bombay, without much success. Two years later an Indian firm with interest’s in South Africa retained him ass legal adviser in its office in Durban. Arriving in Duraban, Gandhi found himself treated as a member of an inferior race. He was appalled at the widespread denial of civil liberties and political rights to Indian immigrants to South Africa. He threw himself into the struggle for the elementary rights for Indians.
In 1875 Mohandas started his primary school studies in Porbander. He wrote the following about this period: “I do not remember having ever told a lie during this short period, either to my teachers or to my school mates. I used to be very shy and avoided all company1. As a primary school student, he was quite as ordinary boy of his age.
At the age of thirteen, Mohandas Gandhi married according to the custom of child marriage, which prevailed at that time. Next to his mother, it was his wife, Kasturba Makani, who has a great influence on him, teaching him the lessons of love, patience and suffering.
During his high school period, Mohandas experienced a phase of occasional minor moral lapses. The influence of his friend Sheikh Mehtab led him astray. He broke on Hindu custom after another and went through a short spell of religious crisis. Gradually he took to pretty thefts, furtive smoking, and most shocking of all for a Vaishnava boy-meat eating. He was on the verge of being unfaithful to his wife, but as he confessed, “I was saved by the skin of my teeth” . And for some time he was inclined some what towards atheism. For want of independence from parental control he once decided to commit suicide but at the last moment his courage failed him. Gandhi recorded all these shortcomings in his autobiography, which reveals to us his sincerity and openness.
Gandhi had started on a life of ease and comfort, but the experiment was short-termed. Although he has furnished the house with care yet it failed to have any hold at him. So no sooner had he launched fourth on that life than he began to cut down expenses. The washer man’s bill was heavy and he was besides by no means noted for his punctuality even two or three dozen shirts and collars proved insufficient for him.
Collars had to be changed daily and shirts if not daily at least every alternate day. This was the double expense, which appeared at him unnecessary. So he equipped himself with a washing outfit to save it. He bought a book on washing, studied the art and he also taught it to his wife. There is no doubt about it to add his work, but its novelty given him a pleasure. Once Gandhi washed his collar himself. He wished to iron the same but the iron had not been made not enough due to fear of burning the collar. He could not press it sufficiently, but the result was in at though the collar was fairly stiff, the super fluous starch continually dropped of it. Gandhi went to court with the collar on, thus inviting the ridicule of brother barristers but in that day he could be impervious to ridicule. The main ideology of his whole life was simple leaving and high thinking. Almost Gandhiji fowling of manual work. As it provides the self-respect to individual and gives a lot of confidante to work in a difficult situation. Gandhiji was a man of disciplined manner. He believed in the goodness of all fellow beings.
The extreme forms in which his passion for self-help and simplicity ultimately expressed itself will be described in their proper place. The seed had been long sown. It only needed watering to take root, to flower and to fructify and the watering came in due course.
STUDY IN ENGLAND
At the age of 19, after matriculation, on the advice of a family friend, he made up his mind to go to London to study Law and to qualify as a barrister. But his family as well as is caste opposed the idea. After a lot of hesitation his mother gave him permission, but only after exacting from him a threefold vow of abstention from women, wine, and meat. He reached London in the year 1883.
During his stay in England, Gandhi had the opportunity to meet people of different beliefs and philosophies: Theosophists, Christians, Socialists, Humanists, Idealists, Critics of Capitalism and Atheists. All of them contributed to the maturation of his thought on religion and morality. During this period he had also an intimate divine experience that made him a firm believer in God. After a second attempt, Gandhi passed the London Matriculation Examination in 1890. On 10th June 1891 he passed the Law examination.
After three years of successful study in England, Gandhi came back to India in 1891. Then in 1892 he started practisingat the High Court in Bombay with the aim of becoming acquainted with Indian Law and gaining experience in the profession as barrister. His profession as an advocate in India was not a success. The main reasons for his not being successful were his extreme shyness and the inability to speak in pubic.
IN SOUTH AFRICA
When Gandhi received an invitation to plead for the case of Sheth Abdulla, an Indian merchant in South Africa, he left for that country in April 1893. His aim was simply to earn a livelihood. He reached Durban (South Africa) in the last week of April. In his Journey from Durban to Pretoria, he experienced the racial Prejudice and discrimation of the White rulers towards the Blacks. He was evicted from the first class compartment of his train in the middle of a cold night for the simple reason that he was an Indian or black. He had to spent night in Pietermaritz burg station, shivering in the bitter cold as he was also denied a room in hotels for the same reason experience opened his eyes to the oppression and injustice the black people had to suffer in South Africa and opened the door of Gandhi’s career as the great liberationist of humanity. Gandhi took up cases which were not entirely political but touched intimately the lives of the people.
The political activities of Gandhi in South Africa fall into two periods. The first period, characterized by such legal agitation as speeches, manifestations, conferences, etc., which lasted till 1901. At this time he helped the British in the Boer War forming an Indian Ambulance Corps.
The second phase of his political life began in 1902, and it saw the birth of the Satyagraha movement to rectify the political disabilities of the Indians living in South Africa. He founded in 1904 a weekly journal Indian Opinion in which for the next ten years he poured out his thought and feelings on all the subjects of interest to the Indian community. The cancellation of certain taxes imposed on Indian workers, the withdrawal of some inhuman laws, the mitigation of the Emigration Act and the system of bringing labourers were some of the fruits of Gandhi’s struggle for the rights of Indians in South Africa. South Africa in Gandhi’s own words was “a sacred and dear land, next only to my mother land”. Through his selfless service for twenty-one years Gandhi became the savior of the suffering people in South Africa. He gave up his legal practice. He completely devoted himself to the service of people. He put into practice, satyagraha and ahimsa.
INFLUENCE OF RELIGIOUS
Mahatma Gandhi formulated his vision ofSarvodaya from the religious he came across, the persons with whom he came into contact, and the movements with which he got acquainted. When asked by one correspondent about the source of his philosophy, Gandhi replied: “It is not possible for me to say how I have arrived at my present outlook upon life as a whole. A multitude of contacts with books, men and events are together responsible for what I am today, as they must be for everyone” .
In his life-long search for truth, Gandhi accepted whatever was good and true in others and he tried to live it in concrete situations of his life. Then whatever was verified and found to be meaningful, he incorporated into his value system. Gandhi’s vision of Sarvodaya is shaped from his understanding of different religious and the influence from different authors.
As C.F. Andrews, an intimate friend of Gandhi, comments, “the more we study Mahatma Gandhi’s own life and teaching, the more certain it becomes that the Hindu religion has been the greatest of all influences in shaping his ideas and
actions. The stamp of Hinduism on Gandhi’s life and the philosophy of Sarvodaya is evident in his belief in one ultimate reality-God, basic unity of all human beings, respect and tolerance towards religions, spirit of renunciations and ahimsa as the only means for the attainment of God-realization.
The seeds of Sarvodaya philosophy are found in the Vedas and the Upanishads. The Rig Veda speaks of one God, who is the source of all living beings, as supreme over all other Gods. Gandhi states: “The chief value of Hinduism lies in holding the actual belief that all life (note only human beings, but all sentient beings) is one, that is, all life coming from the One universal source, who is called Allah, God or Parameshwar”5. The Vedas teach the sacredness of life and the need for practicing ahimsa, which is considered the mother of all virtues. The Vedas and the Upanishads give primary importance to truth and ahimsa and in Sarvodaya, truth and non-violence are the two pillars on which moral life is based. The two great Indian epics, namely, Mahabharata and Ramayana, teach that ahimsa is the parama dharma (the highest morality) and it is the most important means (sadhana) for the realization of God. Gandhi’s philosophy of God and of human being has its foundation the Bhagavad-Gita, which exalts the union of the finite with the infinite: “The man whose mind is absorbed through Yoga and who sees the same Self everywhere, sees the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self’6.
Gandhi considered Buddha as a great Lord, master and teacher or humanity who preached compassion and universal brotherhood towards all beings including the animals. One of the five precepts of good conduct demanded from the aspirant in the path of perfection by Buddhism in abstinence from killing. It advocates universal love for all beings. In Gandhi’s view, the doctrine of Buddhism “essentially was not merely brotherhood of man but brotherhood of all life” . Buddhist teaching on sacrifice, renunciation, non-violence, toleration, purity of heart and respect for all living beings really touched the heart of Gandhi and he tried to live according to it for the welfare of all, the Sarvodaya.
The Jainism were the first to make ahimsa, non -violence, into a rule of life. The monks and the followers of Jainism had to obey the great vow of nonviolence as the supreme law of life in the strictest sense. The Jainistproclamation of faith reads as follows:
I renounce killing all living beings, whether subtle or gross, whether movable or immovable. Not shall I myself kill living beings, nor cause others do it, nor consent to do it. As long as I live, I confess and blame, repent and exempt myself of these sins in the thrice threefold way (in acting, commanding, consenting, either in the past, present or future) in mind, speech and body.
Right conduct in Jainism consists in five virtues, namely, non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy and detachment from worldly things. Gandhi adopted all these virtues as a way of life for him and for his followers to achieve Sarvodayasociety.
Gandhi taught the equality of all religions and different ways of understanding God by different persons in his Sarvodaya ideal. This was influenced greatly by the Jaina theory of anekantavada, which advocates that reality is multi-dimensional and many sided, and the principle of Sarvodaya the doctrine of relativism.
Gandhi wrote towards the end of 1920: “I revere the Bible. Christ’s Sermon on the Mount fills me with bliss even today. Its sweetness has even today the power to quench my agony of soul” The ethical teaching of Jesus influenced greatly Gandhi’s doctrine of Satyagraha and non-violence. Gandhi himself acknowledges this fact:
It was the New Testament, which really awakened me to the rightness and value of passive resistance. When I read in the Sermon on the Mount, such passage as ‘resist not him that is evil, but whosoever smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also’ and love your enemies and pray for them that persecute you, that ye be sons of your Father which is in heaven. I was simply overjoyed.
Gandhi calls Jesus “the prince among satyagrahies”. According to him, Jesus showed the purest form of passive resistance or soul-force.
Gandhi considers non-violence as the central teaching of the Bible and Jesus’ non-violence as par excellence. He also discovered that “Christianity’s particular contribution is that of active love. No other religion says so firmly that God is love and the New Testament is full of the word” . Gandhi is greatly influenced in developing his ideas of love by the ethical teaching of Jesus.
E. Stanley Jones, a great Christian missionary in India, speaks of Mahatma Gandhi as “more of the spirit of Christ than perhaps any other man in the East or West”10. Christ’s ethical principles of sacrificial love, non-condemnation of the evildoers, non-possession, non-stealing etc. are accepted and integrated into his philosophy. Gandhi literally accepted and practiced Jesus Christ’s teaching on
love of neighbor, love of enemies, non-retaliation, and overcoming evil with good, as the main principles of his Sarvodaya ideal.
Gandhi had great love and regard for Islam and the prophet Mohammed. He accepted the teaching of Islam that there is only on God and Mohammed is His messenger. In an interview with Dr. John Mott in 1929 Gandhi admits: “Islam’s distinctive contribution is its unadulterated belief in the oneness of God and a practical application of the truth of the brotherhood of man for those who nominally within its fold”11. Prof. R. C. Zachner records: “Gandhi absorbed the ethical teaching of the Sermon on the Mount and the transcendent monotheism of Islam into his own Hindu life, and through himself he transmitted it to the whole of India”12.
INFLUENCE OF LITERARY PERSONS AND THEIR BOOKS John Ruskin
The Sarvodaya ideal took concrete shape in Gandhi, when he read a book named Unto This Last by John Ruskin (1819-1900), an English essayist and a social reformer. The book impressed him so much that he read it completely at a stretch. He wrote in his Autobiography: “It gripped me I determined to change my life in accordance with ideals of the book” . Gandhi published the content of the book as a series of articles under the titleSarvodaya in IndianOpinion in the year 1908. He first used the term Sarvodayato bring out some of the ideas of Ruskin’s Unto This Last that touched him mostly. Gandhi lists these ideas as follows:
“1. That the good of the individual is contained in the good of all.
2. That a lawyer’s work has the same value as the barber’s in as much as all have the same right of earning their livelihood from their work.
3. That the life of labour, i.e., the life of the tiller of the soil and the handicrafts man is the life worth living”14.
To formulate his ideal of Sarvodaya Gandhi borrowed mainly three concepts from the book Unto This last:
(I) Community: The individual has to work for the welfare of all. There is no growth of the individual without the growth of the society and vice versa. Both are inter-related.
(II) Equality: It advocates economic equality in the sense that both intellectual work and bodily work are equal in status. There should be equal remuneration for equal work irrespective of caste, creed, colour and sex. It advocates equal value to different kinds of work in society.
(III) Dignity of Labour: It acknowledges in a special way the dignity of bodily labour.
Before reading the book Unto This Last, Gandhi was aware only of the first among the three principles mentioned above. But in reality, the second and the third are contained in the first one. Giving due important to these three principles, Gandhi formulated his social philosophy, Sarvodaya, which is a politico-economic vision for the establishment a new just society.
Gandhi was greatly influenced by the Russian social and religious reformer, count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1901). Gandhi states: “Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God Is within You overwhelmed me. It left an abiding impression on me”15. In this book Gandhi found three qualities, namely, original thinking, profound morality and truthfulness, which he sought in a religion. This book also provided Gandhi the great insight that kingdom of God is not something outside us but it is within us.
Gandhi was convinced of the idea of ‘bread labour’ from reading the writings of Tolstoy. The Bread Labour theory suggests that a human being must earn his/her own labour. Gandhi adopted the ethical doctrines of love of one’s neighbour, passion for truth, and non-resistance to evil found in Tolstoy’s book The Kingdom of God Is within You to mould his concept of Satyagraha. Gandhian ideal of Sarvodaya comes very close to Tolstoyan anarchism. The pure ideal of Gandhi’s conception for Sarvodaya is an ideal of philosophical anarchism, a stateless society marked by voluntary co-operation.
Henry David Thoreau
H.D. Thoreau’s (1817-1862), famous essay entitled On the Duty of Civil Disobedience played a significant role in moulding Gandhi’s political thoughts. Thoreau maintained: “There will never be a really, free and enlightened State, until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly”16. This concept enabled Gandhi to formulate his teaching on decentralized democracy. It was the opinion of Thoreau that rather than violence, civil disobedience is the true remedy against social evil like slavery and the means to uphold the dignity and rights of human persons. It strengthened Gandhi’s
method of civil disobedience and non-cooperation and made them the two important ways of Satyagraha in achieving Sarvodaya.
William Macintyre Salter
The book, Ethical Religious by W.M. Salter was a source of inspiration for Gandhi and it gave shape to his idea of religion. Because of his interest in the book, Gandhi summarized eight of its fifteen chapters in the pages of Indian Opinion. Salter brought out the moral principle common to all religions and their place in religion: “Without morality religion cannot subsist. True morality covers religions for the most part. Any one who observes the laws of morality for their own sake and not for any selfish end can be regarded as religious” . Gandhi was fascinated by the concept of Salter’s Ethical Religion and he later stated that morality is the essence of religion. According to Gandhi, “Morality cannot be observed without religion. That is to say, morality should be observed as religion” . Salter influenced Gandhi in formulating his view that true religion is nothing but a way of moral life.
Though different religious, persons, and movements influenced Gandhi, the Sarvodaya ideal is something more than the sum-total of all the influences. He synthesised what he received and recommended it to others for the realization of Sarvodaya
SERVICE FOR HUMANITY AS THE CORE OF GANDHI LIFE
Service for the humanity was the love of his life and he may from whatever premises, he reaches to the same conclusion. He believed in the complete oneness of God no matter with whatever names he cal him and thus there is the essential unity among his living creation. Man’s ultimate aim is the realization of God and all its endeavor-social political and religious must be guided to this end. The immediate service of all human begins becomes a necessary part of the endeavor, simply because the only way to find God is to see him in his creation and be one with it-I am a part and parcel of the whole and I cannot find him apart from the rest of humanity. For Gandhiji’s God lives in the temple of humanity and man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of al his fellow men. Service of man is to the best service of God
RESISTANCE TO INJUSTICE
Gandhi remained is South Africa for twenty years, suffering imprisonment many times. In 1896, after being attacked and humiliated by white South Africans, Gandhi began to teach a policy of passive resistance to and non-cooperation with, the South African authorities. Part of the inspiration for this policy came from the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. Whose influence on Gandhi was profound? Gandhi also acknowledged his debt to the teachings of Christ and to the 19th-century American writer Henry David Thorean, especially to Thoreau’s famous essay ‘Civil disobedience.’’Gandhi considered the terms passive resistance and civil disobedience inadequate for his purposes, however, and coined another terms, Satyagraha (from Sanskrit, “truth and firmness”). During the Boer War, Gandhi organized and ambulance corps for the British army and commanded a Red Cross unit. After the war he returned to his campaign for Indian rights. In 1910, he founded Tolstoy Farm, near Durban a cooperative colony for Indians. In 1914the government of the union of South Africa made important concessions to Gandhi’s demands, including recognition of Indian marriages and abolition of the poll tax for them. His work in South Africa complete, he returned to India.
MORAL LIFE A MAHATMA GANDHI
Mahatma Gandhi is university accepted as an exemplary model of ethical and moral life with a rare blending of individual and social life, the traditions and practices, the immediate and the eternal. The accepted life to be an integral whole, growing from truth to truth, in every day in moral and spiritual status. He believed in a alone standard conduct founded on righteous conduct of truth and nonviolence. He successfully led-nonviolent struggles against racial discrimination, colonial rule, economic and social explosion and, oral degradation. So long as these manifestations of violence remain, Gandhi will remain relevant. Gandhi was a nice person through out the universe where some resist the corroding influence of power and health.
Among the whole message of Gandhi’s leadership are even single man can male a different strength comes not from physical capacity but from an indomitable will given a factor of nonviolence and capacity for self-suffering, and fearlessness. Victory is absolute certain.
An incident from the life of Gandhiji is portrayed to highlight this kind of morality and love. One day Gandhiji had gone out for a walk on the way a walk on the way a leaper greeted him saying, Namaste Gandhiji I have come from for off to see you. Gandhi asked him what he cold do for him. The leaper replied that since many days he had sat by the charkha to spin yarn for Gandhiji which he had now in his bag. Gandhiji took the bag he asked the leaper where he was going. The leaper said that tonight he would sleep under a tree and tomorrow he would return to his village. Gandhiji asked the poor man if he had eaten anything. The leaper replied that he had not had anything since morning.
To this Gandhiji replied that he was presently going for evening prayers, and that the leaper could spend the night outside the Ashram. In the evening at the prayer meeting Gandhiji said this evening God sent me new friend, a leaper. I was afraid to send him away because it would be like sending away God’s child. But yet at the same time I was afraid to bring him here because you may not like a leaper among you all. So what should we do? On consulting the people in the Ashram he decided to keep the leaper among them. Gandhiji cleaned and washed the leaper’s wounds and thus savedhim within a few months his leprosy was controlled with medicines. We can realize very well that Gandhiji was a great lover of humanity. He performed his moral duty to provide him shelter in his Ashram. The life of Gandhi is the real message to whole universe.
INSTRUMENT OF MAHATMA GANDHI’S LIFE
For about two decades in South Africa (1894-1914), Gandhiji waged his struggle against the discriminatory and humiliating laws of the African Government through ‘Ahimsa ’ and ‘Satyagraha. ’ With these two weapons, he combated with the British rulers in India. The masses of India followed him very faithfully and sincerely whenever he launched his non -violent movements against the brutal force of the rulers.
Gandhiji does not agree with the literal meaning of ‘Ahimsa, ’which means nonkilling. ‘"Ahimsa’ really means that you may not offend anybody, you may not harbor an uncharitable thought even in connection with one who may consider himself to be your enemy." Again he, “Non violence is the quality of heart."
Gandhiji gave so much importance to ahimsa and he said, “Ahimsa is the rule and breathe of my life”19
“Theprinciple of ’Ahimsa’ is hurt by every evil thought, by undue haste, by lying by hatred, by wishing ill of anybody”20
His 'mantra ’ regarding ‘Ahimsa’ is, “Truth exists, it alone exists. It is the only God and there is but one way of realizing it; there is but one means and that is ‘Ahimsa. ”
In the words of Gandhiji, “Ahimsa and truth are so intertwined that it is practically impossible to disentangle and separate them. They are like the two sides of the coin. Who can say means and truth is the end”21
Non-violence according to Gandhiji “does not mean submission to the will of the evil doer, but it means the putting one’s whole soul against the will of the tyrant.”
To Gandhiji, “The jewel of non-violence was discovered during the search for and contemplation of truth”22
Gandhiji considered the following requisites for practicing 'Ahimsa’:
ii. Purity of heart
iv. Freedom from greed
v. Honesty of purpose. ”23
The word 'Satyagraha’ is composed of two words i.e., 'Satya’ (truth) and ‘agraha’ (holding fast). It means 'holding on truth 'no matter what happens. It implies 'Truth force” i.e., truth is force, power or a weapon. The term was coined in South Africa and Gandhiji himself described it as 'Passive Resistance,’ but later on he made a distinction between the two ideas. ‘”Satyagraha’ differs from ‘Passive Resistance.’ The latter Passive Resistance has been conceived as a weapon of the Weak and does not exclude the use of physical force or violence for the purpose of gaining one’s objective or end. The former i.e., ‘Satyagraha’ Gandhiji says, ‘Satyagraha’ is the law of love for all. It eschews violence absolutely.
Gandhiji has identified ‘truth’ and ‘non-violence’ as most important values or two central pillars to ensure peace, perfection in thought and deed of every individual, progress and prosperity.
“ Education for Values, Environment and Human Rights Violence is the weapon of the weak; Non-violence; that of the strong
He who has n either peace nor strength of mind, how can he have knowledge?
Pure love removes all weariness without truth it is impossible to observe
Any principles or rules in life. There must be truth in thought. Truth in speech and Truth in action”24
MAHATMA GANDHI AS A NATIONAL LEADER
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) most reverently known a Mahatma Gandhi was born in Gujarat. He was called by the people ‘Mahatma’ which means great soul. The people also called him ‘Bapu’ the father. Gandhi belonged to the business community of Gujarat. He studied law in England. Towards the end of the 19th century he arrived in South Africa to represent an Indian client. In South Africa, Gandhi, once traveling in the first class compartment reserved for whites only was thrown out of a train because he was not white. He started a movement for civil rights in South Africa and succeeded in changing some rules three. He left South Africa in 1915 and returned to India. His actions in South Africa already made him famous in India and on his arrival in India he was welcomed by the Indians as a hero. After his arrival in India, he was introduced t the leader of Indian National Congress, Gopal Gokhale, whom Gandhi considered as his political guru.
Gandhi had developed while in South Africa, a philosophy of struggle for political and human rights through non-violence. He started t convince Indians to use his philosophy to achieve political rights for Indians. At that period the leader of Indian National Congress was Lokmanya Tilak who was militant and was supportive of violent actions against the British. Gandhi opposed to these ideas of Tilak but he admired the other ideas to Tilak, He agreed with Tilak that Indian political struggle was a matter of the people of India and not only of the intellectuals. Gandhi like Tilak supported a cultural and social change in Indian society. In 1920 Tilak died and Gandhi became the leader of Indian National Congress.
Like other Indians whom the British fostered to ‘think like the British’, (see English in India) Gandhi’s family also belonged to this group. Gandhi studied law in England. He dressed like an Englishman. After returning from South Africa (where he was discriminated because of his Indian origin) Gandhi changed his dressing style and began to dress like a simple Indian farmer. He remained in these simple Indian clothes even when he arrived again in England later on as a representative of the Indian National Congress, causing a complete surprise to his British counterparts. His philosophy was that all are equal and everyone should do all kinds of jobs. He built an ashram in which everyone did all different jobs. He even cleaned the toilet, which according to strict Indian customs was the job of the low castes and untouchables. Because of his revolutionary ideas many in the then elitist Indian society mocked at his philosophy. Later on, many of these mockers became his admirers ad followers.
Gandhi’s philosophy of struggle against the British was non-violent noncooperation. He demanded from the Indians to restrain even if the British forces physically attacked them. He advised Indian to boycott anything British including British made garments, British universities and British courts and to refuse to follow respect and abide by British laws. He sometimes resorted to hunger strikes. Gandhi succeeded in sweeping the Indian people after him like no other Indian leader ever did before him. One of the famous Gandhi campaigns was the salt march. According to British law Indians could not produce salt, a basic food ingredient, but could only buy it from licensed salt factories, all of them were British owned. Gandhi organized in 1930 a 24-day march to the sea and produced salt from the sea. In this march he gathered behind him the strength of hundreds of thousands of people.
Mahatma Gandhi who became the leader of the Indian Congress in 1920 did not always lead the Indian nationalist movement. There were periods when he was arrested and was completely isolated from the movement. Sometimes he severed from the nationalist movement for other causes. Even when he was though leader of Indian National Congress there were members in the Congress who did not accept his ideas. His opponents, who9 had other ideas about India even established movements with the Indian National Congress. In the early 1930s Gandhi even resigned from the leadership of the leadership of the Congress because of growing criticism against his leadership. But from then on Gandhi became the father figure of the Congress. In 1942 Gandhi led the ‘Quit India’ movement.
Outside the Congress, Mahatma Gandhi also had many rivals who defied his political philosophy. His main rivals outside the Congress were Hindu nationalists. They saw in Mahatma Gandhi pro-Muslim trend. During India’ independence there were many riots between Hindus and Muslim. Hundreds of thousands of people died in these riots. During these riots Gandhi, who was a Hindu, tried to be a middleman between Hindus and Muslims. Many Hindus did not like his stand and saw him as a traitor. After India’s partition into India and Pakistan, Hindu nationalist blamed the Congress and specially Mahatma Gandhi for the partition. Mahatma Gandhi sometimes even attacked the Indian government as not being fair towards Muslims and towards Pakistan. He even intended to leave Indian and end his life in Pakistan. On 30 January 1948 a Hindu nationalist, NathuramGodse shot him to death.
FATHER OF THE NATION
On 9th January 1915, Gandhi landed in Bombay at a critical period in Indian history to spend the rest of his life for the nation. The political situation in India at the time was one of sub-service to Britain. Gandhi criticized British rule mainly for two reasons: firstly, for reducing India to world’s poorest country and secondly, for denying the birth right of Indian citizens to rule themselves as a free nation. Because of British colonialism, India was on the verge of ruin on all levels: spiritual, cultural, economic, political and social.
Gandhi entered the Indian public life with a unique vision and a definite programme of life through the Indian National Congress from 1920 onwards. He became the greatest leader of the Indian National Congress and revived it according to his ideas. According to Gandhi, freedom from British colonialism was necessary for Indian to attain God-realization, the ultimate goal of every human being.
On 26th January 1930 the ‘Pledge of Independence’ was taken all over the country. Gandhi started his campaign against the government through his eleven- point programme: total prohibition of alcohol, reduction of military expenditure, decreasing of the salary of government officials, removal of the salt tax etc. The integral liberation of every individual was his goal. Gandhi told his fellow Indians: “If you want to free India, through your strength, shower love on others” . When the British used guns, bayonets and lathy-sticks to suppress the freedom movement, Gandhi faced them with peaceful resistance.
Gandhi enlightened the people through his articles in journals like Young India in English, Navajivan in Gujarathiand Hindi. To oust the British rulers from India, he used the same method that he had successfully practiced in South Africa, the Satyagraha, a method based on non-violence. Through years of hard work in training Indians to self-reliance and self-respect, and through a protracted struggle on non-violent non-cooperation, Gandhi led India to freedom on August 15, 1947.
In the days of India’s birth-pangs as a nation, Gandhi was striding through the riot-torn and blood-bathed villages of Bengal and Bihar, pleading for peace, consoling the bereaved, rehabilitating the refugees, and finally resorting to his last weapon, fast, to shock his compatriots to sanity. Gandhi’s last act on earth was to offer his life for the cause for which he lived. On January 30, 1948 on his way to his prayer meeting Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic, shot him dead. With folded hands, in a forgiving gesture, and with the name of God, ‘Hey Ram’, on his lips he entered eternity. That was ‘the appropriate climax of an epic life’.
Gandhi had a definite goal and mission in life. He spent the whole of his life for the same. Since he was the main architect of the Indian Nation and his Sarvodayaideal is a guide towards its future, Gandhi is rightly called the Father of the Nation.
1. Gandhi M.K. Autobiography, 6
2. Gandhi M.K. Autography, 29
3. Gandhi M.K. Collected Works Lill : 166
4. CI Andrews, Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas: 60
5. Gandhi M.K. Harijan December 26, 1936, Collected Works :141
6. Bhagwat Gita VI: 29
7. Gandhi M.K. Collected Works, LVI: 56
8. Gandhi M.K. Collected Works, XIII 220
9. FM Baar Bapu: Conversation of correspondence with Mahatma Gandhi (Bombay 1949), 119
10. E.S. Jones, Mahatma Gandhi, An International (London: Hodder and Soughton Ltd. 1948) 76
11. Gandhi M.K. Collected Works, XI: 58
12. Gandhi M.K. Autography 249
13. Gandhi M.K. Autography 250
14. Gandhi M.K. Sarvodaya (the welfare of all) Navjeevan Publishing House Ahmedabad, P-3
15. Gandhi M.K. Autography 114
16. H.D. Thore Walden or life in the woods on the duty of Civil Disobedience 254
17. Gandhi M.K. Collected Works VI: 280
18. Gandhi M.K. Collected Works VI: 313
19. J.C. Aggarwal Edu. for Values, Environment and Human Rights, Shipra Publications L.G 18-19, Pankaj Central Market, Patpargang, Delhi P-39
20. Ibid P. 39
21. Ibid P. 39
22. Ibid P. 39
23. Ibid P. 39
24. Ibid P. 40
SARVODAYA PHILOSOPHY OF MAHATMA GANDHI INTRODUCTION
In the history of India in the twentieth century the figure of Mahatma Gandhi occupies a central position. Gandhiji influenced the lives of our countrymen for more Than half a century. His approach to most issues was down to earth and holistic be it social, cultural, economic, health and education. His philosophies were pragmatic and farsighted. The rural area was the major centre of his economic thought. Born during the first phase of industrial and scientific revolution and living through its second and third stage, Gandhi has been seen the positive and human aspects of science and technology.
The quest for a new society or the struggle for a new social order is not a new phenomenon. Human being has looked forward to the establishment of an ideal socially on earth. Mahatma Gandhi struggled hard for a new society in Independent India. This can not be ignored. Gandhi’s significance is not only in that he is The Father on Nation and the leader of our liberation struggles but also that he visualized a radical philosophy of life, which is later described as Sarvodaya. Sarvodaya is the picture of a new society for the Integral liberation and the welfare of all human beings.
Sarvodaya is the name of Gandhi’s philosophy means welfare of all- is based on the ancient scriptures and tradition of India. The term Sarvodaya is the combination of two word ‘Sarva’ and ‘uday’. It stands the meaning uplift of all. It also stands the meaning ‘Good of all’, ‘service of all’ etc. it is concerned with Gandhi and socialism. The main purpose of Sarvodaya is to create moral atmosphere in the society. Truth, non- violence and purity are the foundation of Sarvodaya.
Sarvodaya aims at all round development of all, without distinction of caste, creed, sex and nationality. Gandhiji wanted to establish welfare state in India which he called “Ram Rajya” the ideal of Sarvodaya does not aim the maximum number but maximum good of all without exceptions. While Karl Marks aimed at the welfare of the proletariat, Gandhiji aimed even at the welfare of the capitalist. According to VinobaBhave the important characteristics of the Savodaya society are the abolition of all monopoly, emphasis on social welfare and equal moral, social and economic important of honest work. There is no place for any type of exploitation in Sarvodaya society. No body may be forced to do certain type of work, so much. So that even the wealth of the capitalist, cannot be forcibly snatched away centralization, according to Gandhiji, It is the chief source of social evil, Sarvodaya requires decentralization. In the political field decentralization requires establishment of village Panchyat. In the economic field it requires that wealth and money should not allowed to be concentrated in few hands but should be distributed among all the people. Social decentralisaiotn means the abolition of all type of untouchability and social distinctions. India is country of village.
Gandhi viewed his class- less society with welfare of all section of people the poor, the down trodden, the exploited and the least. He had the ideal of Sarvodaya of society upliftment, economic emancipation and moral resurrection of all. Gandhiji considered this ideal as the only real dignified human doctrine is the greatest good of all, he cherished this welfare of the rich and the poor, the prince and the dullard, the dumb, deaf and mute. He had envisioned development with moral ethical and spiritual value than the western economic parameter alone.
Gandhi cherished to establish a democratic state and a new social order on principles of truth and non- violence with Sarvodaya.
Gandhiji dream of Sarvodaya society is an ideal towards which he acted and for which he expected a continuity of commitment. The dynamics of Sarvodaya assumes a process that begins with the last and the least in the society and moves on towards the down of a moksha on earth or Ram-Rajya. This kingdom was to be attained on earth and had to be created and natured with Sarvodaya beliefs and practices.
Man on the earth is the central theme of Sarvodaya thought. It is not interested in life here after. As such, it comes very near the faith of Humanism. Socrates and Budha have been referred to as the ancient humanist who brought philosophy from Heaven to earth. Similar seems to be the Endeavour of Sarvodaya. But Humanism of the modern times leaves no scope for any reference to a state beyond the human world. It recognizes moral values and a sense of aesthetic union with the natural world, but it eschews all concern with spiritual value that link man with the rest of the universe and point to the unity of all creation. This foundation of the unifying spiritual reality brings holiness to human life. ‘Hinduism’ is this sense, a secular not ‘Holy’.
Sarvodaya philosophy, no doubt, emphasizes the moral values at the stage of human existence. It stands supreme for individual responsibility and initiative in society. It lays stress on one’s duty towards fellow beings.4 Moral education for the abolition of social inequalities and injustice plays an important role in the Sarvodaya educational system.
But for the realization of God that Gandhi had turned towards the service of Humanity. The Sarvodaya thought feels compelled to concede the metaphysical ultimate reality. The whole man experience points to it. It acknowledging this, Sarvodaya links itself with the India philosophical tradition.
Sarvodaya is other wise known as Gandhian Socialism. It is the around development of an individual. This idea came to the mind of Gandhi when he was translating JohanRaski’s book ‘Unto the Last’.
It includes the following features.
Upliftment of all
Gandhian Sarvodya is a principle which is universal. It is a new approach of, socialism. It was against the principle that growth of majority in the society will improve the condition of the society. On the other hand Gandhi envisaged that all the individuals have equal importance in the society and so upliftment of every man in the society is a vital necessity.
Ideal Social Order
Sarvodaya brings to the forefront an idea social order. It includes several socio-economic programmes. Eradication of poverty, removal of untouchability, promotion of widow remarriage, introduction of Khadi, welfare of the cows etc. By improving these aspects, Gandhi pointed out that the social order can be regulated and socialism can be attained.
Good for One and All
Sarvodaya aims at good for one. By that, good for all will be attained. It is not the good or welfare of the greatest number improving the lot of majority; rather it aims at the welfare off all. This aims at all round development of the individual, society and nation.
Application in Economic Field
Gandhi applied the principle of Sarvodaya in the economic field. He wanted to improve the morality and spirituality of the rich people. That is why he had advocated trusteeship which aimed at giving away the surplus by the rich for the upliftmentof the lot of society.
Application in Political Field
Mahatma Gandhi applied the principal of Sarvodaya in the political field. His idea of Swaraj, concept of basic education, self - government village units etc. included the idea of Sarvodaya.
Thus, Gandhian idea of socialism or Sarvodaya was unique in its style. Free from violence, a State should march with this idea. It formulated the principle of economic equality from each according to his bread-labour and to each according to his need. The ardent followers of Mahatma Gandhi like Vinova Bhave and Jayprakash Naryan championed the cause of Sarvodaya in India.
Gandhiji and Mao are the two leading political leaders of third world countries who have a standing in the global community. Both are the major product of national liberation movement. Gandhiji and Mao both attempted to create an image of an integral personality. Gandhiji theory of Sarvodaya places him within the broader movement begun in the late eighteenth century when many thinkers because of western influence started revitalizing Indian tradition for the modernization of Indian society. His thought evolved out of his own life experience but at the same time, his life experience affects his thinking. Till the last moment of his life, Gandhiji was experimenting with truth. His commitment to truth was absolute. Gandhiji constructed the theory of ‘Sarvodaya’ out of his own experience. Having western education abroad gave him a better opportunity to have a close observation of the different facets of capitalism. Western capitalism breeds consumerism and accumulation of private capital on the level of political thought, individual remains as the center of political constructs. Need of a community and society get ignored. Gandhiji turns into a worst critic of capitalism. He propounded a theory of social capital he accepted the basic underlying principle of capitalism in the question of human labour. More over the individual labour creates capital but capital has social utility. Society has a right over the individual capital. On the level of distribution, market should be restricted role.
Human consciousness has a role to play individual because of a higher level of consciousness allow the community to use one’s own property. Human initiative should not be lost at any point. Gandhiji reconstructed the concept of private property. Individual can have personal property but not for only one’s own use. It should be utilized for societal needs. So individual needs need to be restricted to the minimum level. Gandhi’s statement on economic equality is worth quating.
“ Working for economic equality means abolishing the eternal conflict between capital and labour. It means the leveling down of the view rich in whose hands is concentrated the bulk of the nations wealth on the one hand, and the leveling up of the semi - starved naked millions on the other. A non - violent system of government is clearly an impossibility. So long as the wide gulf between the rich and the hungry millions persists”1
More over human consciousness must grow in a binary model of self and the others. In relating to others, enrichment of soul is possible. Serving others is a moral duty of every individual. Moreover creation of poverty is the result of individual hunger for wealth. Service to the poor is the service to God. There is no distance between individual need and societal need of violence. A non-violent social order can be created on the basis of satisfaction of minimum need of all. Self regulation of one’s need help oneself to creating a Sarvodaya.
When a rich turns unethical and becomes acquisitive in nature, a poor has every right to protest against him. Gandhi categorically states that if the rich do not becomes trustee of their wealth and shares it with poor. “non - violent, noncooperation and civil disobedience is the right infailable remedy, for the rich cannot accumulate wealth the without the cooperation of the poor in society.
Gandhi developed his concept of trusteeship which is the economic principal to creating a Sarvodaya society.
Sarvodaya is a Gujarati term that roughly translates into "well -being for all, ” “progress for all” or “universal uplift. ” It was first coined by Mahatma Gandhi, who altered and combined the Sanskrit root words sarva (all) and udaya (uplift), creating a concept that would define his political philosophy and, later on, his movement. The main principle behind the Sarvodaya is this “that the good of the individual is contains in the good of all”2
Gandhi developed this idea upon reading a book on political economy, unto this Last, by English social thinker John Ruskin. the controversial tract discussed topics of social justice and egalitarianism, and was among the first to introduce the notion of a “social economy” a an economic sector distinct from the public and private sectors - government and business - that included charities, nongovernmental organizations, non-profits, and cooperatives.
Gandhi was greatly inspired by it, as he noted in his autobiography: Indeed, the great activist drew form it’s message three central tenets:
1. “That the good of the individual is contained in the good of all.
2. That a lawyer’s work has the same value as the barber’s in as much as all have the same right of earning their livelihood from their work.
3. That a life of labour, i.e., the life of the tiller of the soil and the handicraftsman is the life worth living”3.
Gandhi reflected upon these concepts;
“The first of these I knew. The second I had dimly realized. The third had never occurred to me. Unto This Last made it clear as daylight for me that the second and third were contained in the first. I arose with the dawn, red to reduce these principles to practice”4
He paraphrased and translated the main ideas of the book and titled it Sarvodaya.
Despite these origins, he eventually developed the concept into his own distinct ideology and philosophy: Sarvodaya was an attempt to develop India into a just and prosperous society, one defined by the dignity and respect of labour, socioeconomic equality, cooperative self-sufficiency, and individual liberty. It is often forgotten that Gandhi wasn’t only aiming to free India, but to improve it’s society, a project that was perhaps as every bit as ambitious and crucial.
MEANING OF SARVODAYA
Sarvodaya is the name Gandhi gives to his vision of the new human society embracing the betterment of the entire humankind and the world at large. Sarvodaya seeks to build a new society on the foundations of old spiritual and moral values of East and West and attempts to pass on the values of the past to the present generation. It is a society directed towards the integral welfare of all living being. Jaypraksh Narayan describes Gandhi’s vision of a new social order in the following words:
Gandhi had his vision of the future India That vision was of a now social order-different from the capitalist, socialist, communist orders of society. A nonviolent society, a society, based on love and human values, a decentralized self- governing non-exploitative, co-operative society, Gandhi gave that society the name of Sarvodaya-literally, the rise of all, i.e., a society in which the good of all is achieved.
Through Sarvodaya, Gandhi strives for the establishment of a new sociopolitico-economic order that aims at the integrated welfare of the whole person and every person.
Sarvodaya has both negative and positive meanings. As a negative concept, in the words of B.S. Sharma: “Sarvodaya is not something which one man of set of men can gain or enjoy to the exclusion of others”5 From a positive approach point of view Sarvodaya, an activityin which all may partake and in which all must partake if it is to amount to a full realization of the human faculties of the human soul.
According to Vinoba Bhave, the term Sarvodaya commands a two-fold meaning? On the one hand, it means making all happy by removing suffering and poverty with the help of scientific knowledge; and on the other, it refers to the establishing a world state promotes divinity, kindness and equality.
Gandhi by upholding the doctrine of Sarvodaya, which ensures the universal welfare and integral development of all, rejects the laissez-faire theory and the utilitarian concept, which have the disastrous consequences of the exploitation of the many by the few. Sarvodaya aims at the realization of global welfare and, consequently, a universal brotherhood and friendship.
ORIGIN OF SARVODAYA
The germs of Sarvodaya, no doubt, can be found in the ancient civilizations of the world. The ancient people helped one another in times of crisis and used to share the yields of their labour among the members of their communities. It was a period of complete non-violent communism, which resembles the Sarvodaya principle of our times.
Gandhi’s ideal of Sarvodaya is based on God-oriented vision. According to Vedavyasa, “Man is the centre of universe,we are living in a homo-centric world. Man is the supreme consideration”6. Gandhi later takes up the concept of humanism here in his Sarvodaya ideal. The idealism of the Vedas gives birth to virtues like non-violence, non-possession and non-stealing. The spirit of ahimsa, that is, to love all beings and to work for the well-being of every being, is found in Bhagavad - Gita’s teaching on lokasamgraha (well-being of the world) and sarvabhutahiteratah (those who delight in well-being of all beings).
Before Gandhi used the word Sarvodaya, it was already in existence. The term Sarvodaya was used by one of the Jain teachers, AcharayaSamantabhadra. He invoked God in Sanskrit:
SarvodayaantakaramnirantamSarvodayamtirthamidamtavaiva, which is translated as: “Your path is the only one that can end all troubles, which is for all times and which can lead to the uplift of all”7. The immediate inspiration for Gandhi in coining the term Sarvodaya was reading of John Ruskin’s book, Unto This Last. Gandhi wanted to establish a society based on a right set of moral values that
assures the welfare of all and found the Sanskrit term Sarvodaya as the most suitable one to represent it.
Sarvodaya is a Sanskrit word derived from two words, namely sarva and udaya. Sarva means ‘all’, that is, including every kind of living beings. Udaya means ‘rise’, ‘uplift’, ‘prosperity’, etc. Sarvodaya thus literally means ‘the welfare of all’ Gandhi means the sun-total of conditions-religious, moral, political, social and economic-for the integral growth of the total individual and of every individual in the context of the overall development of the society.
As regards the meaning of the word Sarvodaya, there are broadly two views; first, in its micro-form connotes the rise of all, the universal welfare and the all-round development of all. Gandhi iuses the term Sarvodaya to give expression to his vision of a new social order aiming at the integral liberation of the whole and every human being.
THE ROOTS OF ‘SARVODAYA’
Gandhi was very much impressed by this universal appeal of religions. But he was equally conscious of the contradictions apparent in the teachings and the practice of the followers of these religions. The colorful history of mankind reveals how the teachings of great religions have been kept at a respectable distance from the sphere of every life and problems of humanity. It was the life- mission of Gandhi to unite the two spheres of spiritual and worldly life-and to base human life on the sound foundations of Truth and Love.
His childhood impression of Vaisnavism-the tolerant sect of Hinduism - and of some of the lives of benevolent Jains have had much to do with the idea of Sarvodaya that was developed in his mind in his later life. A Gujarati song deeply imprinted a message on his heart; it formed the foundation stone of the Sarvodaya according to Gandhi. The song says:-
“But the truly noble
Know all men as one
And return with gladness
Good for evil done. ”8
THE GOAL OF SARVODAYA
The greatest good for all living beings is the goal of Sarvodaya. It aims at the integral liberation of every individual. The goal of sarvidaya is not the suppression or liquidation of an individual or a group but the triumph if truth, that is, victory of the oppressor and the oppressed, the exploiter. The main principle behind the sarodaya is this: “that the good of the individual on the individual is contained in the good of all”. A votary of Sarvodaya dedicates his/her whole life for the greatest good to one and all even at the cost of his/her life.
Gandhi’s liberated society defends and stands for the dignity and the rights of every human person. While rejecting the principles of the greatest good of the greatest number, it upholds the maximum welfare of every individual on the basis of sharing goods and services regardless of one’s own contribution. By providing sufficient opportunities to every individual for their personal initiatives and capacities Sarvodaya aims at the total and integral development of every individual in the human society. “the immediate service of all human beings become a necessary part of the Endeavour simple because the only way to find God, is to see Him in His creation and be one with it. This can only be done by the service of all”9. No individual or group will be left out or suppressed in the Sarvodaya society.
The self - realization of every individual is the primary objective of Sarvodaya. Total self - realization, according to Gandhi, is the God - realization. It is to be achieved through the inner conversion of the individual and a life based on the twin principles of truth and non - violence. Sarvodaya aims at the realization of global welfare and consequently a universal brotherhood and friendship in the place of a corrupt and unjust world where only a few enjoy the fruits of the world. It is an ideal state of peace, love and harmony where people follow moral rules according to the dictates of their conscience without any external force. Ishwar C. Harris summarizes the good of Sarvodaya as follows:
In the social realm it advocates a casteless society, in politics it shares a democratic vision of the power of the people, in economics it promotes the belief that small is beautiful and in religion it asks for tolerance for all faiths. Its final goal is to promote peace for all mankind.
QUALIFICATIONS OF A SARVODAYA WORKER
Some qualification prescribed by Gandhiji for satyagrahis. But as a Sarvodaya worker was according to him, also to be a true satyagrahi, these qualification may be regarded as applying also to a Sarvodaya worker.
1. He must have a living faith in God, for he is his only Rock.
2. He must believe in truth and non-violence as his creed and therefore have faith in the inherent goodness of human nature which he expect to evoke by his truth and love expressed through his suffering.
3. He must be leading a chaste life and be ready and willing for the sake of his cause to give up his life and his possession.
4. He must be a havichualkhadi wearer and spinner. This is essential for India.
5. He must be a teetotaler and be free from the use of other intoxicants in order that his reason may be always unclouded and his mind constant.
6. He must carry out with a willing heart all the rules of discipline as may be laid down from time to time.
SARVODAYA IN OUTLINE
According to Gandhiji,
If we would see our dream of Sarvodaya i.e. true democracy relized, we would regard the humblest and lowest Indian as being equally the ruler of Indian with the tallest in the land. This presupposes that all are pure or will become pure if wisdom. No one would then harbor any distinction between community and community, caste and outcaste. Everyone would regard all as equal with oneself and hold them together in the silken net of love. No one would regard another as untouchable. We would hold as equal the tolling labourer and the rich capitalist everybody would know how to earn an honest living by intellectual and physical labour. To hasten this consummantion, we would voluntarily turn ourselves into scavengers. No one who has wisdom will ever touch opium, liquor or any intoxicants. Everybody would observe Swadeshi as the rule of life and regard every women, not being his wife, as his mother, sister, or daughter according to her age never lust after her in his heart, he would be ready to lay down his life when his life accasion demands it, never want to take another’s life.
SARVODAYA - A SOCIALLIST PHILOSOPHY
Sarvodaya philosophy is a culmination of Indian idealistic thought. Its foundations have deep roots in the Indian soil. Individual development occupied the supreme place of importance in ancient philosophies. However, the individual was treated in isolation. Our ancient philosopheis were individualistic. Sarvodaya, on the other hand, has its basis in the socioeconomic conditions of the presentday world. Sarvodaya, since it aimed at the ‘good of all’ presents a synthesis of all the good points in different Indian and western philosophies of life. According to some educationists, Sarvodaya philosophy is ahead of all philosophies.
THE GOALS OF EDUCATION AND SARVODAYA PHILOSOPHY
A Sarvodayist thinks of education as liberation from bondage. This is the accepted motto of life for an Indian. This aim has been advocated by each school of Indian philosophy, whether it is the ‘Vedanta’ or the ‘Sankhya’, or the ‘Jaina’ or the ‘Buddha’. Kaka Kalelkar an eminent Sarvodayaist explains it as, “Man is in bondage . . . .Right Knowledge or education, is that alone which frees the body from disease and debility, hands, feet and other organs of action from the dead weight of inertia, the heart from hardness and malice, the whole man from all types of bondage. . . . sentiment from sensualities, strength form intoxication; and the soul from the grip of baseness and pride. ”10
Sarvodaya being a social philosophy believes that the human individual can attain salvation only in the social cosmos.
In Sarvodaya the individual and social ideals are interrelated.
THE EDUCATIVE PROCESS AND THE SARVODAYA PHILOSOPHY
Sarvodaya education is an education for life through life. According to Sarvodaya philosophy, knowledge should flow out of life situations. Life activities should be the core of school studies. These activities may be classified as under:
1. “Productive activities.
2. Activities relating to cooperative living
3. Activities relating to clean, healthy and natural life.
4. Activities relating to asthetic and cultural life.
5. Activities relating to spiritual life”11.
THE MATHOD OF INSTRUCTION AND SARVODAYA PHILOSOPHY
“Correlation of Studies” is the main principle of Sarvodaya method. Correlation in Sarvodaya philosophy of education is to develop an integrated personality in which the cognitive, affective and conative powers of the child are harmoniously developed. Every activity, whether manual or social or intellectual must develop all the three, the hand, the head and the heart in unison.
THE PROBLEM OF DISCIPLINE AND SARVODAYA
Sarvodaya envisages a society of free people, who will be self disciplined rather than be disciplined through an external authority. The Sarvodaya ethics provides a good basis for freedom and discipline for the individual child. One man’s freedom should not restrict the freedom of the other.
Eleven vows are being put as the motto of a disciplined life :
1. “Displine of Truth.
2. Discipline of Non-violence.
3. Discipline of Non thieving.
4. Discipline of Bramacharya.
5. Discipline of Non possession.
6. Discipline of Bread-labour.
7. Discipline of the Control of the plate.
8. Discipline of Fearlessness.
9. Discipline of Secularism.
10. Discipline of Swadeshi.
11. Discipline of Untachability”12.
SOCIAL BASIS OF SARVODAYA
A study on the social basis of Sarvodaya society is also necessary to get the notion of Sarvodaya. The main tenets of Gandhian scheme of sarodaya social order are: Varna system, untouchadility, status of women, education, ideal society, universal brotherhood.
The Varna System
Gandhi gave a new meaning and significance to the system of Varnashrama Dharma in the social sphere. Varna means pre-determination of the choice of man’s profession. He held that there are mainly four kinds of varnas viz. Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Shudra, which confer duties but not privileges. He defines the law of varna this: It simply means the following on the part of us all the hereditary and traditional calling of our forefathers, in so far as that traditional calling is not inconsistent with fundamental ethics, and this only for the purpose of earning one’s livelihood It is a healthy division of work based on birth and defines man’s mission on earth.
The law of Varna is based on the law of heredity and different form caste system. Every child naturally follows the colour of his father, or choose his father’s profession. Varna therefore, is in a way the law of heredity. It is not a human invention, but an immutable law of nature.
All individuals are equal in dignity and all varnas are equal in status. Equality of status and equality of emoluments are the tow fundamental conditions for the working out of the Law of Varna. “The aim of the Brahmin and the Shudra was common-Moksha or self -realization of fame, riches and power.
Gandhi expresses his aversion against untouchability as: “it is practiced in Hinduism today is ... a sin against God man and is therefore, like a poison
slowly eating into the very vitals of Hinduism” It is not a part of Hinduism ” . It is an excrescence in Hinduism.
By enforcing laws one cannot remove untouchability. This can be removed only though the purification of own heart. He observes: “Let me tell you that unsociability is a crime. Ha who is a passive spectator of crime is really and in law an active participator in it. You must therefore begin and continue your agitation along all lawful and lefitimate lines”14.
The Ideal Society
The basis of sarvodata society is the Truth of the unity and equality of man and the law of love. It is a casteless, classless and equalitarian society. It is a society, which aims at the welfare of all, that is, Sarvodaya. In society all the individuals will have equal opportunities for the healthy development of all their inherent abilities.
In such a society none has any privilege on the basis of birth, wealth, office or talent. All are equal, In the openion of Gandhi ji: We are all sons of the same God and partake of the same divine essence the readiness to suffer and even to die for one’s fellowmen is the mark of a member of Sarvodaya society. In this society opponents are not destroyed but converted to be friend through self-suffering and conflicts are resolved through non-violent non-cooperation. The model of Gandhi’s ideal society, thus, is neither linear nor hierarchical but an ever- expanding oceanic circle of which the centre is the enlightened individual who is ready even to die for his friends and suffer for the conversion of his enemies.
Gandhi states: “Love has no boundary. My nationalism includes the love of all nation of the earth irrespective of creed”15 Gandhi envisaged a world society in which people lived in love and friendship. Gandhi’s Sarvodaya ideal is for the entire world. The goal of sayvodaya is the actualization of the universal brotherhood and friendship In his opinion, I do believe that in the other world there are neither Hindus, nor Christians nor Musalmans Universal brotherhood is to be achieved here on earth through interpersonal relationships based on mutual giving and taking. This sharing and co- operation always aim at global welfare.
The establishment of Sarvodaya society consists in working for liberation from evil in all its forms. It promotes national integration, religious coexistence, universal brotherhood and world peace
FEATURES OF SARVODAYA
Sarvodaya is a strong ideology for prevention of socio - economic ills of the society. It is based on ‘AdvaitaVedanto’ docttrine. It stand for creating high moral charater in the social groups. It stand for creating high moral character in the social groups. It is only possible by truth, non - violence, self - sacrifice and purity etc. its aims at adopting self - sacrifice for the sake of others. It is the best principal in Sarvodaya. It puts importance for the development of villages. For the betterment of human being and society village should be given priority in giving aids. Village are the keystone of India democracy. It is the duty every person to look to the welfare of villagers. Truth and Non - violence are the two main points of Sarvodaya. If everyone tries to practice these two principles, the social corruptions and irregularities will be directly checked and observed. It is one non political ideology. It is rather s socio - religious creed. Sarvodaya stands for national unity and solidarity. It condemns provincialism and regionalism.
Gandhiji’sSarvodaya has its roots in the vedartic concept of spiritual unity of existence and the holy book Bhagwad Gita. The idealism of Sarvodaya is opposed to the concept mayoritarism, concept of class racial stuggle and principle of greatest good of the greatest numbers.
The ethics of idealism of Gandhiji pro founded by his philosophy Sarvodaya. Gandhi considered the state as an organisation of violence and force. Being an apostle of non - violence he was repelled by the coercive character of the state.
Sarvodaya is concerned with Gandhiji’s social ideas and ideal of a community. It the word of Gandhiji, it is casteless and classless society. There should be no difference among all an the basis of class, and caste. Every one is same and equal in every manner. At the very out set it can be noted here that in order to over come the difficulties of the problem of the caste, communal evils, economic in equalities and social divisions, Gandhiji had propounded the philosophy of Sarvodaya. He desired a classless society and party less democracy.
Freedom, equality, Justice and fraternity form the basic part of Sarvodaya. Thus the philosophy Gandhiji for ‘Swaraj’ Sarvodaya is necessary.
In Sarvodaya, there is no space of politics of power. It is the base for politic of co-operation. Sarvodaya is the realization of the happiness and elevation of all. There are two techniques for stabilisation of power of the people.
1. Constant propaganda and publicity
2. Decontralisation ofpower. The aim is to change the heart of the people.
So that every individual will have a sense of achievement and absolute security.
Sarvodaya opposed to the ideas of egoism and wealth. The village and individual of India must become self - supporting and they must be saved from fluctuations as much as possible. There is no scope for class struggle in Sarvodaya. Social good, rationality and communal harmony are basic principal of Sarvodaya.
Sarvodaya accept the universalisation of self government and self goverence. Thus, the political philosophy of Sarvodaya is a powerful intellectual attempt to build a plan of political and social reconstruction on the basis of metaphysical idealism. Respect for all life is the first principal of Sarvodaya. The development of India means, primarily of India’s living beings, human as well as animal.
IMPORTANCE OF SARVODAYA
(1) Respect for life is the first pricipal of Sarvodaya. The development of India means, primarily, healthy and all-round development of the life and personality of India’s living beings, human as well as animal, the latter to the extent they have become a part and parcel of human life. The cow is the most important and symbolic of the socialized animal.
(2) The resources of Nature being an essential means for this purpose, their development cannot be neglected. But between life and Nature, the development of life should be the end, and that of Nature, the means for it. The latter should not be done by sacrificing life, nor should her resources be used extravagantly and wastefully. Even mute and inanimate Nature may not be ‘exploited’ in that sense. Although man is often influenced by his environment and becomes even a slave to it, nevertheless, ultimately, he is the master and maker of the environment and not its manufacture product; hence, the development of his personality cannot be subordinated to that of Nature. Nature has to be developed for him and with his aid; he is not to be made a mere cool for the development of Nature.
(3) The first concern of every society, as well as the state, should be to provide employment for every person with it, according to his capacity, with such work and means as are immediately available to it. The work and means should be improved progressively for him and with his aid to the extent necessary for the wellbeing of every one and only so far as such wellbeing is served.
(4) The standard of life should be distinguished from the standard of living; it is the former that is fundamental and not the latter; a rise in the standard of living might even lower the standard of life, by reducing man’s physical moral, intellectual and spiritual standards, power and potentialities. Hence, the progressive development of Nature must be consistent with rise in the standard of life, and not of living.
(5) Planning must proceed with two objects: Removal of natural of man-made impediments in the road to the development of man, and provision of means, training and guidance for it.
(6) The obstacles in the way of his development are:
(i) “Too much centralization of government and of production of wealth;
(ii) The ownership and control by a few people, or by a machine-like the Government or a company, of land which they do not cultivate themselves, leading to absentee landlordism;
(iii) money-dominated economy, leading to working for trade, commerce, profits, revenue etc. Instead of for providing for the needs of oneself and society; this further leading to the creation of a large body parasites;
(iv) The institution of slavery in its modern forms;
(v) The institution of interest, along with rights of proprietorship over large units of wealth to money-lenders and non-cultivators (in case of land) and to non-artisans (in case of industries);
(vi) On the one hand, the absolute neglect of the common man’s health and training, implements, seeds, raw materials by the State as well as by the advanced sections of society; and on the other, enforcement of rights and traditions, inculcation of customs, habits, vices, fashions, and luxuries, and provision of temptations, all bound to lead to his progressive deterioration from generation to generation; and
(vii) Institution of a political, economic and social order, in which he can play practically no part, take no initiative, but finds himself thoroughly tied down on all sides”16.
(7) Unless there are other nations available for unrestrained exploitation, no amount of the development of natural resources without the removal of these hindrances will bring about the welfare of even a majority, not to say every one - particularly in fully populated countries. The problems of unemployment and high prices and hence of sub - human conditions of living, disease, poverty, hunger, slavery of the masses, unsafe and disgraceful conditions for women, dacoities, robberies, and corruption in administration and trade are bound to remain, and may even increase. There might be plenty of food, and yet there will be all the evils of insufficiency, unsatisfied needs, and want of scope for the play of one’s abilities.
(8) Even the Government planned nothing beyond the removal of these obstacles as rapidly as possible, the people would prosper, if not rapidly, at least slowly. If the plan seeks to go further to provide positive aids to the people, the immediate objectives should be:
(i) “To be thoroughly self-sufficient - I would say over-full - in respect of food and nutrition. On our self-sufficiency in nutrition will ultimately rest out purnaSwaraj and not on our armaments. Hence, it must have priority over every other item of planning;
(ii) The food should not only be abundant, but should be normally available to every one without too much need for transportation.
This means that there should be as many self-sufficient units as possible, the normal unit being the village;
(iii) It should also be normally available to every able-bodied person in an honourable manner, and not by way of charity, dole etc. This means that should be no unemployment for any able-bodied person. Provision for employment of every one should be a joint item with production of every one should be a joint item with production of food a self-sufficiency basis;
(iv) The next positive item in planning would naturally have to be the training of the nation, and there can be no other system of training for a nation,. With the above objective, except on the principles of Nai Talim of which Basic Education is a part;
(v) Provision of clean water both for irrigation and drinking, sanitation, hygiene etc. should precede doctoring and dispensing of drugs, vaccinations, injections etc.;
(vi) Agricultural implements should be made available without creating indebtedness;
(vii) Public utility services (post, telegraph, transport, loan of tractors, supply of seeds, essentials like salt etc.) wether managed by Government or public corporations or private agencies, should not administered for profit or in a way which will yield large balances;
(viii) Temptations like liquor, intoxicating drugs, useless and expensive habits like those of tea, cold -drinks, tobacco, easy ways of making money, such as gambling, cross-word puzzles etc., vulgar shows, songs etc. should not be encouraged and licensed for revenue;
(ix) A Government which tells its people that it cannot establish a Welfare State unless the population is reduced, and plans for providing artificial means of birth- control, is as incompetent to govern as one that forces increase of population for imperialistic and war purposes. A training that incapacitates man form getting mastery over his passion and advises him to avoid the consequences of indulgence in it by questionable means is a failure of education as well as administration. Hence, the plan for education must be thoroughly overhauled”17.
THE ECONOMICS OF SARVODAYA
The general consideration of mutual confidence and urge to do good all, holds good in the economic sphere of the Sarvodaya Society. In Europe, economic competition in the name of individual freedom and security, led to all sided exploitation of the poor and untalented humanity, and ultimately culminated in centralization and monopolization of political as well as economic power. In an egalitarian society, competition should find no place. For equality of opportunity an peace, new orientation of economic life was a prime necessary. Gandhi called it economics of nonviolence. According to him, production in a non violent society will not be for distant profitable markets. It will be, first of all, for the ‘immediate neighbour’, he called it Swadesi. He called it Swadesi. The principle of Swadesi suggested him the universalizing of Khadi or the spinning wheel” to “enable the crores of our semi-starved countrymen to live.
Gandhi also saw the dangers of centralization. To allow centralization of industries and agriculture was to permit exploitation of other and unemployment at home.” He advocated ‘production by masses’, as against ‘mass-production’ through decentralization of industries. What he wanted was to effect change of values-a change form the values of money and material wealth, to the moral and human values.
Was Gandhi advocating poverty and backwardness in the name of moral values? He does not stand against real culture and plenty. He used to say, “I want to save time and labour, not for a fraction of mankind, but for all; I want the concentration of wealth, not in the hands of a few, but in the hands of all. ” he had, of course, said, “I whole-heartedly detest this mad desire to destroy distance and time, to increase animal appetites and go to the ends of earth in search of their satisfaction” . In Hind-Swaraj he attacked Western civilization and praised the ancient Indian village-system which was, naturally, lacking in advancement of machinery and luxuries of modern civilization. He even seemed to put fourth the case for poverty. The rich are often seen to be unhappy, the poor to be happy. Millions will always remain poor. The present distress is undoubtedly insufferable. Pauperism must go. But industrialism is no remedy. Addressing the workers he said, “you ought to get all the ordinary amenities of life that a rich man enjoys. I have not the slightest doubt that Swarj is not purnaSwaraj until these amenities are guaranteed to you under it. ”20
It seems that because Gandhi stood for simplicity he was taken to advocate poverty. Being a man for spiritual values he would never allow luxury and pomp to encroach upon human life. He was all for the control of passions and believed that it will lead to glorious civilization. His convictions many times sounded like asceticism. But this does not mean that he regarded scarcity and want as leading to virtues.
Was Gandhi against scientific advancement as such? It is certain that he abhorred the craze for time-saving devices. It pained him to see the the mad race for comforts was making man indifferent to the nobility of fellow-feeling and compassion. He could see that in the modern civilization man was being estranged in the human world. And his main concern was individual’s wellbeing. This sesms to have made his approach to science hazy. But this does not mean that his approach was essentially anti-science. The later Sarvodaya thinkers have a positive approach to science. They recognize and value the contribution of scientific advancement to the sense of unity of whole humanity. They visualize in this the possibility of Visva-manavatva-the world citizenship. They are equal conscious like Gandhi, that physical nearness in itself cannot foster love and consideration for humanity, which should form the core of world citizen’s consciousness. They believe that while confronted with the challenge of situation, modern man will have no choice but to fraternize with the human world, since the alternative is wholesale destruction. Science to be helpful, should be aided by spirituality. Vinoba says that Vendnta (spirituality) and Vinjaja (Science) should come together to solve the riddles in human life.
It is for this consideration of human well-being that Gandhiand other Sarvodaya thinkers want to eschew all unwarranted use of machinery. Such mechanization introduces regimentation and conformity in society, besides depriving the individual workers of the full play of their creativity and originality. Gandhi maintained that at least in a country where the problem is not how to save labour but how to provide employment, machine must not be allowed to displace necessary human labours. He welcomed all improvement in the tools and instruments, so as to lighten the burden and reduce the drudgery of work of individual workers. The nature of machinery, moreover, depends on the regional conditions, time and circumstances. In opinion of Vinoba, It is not merely that I want the machine to stay but improvement in machinery is also desirable. These are matters of details. What the Sarvodaya thinkers emphasise is that scientific truths and discoveries shouldfirst of all cease to be mere instrument of greed. Gandhi said, “I am aiming not at eradication of all machinery, but their limitations”21
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMMUNISM AND SARVODAYA
The difference between Communism and Sarvodaya is not in the ends but in the means. Gandhiji himself more than once declared that he was Communist mines their violence. The latter difference he expressed in positive language by saying that he did not propagate Samyavad (the theory or ideology of Communism) by Samyadharma (the practice of duty of equality). His endeavour till the end of his life was to practice this Dharma. He tried to identify himself with the humblest section of Indians. He was born in a family which for some generations had practiced administration and politics as a career. Though he could not escape fulfilling that destiny, he did not take to it as such but went in for the one next to it-namely, law. He read Ruskin, and discovered that even if he pracised law, he was not justified in making it a means of amassing wealth for himself. So he deprived himself of all private property. He read Tolstoy and the Gita and came to the conclusion that law was not a ‘productive’ occupation, and that he must earn his livelihood by producing something by his own physical labour. And so from law he turned to land, and described himself a Kisan. An agriculturist, however, owns some property, and has a superior social and economic status to that of artisans. So he became a weaver. But a weaver is far better off than a Bhangi, who has no implements, no technical skill, no knowledge and no status in society. And so Gandhiji called himself a Bhangi, tried to live amongst them, befriend them, and raise the condition of this humble brotherhood of his.
The more he practiced equality, the more he realized how difficult it is to live by it. He could not say that he had succeeded in doing so. And so, while he steadily endeavored to reach that goal as much as he could, he did not find it in his heart to feel angry towards those who took for granted exploitation and inequality in economic and social conditions in the same way as we take for granted the exploitation of the cow and the bullock and the inequality of status between these animals and ourselves. The capitalist idea is imbedded in the poorest citizen of the country. Everyone, if he can, wants some day to be a landholder or a capitalist and to create conditions in which he will not have to work for his daily food-at any rate, not do physical work. It is the aspiration to get an opportunity to lead a comfortable and physically non-laborious life which, on the one hand, reconciles people to inequalities of life and status, and on the other hand, to feel jealous of those who have preceded them in this aspiration. Since none of them believes in simple, hard, laborious life, though one is called a capitalist and the other a communist, both are but rival claimants for the same Gadi of ease and comfort. As long man regards comforts and freedom from work as boons of life, he will not escape resorting to violence to achieve his end.
It non-violence and bread labour are accepted as an inseparable part of the communist movement, there can be no reason for a quarrel with it. Sympathy for Communism must lead us to seek appropriate non-violent methods of bringing about these changes in the social and economic order, which the Communists want to effect through violence.
2. M.K. Gandhi, An autobiography or the story of my experiments with truth, Ahmedabad navjeevan publishing House, P-250
3. Gandhi M.K. Sarvodaya (The Welfare of all) Navjeevan Publishing House Ahmadabad -14, P-3
4. Ibid, P-2
5. B.S. Sharma “ The Philosophical Basic of Sarodaya”, Gandhi marg Vol. 4, No. 3 July 1960, P. 259
6. Ibid, P-250
7. 1B Tikekar, integral revolution (Varanasi Sarva seva sangh Prakashan, 1970, P-18
8. Gandhi M.K. An Autobiography P-51
9. Gandhi M.K. All Men are Brother, Life and thought of Mahatma Gandhi as told in his own work, Ahmedabad Navjeevan Publishing House 1960, P-83
10. Aggarwal J.C. Theory and Principle of Education, Vikash Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. A-22, Sector-4 Noida U.P. P-71
12. Ibid, P-72
13. Gandhi M.K. harijan February 11, 1933
14. Gandhi M.K. Young India, October 20, 1927
15. Gandhi M.K. Collected work, LXI-27
16. Gandhi M.K. Harijan, 27-10-51
18. Gandhi M.K. Young India, 13-11-24
21. Ibid, 13-11-24
EDUCATION PHILOSOPHY OF MAHATMA GANDHI
The history of education is the history of the life and experiments of great educational philosophers whose gems of ideas continue to inspire educational thought and practice across the world. The last two hundred and fifty years will godown in history as the most formative years of modern education. Education, as we see it today, owes much to the wisdom of the east as well as of the best. Rousseau, Froebel, Dewey, Mahatma Gandhi, Tagore, Vivekananda, Aurovindo to count only a few names-have done so much to save the future course of educational practice at home and abroad. Generally people regard Gandhiji great politician only but the fact is that he valued social reform and development more than more political growth and advancement. According to him in an evie society, no concept of any good rule is possible. As such, he advocated social revolution and reform to go hand in hand with any political revolution. In this the main roll to be prayed by education. Education is a sub social system. As it is a life long process. Education makes the man prefect and capable to perform cretin duties during the years to come. Education helps the man to brought out the hidden to lent in every and each person who are living in the universe. At present there is a essentiality inculcate quality education among students.
The real difficulty that people have no idea what type of education is prefect. We assess the value of education in the same way as we assess the value of other articles which are lying around us or in our society. We want to provide only such education as would enable the students to earn more. We hardly give thought to the improvement of character or improvement of all round development. Good goverence is the necessity of present time. There is a need to prepare enlighten citizen for bright India. Gandhiji vision for a new India entitle that every religion has its full and equal place. The mother India given birth to so many heroes in her country. Gandhiji was also one of tham. His educational idea’s based on love peace and equity. He shines like a luminous star in the galaxy of intellectuals. He was the torch bearer of new light, new path and humanism. Gandhi’s educational philosophy is dynamic and realistic. Gandhi is vision on education was truly eivilized for the betterment of society as well as whole country. There is no question of surprising that he developed from faith on education. Education not only educate the students but brings a new change in the society. It reflects a society’s fundamental essumption. His experience in South Africa not only changed his out look/ideology but also helped him to see the real picture of country.
Gandhiji’s educational philosophy is dynamic and realistic. Gandhiji’s vision on education was truly civilized for the betterment of society as well as whole country. There is no question of surprising that he developed from faith on education. Education not only educates the people but brings a new change in the society. His experience of South-Africa not only changed his out look but also helped him to see the real picture of whole world. It appears that many of the views expressed in earlier writing find in Gandhian thoughts on education. The emphasis on body, heart, mind and spirt in the educational process is most visible one.
Gandhiji saw the real situation of world which is full of suffering from immense crises from many sides. Many crises, conflict, hatred and distrust between one community and the another are growing very fast. The real difficulty is that people have no idea that what type of education is perfect. We assess the value of education in the same was as we assess the value of other articles are lying around us or in our society.
Gandhi was infavouring of it that one should provided such type of education as would enable the person to earn more and more. According to Gandhiji education is an all round drawing out of the best in child an man-body ,mind and spirit. Literacy is not the end of education not even the beginning. It is only one of the means where by men and women can be educated. Literacy in itself is no education. In Gandhi ji is philosophy of education the personality of those to be education is of primary importance, and not the tools and subjects education should cover the full period of life in each and every field and must provide better opportunities for the all round welfare of the moral , spiritual and physical attributes of human being Gandhi’s education philosophy also displays materialistic outlook. Gandhiji does not teach to run away from the world to attatin peace, as he advocates to live in the world doing self -less action to attain peace. Gandhi ji has recommended to make the productive action as the medium .For this is essential that child forms the habit of earning his livelihood from his childhood itself. Education should have the ability to connect labour and scientific knowledge.
This point of view manifests that materialistic spirit. The foundation of basic education is usefull because its goal is to impart such skill to Indian children by which they can become self-dependent earning hands.
According to Gandhiji “My idea is not merely to teach a particular profession or occupation to the children, but to develop the full man through teaching that occupation”1.
The most essential feature of Gandhiji’s philosophy of education instead of taking handicrafts of the school and impose it on the educational
curriculum insisted that education must proceed from the handicrafts. Gandhi said, ‘The core of my suggestion is that handcrafts are to be taught not merely for production work but for developing the intellect of the people’.
Another important feature of Gandhiji’s philosophy of education is the supporting aspect of the craft chosen as a means of education. All education to be true must be self supporting. Gandhiji also emphasized that the major aim of education should be character development. He wished that the youth generation should develop a sense of courage ,streanth and virtue.
It appears that many of the views expressed in earlier writting found in Gandhian thoughts on education. The emphasis on body, heart, mind and spirit in the educational process is most visible one. As Cenkner quotes Gandhi- “Man is neither mere intellect, nor the gross animal body, nor the heart or soul alone. A proper and harmonious combination of all the three is required for the making of the whole man and constitutes the true economics of education” .
Education is backbone of society and is largely responsible for the upliftment of the society. Gandhi was a critic of traditional educational and viewed that, By education, I mean an all-round drawing of the best in child and man in body, mind and spirit.
His Wardha scheme was pointer in this direction. Accordingly, these should be the basic tents of Gandhian education.
FREE PRIMARY EDUCATION
Gandhiji advocated for free and compulsory education for all-boys and girls between 7 to 14 years. Education should be imparted in primary level in the student’s mother tongue. A free primary universal education is to be imparted to all the children in the village. This will make the backbone of a country strong.
Earning while learning was the motto of this education. This wills increasing the creativity in a student. As Gandhi wanted to make Indian village’s self-sufficient units, he emphasised that vocational education should increase the efficiency within the students who will make the village as self-sufficient units.
PLACE OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
A love for manual work will be injected in the mind of children. This is not a compulsion but the child will learn it by doing-Being free from mere bookish knowledge a student should resort to manual work.
EMPHASIS ON MORALITY
By education, Gandhi meant the improvement of morality within a student. Without being bookish, a student should adopt certain moral ethical codes like truth, nonviolence, charity and so on which will illumine his character. Thus a character building through education was a prime concern for Gandhi.
NON-PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS
Gandhiji wanted to keep the students away from politics. If students will participate in politics, they will be pawn at the hands of the politicians who will utilize them for fulfilling their desire. This will hamper the development of a student and his education will suffer a setback. So, he advised the students to keep themselves completely away from politics.
Gandhi was a protagonist of women education. He advocated that three should be no distinction in equality of status between men and women in society. He vehemently opposed purdah system and widowhood. He wanted to free women from social serfdom. So, the number of girl students considerably rose in various educational institutions inside the county. Thus, Gandhi emphasized the need of women education to improve to improve the lot of society.
Gandhij’s idea on education is a novel one. His idea of vocational education was unique which even now a day’s is being promoted by the government of India.
EDUCATION FOR THE INDIVIDUAL
For Gandhi’s education should help to prepare and direct the learner towards the true purpose of life, which is to realise the Atman. The self which he views as realizing God.The spiritual realization or the self realisation that Gandhi values as the major aim of life. According the Gandhiji education must prepare the learner or learners for self realization or liberation (moksha). He emphasised the ancient Indian wisdom-Sa vidya ya vimuktaya. (That which liberates knowledge).In his socio-political and education thought.
Views regarding liberation - Gandhi talked about two kinds of liberations. One form of liberation consisted in securing the freedom of the country from foreign rule. Which for him would also include development indigenous models of school, economical, educational development. Such freedom however may prove shortlived if not understood in the right perspective and light of the other kind of liberation (moksha) which is for all time. As advaitin he is referring to the liberation from the cycles of birth and death on the earth, from the suffering of the world, and he is emphasising this liberation, mokasha as the ultimate goal for life (one of the fourth purusharthas thus other three being dharama) artha , Kama. It is important to emphasise here that this liberation is an individual liberation and does not transform the earth -nature in any way.
SOCIAL AIM OF EDUCATION
Education is not a matter that concerns only the individuals, but it also deeply concerns the society, the collective. Gandhi recognize and deeply value in the inter-connection between individual and collective, as reflected in his thoughts on education including its aims. The major contribution of Gandhi for the betterment of whole established Sarvodaya Society. The key to Gandhi’s social thought and concept of man is characterised in one word Sarvodaya. A strong emphases on the Sarvodaya the upliftment of all, Certainly gives a very clear orientation to Gandhi’s educational approach. He emphasizes the significance of school and education for the upliftment of the oppressed of the society, for the organic growth and development and growth of the whole community, and for the building of nation. The Social role of man in the sense of what an individual can do for the society is thus emphasized here. At the same time, the purpose of education for Gandhiji is to raise man to a higher moral and spiritual order through the full development of the individual and the evolution of new man, a satyagrahi one that grasps the truth. This type of man making goal of education for Gandhi’s achieved by service to man kind, by self-giving.
EDUCATION FOR SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
Education is a one type of the system on the one hand and a process on the other hand. As a system of education is structured of definite and well definable constitutents each of which is susceptible to analyse and study for better development and all round development of the system. As a process education is a functional, it has life and movement, it has progress in a direction and it remains permanently in a dynamic form. The dynamism of education is a significant factor because this dynamism is what enables education to deal with children as living and thinking beings.
Education goals constitute a significient component of the system of education. Education as conceived by Mahatma Gandhi and advocated by him primarily aims at the formation and development of the spiritual and moral personality of the each and every individual who is a active member of society. He says, “education is thus an awakening of the soul” without education attempting this awakening of the soul of the individual and without developing and strenthening the ‘inner voice’ in the individual, education has no serious purpose to serve. Gandhian education in all its aspects in founded on spiritual principles. In this sense we shall talk of the Gandhian idealism; to the fully developed in a separate character. This is the most solid and character based foundation from which to build education at the base of all we have concepts and principles drawn from one or more religions developed into harmonious hole to which the goals of education are properly integrated. The univesality and eternal dimension of Gandhian values render them a highly spiritual dimension. We are most often hasitant to speak of Gandhian spiritualy because Gandhi does not I any intimate way associate himself with any particular religious denomination are to any professed manner of spiritual way of life. What Gandhian spirituality is a wholesome attitute of the mind in every detail directed to the supreme being, God. Gandhian education can not be thought of a divorced from this spirituality. This would mean several things. Education should pave the background for first, the practice of truth in every aspects of the individual’s life. Education as a process develops the environment necessary to him with reference to the detailed experience of life whoes agents are teacher, parents and the community. Success at this level depends on how much these agents can influence the individual in the process of learning.
EDUCATION FOR KNOWLEDGE
Education is considered as a process of bringing perfection in the human beings education carries out these humans and social functions by directing, guiding and reshaping the inmate potential and impulses of the child, by helping the individual in the process of growth, unfolding what is within and preparing him to assume the responsibility of adult life. But education carries out all these by introducing him to the total experiences of the human race classified into heads of knowledge. Historically speaking education has become a process of the individuals identification with a large variety of classified information grouped under particular subjects. Much emphasis was given to the communication of classified knowledge to the individual.
Gandhi defines education with reference to the holistic development of man. Gandhi gives education importance in this conception to the development of the mind. Education of the mind and the head, can not be undertaken except in its wider sense by the provision of knowledge or rather by exposing the individual to the classified heads of knowledge. Gandhi agrees that education should reflect the experience of the human race, and for us, the Indians ancient culture and civilization that had developed. A knowledge of our culture and civilisation becomes a main part of the education that be imparts to the new generations. Several values will thus be attached to the education individual a love for the haritage of the country. Education for knowledge further extents itself to introducing the individual to his physical and geographical environment. Education can in no way neglect introducing the learner to a system of knowledge that encompasses the learner’s own environment. Education for knowledge is also known as litrary. This would include the knowledge of languages and litrature and a variety of other arts-oriented subjects.
EDUCATION FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Education in the Gandhian sense aims at the development of society. This aim of education primarily adds a great responsibilty on the individual who is being educated as well as on the one after his educaion. The development of society is not an automatic thing ; individual have to be pressed into service for that purpose. This requires great training for the individual as part of education that enables him to commit himself on a permanent basis for the welfare of society. Gandhi’s educational thought attach great importance to this goal o0f education. Exhortations to students and educationists in the country to attach importance to the value of social service and social welfare in a;l aspects of education were common in his speeches and writings.
For Gandhiji, “individual development and social progress are interdependent”4. He wished that a society in which all people should have to play their roles for the betterment of the whole without loosing their invidual character. Every goal of education that Gandhi envisaged in fact harmonized with others. He pleaded for character formation with its spiritual and moral values. Education for social development aims at thus creating in the education to number of social oriented values which is related to social atmosphere in which every individual has to adjust himself. Education in schools and colleges do everything at its disposal to nuture in students a love and affection concern for society and its current needs. Individual must be ready to help the society as a active member all the time. Individual must have a compassion for all creation of life.
The very Gandhian norms of education became an orientation to the serviced of the people. He wanted education to turn itself to the needs of the people at the grass-root level. From this viewpoint he find out serious drawbacks in present-day education. Gandhian alleges that today’s education does not in anyway reach the povery and problems of the villages. It leaves a tremendous gap between the have not’s. It leaves a tremendous gap between the education and the illetyeate. The gap that has been created among those who know English and those who don’t had been a serious issue for Gandhi. Again the country is compelled to invest huge amounts for higher education which benefits only the more affluent sections of india’s population. Today’s education form this viewpoint segregates the villages form towns in search of greater prospects. All these Gandhi viewed with great concern.
EDUCATION AND LIFE EXPERIENCE
Gandhi too made life experience a center aim of education. There was all the same major difference - Dewey’s Value of practical usefulness was an end itself, while for Gandhi it constituted a major means o more remote ends and consequently to the ultimate end itself . Gandhi envisaged life and its experiences from a dynamic perspective and attempted to analyse and see life in all its completeness. Gandhi’s personality is one of a minute and concrete interplay perfect on every step of a long life of a craftsman like series of experiments with historical actuality in all political and existential aspects. Gandhi did not wish to leave things to chance and looked at the events of day to day life with immense care and attention. Louis Fischer says,” he discovered a new dimension of action; He split the social atom and found a new source of energy.
That was a major achievement as this constituted a basis for the development of Gandhi’s philosophy of life and action.
Education for life-experiences in the Gandhian sense aims at presenting to the individual the varied aspects of what we practical life in which the individual is expected to make a life of his own. The individual provided with opportunities to know for himself the intrinsic of action. Unless this aspect is brought into focus, ordinarily education does not lay stress on this right from the beginning of education the individual should be helped to undertake introspection, reasoning and analysis of his own action and those he sees around. Basically this is an ability that renders him quite different from the animals living around him. By stressing this aspect an education is helping the individual to undertake something proper to man as man. He becomes able to exercise his rational mind on everything around him, accept or reject things and experiences that life ordinarily presents to him. This would mean the individual learn to value in every step during his whole life. A link is established between the time and becomes available to one self and the series of responsibility and duties one is expected to carryout. For Gandhi life experience constitute the primary means to gain the full flowering the individual personality for the betterment of oneself, society and God.
MEANING AND DEFINITION OF EDUCATION
Gandhi’s thought on education form the dynamic site of his general philosophy. His philosophy of educationis based on biology, sociology, psychology and philosophy.
This was the highest desire of Gandhiji that each individual of India should be educated, but by ‘literate’ he did not mean only the knowledge of how to read and write. He did not consider literacy as education. He said. “Literacy is not the end of education, nor even the beginning. It is only one of the means whereby man and woman can be educated”.5 He believed that education should develop all the capacities of the child so that he becomes a complete human being means full development of body mind and heart and soul of the child. In this way Gandhi advocated that education should develop the child’s individuality fully and harmoniously so that he is able to realize the ultimate aim of life, which is truth or God.
Defining education, Gandhiji has said that by education he meant the allround development of the most sublime qualities found in a child and man, in body, mind and soul.
Explaining the meaning of education, Mahadev Desai has written that Gandhiji advocated that all human qualities in a child should be developed by education. This education cannot be termed as good which does not make a child fully human and useful citizen. Thus, by education Gandhiji means the construction of a complete or perfect man. By complete man is meant the harmonious development of al four aspects of personality-body, heart, mind and soul. So according to Gandhiji, the true education is the one that expresses and motivates a child’s spiritual, mental and physical faculties.
AIMS OF EDUCATION
Gandhiji has mentioned several aim of life keeping in view its different aspects and ideals. These aims can be divided into two classes:
1. Immediate Aim.
2. Ultimate Aim
1. Immediate Aims of Education: Gandhiji has mentioned the following immediate aims of education:
(a) Aim of Livelihood: According to Gandhiji, the aim of education is to enable an individual to earn his livelihood by which he can become self-dependent. Gandhiji opens that the education which cannot fulfill our basic needs is useless. He desires that when a child goes out after education, he should not be confronted with the problem of livelihood. Gandhiji writes that education should secure a child against unemployment. A child at the age of fourteen years, after having completed the seven years’ curriculum, he should go out of the school an earning hand.
(b) Perfect Development aim: Gandhiji wrote, “The real education is that which fully develops the body, mind soul of children”6. He further observed, Man in neither mere intellect, nor heart or soul alone. A proper and harmonious contribution of all the there is required for the making of the whole man and constitutes the true economics of education. This aim accords well with Gandhiji’s concept of education-an all-round drawing out the best in the child and man-body, mind and spirit.”The complete development implies, therefore, the education of 3H’s-hand, heart and head rather than the education of 3R’s. According to him the major aims of education is to effect development of physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual faculties of a child in order to effect absolute development of personality.
(c) Cultural Aim: According to Gandhiji, a child should be trained to express his culture in his conduct. He says that culture is the foundation, the initial thing which should be manifested in your abstract behavior. Thus, he has considered cultural development as an important aim of education. Gandhi said, “this culture show itself in smallest detail of your conduct and personal behavior, how you sit, how you walk, how you dress etc. inner culture must be reflected in your speech, the way in which you treat visitors and guests and behave towards one another and your teachers and elders”.7
(d) Moral Aim: Gandhiji has laid more emphasis on morality or character building. He has written in his autobiography, that he had always given the first place to the culture of the heart of though building of character. He regarded character building as to proper foundation for education. Once when asked by reporter that what his aim of education would be when India were free, Gandhiji said immediately that it would be character building. Gandhiji has considered the ultimate aim of all knowledge as character building. In his words, “The end of all knowledge must be the building of character; personal purity is to form the basis of character building. Education without character and character devoid of purity would be no good. ”
(e) Aim of Emancipation: According to Gandhiji, the aim of education is for an individual to attain emancipation. He has used ‘emancipation’ in two sasses-one, freedom from all types of slavery in the present life, as according to him, an individual cannot progress unless he is bound in any type of bindings whether intellectual, economic, social, political or any other type; so an aim of education is salvation of an individual from all types of slavery; and two, the second sense of emancipation is salvation of an individual from worldly binding and take forward the spirit towards a higher life, so an aim of education is to guide an individual for spiritual freedom to take him forward to his goal.
2. Ultimate Aims of Education
a. Self-Realisation: Self-realisation and spiritual development find perfect support in Gandhian scheme of education. Education should provide spiritual freedom. Development of the moral character, development of the whole, all are directed towards the realization of the ultimate reality, the merger of the finite being into the infinite. It is realizing Godliness in his self. The highest aim of education, according to Gandhi ji, is knowledge of God or self-realization. All other aims are subordinate to his supreme aim of life and education. Gandhi said, “Long before I undertook the education of the youngsters of the Tolstoy Farm, I had realized that the training of the spirit was a thing by itself. To development the spirit is to build character and to one to work towards the knowledge of god and self-realization”9.
b. Perfect Synthesis between individual and social aim: Gandhiji had laid equal emphasis on individual and social aims of education at different times. He did not find any conflict between the two. According to him if the individuals are good, the society is bound to be good. He always advocated the freedom of the individual but he regarded individual as a social creature. He says, “A nation cannot advance without the units of which it is composed and conversely, an individual cannot advance without the nation of which he is a part”.10
SCOPE OF GANDHIAN EDUCATION
Gandhi and his teachings are today assuming new dimensions of meaning and relevance as we have seen in the forgoing section. The dynamic nature of Gandhian thoughts and practices is leading the whole thing to a new level of acceptance by the world community. Gandhism is thus evolving into an integrated and comprehensive discipline because of the great scope it offers for application to a variety of fields of knowledge, have the new term :’ Gandhian Studies. ’ The intention is not to evolve yet another field of knowledge for brain storming work in theory, but Gandhian Studies is primarily an integrated, multi-pronged approach to present Gandhi to the world on the one hand and on the other, know Gandhi ever deeper with reference to the problems india in particular and the world at large are facing. Gandhian studies is an attempt in theory work and research into the holistic appeal Gandhi has made to the world in the renewal of the human spirit. It amounts, again, to a search for the of science that have become characteristic to the present age of science and technology in an attempt to discover the system of values that are detrimentally forgotten.
Gandhian Studies offers considerable scope for us “to prove that Gandhi,s entire scheme of action was to strengthens, organize and develop the potentials for good present in individuals and in society and thus defeat evil at all levels”.11 This fundamental aim of all activities of Gandhi to fight the forces of evil at all levels and nurture good sown in the sands and hearts of Indians is seldom understood in the right perspective. The aim of the present discipline therefore is to provide full scope in understanding Gandhi in this perspective. Modern India must be concintised in regard to the Gandhian interpretation of the meaning of life and must develop an awareness of the full oractical political o Gandhian thoughts and view points. Gandhian has a message for every one, belonging to all walks of life and this message should receive to the present day needs.
Gandhi wanted Indians to be fully conscious of the rural nature of our country. India meant rural India and all his thoughts rested with the working and agricultural population of rural India. The greatest justice that we may do to him is to accept rural India as it is study the problems of this vast population, recognise the potentials available at their disposal and thereby present rural India to the vision of the more affluent factions of the country . It was Gandhi’s earnest desire to introduce students to the manifold problems of rural India and develop in them a sustaining love for them vacation. Gandhi said, “student should spend everyday of their vocation in the villages around their school and colleges” there is no relation between today’s education and our family life. Gandhian studies incorporate a knowledge of and work in villages to develop in students a love for these villages. This will unable students to:
a. Acquaint themselves to rural India,
b. Constructively study rural problems,
c. Correlate such problems with their own personal life and views
d. Set out to investigate into aspects and areas for helping life in villages.
e. Develop schemes and plans of a comprehensive nature for rural upliftment.
Gandhian studies can focus on such issues in a productive manner.
Gandhian studies offers scope for interdisciplinary learning and research. This discipline becomes highly interdisciplinary because of its very texture. It subscribes as many disciplines for work and development as covered by Gandhism itself. Gandhian thoughts cover a variety of fields due to its comprehensiveness and thereby relate itself to those areas of knowledge and practice as the stem of a tree to its branches. No study of Gandhi, for instance is possible without relating itself to the field of education because Gandhian gets itself rooted in educational goals, principles, values and practices. A presentation of a training in the educational principles and practices Gandhi held as dear can be possible only by developing these within a more comprehensive study of education to avoid random and piece meal work. This approach makes it necessary to include as inter disciplines subjects within whose wider framework alone can Gandhian studies be developed.
Under this approach Gandhian studies includes political science. No understanding of Mahatma Gandhi can be possible without an analysis of Gandhi’s political career that led to India’s Independence. The Politician in Gandhi has received world wide acclaim because of the unique way he conducted himself and developed his Political Philosophy. It is significant to see that Gabdhi had no Political Philosophy separated form his central religious Phenomenology. He said, “I was compelled to come into Political because I was convinced that without touching Political one will not be able to do any form of social service. ” Especially in the circumstances in which Gandhi worked, he was convinced that no spiritual or religious pursuit could be possible without entering into political. Here we find already how the two fields study of Gandhism would therefore amount to acquainting or e self with the fundamental of political science that formed the basis of Gandhi’s political involvements. That would also lead to the various influences on Gandhi’s political thought and the details of the political theory of Mahatma Gandhi. The student should have also an opportunity to critically examine the merits and relevance of the Gandhian political system.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF GANDHI’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY
1. “Literacy is Not Education: According to Gandhiji’s literacy is not education. Education is the all-around development of child.
2. Development of all Human Qualities: education should develop all human qualities inherent are a child.
3. Harmonious Development of Personality: Education should effect harmonious development of a child’s body, heart, mind and soul.
4. Development of all Faculties: Education should develop all faculties of a child according to the general well-being of the community of which he is a member.
5. Beneficial Handicraft as the Beginning of Education: A child’s education should begin from a beneficial handicraft or skill by which he can meet the economic needs of his future life.
6. Education is related to Real Life: A child’s education should be related to his real circumstances and physical environment.
7. Security from Unemployment: Education should secure a child from unemployment. Education should be such that child is involved in a vocation.
8. Free Education: The children from seven to fourteen years of age in the country should be given free and compulsory education.
9. Mother Tongue the Medium of Instruction: A child should be given education by the medium of his mother tongue.
10. Active Education: A child should get his education actively and he should use it to understand his social environment and have better control over it.
11. Industry as Centre of Education: A child should be educated by the medium of a productive industry, and it should be related to that industry.
12. Self-dependent Education: Education should make a person selfdependent. The industry of handicraft chosen as the medium of education should make a person self-dependent. ”14
METHODS OF TEACHING
Gandhiji has given important place to the following principles and methods under the teaching methods:
1. “Learning by proper use of Body Organs: Gandhiji believes that true education to the mind can be got only by proper exercise of body organs, as hands, eye, nose, etc. and teaching. In other words, the rational use of body organs is the most suitable and rapid way of developing a child’s mind. Gandhiji says that a child should be taught drawing at first, and then reading and identifying the letters of alphabet, only then he should be taken to writing.
2. Learning by Doing: Gandhiji has emphasized on learning by doing in his teaching method, so he has taken crafts as the centre of his basic education. It provides abundant opportunities to a child for learning by doing. From social viewpoint also, this method develops the qualities of cooperation, sympathy and sociality, etc. Learning by doing, as against from teacher, leaves a permanent mark on the mind. The opportunity to learn by selfexperience is dependent on activity.
3. Learning by Synthesis: Gandhiji has understood the importance of the principle of correlation as laid down by psychology, and has supported the method of making every useful-for-life education as industry-oriented. He says in this context that basic handicrafts should be in the form of a full circle and other subjects should revolve round it like planets and get energy or light from the central sun.
4. Learning by Reading, Thinking and Action: Gandhiji has accepted the three levels of Indian way of learning (hearing, thinking and meditation) as reading, thinking and action. He says that all these three should exist in a teaching method. If knowledge is acquired in the absence of any of them, then it would be temporary and useless.
5. Learning by Experiment: there is much scope for practical work in Gandhiji basic education plan. By this method, a child can study the cause of origin of different problems, their present state, and form and can comprehend them. Each level can be tested to estimate its scientific relativity and social importance, and adopt it in practical life to acquire its knowledge accordingly. ”
This principle of non-violence was the basis of Gandhiji scheme of basic education. Though this scheme he considered necessary for building a non-violent society. His system of education wanted to root out exploitation and centralization in society and create a non-violent social order. In 1937 Gandhiji evolved a scheme popularly known as the Wardha scheme of basic National Education. This wardha scheme was based on same principles of education which were listed by Gandhiji in a paper in 1932 in yesvada jail. These postulates were as follows:
1. Boys and girls should be taught together.
2. Their time should be mostly spent on manual work under the supervision of the teacher. Manual work should be considered as part of education.
3. Work should be entrusted to each boy and girl after ascertaining his or her inclinations.
4. The child should be know the way and the wherefore of every process.
5. General knowledge should be imparted to the child as soon as it is able to understand things. This knowledge should precede literary education.
6. The hand of the child should be trained to draw geometrical figures before he learns to write, that is good handwriting should be taught from the beginning.
7. The child should learn to read before he is able to write. i.e. he should learn to recognize letters as if they were pictures and then draw their figures.
8. By this method and by word of mouth, the child should acquire much knowledge before he his eight years old.
9. Children should no be compelled to learn anything.
10. The child should be interested in whatever he learns.
11. All education should be imparted through the mother tongue of the child.
12. Every Indian child should learn Hindu-Urdu, i.e. Hindustani as a national language before his literary training commences.
13. The second stage of the child’s education begins when he is eleven and lasts up to sixteen.
14. Manual labour has a place in education during thisperiod also the time for literary training should be increased according to need.
15. The child should learn some vocation as preparation fior his future life.
16. He should acquire a general knowledge of world History, Geography, Botany, Astronomy, Arithmetic, Geometry and Algebra.
17. A boy or a girl of sixteen years should know sewing and cooking.
18. In the third stage which begins at 16andends at 25, a young man or woman should receive education according to his or her desires and circumstances.
19. The education commencing at the age of nine should be self supporting. The student, while is learning should be engaged in such a vocation the its produce may meet the expense of the school.
20. Production should, no doubt, begin right form that start. But it may not be enough to meet the expenses during the initial years.
21. Teachers cannot possibly have big salaries, but they must get enough to maintain themselves. They should be animated by a spirit of service. They must have a good character.
22. Huge and costly buildings are not neccesary for education.
23. English can and should have a place in the syllabus only as a language. Just as Hindi is our lingua franca, English is a language of international intercourse and commerce.
On October 23, 1937, a conference was organized at Wardha to finalise the basic system of education. T his conference resolved that the children should be provided free education for seven years. Mother tongue should be the medium of education. Every educa must be taught some basic craft. The expenses of education should be met by the sale of the production in the school. In order to implement these recommendations a committee was formed under the chairmanship of Dr. Zakir Hussain. This Committee highlighted the basic principles, aims and organization of basic education in its first report on December 2, 1937. In its second report in 1940 this Committee reviewed the curriculum of basic education. Its recommendations were accepted by Indian National Congress in its session at Haripura. After Zakir Hussian Committee, another Committee was formed under the chairmanship of B.G. Kher to review basic education. This Committee connected it to Sargeant scheme. In the final form, the basic principles of Gandhi’s scheme of primary education were compulsory free education, education through craft, education through mother tongue, self-reliance, education connected with the life of the educand and finally inculcation of the ideals of democratic citizenship. A booklet was published by Government of India to popularize Gandhian system of education entitled Understanding of Basic Education. This booklet thus summarized the scheme of basic education, Activities involving personal and community cleanliness are the foremost in a basic school. Education for the young’s is not stuffing impractical ideas into the minds of children. It is essentially training them in good habit, the daily experiences that every child has to undergo as regular morning evacuation, cleaning the teeth, nose and eyes, bathing physical exercise, washing clothes and other daily activities can be exploited for teaching as well as the inculcation of good habits. “Our education has got to be revolutionized. The brain must be educated through hand. Those who do not train their hands go through education lacking music in their life they are not thought to make the right choice. A education which does not teach us discriminate between good and bad, to assimilate the one and eschew the other is a misnomer. ”15
FEATURE OF BASIC EDUCATION
Basic education is the foundational education, fundamental to the whole scheme of education meant for “an all-round development of the child and man- body, mind and spirit. It is ‘basic’ in nature because it attempts to given the minimum of learning to be acquired by an average child. It is correlated with the basic needs of the child, the food, clothing, shelter, clean and healthy living etc. It is also intimately related to the basic occupations of the community. It also comes just in time that is at the primary stage of education. However, later on, the shape
of Basic Education was widened to include pre-Basic, Post-Basic, and Adult education, besides the Basic stage.
According to Prof. K.L Shrimali and others, the fundamental features of the scheme as outlined by Mahatma Gandhi are-
(i) Free and compulsory Education. It implies a free and compulsory.
(ii) Purposeful activity. Basic Education centers around some purposeful activity or a useful and productive craft.
(iii) Medium of Instruction. The medium of Education in the mother tongue of the child.
(iv) Dignity of labour. It inculcates the virtues of dignity of labour, a keen sense of discipline and a grate sense of responsibility.
(v) Self-supporting. It is self-supporting. Children learn by doing. In it, the craft has both an educational and economic value. Children learn from their craft work and through it, they cover their expenses.
(vi) Village-oriented. It was primarily devised for village. According Gandhiji, “In the villages, the bulk of India’s population resides. So, to tackle successfully, the question of villages is to solve the problem for the cities also.
(vii) New co-operative regime. Basic education aims at bringing about a new co-operative regime in place of the present in human regime based on exploitation and violent forces.
(viii) Integrated teaching. In Basic education, all the subjects are taught in an integrated way. All the instruction is correlated with craft or the natural and social environments.
(ix) Co-operative work. In Basic education, both the teachers and the pupils work for community development and social progress.
(x) All round development of the child. Basic Education is meant to educate the body, mind and spirit of the child. In all, it seeks to develop the child as a whole.
PHILOSOPHY BEHIND BASIC EDUCATION
Basic Education is an out come of Gandhi’s philosophy of life and education. Although it does not represent his entire philosophy of education. It is said that the underlying philosophy of education is that of democracy. There is stress on the need for a social order which would be conductive to each man’s realizing the highest aim of his life. The attainment of ideals, for which Gandhi ji put forwards this scheme of education, are clearly derived from a democratic philosophy. These ideals are:
1. Ideal of classless society.
2. Freedom and equality for all.
3. Dignity of labour.
4. A non-violent social order.
5. Development of a sense of social responsibility.
Dr. M.S. Patel rightly says that Gandhiji’s educational philosophy original in the sense that he arrived at it through personal experience. It may not be original in the sense that the like of it war never preservation and adaptation on a nation-wide scale are undoubtedly novel and original. Vinoba Bhave has said, “It may not be new thing but it has been presented in a new light. ”16
Basic Education took its concrete form at all India Educational conference at Wardha (oct,1937). It was followed by Dr. Zakir Hussain committee, which laid down a detailed syllabus and passed four and resolution incorporating Gandhiji’s ideas on education.
BASIC TENENT OF BASIC EDUCATION Education for Sarvodaya
Gandhiji was very much aware of the needs of the countary and conisidered basic education as the only type of the education which may lead to success his chief aim in planing for education in india was to fulfil the needs of the country. India is a country of villages. Most of the villager in india cannot affrod to play for their children’s education. In addition to it they require their childern ‘s assistance in their occupation. Therefor, Gandhiji planned for basic education which may not be burden upen the parnts and through which the children may be able to earn to meet the expenses of education themselves . He laid stress upon the importance of dignity of labour and manual skill.he was convinced that an education which prepares the yong men for white collar jobs can hardly be suitable for an agriculture community. It I science that he so much emphasized the learning of craft in his plan of basic education. In spite of all this idealism Gandhiji’s approach every where was pragmatic. He was an experimenter in every field of life . Before devising his plan of basic education he experimented upon its different aspects. For him all human truths were relative. God was the only absolute. There fore him all tested everything before suggesting it for the education of the child he postulated that the child should himself gather knowledge from the environment and put it in actual use in life. Like the pragmatists and instrumentalists Gandhiji stressed the importance of interest and activity and the need variety in subjects taught to the educand.
The social philosophy of M. K. Gandhi may be termed as Sarvodaya. This was the foundation of this philosophy of education. Sarvodaya aims at all round development of all, without distinction of caste, creed, sex and nationality. Gandhi wanted to establish a welfare state in India which he called’Ram Rajya’. The ideal of Sarvodaya does no aim at the maximum number but maximum good of all without exceptions. While Karl Marx aimed at the welfare of the proletariat, Gandhiji aimed even at the welfare of the capitalist. According to Vinoba Bhave the important characteristics of the Sarvodaya society are the abolition of all monopoly, importance of honest work. There is no place for any type of exploitation in Sarvodaya society. No one may be forced to do certain type of work, so much so that even the wealth of the capitalist, cannot be forcibly snatched away. Centralisation, according to Gandhiji aimed at political, economic, social and all other types of decentralisation. In the political field decentralisation requires establishment of village panchayats. In the economic field it requires that wealth and money should not be allowed to be concentrated in few hands but should be distributed among all the people. Social decentralisation means the abolition of all types of untouchability and social distinctions.
In order to achieve the above mentioned aims of Sarvodaya in India, Gandhiji presented his plan of basic education. He called it Nai Talim (New education) because it sought to build up a new society in the country. He realised that what the country needs today is not so much higher education as the educationof the masses. Therefore, he did not lay so much emphasis upon higher education. “Nai Talim without the self support basis would be like a lifeless boy”17
The basic education sought to fulfil the needs of the education in a Sarvodaya society. It is hence that Gandhi planned for craft centred education with mother tongue as the medium. Literacy, according to him, is not an end but only a means of education. Education ultimately aims at the development of both mind and body and the capacity of earning one’s livelihood. The syllabi for the new education were framed in such a way so as to eliminate narrow nationalism and emphasize the ideal of Sarvodaya. World history was taught along with Indian history. Similarly, the syllabus included the study of fundamental universal ethics. The cost of education was brought down by compulsory manual labour and education was tried to be made self-sufficient as far as possible. “My Nai-Talim is not dependent on money. The running expense of this educationshould come from the educational proceeds itself”18
Point out the value of basic education for bringing about a silent social revolution in the country Gandhiji said, It will provide a healthy and moral basis of relationship between the city and the village and thus go a ling way towards eradicating some of the worst evils of the present social insecurity and poisoned relationship between the classes. It will check the progressive decay of our villages and lay the foundation of a social order in which there is no unnatural division between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ and everybody is assured of a living wage and the right of freedom. And all this would be accomplished without the horrors of a bloody classes war or a social capital ecxpenditure such as would be involved in the mechanisation of a vast continent like India. Nor would it entail a helpless dependence on foreign imported machinery or technical skill. Lastly, by obviating the necessity for highly specialised talent, it would place the destiny of the masses, as it were in their own hands.
As has been already pointed out, Gandhiji emphasized the principle of nonviolence in every field of life. He considered non-violence as the characteristic human quality. Even truth was subordinate to non-violence. Gandhiji said, “the principle of ahimsa is hurt by every evil thought by undue haste’ by living, by hatred, by wishing will of anybody” . To those who doubted the value of nonviolence to be the principle of human social organization, Gandhiji pointed out, The fact that there are so many men still alive in the world shows that it is based not on force of arms but on the force of truth and love. This principle of nonviolence. Gandhiji used in every aspect of education, so much so that his theory of education may be called non violent-education. India has resolved to eschew violence, this system of education becomes an integral part of the discipline she has to go through. We are told that English spend millions on education. America also does so. But we forget that all wealth is obtained through exploitation. They have reduced the art of exploitation to a science, and might well give their boys the costly education they do. We cannot, will not think in terms of exploitation, and we have no alternative but this plan of education which is based on nonviolence. Thus, according to Gandhiji India can play her role in the community of nations only by adopting the gospel of non-violence. India also tried to build brought about through force destroyed individuality. Only when the change was effected through the persuasive power of non-violent non-cooperation (i.e. love), could the foundation of individuality be preserved and real, abiding progress be assured for the world.
GANDHI’S CONCEPT OF EDUCATION
Gandhi was a visionary; he tried to bring ‘the kingdom of God on the earth (Ram Rajya) where truth and non-violence would be guiding principles. His utopianism arose out of his love for humanity. Gandhi was humanist, shall we say from the first moment of his self consciousness. He firmly believed that the goodness of the individual formed the constituent part of the goodness of the society. Like John Ruskin, he considered ‘man’ is the most important to bring a peaceful and harmonious society. The individual is the on supreme consideration. “Man is neither mere intellect, nor the gross animal body, nor the heart or soul alone. A proper and harmonious combination of all the three is required for making of the whole man and constitutes the true economics of education”20. His concept of political system is closely connected with education. In a good political system, there must be the element of goodness necessarily present in every man. There is the need of a proper education system to the individuals in order to bring out such element of goodness. He talks about education is more comprehensive than that of the literal meaning.
SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIETY
He thought that education is closely associated with the socio-economic development of the society. He took up scheme for basic education in which vocational training or work experience is the utmost important. It is due to the fact it stimulates the human mind for creative thinking or dignity of manual labour. He thought that such creative thinking should be taken up from primary to higher level education. His view on basic education is greatly influenced by his philosophy of satya (truth), ahimsa (non-violence), firm belief in God, dignity of labour. The Kothari Commission also followed Gandhi’s ideal of vocational training in education. This commission says, “We recommend that work experience should be introduced as an integral part of all India education- general or vocational. We define work experience as participation in productive work in school, in the home, in a workshop, on farm, in a factory or in any other productive situation.21 This commission reemphasizes the Gandhian principle of learning by doing in the modern education. The main aim of education is the development of human personality. He expanded fourfold personality in the individual that is body, mind, heart and spirit. True education stimulates the spiritual, intellectual and physical strength of the individual. His view on education of heart which brings the idea of sympathy, fellowship and deep feelings of love. The aim of education is not only to produce good individual but also on must understand one’s own responsibilities in which one lives. It is closely related to Hindu concept of varnashram dharma. One who understood his or her responsibilities would lead to the spirit of social consciousness and social mindedness. Then, all the activities of such persons will have a social content as well as co-operation to others.
IMPORTANCE OF DISCIPLINE
“if the boys and girls do not learn discipline in their school days, money and time spend on their education is a national loss”22 He talks about education in terms of discipline. It is regarded as one of the most important parts and parcels of education. Without discipline, the sound education system is impossible. It is a quality that one’s self can lead to the regulation of one’s intellectual, moral, spiritual and social behavior. It is stated that the goal of education consists of character-building. Such character-building requires the moral, intellectual and social behavior under all circumstances i.e., strength of personality, the virtue of compassion, kindness, fair-mindedness and the spirit of dedication. Gandhi strongly holds that education is not end in itself but it is the most powerful weapon which creates all person of genuine characters. There is degeneration of education when the qualities of truthfulness, firmness, tolerance are absence from it. True education is life process which helps in cultivating the spirit of co-operation, tolerance, public spirit and a sense of human personality. Such discipline can create the harmonious balance between the individuals and social aim of education. His principle of ‘learning by doing’ tries to stimulate the individual’s mind to think creatively, independently and critically. His great emphasis on work-culture to the students from the primary stage to higher stage is to enable the students to start producing from the time he started his training. So, his primary information of basic education is Head, Heart and Hand rather than Reading, Writing and Arithmetic system try to develop the individual soul and mind, courage and self-reliance, cultivate the highest intellectual, moral and ethical accomplishments.
DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN PERSONALITY
Gandhi’s concept of education is of quite significance in the contemporary situation. His philosophical concept of education is entirely based on the development of human personality, to maintain the discipline, to create the manual work with learning and to develop the culture of the peace. He was a great educationist and an individualist par excellence. He knew that education is the most important means in the society which can be used as an instrument of socioeconomic progress, material advancement, political evolution and moral development of an individual. Gandhi’s whole philosophy and work was based on ethics and morality. His concept of education is also founded on ethics and morality. It may be said that his concept of education has full of religious ideas. His idea of religion is different from common concept. His concept of religion is ‘service of humanity’. For the spirit of religions he propounded ‘Nai Talim’ or ‘basic education’. This new education system, Archarya Kriplani says, ‘...is the coping stone of Gandhi’s social and political edifice’. His philosophical thought on education is highly pedestal that creates the socio-economic development of the society.
CONTRIBUTION OF MAHATMA GANDHI TO EDUCATION
Gandhiji influenced the lives of people for more than half a century his approach to most issues was down to earth and holistic-be it social, cultural, economic, health and education. His philosophy’s were pragmatic and farsighted. The village and villager was the center of his economic thought. Gandhiji contribution to education as well as his model of basic education, incorporating his philosophy, approach and strategy. Gandhi’s model was not only holistic and practical but it was highly decentralized and integrated with a demonstrated capacity to motivate the whole country and place, responsibility and accountability at the community level verses the state.
AN INVESTMENT IN HUMAN CAPITAL
On the economic, political and military grounds, India was of first rate importance to the british and education was the instrument by which they sought to maintain and strengthen the domination by experimenting with a unique model of education. However country to the popular belief, English education was not forced on Indians. Indian citizen had actively came forward in setting up the system as the only way to modernising there society. Since the system of education had little use for the masses, there were inadequate facilities for children. In many ways the situation hurt the girls more than the boys. Gandhiji viewed education as an investment in human capital, warned against this system because it disorganized villagers and made them helfless. Gandhiji in 1937 instead productive skill were the focus of his Nai Talim providing food, shelter and clothing as well as basic elements for human survival and complete security. Gandhi’s philosophy of education was fully based on his major findings derived from scientific research of theories of economic, political and child development and his successful experiments in South Africa.
Given the impact of rasical changes in Societies the world over, brought about by the Industrial Revolution, Gandhiji’s Philosophy of education was based on his findings derived from scientific research of theories of economic, political and child development (both Western and Oriental), and his successful experiments in South Africa. One of those radical changes was the removal of manufacture from households into factories and chops. The work done at home offered lifelong educational, socialization, communication and vocational benefits to the family members. It kept unemployment and crime rates low. The spirit of cooperation and respect prevailed. If education is the foundation of all growth and progress, then aims, goals and objectives are the four interconnected and most significant components that gives direction to educational outcomes through the curricular content, syllabus and evaluations. These four components are highly influenced by four interconnected foundation blocks namely, epistemology (the nature of knowledge), society/culture, the individual, and learning theories. But since aims, goals, and objectives, collectively as a component of curriculum provide direction and focus for the entire education programme, they are particularly sensitive to these four fundamental forces.
Gandhian philosophy of education is relevant in the context of our country. His concept of Basic Education is significant from every angle so far as Indian system of education is considered. It is psychological sound because Gandhi ji believes in the principles of learning by doing. According to him mineral work will lead to physical development. It will also develop other qualities of head and heart in the field. The child was develop a scientific outlook. He believes that child is good by nature. He is a spark of the divine.
Gandhi tried to reform the defect of the prevailing educational system. Morgery spikes has written that those educational methods and techniques being propounded in the country in the name of Gandhi’s basic education are good and effective and are compulsory by any school deserving to be called good. Gandhi has brought about a renaissance in educational system and educational policy by his working efforts. Which has made education in the whole country uniform. Gandhi be created for this because it has helped in making national draft in education and education has been framed as per political and social circumstances of the country. Gandhi attempted to bring a lot of progress in the society through his education system. Gandhi saw that education as a tool for bringing a social order for the absolute successs of society and its active members. Gandhi’s greatest and most valuable contribution to Indian is basic education
Gandhiji philosophy is sociological sound. He believes that education is a process which will fit the individual to live well in the society. His system of education will also impart training for citizenship as well. This scheme is also sound on economic grounds also. There will be no exploitation in the society conceived by Gandhi ji. The craft will enable the child to earn his tuition fees and realise the principle of “learn while you earn and earn while you earn”23. This will lead to self sufficiency in education.
GANDHI’S VIEWS ON EDUCATION
Gandhiji propounded his views on education in the following words:
1. “Education for a just social order:- The ultimate objective of the new education is not only a balanced and harmonious individual but also a balanced and harmonious society-a just social order in which there is no unnatural dividing line between the haves and have-nots and everybody is assured of a living wage and right to freedom.
2. Meaning of education:- In the words of Gandhi, By education, I mean an all -round drawing out of the best in child and man-body, mind and spirit.
3. Education through craft:- The uniqueness of this scheme is that education is to be given through village crafts. The end in view is not to be accomplished by merely adding a village craft to the current syllabus. “the brain must be educated through hand”.24
4. Self-supporting aspect:- Self-sufficiency is not a ‘prior ’ condition, but to me it is the acid test. This does not mean that Basic Education will be self-supporting form the very start. But taking the entire period of seven years, income and expenditure must balance each other. Otherwise it would be mean that even at the end of this training the basic education. ‘Nai Talim’ without the self-support basic would be like a lifeless body.
5. Dignity of labour:- It is a crime to make education merely literary, and to unfit boys and girls for manual work in later life. Indeed I hold that as the large part of our tine is devoted to labour for earning our bread our children must from their infancy be taught dignity of such labour. Our children should not be so taught as to desist labour. “useful manual labour, intelligently performed, is the means par excellance for developing the intellectual”
6. Methods of teaching:- Children take in much more and with less labour through ears than through their eyes.
7. Religious education:- In the words of Gandhi, to me religion means Truth and Ahimsa or tater Truth alone, because Truth includes Ahimsa, Ahimsa being the necessary and indispensable means for its discovery. Therefore anything that promotes the practice of these virtues is a means for imparting religious education and the best way to do this, in my opinion, is for the teachers rigorously to practice these virtues in their own person. This very association with the boys, whether on the playground or in the class room, will then give the pupils a fine training in these fundamental virtues.
“there is no religion higher than truth and righteousness”26
8. Spiritual training:- In the words of Gandhi, I made the children
memorize and recite hymns, and read to them from books on moral training. But that was far from satisfying me. As I came in to closer contact with them I saw that it was through books that one could impart training of the spirit. Just as physical training was to be imparted through physical exercise, and intellectual through intellectual exercise, even so the training of the spirit was possible only through the exercise of the spirit. And the exercise of the spirit entirely depended on the life and character of the teacher. The teacher had always to be mindful of his Ps and Qs whether he was in the midst of his boys or not.
“the true source of rights is duty, if we all discharge our duties right will not be far to seek”27
9. Education and character:- The end of all knowledge must be building up character. What is education without character and what is character without elementary personal purity.
“all our learning or recitation of the Vedas, correct knowledge of Sanskrit, latin, Greek and what not will us nothing if they do not enable us to cultivate absolute purity of heart. the end of all knowledge must be the building of character”28
10. The teacher:- Woe to the teacher who teachers one thing with the lips and carries another in the heart.
11. Medium of instruction:- Our language is the reflection of our selves and if you tell me that our languages are too poor to express the best thought, then I say that the sooner we are wiped out of existence the better for us.
12. The foreign medium:- The foreign medium has caused a brain fag, put an undue strain upon the nerves of our children, made them crammers and imitators, unfitted them for original work and thought and disabled them for filtrating their training to their family or the masses. The foreign medium has made our children practically foreigners in their own land.
13. Curriculum and spinning:- In any curriculum of the future, spinning must be a compulsory subject. Just as we cannot live without eating, so it is impossible for us to attain economic independence and banish pauperism from the ancient land without reviving home spinning.
14. Freedom but under discipline:- The pupil must have initiative. They must cease to be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves and yet be thoroughly obedient and disciplined. The highest form offreedom carries with it the greatest measures of discipline and humility. Freedom that comes from discipline and humility cannot be denied, unbridled licence is a sign of vulgarity injurious alike to self and one’s neighbors.
15. Co-education:- Before launching on such experiments, a
teacher has to be both father and mother to his pupils and be prepared for all eventualities, and only the hardest penance can fit him to conduct them.
16. Text book:- It has come to the conclusion that books are required more for the teacher then for the taught. And every teacher, if he is to do full justice to his pupils, will have to prepare the daily lesson from the material available to him. This too, he will have to suit to the special requirement of his class.
17. Women’s education:- in the words of Gandhi, as for women’s education, I am not sure whether it should be different from men’s and when it should begin. But I am strongly of opinion that women should have the same facilities as men and even special facilities where necessary.
18. Handwriting:- Handwriting is an art. Every letter must be correctly drawn, as an artist would draw his figures. This can only be dome if the boys and girls are first taught elementary, drawing »32
1. Tandulkar Mahatma Vol. IV P. 191
2. Gandhi M.K. Basic Education P.14
3. Bhatia B.K. Philosophy of education P. 125
4. Bhatia B.D. Philosophy of Education, P-129
5. Tandulkar Mahatma Vol-IV, P-175.
6. Dr. Inderdev Singh Nandra, Teacher in Emerging Indian Society, Tondon Publication Book Market Ludhiana P. 175
8. Narasima char, K.T. A day book of thoughts from Mahatma Gandhi P74
9. Dr. Inderdev Singh P-176
10. Ibid P-176
11. Pillai, N.P. (ed.) Education P-31
12. Gandhi M.K. To the Student’s P-31
13. Gandhi M.K. Harijan 6 October, 1946
14. Dr. Girish Pachauri, Education in Emerging India R.Lall Book Depot, Near Govt. Inter College Meerut P-455
15. Gandhi M.K. Harijan February 25, 1939
16. Dr. Inderdev Singh Nandra, Teacher in Emerging Indian Society, Tondon Publication Book Market Ludhiana P. 181
17. Basic Education P-108
18. Gandhi M.K. Harijan March 2, 1947
19. Aggarwal J.C. Education for Values, Environment and Human Rights, Shipra Publication H.O. L.G. 18-19, Pankaj Central Market Patpargarg Delhi P39
20. Gandhi M.K. Basic Education P-14
21. Retrived from Website. “www.mkGandhi.org”
22. Gandhi M.K. Harijan Feb 17, 1946
23. Dr. Inderdev Singh Nandra, Teacher in Emerging Indian Society, Tondon Publication Book Market Ludhiana P. 184
24. Gandhi M.K. Basic Education, P-190
25. Ibid P-106
26. Bose Nirmal Kumar Selections from Gandhi, P-254
27. Ibid P-37
28. Gandhi M.K. True Education P-229
GANDHI AND VEDANTA PHILOSOPHY
The message of Vedanta is for all times. And it is all the more relevant in the present age, when the world is facing grave spiritual and moral crisis. The teachings of Vedanta reflected in the Upanisads, the Gita and so on, are significant for they are based on a set of universal principles. And these principles are universal because they deal with human problems and development. Upanisads were considered as the cardinal texts for teaching the students of monastic order. They have great significance as they have deep ethical bearings on human conduct, man’s social responsibilities, and the legitimacy of his action.
Swami Ranganathananda in his work The Universal Message of the Bhagavad Gita Vol. I (Kolkata: Advaita Asrama) observes that the Upanisads or the Vedanta expounded the science of human possibilities a thousand years earlier, and the Gita expounds the practical application of that science. Hence Swami Vivekananda considered the Gita as the best book of practical Vedanta. Bhagavad Gita “gives an insight into all aspects of man’s experiences, and teaches the technique by which life can be lived at its highest and best. It breathes the spirit of tolerance and universality” (Swami Ranganathananda, The Message of the Upanisads, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 2007, p.62). The Bhagavad Gita deals with human problems in a human way. That is why it has a tremendous appeal. It has inspired the human mind in India for centuries and centuries, and today it is inspiring millions of people in various parts of the world. Swami Ranganathananda finds it interesting that in all these countries, after reading the Gita, people find their whole outlook changed. Thinkers and writers like Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Thoreau in USA, and Carlyle in England, experienced this broadening and deepening of their outlook after studying the Gita, and their writings convey a new message. Henry David Thoreau, American transcendentalist, refers to the Gita thus:
In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavat Geeta, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial . . .(qtd. in Swami Tathagatananda, Journey of the Upanisads to the West, Kolkata: Advaita Asrama, 2005, p.443)
For Ralph Waldo Emerson, Vedic thought “is sublime as heat and night and a breathless ocean. It continues every religious sentiment, all the grand ethics which visit in turn each noble poetic mind . . .” (Tathagatananda, Journey of the Upanisads to the West, p.425). Schopenhauer, eminent German philosopher, remarked that in the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanisads. It has been the solace of my life — it will be the solace of my death. T. S Eliot, one of the greatest English poets of the 20th century, was influenced by the Upanisads. In the end of his magnum opus The Waste Land, he appeals to the thunder in the Brhadaranyakopanisad. He draws on the traditional interpretation of “what the thunder says,” from the Upanisads. According to this, the thunder “gives,” “sympathizes” and “controls” through its speech.
Vedanta’s main contribution to humanity has been its catholicity of outlook, spirit of tolerance and its quest for inner freedom that defies imposition of any limit of race, colours, creed, etc. Swami Vivekananda, a sage well - known throughout the world for his practical wisdom, envisioned Vedanta as a teaching that would save the world from imminent spiritual death. Teachings of Vedanta remind the modern man in distress that unless he accepts and realizes spirituality as the core dimension of his personality, he won’t be able to live a peaceful life in spite of his tremendous material progress. For Dharma, the moral force that can hold society together is possible only in an atmosphere of “toned down materialism” and assertion of the Spirit. It is futile to try to find peace outside if we have not found it inside. Swami Vivekananda asserts that “Spiritual knowledge is the only thing that can destroy our miseries forever; any other knowledge satisfies wants only for a time. It is only with the knowledge of the spirit that the faculty of want is annihilated. . . ” (Complete Works Vol. I, Kolkata: Advaita Asrama, 1991, p. 52).
While speaking on the subject “The Upanisads and the modern crisis” Swami Ranganathananda explains that the modern world is experiencing a far- reaching reassessment in all aspects of human life and thought. According to him the progress of science and technology “lifted man from many fears and uncertainties of his primitive past,” but “landed him into new and more gnawing fears and uncertainties” (Message of the Upanisads, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 2007, p. 42). It destroyed many superstitions and challenged the credentials of every one of his beliefs and practices in the moral, religious and socio-economic spheres of life. These are indeed substantial gains; but they are not enough; they have lengthened the ropes, without, however, ‘strengthening the stakes’ as the Bible puts it. According to Swami Ranganathananda “the tree of life has branched wide, without correspondingly rooting deep,” for he believes that “in the modern achievement, the sciences of nature have far outstripped the sciences of man, leaving man puny and unstable, with his centre of gravity always outside of himself. Moral and spiritual values emerge only from the sciences of man” (The Message of the Upanisads, p.42). Well-known modern thinker Bertrand Russell refers to this imbalance in his remarks in his work The Scientific Outlook, pp. 278279) thus:
Man has been disciplined hitherto by his subjection to nature. Having emancipated himself from this subjection, he is showing something of the defects of slave-turned -master. A new moral outlook is called for, in which submission to all powers of nature is replaced by respect for what is best in man. It is where this respect is lacking that scientific technique is dangerous. So long as it is present, science, having delivered man from bondage to nature, can proceed to deliver him from bondage to the slavish part of himself (Qtd. in Swami Ranganathananda, The Message of the Upanishad, p. 42).
This respect for what is best in man, and the science which will “proceed to deliver man from bondage to the slavish part of himself’ is what the Upanisads developed ages ago in India in her 'Adhyatma Vidya\ in her 'science of human possibilities’ in the words of Julian Huxley (The Message of the Upanisads, p. 42). The crisis in the modern world is essentially a spiritual crisis. Great thinkers of the past and the present strongly believed that the eternal soul of India has preserved, through her ups and downs of her long history, a perennial message of hope and cheer to all humanity.
According to Swami Satprakashananda, “modern man directs his attention to aspects of life other than moral and spiritual, and thereby reaps indifferent or unwanted results." He explains that the stable basis of human life is not economic sufficiency, technical efficiency, development of arts and industries, or cultural progress. The sound basis of life is not even in political constitution, or social organization, however sound it may be, because neither political constitution nor social organization can function without the right types of human beings. The sound basis of human life is not even in philosophic knowledge, or scientific knowledge, because none of these ensures true human relationship, or ensures man’s inner composure and wisdom. True human relationships cannot exist unless there are fair dealings among men and true fellow-feeling No economic system, no external condition, can help a man, truly speaking, unless he is sound morally and wise spiritually (Vedanta for All, Chennai: Sri Ramakrishna Matt, 2007 pp. 23-24).
It is Interesting to note that although Vedanta has not yet become a mass movement, it has silently but unmistakably influenced the thought current of the present world. Frequent use of words such as ‘guru’, ‘mantra’, ‘karma’, ‘yoga’, etc. used by social thinkers, writers, politicians, managers, investment bankers and even television newscasters as part of their every day vocabulary, indicates the influence of Vedanta. The voice of Vedanta is heard when environmentalists gather in different parts of the world and exhort us to save the forests and protect ozone layer. When psychologists and counsellors prescribe meditation and yoga as a remedy, the wisdom of Vedanta is recognized. The call of Vedanta is heard when leaders of various religions and faiths hold Parliament of Religions in different parts of the world and appeal for the unity of all faiths.
i. Vedanta and Modern Science
Swami Ranganathananda observes that “all science is the search for unity. Vedanta discovered this unity in the Atman; it followed its own method relevant to this field of enquiry. But it illustrated its conclusion with whatever possible knowledge was available at the time. In recent centuries this knowledge has been advanced radically and vastly by modern science, the impact of which on Vedanta, however, has been most wholesome. In fact Vedanta hopes for and welcomes further radical advances in modern science by which its own spiritual vision of the ‘One in the many’ may be corroborated by positive scientific knowledge so that the spirituality of science and the spirituality of religion may as a united stream to fertilize all aspects of human life” (The Message of the Upanisads, p. 7).
As far as modern science is concerned, every department of science today is extending the bounds of man’s knowledge of cosmic unity. Modern science starts with the exploration of the mysteries of external nature; but at the farthest end of this exploration it finds itself face to face with the mystery of man and his mind, the deepest mystery of all. It is here, Swami Ranganathananda says, that, “we can discern the steady convergence of two of the greatest human disciplines - ancient Vedanta and modern science (The Message of the Upanisads. p. 111).
Swami Ranganathananda also explains that the need of science today is “to free its spirit from dogmas of all kinds, whether religious or scientific, political or social. In this task modern science will receive the most helpful stimulus from Vedanta. For Vedanta is not committed to any dogma, it is committed to truth only and firmly believes in the power of truth to overcome half-truths and untruths. ‘Truth alone triumphs, not untruth’ is the watch word of the Upanisads (Mundaka Upanisad. III. I.6).This was the quest pursued by the great sages of India and they have left for posterity an imperishable legacy (The Message of the Upanisads, p. 199).
ii. Vedanta and Environmental Crisis
Some of the gravest problems that the world is facing today are the environmental problems such as ecological imbalance, climate change, global warming, pollution, etc. Two factors that contribute to environmental crisis are - one, the belief that human beings are separate from and superior to nature, and two, man’s indiscriminate exploitation of nature, unmindful of the consequences of his actions. According to Vedas, the structure of the world is Nature - oriented.
The central theme of Atharva Veda is the fellowship of man and nature. Many verses of Atharva Veda reflect the earnest wish of human beings to live in harmony with nature. The following is the English translation of verses from the Atharva Veda Book XII (Bhumisukta):
Earth, upon which this moving, breathing life exists;
May she bestow on us the finest of her harvests! Earth, the all-sustaining, treasure-bearing, resting-place; Golden-breasted Earth, home of all life, Who bears the sacred fire. Pleasant be thy hills, O Earth, Thy snow-clad mountains and thy forests. On this Earth do I stand, Unvanquished, unslain, unhurt. Set me, O Earth, amidst the nourishing strength That emanates from thy body. The Earth is my mother, her child am I; Infinite space is my father, May he fill us with plenty. Peaceful, sweet-smelling, gracious Earth. Whatever I dig from thee, O Earth, May that have quick growth again, May we not injure your vitals or your heart. Full of sweetness are the plants, And full of sweetness these my words. And with things that are full of sweetness, I prosper in a thousand ways.
The existence and welfare of the human society depend upon maintaining a balance with nature.
Our ancient sages and seers emphasized the significance of ecological balance for the welfare of human beings. ‘Need, rather than greed’ was the guiding principle in the relationship of man with nature. Verse I of Isavasyopanisad says:
Isavasyamidam sarvam yatkinca jagatyam jagat |
Tena tyaktena bhunjithah ma grdhah kasyasvidhanam ||
“Everything within the universe is possessed by God. He pervades both the animate and the inanimate. Therefore, one should only take one’s share and leave the rest to the Supreme.”
Swami Ranganathananda observes that though this is a very plain statement, it involves a number of ethical and spiritual values. According to him the statement may be interpreted also as “Whatever you have gained by your honest labour, say all moral and spiritual teachers, that alone belongs to you; enjoy life with that, and do not covet what belongs to others.” Harmonious existence of all creatures of God is the main tenet of the value system reflected in Vedas. The teachings on environmental matters contained in the ancient texts have inspired ecological activists. Mahatma Gandhi’s statement is relevant here:”The earth has resources to meet everybody’s needs, but nobody’s greed.” These values pertaining to environment as reflected in Vedanta, seen in the present context of the deteriorating quality of environmental resources and increasing concern for the sustainability of development, are contemporary in their relevance.
iii. Vedanta and Modern Education in India
India has been facing a grave crisis in the field of education for quite some time. Sri Aurobindo has observed that Indians in the modern age have confused education with mere acquisition of knowledge. According to him amount of knowledge is in itself not of first importance. He remarks that “the easy assumption of our educationalists that we have only to supply the mind with a smattering of facts in each department of knowledge and the mind can be trusted to develop itself and take its own suitable road is contrary to science, contrary to human experiences” (India’s Rebirth, Paris: The Institute for Evolutionary Research & Mysore: Mira Aditi, pp. 11-12).
Mahatma Gandhi observed that good education is that which draws out and stimulates the spiritual, intellectual and physical faculties of children. This thought is but the reflection of the Vedic thought that calls for the education of the whole human being and not just get confined to some aspects only. Hence the fullness of education consists in and must comprise all the facets of existence - physical, vital, mental, intellectual and spiritual. In other words during the Upanisadic times education system aimed to transform the potentialities of an individual to a complete man. And this was done not just through imparting precepts and theories but was also through giving examples quoting parables. Education meant imparting knowledge which will inculcate the quality such as self-discipline, charity, and compassion.
As Swami Gambhirananda rightly remarked — “Anyone who seriously ponders over what is taking place at present in the realm of education all over the country is sure to notice that a soul-killing morbidity has seized our sacred temples of learning and the disease is eating into their very vitals. And the Tonic to restore them to normal health and vigour can come only by infusing into their body the beneficent influence accruing from moral training and religious education - a revival in part atleast of the elevating, sanctifying atmosphere that prevailed in our ancient system of education, oriented according to the needs and moods of the present age” (“The Aims of Our Education,” Education: New Dimensions, Bangalore: Ramakrishna Math, 1996, p 8).
iv. Vedanta and modern Management
According to S.K. Chakraborthy, well-known management guru,” India’s contribution to the ‘many paths’ to effective values-driven management has to spring from Vedanta” (Ethics in Management: Vedantic Perspectives, New Delhi: Oxford India Paperbacks,1997, p. viii ). It is important to note that several western thinkers on management and related matters have been publishing articles, even books, alluding to Vedantic psycho - philosophy. Chakraborthy explains that the Vedantic genius grasped long ago the truth that problems arising from secular pursuits cannot be solved by pressing forward on secular route. The solution lay in the conjunction of the sacred and the simple. This insight was formulated into a four-goals system view - caturvarga - of human existence. Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksa - Rectitude/Righteousness, money/ wealth, needs/desires and liberation of the spiritual core. Positive and modern interpreters of this system’s view, like Swami Vivekananda, sum up the message pithily; “Every act is a spiritual prayer, every step is a pilgrimage.” “To put it in another way, Chakraborhty says, the key task of management in any secular aspect of life is to transform and elevate it into a sacred process” (S. K. Chakraborhty, Ethics in Management: Vedantic Perspective, p. 6). Vedanta offers a general theory, the central tenet of which is Nishkama Karma or Karma Yoga according to which work must be done without personal claims to egocentric results (i.e. rewards) as the primary driving force.
Chakraborthy says that the words or phrases that best reflected the top level managers’ vision about the future quality of the work-life scenario in the firm are - simplicity, efficiency, frugality, decorum, quality output, customer is God, straightforwardness, brotherhood, self-restraint, punctuality, sharing, trust, care, humility, patience, honesty, etc. He adds that when the managers were asked to name any kind of organization or institution which is or has been able to synthesize and integrate these qualities, after a brainstorming session, someone spoke of an asram as capturing best most of these features on a continuing basis. The group of managers agreed almost unanimously. They could correlate the asram metaphor with a business enterprise at the ground level. It reflects also the ingrained Indian ethos most of our managers secretly nurse. Clearly the physical features of an asram may not always be translatable in the Industrial settings, especially at the plant level. So, the emphasis has to be on the pursuit of the psychologically affective features of an asram. “. . . the uniqueness of the Indian model of civilization is ‘sacro-secular symbiosis’” (S. K. Chakraborthy, Management by Values- Towards Cultural Congruence, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1991, ch.8). The sacred - the spiritual guiding and nurturing the secular, the material. This alone explains the enduring power of India’s civilization through six millennia of recorded history.
Vedanta is one of the six classical systems of Indian philosophy. The term "Vedanta" has the literal meaning "the end of the Veda" and refers both to the teaching of the Upanishads, which constitute the last section of the Veda, and to the knowledge of its ultimate meaning. By extension it is the name given to those philosophical schools that base themselves on the Brahma Sutras (also called the Vedanta Sutras) of Badarayana (early centuries AD), which summarize the Upanishadic doctrine. The best-known and most influential of the schools of Vedanta is that of Shankara (AD 788-820), known as the nondualist or advaita Vedanta. Shankara attempted to show that the teaching of the Upanishads was a self-consistent whole. According to Shankara, the ultimate reality is Brahman or the Self, which is pure reality, pure consciousness, and pure bliss.
The world has come into being from Brahman and is wholly dependent on it. The criteria of reality are immutability and permanence. Since the world is constantly changing, and since its existence is not absolute but dependent on Brahman, the world is called illusion or maya. Brahman exists as the Absolute, without qualities (nirguna), and also exists with qualities (saguna) as a personal god, Ishvara, who presides over the world of appearance. Shankara divided the Veda into two sections, that dealing with duties and ritual actions (karmakanda) and that dealing with knowledge of reality (jnanakanda) contained in the Upanishads. Spiritual liberation is achieved not by ritual action, which is for those of inferior spiritual capacity, but by eradication of the ignorance (avidya) that sees the illusory multiplicity of the world as real, and by attainment of knowledge of the Self. The qualified nondualism or vishishtadvaita of Ramanuja (1017-1137) argued against Shankara, holding that Brahman is not devoid of qualities, but rather is the possessor of divine qualities.
The world and individual souls are not illusion, but have intrinsic reality, although they are dependent on God. Ramanuja, a worshiper of Vishnu, advocated devotion or bhakti as a means of salvation. The dualist or dvaita Vedanta of Madhva (1197-1276) attacked the monistic followers of Shankara and defended a pluralist standpoint. He asserted the permanently separate reality of the world, souls, and God, who is identified with Vishnu. Vedanta in one or the other of its forms has had a pervasive influence on the intellectual and religious life of India, and it is still a living tradition. Well-known modern Vedantists include Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Swami Vivekananda, and Aurobindo Ghose (Sri Aurobindo).
v. Definitions of the Vedanta
1. The literary definition of the Vedanta
The Vedas are divided into four parts, the Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. Being the fourth, the Upanishads constitute the end part of the Vedas or Vedanta. “Veda + Anta” is Vedanta. Anta means the end. Thus, Vedanta is a direct reference to the Upanishadic knowledge. Each of the four Vedas, namely the Rigveda, Samaveda, the Yajurveda and the Atharvaveda, has its own collection of Upanishads. They were composed at different times, some in the early Vedic period, and some as recently as a few hundred years ago. The Upanishads contain the secret knowledge of Brahman (God), Atman (soul), rebirth, the ritual and spiritual significance of some Vedic beliefs and practices, the configuration of the human personality, the realities (tattvas) and modes (gunas) of Nature and so on. Upanishad means sitting near. They are so called because they contain secret knowledge, which was traditionally taught in person and in secrecy by a teacher to a few trustworthy students.
The philosophical definition of Vedanta
Vedanta also means a school or philosophy of Hinduism. It is one of the six Darshanas or viewpoints of Hinduism. As the name implies, Vedanta is based solely on the knowledge of the Upanishads. It is a theistic philosophy rooted in the knowledge and authority of the Vedas. It is also considered a Mimansa, which means a logical enquiry into the nature of reality according to the percepts of the Vedas. Mimansa has two divisions, Purva Mimansa, which is based upon the knowledge of the Samhitas and the Brahmanas, and Uttara Mimansa which is an alternative term for Vedanta, which has its source in the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. Since it deals with the knowledge of Brahman and derived from the Brahmasutras, it is also known as Brahma Mimansa.
The roots of Vedanta could be found in the ancient teachings of Yajnavalkya and in a commentary (karika) on the Mandukya Upanishad by an ancient teacher named Gaudapada. The Vedanta Sutra of Badarayana (5th Century BC) is perhaps the earliest known systematic study of the Upanishads and thereby of Vedanta also. It deals with the knowledge of Brahman, the means to attain it, and the rewards of liberation. Apart from it, the Bhagavadgita and the Upanishads are considered the major sources of the school. Together, the three are considered the triple foundations for the great journey of liberation (prastana traya) by the path of Vedanta.
However, as a major philosophical system, the Vedanta school developed much later, which approximately coincided with the development of Vaishnavism and Shaivism as the major sects of Hinduism. Its philosophy is not homogenous and contains several sub-schools, of which three are most important, and the rest are their variations. They all acknowledge the Vedas as the indisputable sources of verbal testimony (sabda pramana) concerning the metaphysical truths of existence.
The spiritual definition of Vedanta
In a popular sense, Vedanta means the end of the Vedas. However, it is not the only meaning. Veda also means knowledge. Therefore, Vedanta literally means the end of knowledge or knowing. What is the end of knowledge? The end of scriptural knowledge is the beginning of transcendental knowledge, which is beyond the mind and the senses. It is the knowledge of the Self or Brahman or both, which leads to liberation. In Hinduism, liberation is the highest goal of human life. The Vedas facilitate it by providing the right knowledge and methods to achieve it.
In Vedic times, students used to spend about 25 or more years to study the scriptures and memorize all the knowledge of the Samhitas, Brahmans and related subjects, which would prepare them for the life of householders. However, what they learned was lower knowledge (avidya), which would help them achieve name and fame, but not liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. For that, having mastered all the ritual knowledge, they had to go back to study again from a spiritual master, in a forest or a secluded place, and learn from him the utmost secrets of the Vedas, whereby their knowing would come to its logical and spiritual end. Most people did it in the later age, during Vanaprastha, as forest dwellers, after retiring from the active duties of a householder.
Even today, if you want to achieve liberation, you have to renounce the world and pursue Brahman with single minded resolve. For that, self-study (svadhyaya) or initiation by a spiritual master are considered necessary. When you know Brahman, there is nothing else to know. You reach the boundaries of human knowledge and enter a mysterious realm, which is indeterminate, inexplicable and incomprehensible to the human mind. The scriptures affirm that when you achieve oneness with the Self, you will enter an ocean of infinite knowledge and bliss, where knowing has no purpose, no end, and no duality of subject and object.
Vedanta teaches you how to enter that state, and by what means you can transcend your limitations to experience union with Brahman. You are incomplete as a knower, incomplete with empirical knowing, and incomplete without knowing also. You are complete and perfect (siddha) only when you transcend your ignorance and attain the supreme knowledge of the Self. This is the final aim and purpose of the knowledge which is contained in the Vedas. It is what they promise to deliver if you are serious about achieving it.
Thus, Vedanta brings an end to your spiritual quest and your life as a mortal being who is subject to repeated births and deaths. It ends your doubts and despair, your seeking and striving, your knowing, your existence as a bound soul, your awareness of duality, your worldly knowledge as well as spiritual ignorance, your relationship with the objective world, your bonds and attachments, your misery and suffering, and all that futile effort you make to have and to be to deal with your fears and the impermanence of the world. With the study of the Vedas, you reach the end of knowing and the end of mortal existence because after learning about Brahman, what else is there to learn? You become aware of your essential nature and the true purpose of your existence, and through effort and by the grace of Isvara you enter the realm of pure, consciousness, which is eternal, indestructible and infinite
Vedanta is one of the world’s most ancient religious philosophies and one of its broadest. Based on the Vedas, the sacred scriptures of India, Vedanta affirms the oneness of existence, the divinity of the soul, and the harmony of religions. Vedanta is the philosophical foundation of Hinduism; but while Hinduism includes aspects of Indian culture, Vedanta is universal in its application and is equally relevant to all countries, all cultures, and all religious backgrounds.
1. A closer look at the word “Vedanta” is revealing: “Vedanta” is a combination of two words: “Veda” which means “knowledge” and “anta” which means “the end of” or “the goal of.” In this context the goal of knowledge isn’t intellectual—the limited knowledge we acquire by reading books. “Knowledge” here means the knowledge of God as well as the knowledge of our own divine nature. Vedanta, then, is the search for Selfknowledge as well as the search for God.
2. What do we mean when we say God? According to Vedanta, God is infinite existence, infinite consciousness, and infinite bliss. The term for this impersonal, transcendent reality is Brahman, the divine ground of being. Yet Vedanta also maintains that God can be personal as well, assuming human form in every age.
3. Most importantly, God dwells within our own hearts as the divine Self or Atman. The Atman is never born nor will it ever die. Neither stained by our failings nor affected by the fluctuations of the body or mind, the Atman is not subject to our grief or despair or disease or ignorance. Pure, perfect, free from limitations, the Atman, Vedanta declares, is one with Brahman. The greatest temple of God lies within the human heart.
4. Vedanta further asserts that the goal of human life is to realize and manifest our divinity. Not only is this possible, it is inevitable. Our real nature is divine; God-realization is our birthright. Sooner or later, we will all manifest our divinity—either in this or in future lives—for the greatest truth of our existence is our own divine nature.
5. Finally, Vedanta affirms that all religions teach the same basic truths about God, the world, and our relationship to one another. Thousands of years ago the Rig Veda declared: “Truth is one, sages call it by various names.” The world’s religions offer varying approaches to God, each one true and valid, each religion offering the world a unique and irreplaceable path to God-realization. The conflicting messages we find among religions are due more to doctrine and dogma than to the reality of spiritual experience. While dissimilarities exist in the external observances of the world religions, the internals bear remarkable similarities.
According to Balasubramanian, the Vedantic philosophy is as old as the Vedas, since the basic ideas of the Vedanta systems are derived from the Vedas. During the Vedic period (1500-600 BC) the Rishis formulated their religio- philosophical and poetical visions, which are further explored in the Upanishads, the jnana-kanda of the Vedas. The Upanishads do not contain "a rigorous philosophical inquiry identifying the doctrines and formulating the supporting arguments." This philosophical inquiry was performed by the darsanas, the various philosophical schools.
Deutsch and Dalvi point out that in the Indian context, texts "are only part of a tradition which is preserved in its purest form in the oral transmission as it has been going on." The Upanishads form the basic texts, of which Vedanta gives an interpretation.
vi. Kinds of Vedanta
1. Advaita, the school of nondualism: It holds that Brahman is the singular, transcendental reality and everything else is either a projection or delusion. Upon their liberation, individual souls disappear into Brahman and cease to exit. Adi Shankaracharya (8th-9th Century AD) was one of the major proponents of it, which still has many adherents.
2. Vishishtadvaita or the school of qualified non-dualism: The school holds that there are three universal, eternal realities, instead of one. They are Brahman (Isvara), individual souls (cit) and Nature (acit). Of them Brahman is independent, but the other two are dependent. There is also a notional duality between Brahman and the souls. Upon their liberation, souls enter the world of Brahman and exist eternally as freed souls (muktas). Sri Ramanujacharya was its major proponent. The school is also very popular in many parts of India.
3. Dvaita, or the school of dualism: The school holds that there are many eternal realities, not just one or three. There is a permanent duality between Brahman and souls, souls and souls, Brahman and Nature, souls and Nature, and one reality (tattvas) of Nature and another. The worlds of Brahman are not projections or illusions, but real. The dualities of existence are also very real. So is the diversity in creation. Madhavacharya, a medieval saint (12th-13th Century AD) was its major proponent. According to the school, God is not a passive witness, but an active controller who is responsible for the liberation of beings. The souls remain diverse and different even after they enter the world of Brahman.
4. Other schools of Vedanta: The other important schools of Vedanta are variations of the main ones. They are listed below.
1. Dvaita Advaita: It was founded by Nimbarka (11th Century AD). It holds that the souls and Nature are both distinct (Dvaita) and not-distinct (Advaita) from Brahman, who is the only independent reality.
2. Suddha Advaita: The school holds that the relationship between Krishna, the highest reality and his creation, the dependent reality, is one of pure non-difference. The world is a transformation of God, not his projection as held by Shankara. Hence, it is not unreal. The school was founded by Vallabha (15th- 16th Century AD).
3. Achintya Bhedabheda: It is based on the teachings of Chaitanya (5th Century AD) and was made popular by Jiva Gosvami. It regards Krishna as the highest supreme Brahman, who has numerous forms and manifestations and who in essence is truth, consciousness and bliss (sat-chit-ananda). The souls are eternal, but separate from God. However, they are different as well as not different. Liberation can be achieved by knowledge or by devotion. Of the two, devotion is superior.
vii. Significance of the Study
“We have this rich pluralistic multi-dimensional culture in India. But Vedanta Upanishads are the watermark of wisdom of world philosophy.”Dwelling on the paths of yogas, the four Yogas represent an all-inclusive philosophy of life.“Life is not just a meaningless journey from womb to doom, but an exciting opportunity for spiritual bloom,”
Espousing various concepts such as “Vasudaiva Kutumbaka” which considered whole world as a family, he pointed out the essence of the philosophy where despite all differences and hatred spread all around, the noble thought was “spiritual link must connect the world”.
“Science and technology has given us an opportunity to become one world. But one world is not market, because market is perhaps a naturally exploitative structure. Family is not an exploitative structure, mind you,” . If we are to connect to the concept of Vasudaiv Kutumbaka, then we have to restructure the economy of country and world. And suggest a way through this mess of poverty,” it was in a way a minimum necessary input for civilised co-existence.
Dwelling on the Vedantic philosophy: “We must accept Vedantic dictum of basic unity of world religions. There are multi-paths to divinity and no religion has a sole monopoly to reach the divine.” In that context, he called for more movements promoting inter-faith dialogue. “India is a multi-faith pluralistic country and our concept is based on Rigvedic Satya, not clash of civilisations, but confluence of civilisations.”
In reply to a question, he called for introduction of concepts such as values and morals in the curriculum alongside extracts from great religions of the world to inculcate these values in the minds of children at the young age.
“Yes, it is important we introduce value system in our curriculum with extracts of great religions of world. Take these concepts and introduce with secularism. In the name of secularism what we have done is thrown the baby away with the bath water and we come to a situation where a nation based on the principle of “Satyameva Jayate” is today sinking in mire and morass of corruption,” .
“Whether it is religious or ideological, any type of fundamentalism is bad. It ultimately breeds disaster. So we should try and have a holistic approach on issues. The real danger is if we allow these fanatics and fundamentalism to grow, they will blow up the whole world one day,”
Thus Vedanta provides man in the modern world with practical wisdom in every aspect of his life. Sri Aurobindo asserts that “the recovery of the perfect truth of the Veda is therefore not merely a desideratum for our modern intellectual curiosity, but a practical necessity for the future of the human race” (Qtd. in India’s Rebirth, p. 99)
Swami Ranganathananda observes that the sixth and seventh verses of the Isavasyopanisad raise us to the highest pinnacle of human wisdom:
Yastu sarvani bhutani atmanyevanupasyati;
Sarva bhutesu catmanam tato na vijugupsate —
“ The wise man, who realizes all beings as not distinct from his own Self, and his own Self as the Self of all beings, does not, by virtue of that perception, hate anyone.”
Yasmin sarvani bhutani atmaivabhut vijanatah;
Tatra ko mohah kah sokah ekatvam anupasyatah —
“What delusion, what sorrow can there be for that wise man who realizes the unity of all existence by perceiving all beings as his own Self?”
According to Swami Ranganathananda, “human society will get a new integration as a fruit of this vision. We in India speak of national integration today; but it is integration limited to one nation. But the Vedanta concept of integration goes beyond the merely national to embrace the whole of humanity in its sweeping vision of kinship and awareness” (The Message of the Upanisads, pp.23-124). He adds that the message of India has nothing credal, nothing dogmatic or sectarian about it, for it speaks in terms of man’s development of the highest excellence.
It is only befitting to conclude this paper by quoting eminent British historian of the 20th century, Arnold Toynbee. In his tribute to Sri Ramakrishna, he remarks:
In the present age, the world has been united on the material plane by western technology. But this western skill has not only ‘annihilated distance,’ it has armed the peoples of the world with weapons of devastating power at a time when they have been brought to point-blank range of each other without yet having learnt to know and love each other. At this supremely dangerous moment in human history, the only way of salvation for mankind is an Indian way.
Neo-Vedanta is a modern interpretation of Vedanta, with a liberal attitude toward the Vedas. It reconciles dualism and non-dualism, and rejects the "universal illusionism" of Shankara, despite its reference for classical Advaita Vedanta:
Ramakrsna, Svami Vivekananda, and Aurobindo have been labeled "neo- Vedantists," a philosophy that rejects the Advaitins' claim that the world is illusory. Aurobindo, in his The Life Divine, declares that he has moved from Sankara's "universal illusionism" to his own "universal realism" (2005: 432), defined as metaphysical realism in the European philosophical sense of the term.
Mohandas Gandhi endorsed the Jain concept of Anekantavada, the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth. This concept embraces the perspectives of both Vedanta which, according to Jainism, "recognizes substances but not process", and Buddhism, which "recognizes process but not substance". Jainism, on the other hand, pays equal attention to both substance (dravya) and process (paryaya).
Neo-Vedanta developed in the 19th century, in interaction with and response to colonialism. With the onset of the British Raj, the colonialisation of India by the British, there also started a Hindu renaissance in the 19th century, which profoundly changed the understanding of Hinduism in both India and the west. Western orientalist searched for the "essence" of the Indian religions, discerning this in the Vedas, and meanwhile creating the notion of "Hinduism" as a unified body of religious praxis and the popular picture of 'mystical India'.
This idea of a Vedic essence was taken over by the Hindu reformers, together with the ideas of Universalism and Perennialism, the idea that all religions share a common mystic ground. The Brahmo Samaj, who was supported for a while by the Unitarian Church, played an essential role in the introduction and spread of this new understanding of Hinduism. Vedanta came to be regarded as the essence of Hinduism, and Advaita Vedanta came to be regarded as "then paradigmatic example of the mystical nature of the Hindu religion".
A major proponent in the popularisation of this Universalist and Perennialist interpretation of Advaita Vedanta was Vivekananda, who played a major role in the revival of Hinduism, and the spread of Advaita Vedanta to the west via the Vedanta Society, the international arm of Ramakrishna Order. His interpretation of Advaita Vedanta has been called "Neo-Vedanta". The popular understanding of Hinduism has been dominated by this neo-Vedanta, in which mysticism, Aryan origins and the unity of Hinduism have been emphasised.
These notions also served well for the Hindu nationalists, who further popularised this notion of Advaita Vedanta as the pinnacle of Indian religions. It "provided an opportunity for the construction of a nationalist ideology that could unite Hindus in their struggle against colonial oppression".
FUNDAMENTAL OF SARODAYA ETHICS
I. BASIC ROOTS OF MORALITY
Every metaphysical theory projects way of behaviour in real life, though indirectly, just as all concern with the solution of practical moral problems of life suggests a metaphysical point of view. The Buddha had his metaphysics, but it receded into the background of his moral teachings. The Sarvodaya thinkers are much more clear and specially emphatic in declaring their metaphysical convictions; but they are no less assertive in pressing their concern over moral issues. Forone thing this is so because the cosmos has been eredited by the Sarvodaya thinkers as the spontaneous expression of the Ultimate Metaphysicl Reality. And human life is a unique phenomenon in this cosmos. Morality is a matter of relationships which weave every thread of human life. Hence, moral considerations occupy special importance in Sarvodaya thought.
Secondly, in Sarvodaya, spirituality and morality become interchangeable words. To Gandhi the nature of Reality, i.e. Truth-itself had opened the way of Love or Non-violence. The end and its means are convertible terms in Sarvodaya. Thus truth and love become two sides of the coin of life. Love reveals itself through the dealings of everyday life-it is the moral expression of spiritual understanding of Truth. The striving for spiritual liberation or Moksa has to be done not by taking resort to escapism but by meeting life fairly and squarely in ordinary activities and through moral firmness.
This throws light on the fact that Sarvodaya moral thought takes roots from metaphysical stand. Morality of individual and social life has no independent existence except on the foundation of metaphysics. The first yet final question of morality, why should I be moral? remains unanswered so long as one engages oneself with the arguments supporting self-interest-enlightened or otherwise. So long as there is a possibility that every shrewd man can find out ways and means of attaining self-interest or happiness without arousing the slightest suspicion about the morality of his behaviour, there is no need of being truly moral. Besides, even of all members of society have mutual trust and seek only enlightened selfinterest, there arises the difficulty of ascertaining the meaning and scope of ‘interest’ or ‘happiness’. These may connote various meaning and denote separate things to different individuals and thus may result the impossibility of coming to mutual agreement. Even Humanism falls short of creating a strong conviction about the ‘why’ of morality. To Humanism “this life is all and enough” it makes a plea for “enhancing the spirit of cosmopolitanism”, “international friendship” and “Brotherhood of man”1.
But why should man befriend man if he can be happy without caring for the ‘welfare of all mankind?’ The Sarvodaya thinkers have, no doubt, brought spirituality from heaven to earth by emphasizing the need of ideal solution of human problems, but they are not satisfied with the Humanist’s rejection of all ends and values beyond the realm of human senses and reason. According to them spirituality has nothing to do with heaven and hell, out it can neither join hands with the propounders of mere empirical happiness.
Then, why should one be moral? Jesus had asked ‘Love thy enemy as thyself.’ Friends and enemies make the whole of humanity. But why should one love humanity? Kant had declared, it is your duty to do so. It is the categorical imperative of the Moral Law within. But what if one does pay attention to the still small voice of conscience? Why should ‘love’ be a ‘duty’? To F.H. Bradley it is the outcome of the ideal of self-realization. But our being should embrace the other beings if true love is to dawn. There can be no love unless ‘I’ and ‘mine’ are equated and completely mingled with ‘Thy’ and ‘Thine’. I should love my neighbor as myself because we are fundamentally one. Morality is a natural phenomenon at the human level since here there is the experience of the fundamental unity of all life. The glimpses of such experience can be easily had if our mind is balanced and unprejudiced. Gandhi asserted: “I belives in the essential unity of man and for that matter of all that lives”2. If our sensitivity is not blunted by the extraneous and superfluous hindrances of ‘my’ and ‘mine’, we could grasp the truth of the imperative demand of service of our immediate neighbour who represents the whole of life for us. Such service is a ‘necessity’, to put the same thing differently, simply because the only way to find God is to see Him in his creation and be one with it. And realization of God is the realization of the unity of life.
This solves the problem of the incentive to goodness. In the absence of the temptation of money, honour or status, what prompts men to behave morally is his thirst of sociability and the spontaneity of love. If alone, man feels no joy, but at the same time, if there is one ‘other’, there is reason for fear’. This contradiction is resolved if that other becomes his own. With the widening of the horizon of one’s self- hood there is the growing consciousness of one’s happiness. Then, naturally, the good of one’s neighbour becomes the good of oneself, and this provides a sufficient incentive to goodness.
II. THE MAN AND THE SOCIETY
The basic oneness of all life removes the possibility of conflict between the good of the individual and that of the society. A false opposition between the claims of individual and those of society has been created by the upholders of biased and partial theories of human life. To Sarvodaya thinkers neither the individual nor the society is independent of each other. Society lives in and through its members, and individuals are what the are, mainly because of their rearing up in particular social conditions. But the Sarvodaya thinkers acknowledge that there is an excellence (Vibhutimatva ) in every individual which ought to be revered and given due scope for development in society. Man is an end in himself. Like Kant the Sarvodaya philosophers held that each one should think of oneself as a member of the kingdom of ends. That is why Gandhi has said, “The individual is the one supreme consideration"3. But this is not to say that whilevaluing individual’s development one should sacrifice the good of the society. In fact, self-interest and social-interest are fundamentally one. Though superficially and from the point of view of egoistic and selfish interest an individual stands against the society, the fundamental unity of wellbeing of the whole of humanity remains an ultimate fact. That is why when one wants peaceful and healthy human life wherein every individual develops to his utmost and thereby contributes to social wellbeing, one has to emphasise not the pleasure or happiness of particular and separate individuals but their mutuality and love. The final value should be invested in the no opposed character of their wellbeing. The whole humanity gains or loses with the one individual’s success or failure.
Therefore, Gandhi believes “ if one man gains spirituality, the whole world gains with him and if one falls the whole world falls to that extent”4.
One reason why the conflict is emphasized and strengthened is the unjustified belief in the struggle for existence. If conflict were the laws of life all creation would have been extinct long ago. Conflict is death. Co-operation and sacrifice of one’s own interest are no less the facts of life. And it is not enough to stick to the maxim “Live and let live”5 which may create indifference to the wellbeing of neighbours. Society cannot survive if it follows such a principle. Sarvodya’s non-dualistic ethics asks individuals and even societies to live in order to make others live. Vinoba remarks, “The sine qua non of Sarvodays is: all of us should learn the art of living for others”6. The so-called conflict is based on imaginary enmity. All have to enrich life through cooperation and mutual help. On the bed-rock of this mutual love does the moral ideal of Sarvodaya society stand.
The utilitarian theory of ‘the greatest happines of the greatest numbers’ is nourished on the wring concepts of the ideal of human life and the means thereto. Mill in his ‘Utilitarianism’ presents an obviously fallacious argument to prove pleasure as the ideal. The argument is as follows-the only things visible are things seen’ the only things audible are things heard, and similarly the only things desirable are things desired. As Russel has wisely commented he (Mill) does not notice that a thing is ‘visible’ if it can be seen, but ‘desirable’ if it ought to be desired. Thus desirable is a word presupposing an ethical theory, we cannot infer what is desirable from what is desired. The existing state of affairs can never be the measure of moral judgment. But the fallacy involved in determining the ideal continues itself in imagining the possibility of summing up the pleasures of separate individuals and thus achieving the happiness of society. It is wrong to conceive of such a result unless each one consciously strives to achieve good of all. To say that in practice it is impossible to achieve more than the greatest good of the largest number of human beings is no excuse for making it an ideal. Men should strive hard, and if they fail to achieve the ideal of the good of all, with vigorous self exertion they should launch a new attempt. Failure to achieve an ideal is not defeat-either of men or of the ideal. It may ever remain unattained but never unattainable. All ideologies that erect wall between man and man, thus creating two opposing blocks in the human world, are guilty of declaring the eternal negation of peace and happiness in the human world. If we fall a prey to the immediate happiness of ourselves, we lose the ultimate peace and contentment. If we forego our limited and piecemeal approach and embrace the all-pervading and far-reaching attitude, we may reach the end of strife and struggle. All- pervading selfishness is itself selflessness.
III. THE CRITERION OF MORAL BEHAVIOUR
But there needs to be a criterion of desirability or good and right. The last limit or measure of value according to Gandhi is Truth and Non-violence. Neither the scriptures, nor any authority can guide us as to what is ultimately desirable. In so far as these are in accord with Truth and Non-violence they have sanctity. But what is Truth? Gandhi had to resort to the intuitive understanding of Truth or the ‘inner voice’-as the final thing to fall on. But he proceeds further to check the unwarranted claim at truth or the possession of ‘inner voice’ by any and every one. The voice of conscience is heard only by one who has genuine urge to search truth as God and who disciplines himself rigorously by going through several vows. Truth is that which is found to be so by inner voice can be authentic only if one is truthful and virtuous. But the circle is only seemingly so. Since the progressive steps on the path of realization of truth themselves become the guide in the search. But it is possible to state the same criterion in a different way. Truth is Ultimate Reality-the spontaneous expression of which is the manifested life. Life then is the supreme value. Life is one and to have experience of the oneness of life is the ideal. In the realm of morality, therefore, whatever makes us realize that oneness is good. The act that enriches life and helps to develop individual’s virtues of head and heart is the right act. Whatever creates hindrances and erects impediments in the way of such realization of oneness through the enrichment of life is bad and wrong.
In social life the rule carries itself into effect through mutual aid and cooperation. Love, therefore, becomes the life -breath of Sarvodaya society. It creates the possibility of all-sided up-liftment of all time members of society. It is Sarvodaya. The present society is a platform of strife and struggle, untruth and violence. Innumerable rifts have been created due to differences in nations, sects, religions, sex, property, birth and races. These are superficial. It is the bounden duty of men with universal outlook and compassionate heart to strive to remove the man-made cages that enslave man. But does not nature itself sometimes create miseries? They are to be mitigated through human efforts. This points to the first step to bring about Sarvodaya. It is antyodaya-the upliftment of the last one-the downtrodden and neglected humanity crushed under human and natural tyrannies. This comes to nothing short of a complete revolution the present society.
And true revolution is wrought by spiritual values alone. In fact, values can never be economic or political, they are and ought to be spiritual. That is why values determined by profit-motive or pleasure-seeking that serve all dividing factors in society can be no real values. Spiritual value permanent, unchangeable and uniform. It is universally applicable. The general tendency is to make an exception in one’s own favour and to ask others to stick to the principle. Hence, Kant’s maxim of Universality “Act only according to a maxim by which you can at the same time will that it shall become a general law” . Only the principle that standsthe test of universality can be considered as moral. That is why we find that no vice, e.g. lying or theft, can be universal unless to get itself destroyed. In society a lie as a lie never gets standing. It requires the mask of truth. Deception or “hypocricy is a tribute that vice pays to virtue”8 True value needs no excuse for its presence. To be truthful and to love the whole creation are natural to many and it is only when some hindrances in the form of temptation or hate come in the way, that a lie and hatred take a chance to present themselves in the affairs of human worlds. Every society stands on the permanent values of truth and love. For peaceful and prosperous social life in the modern age humanity needs to make these twin values its stars of guidance.
The Sarvodaya thinkers are thus the adherents of absolute moral values. Certain critics have tried to show that in the struggle for Indian national independence Gandhi’s guidance displayed only relative morality. They say that, in fact, Gandhi worked almost on the principle of 'end justifies the means'. Some other accuses Gandhi of diluting the value and accepting compromises when necessary. It must be conceded that Gandhi required time for his full growth; and realization of human situations also requires some time. Gandhi’s participation in the First World War and his rejection to uphold the cause of the Second World War seem to be quite contradictory. Does this mean that to behave differently in different situation while marching towards a goal is to fall a prey to relative morality? It is apparent that Gandhi tried his best to confine the national independence movement to the strict limits of non-violence. He had honestly and sincerely acknowledged the lapses whenever they occurred, and had expressed deep-pain for them.As we have seem the Sarvodaya thinkers consider an ideal to be rarely completely approached. They have recognized human weaknesses. But the admission of human weakness is not allowance to moral relativity. Sarvodaya thinkers do not consider casuistry to be the goal of ethical science as G. E. Moore does. They rely ultimately on the purity and poise of human heart and reason. That is why, while taking the moral principles of truth and non-violence to be absolute, they do not seem to consider it necessary to conceive of a stereotyped and fixed way of the application of these principle to the newly arising situations. Truth and non-violence need not be hard and fast patterns through which every situation has to be dealt with. Besides, Gandhi himself used to say that though in the case or fundamental values there cannot be compromises, in matters of details to be prepared to compromise is one of the requirements of Satyagraha spirit. It has been emphasised by Gandhi and others that in so far as these values are applied to the everyday problems of humanity there is hope of peace and progress for the human world. Unless the egocentrism of individuals is eliminated by replacing universality of attitudes, there can be no solution to the human problems. It is in the personality of universal man that this demand seeks its fulfilment.
IV. THE DISCIPLINE OF MORAL LIFE-TRUTH AND NONVIOLENCE
Gandhi founded a number of Asrams in order to make them laboratories experimenting on the possibility of such a universal man, under controlled conditions. It is true that human life is too dynamic and therefore flexible and disorderly to make and kind of strictly scientific experimentation possible. But in so far as one individual can make his own life a series of experiments to realize truth, one can even start experimenting in ideal social living if some fellow-beings are prepared to cooperate in doing so. At least Gandhi made that bold attempt. To Gandhi an Asram meant a community of men of religion, believing in God. In real faith Gandhi wrote, “If, therefore, He (God) wished to make the Asrama’s. his instrument as regard any activity it was for him to place the requisite men and munitions at the ashram’s disposal. Phoenix, Tolstoy Farm and Sabarmati Asrams have all been conducted more of less according to these principles consciously or unconsciously”9. This heroic experiment proved beneficial for the Satyagraha movement launched for gaining equal rights in South Africa land winning Freedom of India. But its larger significance lies in turning the individual attempts to realise truth into the dynamism of social change and thus making them the instrument of spiritual revolution in the human world. The eleven moral vows thus intend to prepare individuals for the new era of love, freedom and trust.
Observance of Truth is not an ordinary vow to Gandhi. It occupies the central and supreme position. Truth stands first, it is the end, it is supreme and perfect. For Gandhi Truth is God, since “Nothing is or exists in reality except Truth”10. According to vinoba, “For realisation, Truth becomes the Atma. For the sake of prayer Truth is God. And it assumes the form of Moral Law (Dharma) when it is to be observed in practice”11. In morality lies man’s dignity. And Truth is the backbone of all morality. Gandhi asserted -“Devotion to Truth is the sole justification of our existence”12 All other moral vows are to contribute to its realization.
In fact, Truth as God is itself the moral law-reigning every individual from within his heart. It is the positive uniting force in the universe. All other vows spring out of it in order to remove the hindrance in the way of the unifying experience. In social life, their observance leads to the establishing of brotherhood of humanity. Individual’s striving for Brahma-realization should express itself in cooperative social striving for the realization of revolutionised new social order. Along with individual’s liberation society will also step forward towards its ideal stage.
Liberation means freedom from separateness, conflict and dominance in both individual and dominance in both individual and social life. Therefore, realization of Truth is accompanied by experience of Love. But men are not perfect. All imperfect beings have to gain in their vision of Truth in a cooperative enterprise of building an ideal society. Hence, the first discipline in social life will be non-violence or love in its pure sense. That is why Gandhi said that he found non-violence in his search for Truth. For the widening of individual’s vision of Truth and for peaceful. prosperous and progressive social life, mutual love and understanding are of prime necessity. These two prepare for peaceful; and open- minded discussion. Gandhi spoke about the famous Sanskrit verse to express the discipline of non-violence in discussion-One should speak Truth and speak in a pleasing way. Gandhi adds-one who speaks with violence or in an offensive way has no truth within him. This does not mean that the dose of Truth is to be diluted by mixing with it something pleasing to the ego of the other party. This is nothing but untruth. Gandhi bravely and peacefully suffered till the end of his life at the hands of the conservative and so called religious people for his attack on unjust and Tyrannical customs and institutions in Hindu Society. He never mixed undue tenderness with the frank statement of Truth. He cannot be suspected of having allowed the back-door entrance to falsehood in order to please the adversary. What he seems to mean thereby is that when there is open-mindedness or unprejudiced psychological background, truth untainted by any kind of falsehood or attachment will come out in a simple and direct smoothness. Its reception also equally presupposes the same back ground of unbiased and unattached outlook. This non-violent and, therefore, synthetic method of reaching Truth in social life alone guarantees peaceful, satisfactory and unanimous solution of problems.
Here also ‘ought’ implies ‘can’. Faith in the understanding capacity of each and every man is the basic condition of agreement by discussion. Pure thought is the expression of Truth downed upon a particular individual, or stated in a particular religious scripture. But its validity does not depend upon the person or the scripture concerned. That is why according to Sarvodaya thinkers pure thought can be considered as impersonal (apauruseya), and the human being has the inherent capacity to grasp it. If it is fully ‘understood’, the whole life of the particular individual who may have been full of untruth and ignorance, gets transformed-Naturally, action follows understanding. Then knowledge itself reveals itself though virtue. To take resort to coercion and compel others to obey the authority of any prophet or scripture or the author of any new ideology, without their willing consent, is to insult the spiritual capacity of understanding in human beings. It is denial of the Ultimate Reality revealed through humanity. In the realm of animals the law of the jungle may be governing. But it is because humanity is on a higher level than the birds and beasts, from the point of view of rationality or the capacity to realize the oneness of all life, that there should be a different law governing the human world. The strength and uniqueness of man lie not in his body but in his capacity to understand, in his spiritual awareness that make virtues of head and heart possible. That is why Vinoba says that the word ‘Sarvodaya’ indicates a pure thought and an honest seeker after truth will merely explain in order that others should understand. To ask others forcibly to ‘do’ is to display ignorance. Sankara had said that the science of life (sastra) makes others understand and does not ask them to do something (sastram tu jnapakam na tu karakam). Satyagrah-the Gandhi active weapon to make others understand-is only an ardent attempt to appeal to the heart and arouse the inner understanding of the other party through self-suffering. It presupposes preparedness to understand what the other party maintains.
V. THE PROBLEM OF END AND MEANS
These considerations inevitably involve the end-and-means-discrimination. A moment’s deep thought convinces one of the truth that means should be compatible to the end concerned. Both should homogeneous so as to assure that extreme of means is itself the end. In fact, end cannot be something to be attained all at once in a remote future. The end progressively realizes itself through the means, and then at each step the means itself is turned into the end. To Gandhi end and means were convertible terms. He often spoke assuming this. His constructive programme, successfully carried into effect, was itself self-rule. The Upanisads have often identified the way that leads to the realisation of Brahma with the realisation itself (Tapo Brahma iti Vyajanta).
The end is to achieve the peaceful and blissful state of self-realisation in and through individual and social strivings. The removal of separative tendencies and conflicting superficial interests that come in the way of that realization is the necessity. Vinoba argues that the Upanisads have declared “peaceful is the soul (santoyam Atma). They ask us to meditate on the symbol of Brahman-OM-which is followed by the utterance of santi thrice. Vinoba asks, does this not indicate that we have to attain peace by worshipping peace through the observance of peace? One cannot consistently think of reaching moral destination by means of immoral methods. Hate begets hate and violence is reinforced by violence. There can be no valid contention against the scientific truth of what the Buddha advised -Anger and evil should be one by love. One should suffer and peacefully resist through love instead of answering a blow with a blow. Jesus had asked his disciples to love even their enemy.
But two Difference arguments are often stated against the truth involved in the contention of purity of means. A fascinating maxim states that the end justifies means. If the end is good the means may be evil. So the Marxists argued that the ultimate object is to attain self-rule, when the state-which is the source of exploitation and conflict, will be no more. The means was suggested to be the widening of the rift between the two classes-the bourgeoise and the proletariat. They maintained that the accentuation of the conflict between them would lead to the wiping out of the bourgeous class from the face of the earth. It is often stated that the peaceful way is either lengthy or ineffective. But both morality and experience equally show that the path of truth and love is the only short and the most effective way to reach beyond conflict. Violence is almost invariably an expression of attachment and partiality.
The second argument runs as follows: There is no doubt that peace is the ideal. But it is the peace of detachment. It involves fearlessness. Sastras and the Gita say that the art of life lies in doing actions in a detached way, while the actions may be even immoral. With the purest motive and steadfast intellect one may be required to murder or rob as a matter of duty. Even God is guided by the maxim of tit for tat. So a saint or an aspirant, in everyday life, should also imitate Him and should adopt the policy of reciprocity (pratiyogita). The only condition is that actions should be done without attachment. The philosophy of non-violence is a deceptive philosophy founded on the ignorance of the discrimination between peace and detachment.
In answer to this, Vinoba shows that the Vedas and Upanisads have often made it clear that no immoral individual can attain self-realisation. The Vedas pray-May God lead us on the direct path of morality. Truth alone succeeds never falsehood. Self-knowledge makes man pure and innocent. Then the para-doxical statement in the Gita is to be understood as the praise of ego-lessness. It is the language of Sastra (Science) and not of worldly business. But at the same time one should admit that all actions are impure to an extent and it is not advisable or possible to abandon all actions. Hence, the impurity that naturally, not purposefully, gets mixed with the actions of saintly person is washed off because of his self-surrender to the Lord. But this is not the justification of purposeful immoral behaviour. The Gita itself maintains that the soul neither kills nor gets killed nor does induce to murder. True fearlessness is the consequence of the attainment of liberation. Liberated person is neither a matter of fear for other s nor is he himself afraid of anything. The doctrine of tit for tat can never be interpreted from what the Lord Krishna says in the Gita. In the world of nature this maxim may be a rule but this also means that if you approach nature in a friendly manner she cooperates with you. The Lord forgives those that forgive others. Hence, in order to fit oneself for the Lord’s mercy one should be merciful towards all fellow beings. The behaviour of the aspirant, therefore, is not to be based on the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but on that of forgiveness for insult and love for cruelty. Gandhi was informed that politics and business-life allow no entrance to saints and prophets. “Politics is a game of worldly peoples and not of Sadhus”13. Gandhi asserted: If it be true that God meets out the same measure to us that to us that we meet out to others, it follows that if we would escape condign punishment we may not return anger for anger but gentleness as against anger. And this is the law not for the unworldly but essentially for the worldly. But the Gita seems to justify war and violence. The Sarvodaya thinkers consider Mahabharata as allegorical and not historical Gandhi says: “under the guise of physical warfare, it described the duel that perpetually went on in the hearts of mankind” and “physical warfare was brought in merely to make the description of internal duel more alluring”14. On the contrary, the disastrous effects of war for both the victor and the vanquished are clearly pictured by Vyasa. The Gita is not a treatise on war tactics that lead one to military victory. The pivot round which the theme of the Gita revolves is the message of the “renunciation of fruits of action”15. This renunciation of fruits leads to knowledge and devotion which are not a media of exchange for getting either salvation or bondage-they are salvation itself “According to Gita all acts that are incapable of being performed without attachment are taboo”16 Man’s life then becomes simple, and from that simpleness springs peace. But Gandhi frankly admits, “Gita was not written to establish ahimsa”17. And because the inherent contradiction between war and non-violence remained unperceived at that time, it may be granted that the Gita feels war as consistent with renunciation of fruit. But experience has shown Gandhi that “perfect renunciation is impossible without perfect observance of ahimsa in every shape and form.”18
The fact that in actual life man falls short of perfect observance of nonviolence should not be used to justify violence. Man’s fall from the ideal must be regarded as a fall. An eternal principle has no exception. It is our weakness that justifies itself through the search of exceptions. That is why Gandhi considers it as laziness and self-deception to kill even violent animals ofcourse Gandhi’s nonviolence is not so native as to augment the suffering of mad dogs or to suffer the nuisance of monkeys.
Does non-violence lead to passivity and cowardice as is supposed sometime? The Sarvodaya thought sings the praise of nonviolence for its capacity to develop bravery and active resistance of evil. Passivity is the character of cowardice. Non-violence can neither inflict injustice nor can it tolerate one passively. Gandhi had asserted love prompts one to the highest action. Cowardice displays attachment, it ranks lower than even violent and not of worlds of all sense of honour. And self-respect knows no consideration, hence, it is that Gandhi called violent resistance of the poles to German aggression as almost non-violent. But the ideal always is to conquer with love which is the highest and true bravery.
VI. NON-STEALING AND NON-POSSESSION
And when there is Love, is there any possibility of stealing? The idea of otherness makes for greed and desire for enjoyment which provide the background of stealing and possessiveness. Whoever appropriates more than the minimum that is really necessary for him is guilty of theft according to Gandhi. Vinoba emphasis the need of establishing perfect morality. If stealing is sinful, why not possession which induces others to steal and which, in itself, is a form of socially approved theft, be equally a sin? Hence, one should neither take nor keep a superfluous thing. But Gandhi has to concede that Non-stealing and non-possession are mental state only. No human being can keep these observances to perfection. The body too is a possession. Therefore, the spirit of detachment is the only savior, since physically not to possess anything is an impossibility while still living. This same spirit of detachment subsists behind the ideal of total renunciation and asks one to use the body for the purposes of service so long as it exists if society is prompted by this idea there will be no poor persons and no thief. One should consider oneself the trustee of whatever is possessed. The first verse of the Isavasyopanisad encouraged Gandhi to put forward the theory of Trusteeship everything must, in first instance, be surrendered to God, and then outfit one may use, not for selfish enjoyment, but for service of God’s creation according to one’s strict need, and no more. One would then not covet what belongs to another. One who lives as a trustee should be eager to give up the possessed property the moment it is needed by someone else in society.
The role of trusteeship in the building of revolutionised society assumes two forms. There is a transitional phase wherein the rich and the wealthy give up their individual property to bring about egalitarian social order. The second face demands the use of all capacities of every human being rich or poor, e.g., intellectual, bodily, artistic etc., for the good of all. The different facets of the Land-gift movement for non-violent social revolution cover up these two phases of trusteeship. Vinoba accepts Sankars’s definition of gift as equitable distribution, so, land, money, labour, intellect and even one’s own life were asked to be donated in the sacrifice for social revolution. That is why, again, not only the landlords but even the poorest possessing a tiny piece of land should identify himself with the neighbours by donating whatever he possessed. This helps him to rise a step higher towards the realisation of the Vedantic ideal of oneness. According to Sarvodaya thought, even if there is merely the distribution of poverty the change of attitude towards ownership itself brings about true revolution.
This is not to say that the revolutionised society will only indulge in distributing poverty. God comes to the land of poverty through the boon of plenty. Planning will be for plenty and the first share will go to the youngest, the weakest and the needy. He is the God in the form of the poor (Daridranarayana). This is the message of the Biblical story-‘Unto this last’. It is Sarvodaya when each gets enough yet possesses nothing as it is unnecessary to hoard. This is how the spiritual values get in imbibed in everyday life. They make for essential material prosperity but work as a check on the insatiable and increasing thirst of wants. Hence, for Gandhi “voluntary reduction of wants” comes as an inevitable result of the observance of these vows.
VII. BRAHMACHARYA AND THE OTHER VOWS
The vow of Brahmacharya or chastity does not ask only for the control of carnal desire. Brahmacharya literally means “conduct adapted to the search of Brahma, i.e., Truth”19. Hence, the control of all senses is demanded. Realization of Truth necessitates selflessness which reveals itself through universal love. In true love desire for physical enjoyment or self-gratification has no place. Perfect liberation from passion is a rare thing but one can strive to attain the stage through the observance of this vow.
Traditionally, a Brahmachari was asked to shun all contact with the other sex. But Gandhi never attached importance to such restrictions. Real protection comes only from inner purity. And if social life is to be pure and safe both the sexes should establish the value of Brahmacharya in their lives. The contact of both the sexes in everyday life is both inevitable and essential if every human being is to get full freedom of self-development and self-expression. If perfect morality is the target of revolutionised society, man and woman must be placed on a par. This is the only way of realizing the truth the sex-differences like other extraneous differences of nation, race, religion etc., are of no real significance from the point of view of the spiritual core of all human personalities. But at the same time woman should be safe in the present society. She is considered to be an object of lust inviting aggression. She is abused for being the ‘door keeper of hall’. Brahmacharya teaches to look upon woman as the incarnation of the Divine Mother. The institution of family has contributed to social purity and to an extent has guaranteed woman’s safety. As mother, sister and daughter woman is safe. In social life this value of Motherhood can be established if man looks upon woman as the symbol of his mother and she takes him to be her son, brother or father. Such relations are not physical-they will be emotional. But they will teach to look upon human beings as ends in themselves and not the objects of desire. Thus in social context brahmacharya makes man non-aggressive and woman selfdependent and secure. Besides, marriage will then alone be true unions of souls begetting mutual reverence and love.
Gandhi asked even married couples to observe Brahmacharya. In the Satyagraha Asrama the experiment was carried on with good results. His critics called Gandhi a puritanist when he denounced artificial means to prevent progency as immoral. The problem of growing population has been considered by economists and statisticians. Those who are all for family-planning think of human beings from the merely biological point of view, and wish to control their behaviour bringing them on the level of beasts. But it should never be forgotten that human acts are not purely on the natural level. According to Vinoba the approach of the family-planning propounders is inspired by blind-compassion and that is why it is unscientific. Besides the spiritual implications, there are culture and social aspects of every act. The more the self-control the higher the cultural level and social efficiency. Human problems should be tackled from qualitative point of view and not quantitatively.
Besides Brahmcharya, the problem of population has to do with the standard of living. Poverty makes for a larger number of progeny. Vinoba seeks the remedy in a society of producers and in self-restraint. This takes us to the next vow of Bread-labour.
It seems a unique thing to include bodily labour among the ethical vows. Vinoba shows that this vow helps one in freeing oneself from the clutches of loathsomeness or Tamas. It helps even for the observance of Brahmacharya. According to Vinoba though in the Vedic age productive labour has not emphasised as a moral vow, all were intent on observing it. In revolutionized society bodily labour or what Gandhi, following Tolstoy and Ruskin, called bread- labour should become a general necessity. Only a society of producers rises above the injustices inflicted since days of yore upon the laboring millions. It all work, all will get time to cultivate intellect and other skills. The rise of cultural standard of the masses works as a check on growing population and makes for richness in quality. Again, even scholars need exercise, then “why should it not assume the form of productive, i.e. bread-labour?”20 Gandhi believes it to be a divine law which “has been set forth in the third chapter of the Gita where we are told that he who eats without offering sacrifice eats stolen food. Sacrifice here can only mean bread labour”21. Only if labour becomes a virtue in itself and not a thing of market that it can achieve value in human life it deserves.
Control of the Palate (asvada) is valued as an aid to Brahmacharya. Gandhi made various experiments in cooking and changing diets to judge their effects on spiritual striving. But even this vow has a social significance. Reverence even for a child springs from the love for all creation. And to treat a guest with reverence and to give him first preference are also dictates of the same spiritual concern. To look after the needs of others first, to feed the guests and hungry and to remain even hungry if there is nothing left, can be said to be the consequence of this vow. Its larger significance becomes explicit when even production in farms and factories gets controlled by the needs of the society.
Fearlessness is the fruit of self-realization, but in its absence neither truth nor non-violence can be pursued. Hence it has been given the pride of position in the Gita. And the battle with the army of demonic vices will be lost if humility is not wide awake protecting the army of virtues from behind. Thus fearlessness and humility are the twin important qualifications necessary for self-realization. But paradoxically it has to be admitted that no virtue is perfect unless it is radiated from the state of liberation itself. Individual’s fearlessness makes for social progress. In a fear ridden atmosphere no freedom can breathe and no mutual trust which is the source of mutual love and understanding can exist. It was this fearlessness that was taught by Gandhi, to the Satyagrahis. If one boldly refuses to obey an unjust law backed by murderous weapons even at the cost of life, reputation and honour, there is no power in the world that can enslave that individual. And humility makes for polite acceptance of what is revealed to be just and true. These two, therefore, ensure everyone’s development along with the achievement of a higher social truth in the form of justice and equality.
VIII. REVERENCE FOR ALL FAITHS
For Gandhi reverence for men implies reverence for their different ways of living and their faiths. The path of one, who seeks to realize oneness of all life and creation, is diametrically opposed to fanaticism. And tolerance of other’s faiths and paths should not mean in difference to them or looking upon them as inferior to one’s own. All human efforts to reach the ideal are characterised by imperfection. And if all are imperfect there is no question of comparative merit. Therefore, “ahimsa teaches us to entertain the same respect for the religious faiths of others as we accord to our own. And reverence makes it imperative to assimilate what is good and true in other faiths. And at the same time defects and irreligion in every faith should be categorically discarded, since these alone make for blind worship of authority and fanaticism. Emphasis on rituals and indifference to morality make religions like ‘sounding brass’ good only for making a noise and breaking heads. All the so-called crusaders or Jihads -or the attempts to protect or spread religion with the strength of sword-have betrayed the religion of truth and love. This perfect religion is one and beyond all speech. Imperfect men interpret it in different but imperfect ways thus giving rise to many religions. But it was Gandhi’s experience that truly religious men, belonging to different faiths, do not quarrel for symbols or names. This proves the fundamental unity of all religions. Hence, all religions are true though imperfect. Gandhi was an attempt to unite people by convincing them of the unity and reliability of all faiths which was experimentally proved by Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa in his own life.
And it was with the view to purify his own Hindu Religion that Gandhi decleared: “Untouchability is not only not a part and parcel of Hinduism, but a plague, which it is the bounden duty of every Hindu to combat.”22 Gandhi welcomes inter-caste marriage particularly those between Savarna and untouchables and opened temples for them. At least those who belong to the same faith should not be refused entrance in the place of prayer and worship.
But the vow is not called (though in English it is translated as) Removal of Untouchability. It is positively stated as Sparsa Bhavana-or to welcome the touch of others valuing it as pure and auspicious. And then the vow does not remain confined only to the down trodden millions bordering on the state of slavery. Then “Removal of Untouchability spells the breaking down of the barriers between man and man and between the various orders of Being”. It embraces in its live all life.
In order to unite people and give them a positive content that would bind them spiritually together, Gandhi introduced the practice of congregational prayers. Prayer is spiritually essential for individuals not only separately but also collectively. One, who accepts the brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God, should find a congregation wherever he goes. It is a means for establishing the essential human unity through common worship. The prayer consisted of singing and chanting of God’s names and some portions from scriptures of different religions. But the prayer ought to be an echo of the inner unison. For this Vinoba has introduced silent prayer (Mauna-prarthana). He asks to meditate on Truth, Love and Compassion. This involves no reference to any particular name of God and suggests a meaning that favours one and all devotees belonging to different religions.
IX. THE UNIVERSAL RELIGION OF MAN
These points to the way of actual unification of all religions. It remains an eternal truth that there will be various ways according to the needs and temperaments of different individuals leading to the same Reality. But what constitutes the truth of any particular religion provides the foundation equally for universal religion. The Universal Religion will unite all humanity and establish friendship with the whole of creation. Naturally , all exclusive sects, all religious institutions banning a section of humanity and each and every movement creating a gulf between man and man should be marked as irreligion. That is why conversion and proselytization can have no place in this universal religion. Since spirituality is the core of it no external rituals and particular way of life can characterise it. Consequently, it shows no interest in multiplying its members. In fact, no institution nor any book can catch hold of it. It stands to unite entire humanity and pervades all spheres of life.
Vinoba gives the basic requirements of this new Religion of man. The Religion of Man should be integral. It should not be partial to man as against women, Partial to whites or to the touchables, partial to the rich and the talented. The unity of man through equality should be its motto. But it should not promote blind adherence to mathematical equality. Spiritual oneness should gives birth to the psychological understanding of unity and inspire to eradicate the man-mader injustices and inequalities and to reduce the intensity of natural inequalities in society. Though physical needs and capacities will determine the equalitarian distribution, these minor difference will not vitiate the unity of humanity. The integrity of Universal Religion necessitates the application of universal morality equally to all human life, social as well as individual. It should pave the way to the spiritual revolution in human society.
According to Vinoba the foundation of this religion in the form of faith in God has been provided by the different religions, e. g., Christianity, Islam, Hindu, Parsi and other. But they have all failed to superstructure. The Hindu religious literature speaks of God coming again and again to the earth to eradicate irreligion. And still we find the world full of cruelty, injustice and disbelief. Vinoba jokingly remarks that this is an indication of God’s failure to establish true religion. But now the favourable condition has been created by the modern scientific age. Science has made clear the contradictions of human life. “On the one hand, man talks of exploring the moon and on the other he schemes to encroach upon a square foot of landThis breeds jealousy and dissensions, leading to war. Vinoba asks the question that knocks at the door of every thinking mind-“would men survive under such circumstances?”23 Science, on the one hand, helps the cause of religion by bringing men together, and on the other hand, it threatens the very existence of human world by producing the deadly atomic weapons of destruction. So, the urgency to establish the new religion of ‘Love and cooperation’ which can usher in the kingdom of Heaven upon earth.
But religion is to be re-established, it must be made to rest on the support of scientific thought. It has to be emphasised that religion has nothing to do with the facts of nature and the scientists like Galileo should be free to arrive at objective truths about nature. The ideas of heaven and hell should not be the incentives to virtue but the direct and immediate consequences and the intrinsic worth of goodness alone should be placed before men. The universal religion should be scientific Religion. It should be applicable withimmidiate effect in each section of society.
All are witness to the destructive turn science has taken in the modern age. The ideas of conquering the universe and owning the wealth looted by cunning manoeuvres though the use of scientific inventions are the domination aspirations of the modern man of politics. Universal science has found itself captured in the claws of nationalism, racialism and contesting ideologies. If it has to free itself and serve humanity for which it has been born, it has to adopt the outlook of universal religion, that is to say, of spirituality towards the whole of life. Unless science approaches towards the whole of life. Unless science approaches Nature with reverence and clarifies her mysteries only to understand her, and allows man to use her resources according to his urgent needs alone, there will be no peace on earth. The ever increasing wants of modern man and the ruinous competition for tyrannical domination over humanity between nations and nations are the obvious consequences of the absence of true religion. The need is for religious science. Vinoba expresses this by saying that Vedanta (unitive knowledge) and Vijnana (science) should come together to effect peace and prosperity for humanity. In the absence of mutual trust, there will be mere names of brotherhood and unity. Hence, Visvasa (faith) should come to join hands with these too. They together will revolutionise man’s mind and the institutional set up of social dealings, thus shaping the universal Man loyal to the universe as a whole.
Rabindranath Tagore has also spoken about ‘The Religion of Man’. His man of religion “must exist for man the great, and must express him in disinterested works, in science and philosophy, in literature and arts, in service and worship”24. This is his religion , which is working in the heart of all his religions in various names and forms. This is so, because on the surface of our being we have the ever-changing phases of the individual self, but in the depth there dwells the Eternal spirit of human unity beyond our direct knowledge. That is why Tagore’s religion consists in the endeavour of men to cultivate and express those qualities which are inherent in the nature of Man the Eternal and to have faith him. Truth, freedom and beauty are the qualities of this Eternal Man. Like the Baul Singers of Bengal, to Tagore also ‘truth is in unity, and therefore freedom is in its realization. That is why the history of the growth of freedom is the history of the perfection of human relationship. And human freedom can be attained through the cultivation of mutual understanding and cop-operation. But Tagore’s religion has a definitive characteristic-“As Science is the liberation of our knowledge in the universal reason, religion is the liberation of our individual personality in the universal person who is human all the same”25 It seems that Tagore has limited the sphere of his religion to the ‘farthest limit of humanity itself. He has not attempted to unite the Absolute spiritual reality of the whole of existence with the spiritual unity of humanity. His religion, therefore, has its significance in this phenomenal world comprehended by our human self.
Is the Universal Religion of Sarvodaya one more addition to the present- day living religions of man-kind? As Gandhi was against any kind of ‘Gandhism’, so also Vinoba and others seem to be quite opposed to found any new sect. That is why no special institution for the spread of this Universal Religion has been founded by them. What they appear to point out is the urgency of emphasizing the universal values and similar characteristics of all religions for the sake of the unity of all humanity. And for this very reasons they speak of the dire necessity of ‘religious Science’. In fact, science can neither be ‘religious’ nor ‘irreligious’. It is amoral. But the man working in the field of science should be a ‘whole’ man, if science is to proceed on the path of the wellbeing of all. And in this sense science should bear the imprint of the spiritual outlook of the scientist. For the Sarvodaya thinkers a man may work in any and every sphere of life, he should be a universal man.
Contemplating the good of the whole humanity this universal man of Sarvodaya may be found engrossed in working even is a village community. For the sake of the material development of the community he will be observing the vow of Swadesi. Self-sufficiency in material needs for small manageable communities is a desirable thing from the point of view of man’s development and economic safety. But neither Gandhi nor Vinoba is the advocate of exclusive selfsufficiency. Inter-dependence of different groups is not only inevitable but beneficial for cultural and spiritual purposes. In actuality man is required to be universal in thinking and specific in service.
But what determines the particular service of man? The concept of Svadharma comes to our help. Svadharma, according to Vinoba, is constituted by individual’s unique qualities, special knowledge and his particular duty determined by his position in the society in which he is born. Svadharma is unavoidable. There can be no choice about it. It comes as naturally with our being as the colour of our skin. This is Varna in its true sense. The circumstances that control our Svadharma are pre-ordained for us and perhaps by us. Vinoba compares Svadharma are pre-ordained for us and perhaps by us. Vinoba compares Svadharma with one’s mother. And one must be loyal to it as one should be to one’s wife, according to Gandhi. If one avoids temptations of some alluring, good looking and honorable duty, and hugs the natural though dishonourable one, one takes oneself to high spiritual destination. Besides, our senses have a certain power in them. If we suppress them there is a danger of volcanic upsurge. It is savadhrma that gives scope to their proper exercise. And again society exists only because people do their respective duties. That is why Dharma has been defined as that which protects and nourishes society. From bodily maintenance up to the rearing of a particular culture everything that is demanded by an ideal social order depends on the performance of duties by people. To do duties to make sacrifice for the working of society. According to Vinoba Sarvodaya is a creed of those who emphasise duties as instead of rights. Rights follow duties as in inevitably as fruits follow flowers. Observance of Svadharma brings spiritual liberation to individual and material wellbeing to society.
But actions in themselves have no capacity to free man from the bondage of the three strings - sattva, rajas and tams. All actions bear their stamp. But at the same time living itself presupposes acting. The way out of this dilemma is suggested by the Gita. Action will be the purifying agent if it is accompanied by continuity aloofness and illuminating purity. Gandhi spoke of the “matchless remedy” that the Gita has suggested. It is the “renunciation of fruits of action”. This is dedicating all activities to God, i.e. by surrendering oneself to Him body and soul.
This consideration removes the justifiability of al vicious and rash action. Such action thrives because of desires and demands. Hence, according to Vinoba, the moment we apply the universal criterion of renunciation of fruits of action, these totally collapse to ground. The Sattvikia or pure and beneficial actions alone should be performed renouncing their fruits. And the pure actions that naturally present themselves to individuals should alone be preformed. They become one’s special duty. It is the more or less unalterable part of Svadharma. There is a second and changing aspect of Svadharma. The individual passes through four stages in his life according to the Hindu view oflife. As a student he prepares to come out of himself, as a house-holder he looks after the members of his family and society, as a person retired from family, he engages himself fully in social works and lastly as a recluse he identifies himself with the universe. This emotional identification with the whole universe makes him feel responsible for the sins of all humanity. For himself he does nothing, his services bring good to all creation, but all good and evil actions of all are as if performed by him. And his spiritual understanding makes him aware that he is at the same time beyond all sense of sin or virtue. This stage is beyond morality. Morality presupposes duality of good and evil, truth and falsity. Morality has its meaning only in contrast with immorality. The state if ideal human being cannot be conceived through such dualities. Morality becomes only a stepping-stone to this spiritual liberation.
The liberated person is truly free from the psycho-logical conflict of choice experienced by all the aspirants of spiritual life. Many a time the aspirants find themselves on the horns of a moral dilemma that endangers their peace of mind. And their capacity to choose has been considered to be the freedom of will that characterises human being. This makes man responsible for his actions. The law of karma and the doctrine of Rebirth emphasise this truth. These have been given due recognition by the philosophers of Sarvodaya. Gandhi’s firm belief that not a blade of grass grows or moves without His will sounds like divine determinism. This is because the cards have been given to us, or rather, are predetermined by our actions in previous births. But whatever freedom we possess, it proves that man is the maker of his own destiny in the sense that he has freedom of choice as to the manner in which he uses that freedom. If he uses that freedom in surrendering his will to God he becomes truly free. In other words, Vinoba says- True freedom of desire comes only at the and of all desires. Freedom of will is, in fact, Freedom from self-will. This state is not lawless, it laws beyond the reign of law. Even the aspiration for liberation vanishes at this stage. And then even the idea of duty vanishes. He is the ideal man performing all his duties and showing his love for the good of all. But he does this without obeying any moral law, without using his discriminating and comparing intellect. The moral law springs spontaneously from his being and takes shape through his all-moral and religious life.
XI. SPIRITUALITY: THE WOMB OF REVOLUTION
This is the target of morality. But this stage is rarely reached. The aspirant is guided by his own Svadharma that asks him to devote himself body and soul to the service of his fellow-beings. But does not the concept of Svadharma strengthen the case for status quo? In Sarvodaya conservatism or blind adherence to tradition finds no place. In fact, it is the womb of spiritual revolution that brings about the panorama of social, economic and political revolutions. Like individuals, communities may never be perfect. It is their imperfection that demands revolution, and it is very likely that individual’s uniqueness and his vision of truth would take society a step forward towards the ideal social order. As we have seen, the ideal for society according to Sarvodaya is enlightened anarchy. Starting with the spiritualization of politics, individuals, pure at heart and endowed with enlightened intellect, can progressively eliminate authoritative politics altogether.
And it is here that the Sarvodaya thought stands in contrast with F.H. Bradley’s ethical views. The concept of My station and its Duties has much in common with the concept of Svadharma. Society is an organism of which individual are organs, Individuals find their fulfillment by obeying the state-laws and following the sanctions of traditionally revered institutions. According to Bradley the fundamental unity of individual and society “speaks its universal language in the usages and laws of his (individual’s) people”26 As a moral person, the individual can function only as an organ of the moral organism represented by his community. This then becomes the philosophy of those who crush the innovators, reformers and so-called heretics in the name of security, morality and religion. When there is state-approved religion or ideology their protection by the military and the law courts inevitably follow. This situation culminates in the negation of freedom of thought and behaviour. Human history is replete with tyrannical rulers and emperors. But history also shows that reforms have been brought to humanity by the so-called heretics of propounders of so- called obnoxious opinion who thereby contribute to human advancement. The Sarvodaya thinkers believe that truth alone prevails and needs no extraneous protection. True thought succeeds in spite of its suppression. In Sarvodaya society no walls will be erected to escape from new thoughts. Freedom of thought which means freedom to think differently is the back bone of free society. And when an individual sees injustice and oppression in his social system, it becomes his duty to revolt.
But what if some so-called revolutionists and iconoclasts engage in antisocial and violent activities? Besides, there are criminal tendencies in many individuals. Are we to punish them or set them free to poison the peaceful and secure atmosphere in society? Do the Sarvodaya thinkers shut their eyes against this seed of misery granting that in the ideal society there will be no crime? Gandhi says that in the ideal society there may be crime but no criminals. Resistance to crime and removal of its causes should be the primary concern of those who seek to actualize the ideal social order. But this resistance does not take the form of retributive punishment. In fact, no moral theory supports individual’s right to punish the wrong doer, but common morality. Does justify society in punishing criminals and gives sanctity even to the ghastly capital punishment. The utilitarian manages to utilize punishment as a deterrent for preventing the people from imitating the criminal. Apart from the consideration that such deterrents seldom succeed in checking criminal tendencies, the preventive theory is objectionable for its sanction to use human beings though criminals as means for the welfare of society. But punishment is also justified by those who consider themselves as infallible judges and as sole authority to vindicate the honour of the moral law. The Sarvodaya thinkers, in true democratic spirit, refuse to admit such infallibility of any human being or even social institutions. Hence, the moral unjustifiability of all punishment.
It is the faith that there is none so hopeless and incorrigible as to invite banishment and punishment by reformation. Both insanity and unjust social system make for criminals. Like Spinoza and Sarvodaya philosophers consider criminals to be mentally diseased persons needing reformative treatment. Mostly thieves and even murderers are victims of tyrannical social systems and sometimes of abnormal and curious situations in human life. Such victims should become the objects of pity and compassion. If the moral man is to identify himself with the whole of life, he has to forgive the criminal and should feel responsible for his crime, since he indirectly supports the prevalent social system. As atonement he will do his best to reform him. And as a fundamental cure what he shoulddo is to combat the system by bringing psychological change in man and revolution in social order. Peterim Sorokin has shown how despots, judges and those carrying huge responsibilities in history display mental derangement. In his Reflections on Hanging Sir Arthur Koestler reveals the inhumanity of criminal law in treating and punishing the victims of abnormal situations. Criminal tendencies are a symptom of the deep disease of present inequality and injustice in society and indifference and arrogance of those who hold power.
The Sarvodaya thinkers point out that the remedy lies in education. The evils of social system, the malady of militarism and abnormalities of individual cases are the consequences of deep- rooted in difference to spirituality. Faith in education that builds individual’s character which is the sole foundation of ideal social order should restore the balance of the human world. Faith in education is faith in man. None is evil by nature. Gandhi said “if we succeed in building the character of the individual, society will take care of itself. I would be quite willing to trust the organization of society to individuals so developed”27. And true education brings spiritual salvation. It is free from all dogma, all fanaticism and authoritarianism. It alone will prepare for the reign of Truth and Love. Individuals trained under it will actively resist evil and peacefully build the new world. In the following chapter we shall understand the nature of Satyagraha as the path of love that prepares for revolution through education.
1. Corliss Lamont: Humanism as Philosophy P-100
2. N. K. Bose selections from Gandhi. P -27
3. Gandhi M.K. Young India 13-11-24
4. N.K. Bose : Op. Cit., P-27
5. D. Dharmadhikari : op cit, P- 56
6. Bhooan - Weekly, 4-6-60
7. B. Russel : op. cit, P-737
8. D. Dharmadhikari : Op, cit, P-68
9. M.K. Gandhi : Asrama observance in action P -11
10. M.K. Gandhi : Yeravada Mandir P-1
11. Vinoba : Op. Cit.
12. Indu Tikekar, Integral Revolution, Sarvaseva Sangh Parkashan, Rajght P-184
13. Tikekar young India 28-1-20
14. The Gita according to Gandhi P-127
15. Ibid P-129
16. Ibid P-130
17. Ibid P-132
18. Ibid P-134
19. M.K. Gandhi From Yeravada Mandir P-14
20. M.K. Gandhi : Yaraada mandir Chapter-9 and Vinoba Samya Sutre P41
22. M.K. Gandhi : Op. Cit, P-32
23. Science and self Knowledge P-30
24. The Religion of Man P-17
25. Ibid P- 193
26. Ethical Studies, P-186
27. N.K. Bose : Op. cit, P-255
GANDHI’S EXPERIMENTS IN EDUCATION
Gandhi has written practically on every aspect of human life and his writings particularly on education, are full of incisive insight, practical experience and pragmatic foresight. Gandhi’s experiment in South Africa and in India and presents his thoughts on various stages of education from primary to higher education. The richness of his ideas on language learning, women’s education, physical education and almost other aspects of learning provide an insight into the vastness of his vision and the expense of his thought process. He was a practical idealistic. The ultimate aim of his educational approach being the attainment of true freedom of the individual, the immediate goal is how to foster those qualities and potential in the child on the basis of truth.
EXPERIMENT ON TRUTH
Gandhi’s Experiments with Truth of all the great world figures Gandhi emerges to be unique because of his approach to life.There has been no one who exercised such tremendous energy to arrive at a close synthesis of the ideals and principles of life and the practical, day-to-day living at the grass-root level. Gandhi says, “Experience of the soul is the richest and the only one that helps our development”1. He was most willing to keep before his eyes the significance of right from the minute details of life up to the final goal of Self-realization. Gandhi observed life and its movements like a magician observing his magic crystal for best results. Gandhi was an idealist and be proved himself to be a committed pragmatist. As an idealist the developed his concepts, values and principles in detail, examined, studied and criticized them for their validity, and he clung to them as most valuable entities in his life. But as a pragmatist Gandhi developed his life-experiences, examined their validity and results and used them for generating nobler and more valuable experiences.
Gandhi viewed life as the arena for the recognition and realization of truth. For Gandhi “Truth is more fundamental than atom itself”2. Truth is hidden in the vast reservoir of life which the individual is out to discover. Truth is like an ice-berg whose tiny edge alone is seen on surface: the individual is oriented to discover the gigantic portions of it hidden beneath the waters of life. Gandhi’s unique method of discovering this vast reservoir and this gigantic ice-berg of truth constituted his experiments with truth and life. Gandhi was convinced that the more one searches deep into its realm the greater the discoveries one is bound to make. He says, “Truth is like a vast tree which yields more and more fruit, the more you nurture it”3. Gandhi learned to judge the depth of an action and the spiritual and the social validity of it from its potential to generate further actions of greater truth value. This was the essence of Gandhi experimentation with truth.
As Truth, For Gandhi, is God, and the two realities are identical, the attainment God in one’s life and the confrontation with Him means resorting to the unique way of Satyagraha i.e. “the way of life of one who holds steadfastly to God and dedicates one’s life to Him”4, or rather way of life holding fast to truth. Truth was accepted by Gandhi as a way of life in which the confrontation with God becomes a reality for the Satyagrahi: “Satyagraha is a total and integral way of life based on truth and non-violence”5. As a way of life truth became observable, analyzable and tangible for Gandhi, and emerged as the unique content of the Gandhi an experience of life as well as the material for the experiments for greater discovery. In this process of discovery Gandhi was most conscious of the impediments of evil and the surmounting problems that he would have to face. Gandhi writes, “I know well that I shall never realize God is my
life without confronting and fighting against evil even at the risk of my life”6.
The confrontation and fighting against the forces of evil Gandhi consider being fundamental to satyagraha.
This raises the problem of discrimination between these obstacles on the path of the discovery of truth and the refinements of truth and live manifest in one’s life. Gandhi’s unfailing dedication, keen observation and sense of commitment to the very caused helped him in this process of discrimination. This aspect was evident from Gandhi’s experiment In spirituality and education at the phoenix settlement, Tolstoy Farm and Sabarmati Ashram. Gandhi never saw life as black and white formula with a single proposed solution. He accepted the too complex nature of the reality of life and attempted to respond to the problems of life keeping this complexity in mind. He was forcefully guided by his values and principles and these sustained in him an immense strength of conviction, one that was never lost inspite of the obstacles Gandhi had to face.
Gandhi was right in stressing the point that man requires a powerful motivation to follow his ideals, and the attraction of ideals needs to persist in order to keep his efforts going in the right direction. That was the strength working behind all his experiments. That was the strength Gandhi wants to work in the case of our experiments with life and education. In order to have things in the right direction Gandhi always kept his ideals most powerful, not too comfortably attainable, for instance drastic formation in character, dramatic alterations and innovations in education, as well as total ahimsa in life on the path to selfrealization.
Gandhi’s experiments with truth took manifold dimensions as a way of life to confront divinity in workship and to confront his neighbour in live. Gandhi’s experiments in diet keeping lead to further and further simple food habits in which he reaped wonderful results. In his opinion many such experiments taught me that the real of taste was not the tongue, but the mind. Gandhi’s experiment with dietkeeping and those to develop self-denial went hand-in-hand. It was a powerful movement from the wants of the body and material life to the wants of the spirit and spiritual life: Gandhi had a disciplined way of putting his soul to work, with results that were patent to all, but none the less hard to understand. Training in self-denial became the essence of Gandhian experiments with food and he does not spare education from self-denial as a condition for the right success. He writes, “Education is that which liberates from extrinsic bondage and from intrinsic bondage to the needs of life”7.
Gandhi’s experiments with truth became in course of time an experiments in simple life and a life of total self-dependency. That was Gandhi‘s antithesis to the over sophistication of his own times. He was governed by the powerful conviction that self-restraint alone could redeem man kind from catastrophy and the nation from slavery. He exhorts teachers, “A stranger to self-restraint could never teach his pupils the value of self-restraint”8 In all his experiments the basic fact was the search for the truth content that as we have seen had to be uncovered as part of the huge hidden ice-berg. He says, “I am a searcher after truth. My experiments hold to be infinitely more important than the best equipped Himalayan expeditions. And the result? If the search is scientific, surely there is no comparsion between the two”9. Gandhi’s greatness lies not only in his achievements but also the method and techniques he employed in every detailed approach of life. The very term ‘experiments’ he employed indicates how objective, scientific and convincing he wanted things to be for others to share his light.
PHOENIX SETTLEMENT AND TOLSTOY FARM
At Johannesberg Gandhi made acquaintance with Mr. Polak in the vegetarian restaurant which Gandhi used to visit. Mr. Polak was the sub-editor of “The critic”. He was for a long while wishing to meet Gandhi to exchange ideas. Later Gandhi discovered to his delight that they two held very similar views on several essential aspects of life. Polak had a radical way of translating into his life what appealed to his mind and he liked to live a simple life. All this made impression on Gandhi and he took Polak into full confidence. It was Polak who gave to Gandhi Ruskin’s ‘Unto this Last’ for reading during a journey to Durban.
The book left such a deep impression on Gandhi that several of the Gandhian experiments later were based on it. Gandhi was determined to change his life according to the ideas contained in the book. The book ‘Unto This Last’ become the basis of Gandhi’s ‘ HindSwaraj or Indian Home Rule’ (1908) which contains the quintessence of Gandhi’s thoughts on people’s rule in the real sense of the term. Gandhi conferred that the first book of the kind to bring to an instantaneous and practical transformation in my life was ‘Unto This Last’. It was a fresh discovery for him that some of his deepest convictions were embodied in his work. Gandhi was greatly captured by the following ideas of great significance that he thought was fundamental to several of his own experiments with truth :
1. That the good of the individual is contained in the good of all.
2. That the lawyers work has the same value as the barber’s, in as much as all have the same right of earning their livelihood from their work.
3. That the life of labour i.e. the life of the tiller of the soil and the handicraftsman, is the life worth living. Gandhi drew up a clear analysis of these principles and became ready to be translated into practice.
Based on Ruskin’s ideas Gandhi drew up a plan for a settlement in which to run his Indian Opinion and where everyone had to labour, receiving the same pay, and attend to their work in the press. But there was the problem of everyone at the place i.e. all the workers agreeing to go to the new place, settle down and be satisfied with the bare minimum pay that would be given to them. It was therefore made an option for all either to accept their salaries and gradually become members or accept the new scheme of settlement.
Gandhi purchased the necessary land at Phoenix. Living under canvas sheds, the small group moved out in a week’s time. Gandhi attempted to draw into Phoenix as many indian settlers as possible but as most of them came in search of wealth, they were not willing to part with their business and join Gandhi. Of those who accept Gandhi’s invitation, he makes a special mention of Manganlal Gandhi who. “By ability, sacrifice and devotion stands foremost my original co-workers in my ethical experiment”. Phoenix Settlement was finally started in 1904 with a small group of Indian and European idealist, who had enough foresight to see and accept the path of truth Gandhi showed them. Indian Opinion was transferred to the settlement.
Gandhi first night at Phoenix Settlement in the company of his relatives and friend was an exciting one that imbibed by the inmates of the settlement. The failure of the printing machine at night, the workers, labour with the hand-machine and the miraculous working of the machine in the morning helped Gandhi make an excellent beginning at the settlement. The initial experience created an atmosphere of self-reliance in Phoenix Those were the days of the highest moral uplift for Phoenix. In course of time Phoenix became a little village. The basic idea was to experiment as to what extent simplicity of life, harmonious living of people together can be successfully and joyfully practiced: Gandhi’s concept of self-supporting educations as well as his constant requests to students to strive towards a sort of life in recognition of the problems of rural India received grounds for development right from Phoenix itself. It provided the first grounds also for putting to test Ruskin’s ideas in ‘Unto This Last’.
Tolstoy Farm became the next arena of Gandhi’s work. Friendship with one Mr. Polak was the beginning of Gandhi’s inspiration for Phoenix Settlement while the friendship with a German architect, Hermann Kellenback was the beginning of the inspiration for the establishment of Tolstoy Farm: “We incidentally talked about Gautama Buddha’s renunciation Our acquaintance soon ripened into very close friendship, so much so that we thought alike and he was convinced that he must carry out in his life changes I was making in mine”10. The land for the new settlement was donated in mine. The land for the new settlement was donated by Kallenbach in 1910, to be used by the passive resisters and their families in South Africa. That land was named after Tolstoy and was called Tolstey Farm. The sellters came from all parts of India.
Gandhi and Kallenbach lived with the Indian families, called Satyagrahi families, which included young people and children. There were Muslim, Christian and Parsi youngster whom Gandhi encouraged to follow their respective religions observances. It was considered a privilege to join others on the occasions of their religious fasts. Gandhi writes, “I explained to them that it was always a good thing to join with others in any matter of self-denial”11. The inmates of the Farm welcomed Gandhi’s work in Tolstoy Farm included comprehensive experiments.
Gandhi found it necessary, as the farm developed, to make provision also for the education of the boys and girls of the settlers. There were children who belonged to various religions. Practical problems make it difficult to avail any qualified teacher to work on the farm. For Gandhi there was the genuine opportunity for experimenting his new ideas, as he was thoroughly disappointed with the existing system of education. There was his chance to try a hand on something new and what he was convinced as the true way of education. Under ideal circumstances the parents had the duty of imparting true education. Tolstoy Farm was a family and Gandhi its head, the father, and that he had to as far as possible shoulder the responsibility for training the young. Gandhi planned his own system with the available resources, what constituted the foundations his basic education to be later tried out the developed in his Swaraj.
As part of the education of the Farm, classes were held in the afternoon. Gandhi prepared a few young men to work as teachers. The entire process was thought of as training for true character formation. Gandhi’s basic conception was that character formation was all in all in education and everything else could be achieved as a corollary of that by individuals themselves or with the help of others. Gandhi himself gave religious instruction which of others. Gandhi himself gave religious instruction which included the fundamentals of Hinduism. Islam and Zoroastrianism. Gandhi tried to drive home the concept of respect for all religions in theory and practice and taught them how to live together like blood brothers. It was based on those instructions that Gandhi developed and wrote his ‘Ethical Religion’ or ‘Niti Dharma’, published in 1912.
Classes were constituted with pupils of all ages, boys and girls from the age of seven to men of twenty and girls of twelve. Classes were engaged in two sections with the medium of Gujarati and English. Gandhi recommended the method of narration and reading to pupil stories of very productive and useful kind. Gandhi himself taught Tamil and Urdu. The curriculum included also the general knowledge of history, arithmetic and geography. In addition, Sanskrit was taught to Hindu students as a necessity to introduce to them the great Language which embodied the vast domains of Indian culture and Literature. Emphasis was given to writing and the recitation of prayer songs: No textbook was used in this school. In education he gave the first place to the culture of the heart or the building of character. It was a literary training organized to meet the bare needs of the children and given against the background provided by the Tolstoy Farm. It was a training in the temperament to accept the simplicity of the physical and social climate on the farm in a spirit of self denial and sacrifice keeping in mind the needy and the poor whom they wished to imitate in actual life. It was the same spirit of simplicity, self-confidence through self-denial, and self-supporting that Gandhi wished later to become the central values of basic education.
Gandhi later wrote in the Harijan (September 1937) about his successful work tolstouy Farm: “I had no difficulty in provinding to the boys and girls under my care on Tolstoy Farm complete development. The central fact was that theywere given vocational education for about eight hours. There was literary training for one or at the most two hours”12. It was his intention to teach everyone of the youngsters come usrful manual vocation. Gandhi sent Kallenbach to a trappist monastery and there he learned shoe-making. They also conducted classes in carpentry. Since almost everyone knew cooking no special training was needed for it. Students had the pleasure of doing only whatever their teachers actually did. That made learning an easy and pleasant experience. A teacher never asked the student to do anything that he himself did not do. That was an important maxim in Tolstoy Farm. That enabled them to develop a high degree of self-confidence which ordinarily education failed to provide.
Corporal punishment of all forms was strictly forbidden. Gandhi believed, “that the training of the spirit was possible only through the exercise of the spirit”13. The exercise of the spirit, on the other hand entirely depended on the life and character of the teacher whose life in fact became the message for the student as Gandhi himself exemplified. On occasions when Gandhi struck anyone with a ruler he was sorry for that. Gandhi also experimented with co-education where under his own supervision boys and girls lived and studied together. The duty of self-restraint was explained to them: The experiment made from a belief always work very smoothly. It was an attempt to find out to what extent the refinement of the human personality could find development when suitable atmosphere was created for that.
The inmates of Tolstoy Farm, as in the case of Phoenix Settlement strived together to live a life of simplicity, and self-denial. The routine, the living habits and the food ware kept as simple as it was humanly possible. All become labourers and did a great amount of manual work. They wore the clothes made of course materials like prisoners uniform made by the women settlers. They survived on simple meals and used wooden spoons for eating. Gandhi’s vision of the life of the tiller of the soil boiled down to every minute detail in the life of those in Tolstoy Farm. The whole pattern of life became an education for adults and children alike. For everyone that as experiment with truth to discover, through the educativeprocess, the finest sensibilities of the human personality in the spirit of service.
EXPERIMENTS IN CHAMPARAN SCHOOLS
Champaran was the land of indigo plantations. Indigo plants were grown and indigo was manufactured in Champaran at great hardship to thousands of farmers. Champaran was situated in Bihar. Accepting the invitation of the cahmparan farmers to see for himself the anguish of those indigo farmers, Gandhi set out for the place in 1917. Gandhi realized that Bihar was a place of strict untouchability and it was deeply painted. Gandhi was touched by the humility, simplicity, goodness and extraordinary faith. Of those farmers whose problems overwhelmed him. Gandhi’s aim, first of all, was to thoroughly inquire into the condition of the Champaran farmers and understand their grievances against the indigo planters. Gandhi was faced with difficulties chiefly from the side of officials and indigo planters whose vested interest in the affairs was a significant factor. Gandhi was ordered to leave Champaran and was threatened with arrest. But the officials soon realized that people were with Gandhi, that he did not have any personal grievances but only wised to offer civil resistance to their orders. Gandhi recalls, “The people had for the moment lost all fear of punishment and yielded obedience to the power of love which their new friend exercised”14. All that was inspite of the fact that no one in Champaran knew Gandhi except a few of his close associates who led him to the place. They did not know the Congress and no political work was done among them. For Gandhi that meeting with the Champaran farmers was a face to face confrontation with God. Ahimsa and Truth. Gandhi was finally permitted by the Authorities to proceed with inquiry and they promised him all the necessary help he needed for the inquiry. The first stage of Gandhi’s mission in Champaran ended successfully.
Gandhi’s attempt first of all was to educate not the Champaran farmers but his own friends who were involved in his work. They had a curious way of life. Each had a servant and a cook with a separate kitchen in which vegetarian or nonvegetarian meals were prepared. They most often had their dinner late at night. Things were so irregular that I subjected them to friendly scolding and ridicule. Finally it was decided that some radical changes be brought and the numerous kitchens were dispensed with. They agreed to have a regular hour for their meal. Since maintaining two kitchens both for vegetarian and non-vegetarian was expensive, it was decided to have only a common vegetarian kitchen an insistence on simple meal was also accepted. Because of this it became possible for them to record the grievances of large crowds of people with considerable case and greater enthusiasm.
Gandhi’s acquaintance with the problems of Bihar convinced him that a change of a permanent nature was not possible without educate village education. Ignorance and poverty reigned supreme everywhere. The workers led a pathetic life with no possibility to rise above and understand their true plight. Everybody toiled for a meager wage and it was just a matter of existence for the workers in the plantation. Gandhi made his own plans to improve their lot. He opened primary schools in six villages. The poverty in those villages was so utter that no money could be raised for the purpose of establishing those schools. The thing they could do was to contribute grain and other raw-materials.
It was difficult for Gandhi to provide teachers for those schools, especially when they would have to work on a minimum salary or without remuneration at all. Gandhi never liked the idea of employing just ordinary teachers for doing a work which he knew was crucial to the development of those villages. In response to a public appeal Gandhi issued, there came immense response from various quarters to have teacher sent to champaran for the work. Since the focus of training was not literary talents, grammar, reading writing and arithmetics, Gandhi made it clear to the teachers the objectives that he himself had in mind. The focus had to be on cleanliness, essential moral habits and good manners. In the primary classes the rudiments of the languages and a knowledge of the numerals were thought essential.
Primary education could be only a beginning. The whole village was wanting in education in hygienic habits. Wherever Gandhi went he was confronted with dirt and filth to unbearable dimensions. The homes were kept most untidy, the lanes full of dirt, wells which were the nerve-centre of the village could be seen surrounded with mud and filth. Skin diseases were mist common with elderly people. It was necessary, therefore, to approach the problem of education from a larger viewpoint and involve themselves with the life of the villagers in its totality. With the help of a doctor from the Servants of India Society Gandhi embarked his work among villagers.
Education could not be conceived of as an isolated thing in Champaran. If education meant the welfare of the villagers it had to be integrated with health and sanitation. The group launched a medical help-drive in all the villages under the supervision of the doctor in the group to meet the medical needs of the villagers and ensure basic health in them. Self-help even in this regard was a thing unheard of among them. They were willing to do nothing to improve their health and surroundings. That lethargy, found in backward areas of this sort, was the result of a sense of resignation to the lot to which they are as if condemned. It was Gandhi’s firm commitment to raise them from that utter disregard for their own welfare. The medical relief given to them was a simple affair:
Education through village sanitation was proved a difficult affair. The children were given instructions about cleanliness and general sanitation in classes. But the problems lay with adults, they were not willing to do any thing by themselves. Even field labourers were not willing undertake cleaning up their surroundings. The volunteers, therefore, concentrated on the village an ideal place to live in. They swept the roads and the courtyards, cleaned out the wells, filted up the pools nearby, and lovingly persuaded the villagers to raise volunteers from among themselves. It was more an effort to conscientise the villagers and train in them a fair degree of self-help and self-dignity which had to become a permanent character in them, if education had to be complete.
At several place the villagers frankly expressed their dislike for the work Gandhi did. That was simply to be expected because of the dire habits the villagers had formed by living under adverse conditions. Inspite of that it was possible for the volunteers in Champaran to touch the hearts of the villagers with their work in school, sanitation work and medical relief. Gandhi wanted a permanent group of volunteers to carry on the work he had started in Champaran. But that did not materials for want of people. The educational work became a part of Gandhi’s experiment in that direction. That was an attempt to challenge the traditional mode of literary education by imparting to little children facts about things which hardly come under their usual, day-to-day experience. The work in Champaranwas an example as to how problems in typical rural India could be dealt with. It required courage and determination on the part of Gandhi to employ quite untrained and unqualified hands to take up teaching and training the rural folk in a way that could be subject to ridicule. Gandhi was clear in his total vision in Champaran as at other place as to the values he wished to stress. There lay his success.
NATIONALIST EXPERIMENTS IN EDUCATION
Gandhi and the nationalist leaders in the Congress expressed grave concern over the deplorable condition of education in India during the pre-independence period. They felt that the present system of education does not meet the requirements of the country in any shape or form. The British introduced English with a view to getting their imperialist ends fulfilled and hence English education did not serve any major purpose. Gandhi asked students in the whole of India to think whether the education they got was use ful for the realization of their ideals and develop the inherent potentials in their personality or was it just a factory that produced government servants and employees in business offices. He asked, “Is the primary aim of your education to secure a mere job in a government department or other fields?”15 English education, it was said, endeavoured to introduce us to the western sophistication under which western civilization itself was groaning. Gandhi asked students if they themselves wanted to receive such an education. They had to think several times before accepting such a sophistication and education that lanned without in the least taking into consideration India’s economic progress. The money spent on primary education was sheer waste: Education directors have agreed that today’s system of primary education is a colossal loss. The present system of education and the budgetary provisions made for that affect and becomes beneficial to only a small percent of the rural population.
The education that was imparted only covered one aspect , literacy. It never attempted to harmonies the child’s personality, by achieving a proper integration of the training of the mind body and spirit. Our villagers put in hard labor like animals and slaves. The education that was planned could not come down to their. level and redeem then from that bondage to hard labour and poverty. They have gone down to the level animals without obtaining any help to develop their mind and spirit. Education is schools and colleges looked upon with respect because such an education was totally alienated from manual work and physical labour. Since form of exercise for the body was necessary schools introduced quit artificial and uninteresting physical training whole thing is ridiculous beyond words.
Gandhi felt that as nation we are so backward in education, and we have great obligation to the nation in this regard. He therefore in all force recommended that education should be made self supporting. In the july issue of harijan (1937) Gandhi drew up his definition of education: “ By education I mean all round drawing out best in child and man body mind and spirit”. Literacy not the end of education, not even the beginning. Gandhi could not accommodate the idea that literacy was essentially education. He wanted to begin the child’s education by teaching it a useful handicraft and by enabling it to produce from the moment it begins its training. So every school could be made self- supporting.
Gandhi held that the highest development of the mind and the soul was possible under such a system of education. Every handicraft had to be taught not merely mechanically , but in scientific manner proving the necessary intellectual stimulation. The method was adopted and tested out at several places wherever spinning and weaving were taught to workers. Gandhi taught sandal- making and spinning on these lines with good results. That method also included a knowledge of history and geography. It meant all round development all round economy.
In the course of a resolution passed at haripura at the time of a crisis in the congress ministry in U.P. and Bihar the following resolution was adopt on the issue of national education. The congress emphasized the importance of national education ever since 1906. Several educations institutions were established under itsere auspices during the non cooperation movement. Congress attached the utmost importance to a proper organization of mass education. It was convinced that all national progress ultimately depended on the objective, the content and the method of education that was provided to people. The existing system of education in india was provided to people. The existing system of education in India was admitted to have failed. It was therefore essential to build up a national education seeking new frontiers and covering the larger interests of the nation. Using the influence and authority the congress exercised in state education , it had privilege to lay down the goals and principles necessary for a kind of education envisaged by it. It was therefore recommended to have a basic education imparted at the primary and secondary stages in accordance with the following principles: “1 Free and compulsory education should be provided for seven years on a nation -wide scale 2. The medium of instruction must be the mother- tongue. 3. throughout this period of education should centre round some form of productive and manual work and other activities to be developed or training to be given should, as far as possible, be integrally related to the central handicraft chosen with due regard to the environment of the child”.
On the basis of that resolution it was recommended that all-india Education Board be formed to deal with that basic part of education. Dr. Zakirhussain and Shri Aryanayakam were authorized by the congress to take steps, under the guidance of Gandhi, to bring such a board in to existence in order to work out programme of basic national education.
Addressing the newly created National Education Board, Gandhi development and elucidated meaning and objective of new education. Concerning the establishment of school for basic primary education Gandhi said, “ We have to make of this training school a school for wining freedom and for the solution of all our ills, of which the primary one is our communal troubles. And for this purpose we have to concentrate on non -violence” Gandhi recalled that Hitler’s and Mussolini‘s schools accepted violence as there principle and for the congress it was non violence . We should have a non violence approach to all our problems. Gandhi envisaged the new approach in which all the school subjects would have a non-violent colour. That could only be non-violent. Then we could Concentrate not on urban but rural industries. Gandhi hoped that if we imparted education through those crafts, then we could bring about a true revolution.
It was a committed aim of Mahatma Gandhi and other nationalist leaders to evolve a system of education that would produce students who were no mere administrators and clerks but real servants of the people of the country. Such an education would generate in the students a love of the poor millions residing in the Indian villages. Such an education would compel them to be at the disposal of the rural masses for their upliftment and they would never find rest without achieving that aim. Such an education would foster in them not material freedom with all that go with such freedom.
In order to realize such an ideal in the field of education Gandhi founded the “National University of Gujarat” called ‘Gujarat Vidyapeeth’ at Ahmedabad in November 1920. All aspects of education embodied in the curriculum and the syllabus of the Vidyapeeth finally aimed at the unique idea of achieving a united India shedding all the caste and communal differences. In one of the National Education Conferences held at the Vidyapeeth Gandhi said, “All those studying in national institutions and connected with them must do all the things that the country has to go through for the attainment of the Swaraj, so that they may be ready to offer themselves willing sacrifices when the time comes”16.
The Vidyapeeth fostered a considerable number of ideals in relation to the Indian traditions. Greater importance come to be attached to the study of Asiatic culture then Western sciences. Efforts were made to commit the students to enquire into the vast treasures of Sanskrit, Persian, Pali and Arabic. These were supposed to contain great sources of strength and inspiration for the nation. The Vidyapeeth aimed at building a new culture based on the traditions of the past, in such a way as to ensure each component culture its legitimate place without seeking its destruction. According to Gandhi literary training, scholarly research, linguistic pursuits, the study of English, Sanskrit and fine arts had to be given importance in the Vidyapeeth but ‘take a back seat’. The very motto of the Vidyapeeth is: ‘That is knowledge which is designed for salvation’. The educational institution symbolized the highly value-oriented Indian vedic culture and education. Material freedom is included in the spiritual as the logical corollory. All knowledge taught and learned in the Vidyapeeth and other institutions should lead to such freedom. For this reason every sincere student becomes a satyagrahi and every satyagrahi naturally undergoes perfect education and the ideals of both become identified.
Addressing the students of Gujarat Vidhyapeeth Gandhi said, “The only loving tie of service that can bind these villages to us is the spinning wheal”17.
Gandhi attached the greatest importance to the kind of national education that he wanted to impart in educational institutions. For him the education is not ‘national’ that does not take into account the starving millions of India and devices no means for their relief. He wanted the Vidyalaya to make people workers who would give themselves up for the villages. Gandhi gave weekly lectures at the Vidyapeeth and heessured personal attention to the students of Sabarmati Ashram and Gujarat Vidyapeeth. When Gandhi met the students he took pains to explain to them the Gita, the New Testament and the Ramayana of Tulsidas. The students discussed various topics with him. Gandhi exhorted them to shed all fear and resist violence with all their might. During the Dandi march in 1930 the vidyapeeth suspended all academic activities. The staff and the students offered their services as volunteers for the forthcoming Satyagraha struggle. They were given emergency training. The students were sent to the site of the satyagraha to do the necessary preparations and assist site of the satyagraha.
Gandhi was most satisfied, with the working of the Gujarat Vidyapeeth. In his opinion the Gujarat Vidyapeeth by its supreme sacrifice has more then justified its existence, the hopes entertained by its authors and grants made to it by donors. Gandhi wanted others national institutions to copy the example of the Vidyapeeth in its example sacrifice. National universities in the form of Vidyapeeth were also established in Bihar and Kashi to pursue the ideals of national education. The Vidyapeeth became the source of strength in Gandhi’s fight against the evils of untouchability and communal disharmony. Education for him could not isolated from all these evils that ransacked society. For this reason Gandhi attached great significance to the Vidyapeeths as well-organised national institutions that stood for the nationalist ideals.
WARDHA EDUCATION CONFERENCE
Gandhi’s new approach to education became craft-centered and skill-based, developed against the background of the concrete needs of the country. The new conception was also based on the education principles of Johan Dewey, who defines the school as a place “ where experiments in life will be carried on where other experiments in life will be read about and told about because of their result”. Gandhi was familiar with the pragmatist educational principle of learning by doing or learning through one’s experience. Gandhi was thoroughly misunderstood as many thought that he was recommending sheer manual work as an alternative to all other studies. It became therefore a responsibility for him to discuss at length matters pertaining to his new concept of basic education.
Gandhi wrote in the Harijan a answering a question as to what happens when a child may have no aptitude for weaving and may have it for something else. We will teach him some other craft. But you must know that one school will not teach many crafts. The idea is that we one should have one teacher for twenty -five boys, and you have as many classes or schools of twenty-five boys as you have the teacher available, and have each one these schools specializing in a separate craft-carpentry, smithy, tanning or shoe-making. Only you must bear in mind the fact that you development the child’s mind through of their crafts.
Gandhi recommended a primary education covering a period of seven years in which all the subject except English a vacation are taught such an education should be conceived of as self-supporting.
A session of the Educational conference commenced at Wardha on 2nd. October 1937 served distinguished members of the congress including Dr.Zakir Hussain and Aryanayakam participated at the conference. Gandhi presented a review of his entire scheme of Education in his presidential address at the conference. Gandhi claimed the scheme of education to be fresh and new; although based on his experiences. Gandhi’s ideas concerted education at the primary and college levels. He stressed the role it primary education that included in his conception the upper middle and then secondary also because he had grave concerns for the people in Indian villages and the primary education pertained to the villages more. He said that he was convinced of the need of to thus combine the primary and secondary education in just one stream to meet the requirement of rural conditions. Such a national scheme of education as what the conference had in mind had to be primarily for the villages. Gandhi tried to drive home the need for focusing on primary education and then easy solutions, he thought could be arrived at for college education.
Gandhi bewailed the state of primary education as, he thought that it was “positively harmful. The boys were alienated from their parents and from their traditional occupations. Education made them conducive only go picking up bad habits. The sole remedy lay in education them by means of vocation or manual training. Gandhi had the back ground for vocational training of some sort on the Tolstoy Farm in South Africa. The whole education should be imparted through some handicrafts or industry. Such occupational and craft centered training of the middle Ages did not serve any concrete educational purpose. The development of the intellect was never thought of.
Gandhi’s scheme meant the teaching of the whole art and science as a craft and imparting the education as a practical training with orientations for adequate intellectual stimulation. Spinning becomes the starting point of a variety of subjects with elementary knowledge in them. Gandhi was convinced that spinning was the only practical solution to our problem, considering the grave economic situation that prevailed in India. Gandhi wanted primary education to centre around the ‘takli’. During the first year everything could be taught through spinning. In the second year other processes could be introduced side by children could meet the requirements of parents themselves. It was seven year course leading to a practical knowledge of spinning, weaving, dyeing and designing. This primary education included also principles of sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, of doing their own work, helping parents at home etc. There would also be compulsory physical education through musical drill.
The impact of that training, Children would be made self-confident help by their paying for their own education by their own labour. Gandhi calls this his practical religion, the religion of self help. Making education self-supporting was the true test of its efficiency. Gandhi failed to understand why there should be unemployment of graduate students. College education was thus fairly disappointing.
Gandhi concluded the address by inviting the attention of the conference to the fundamentals of self-supporting education. Our students are to be made true representatives of our culture and our civilization, of the true genius of our nation. Gandhi stressed the point that the whole western civilization’ and its achievements were based on force and violence. India could not think of in terms of violence and exploitation as the West did, and India had no alternative other then the plan of education based on non-violence.
Dr. Zakir Hussain making observations On Gandhi’s plan of education drew Gandhi’s attention to the fact that the Gandhian scheme was not original in concept. The same method was called Project Method in America and Complex Method In Russia. The scheme was a failure in both the places due to several practical difficulties. All the expenses in education could be thought of as borne by the nation. It was pointed out that manual work was alright upto an extent, but the fact that this was an age of machines had to be remembered in that connection. A boycott of all the foreignmade goods and an embargo on all machine-made things would be impossibility. Many thought that it was idle and improper to make education self-supporting.
The conference was entrusted with the task of reviewing the proposals made in Gandhi’s basic scheme. The proposals contained the following: I. English, having been made the medium of instruction in universities, had created gap between the highly educated few and the uneducated many. It has prevented from knowledge from percolating to the masses. The absence of vocational training has made the educated class unfit for productive work and has harmed them physically. 2. The course of primary education would be extended at to seven years and should include the general knowledge gained upto the matriculation standard except English, and a vocation. 3. All the training should as far as possible be centered around a craft for the all-around development of the boys and girls. This primary education should equip the boys and girls to earn their bread and the state should guarantee employment in the vocations they are trained in. 4. Higher education should be left to private enterprise, and for the meeting of national requirements. The state universities should be purely examining bodies, self-supporting through the feels charged for the examinations. Preparing and approving courses of studies in various departments will remain the business of the university. The state will cost nothing for the running of the university except looking after a central education department.
The committee drew its draft resolutions and passed them the following day: 1. Free and compulsory education be provided for seven years on a nationwide scale. 2. The medium of instruction should be in the mother-tongue. 3. The process of education through our this period should be centered around some form of manual of productive work and all other abilities to be developed and be integrated to the craft. 4. This system of education expected in course time to cover the remuneration of teachers. These draft resolutions became central to what we know as the Wardha Scheme.
1. Gandhi M.K., Towards New Education, P-85
2. Buck, Pearl, in profiles of Gandhi, P-04
3. Gandhi M.K.,An Autobiography, P-164
4. Thekkineadth, J. Love of Neighbour P-68
5. Diwakar RR quoted in Thekkinedath P-68
6. Gandhi M.K.,Young India, 11 october 1928
7. Gandhi M.K., Harijan 10 March 1946
8. Gandhi M.K., An Autobiography P-255
9. Tendulkar D.G. Mahatma Vol 4, P-218
10. Gandhi M.K., An Autobiography P-247
11. Ibid - P-249
12. Gandhi M.K., Harijan September 1937
13. Mahatma Vol -I P-119
14. Gandhi M.K., An Autobiography P-910
15. Gandhi M.K., Towards New Education P-7
16. Mahatma Vol - 3 P-3
17. Mahatma Vol 3 P-229
IMPORTANCE OF SARVODAYA IN EDUCATION AS A NOBLE FORM IN SARVODAYA
Satyagraha is the practical application of Ahimsa. It is method of searching a right by personal suffering and not by inflicting injury on others. Defence of peace can be constructed only through satyagraha. A satyagrahi is one who has faith in truth, non-violence and brahmacharya, fearlessness and non-stealing or non possession. So the life of a satyagrahi implies strict discipline. Gandhi developed the concept of satyagraha for the attainment of peace and freedom for india.
Satyagraha is the quintessence of Gandhian thought. This idea and practice were the centre of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and this humble contribution to the universe. Literally, Satyagrah means ‘truth force’ or ‘truth power’ Gandhi defined it as ‘the force which is born of truth and love or non violence he also called it ‘soul force’ which is the force of spirit which dwells in the body. It is a force that can be made use of both by individuals and by communities. This force according to Gandhiji, can be employed in all the spheres in which human being find a place. It is merely assertion of right where some wrong is being done.
The main principle of conduct of every loyal Satyagrahi are faith and courage. They must have faith in the justice of his cause and courage of conviction so that he would not deviate from his path even in the face of actual hardship.
The term ‘Satyagraha’ was conceived and developed by Mahatma Gandhi. It originated in a competition in the newssheet Indian onion in south Africa in 1906. It was an adaptation by Gandhi of one of the entries in that competition. For Gandhiji Satyagraha went for beyond mere ‘passive resistance’ and become strength in practicing non-violent methods. Mahatma Gandhi deployed Satyagraha in the Indian independence movement and also during his earlier struggles in south Africa. Satyagraha influenced Nelson Mandela’s struggle in south Africa under apartheid, Marlin Luther King, Jr.’s campaigns during the civil rights movement in the united states and many other social justices and similar movement. As circumstances offered a challenge, he set forth to correct the mistakes. In south Africa in 1906 he started the first Satyagraha movement for the removal of unjust laws. He equally emphasized, that the way to remove injustice, while political, social or economic, is not through violation of the oppressor.
‘In Satyagraha their is not the remotest idea of injuring the opponent. Satyagraha postulates the conquest of the adversary by suffering in one’s person. while we may attack measures and system, we may must not attack men. This was his requirement. As the same spirituality is the true core of the oppressor, it is through an appeal to that inner consciousness that be can be fitted from his lowly level. A Satyagrahi is one who insists on the realisation of truth as he sees it. He is not infallible. He may not see the whole truth in a particular matter. He is therefore, eager to understand what other says in matter of moral and social importance. He is ready to learn from them.
Gandhi developed the technique of Satyagrahi through his various nation wide movements organized for the attainment of the freedom for India. The trained hundreds of Satyagrahis to fight the slavery imposed by the British imperialism. He provided a moral substitute of war. Today making the diagnosis of human disease needs no qualification, but it requires genius who can suggest a remedy. Gandhi saw the real picture of the whole world which is full of suffering from immense crises from many sides. So many crises conflicts hatred and distrust among all communities are growing very fast in each and every corner of the universe. It is realized that a human world needs a most proper ways and techniques of resistance and the removal of evil and injustice without losing the balance of peace and prosperity in society.
The two Sanskrit words Satya (Truth) and Agraha (firmness) go into the making of the Gandhian term, ‘Satyagraha’. Satyagraha would therefore mean ‘adherence to Truth’. R. R. Diwakar says, “Satyagraha is a total and integral way of life based on truth and non-violence”1. Satyagraha thus becomes an orientation to truth as the goal and non-violence or ahimsa as the means, and compared to ahimsa satyagraha becomes an end or a goal. But for Gandhi satyagraha is everything: the whole and soul of the Gandhian thought and movement.
The most concrete application of the principle of satyagraha is ‘passive resistance’. The original application of this term was for any form of civil disobedience which Gandhi called passive resistance in South Africa. Passive resistance and disobedience are “method of remedying injustice and bringing about social and political changes ”2 after developing the concept behind the term ‘satayagraha’ Gandhi made a distinction between mere passive resistance and satyagraha. For him, “Passive resistance is the weapon of the weak, while satyagraha could be practiced only by the bravest who have the courage of dying if necessary, without killing”.
Satyagraha contained the application of what Gandhi called the soul-force. The soul-force is the central energy of satyagraha. Satyagraha is the dynamic and positive virtue: “It means resistance to evil through love Through suffering and sacrifice”3. It is a confrontation with problems with truth as the witness and for the victory and realization of truth. In satyagraha one wants truth to win. Gandhi says, “our creed was devotion to truth, and our business was the search for insistence on truth”.4 This insistence on truth in all details and aspects of human life is satyagraha. Everything in life is seen from the viewpoint of truth and everything is evaluated from the criteria of truth. That attitude is satyagraha. Satyagraha thus becomes our orientation to ourselves, to the neighbor and to God. It encompasses all reality from the viewpoint of truth alone. Satyagraha embraces even the enemy: Satayagraha is gentle, it never wounds, never impatient, never vociferous. It is the direct opposite of compulsion. It was conceived as a complete substitute of violence.
SATYAGRAHA AND EDUCATIONAL GOALS
Gandhian thoughts on education are an integral constituent of satyagraha. Gandhian thoughts in any form do not render themselves to water tight compartments. Different aspects therein are path that leads to and lead out of the central principal of Satyagraha. Such a great importance is given to this nation in the present work that Satyagraha can be brought to bear upon every aspect of education. As we have seen throughout, education and life for Gandhi do not render themselves to distinct final goals, both explicitly and implicitly, and Gandhi wants educationists and teachers not to sacrifice these goals of education at the cost of proximate and practical aims, Gandhi constantly warned us of the danger of modern education, specially of the system of education that aims at westernizing India as a nation and Indians as individuals for the sake of greater materialist sophistication. It is from this viewpoint that we need to see how Satyagraha as a comprehensive principal penetrates all aspects of education. According to Gandhi, “the plants of truth will not grow and bear fruit, unless its roots are watered by ahimsa”5.
Gandhian education or more precisely education in the Gandhian sense aims at the achievement of truth content of Satyagraha. Education in any sense of the term enables man to know, achieve and apply truth in all things and experiences in life. Truth is existential. It pervades reality. For those who believe in the human intellect, there is no choice but to acknowledge the truth-validity of truth itself. It the human mind is not oriented to the grasping of truth, our life and actions are absolutely senseless. Whether truth lies fully outside the human mind (the position of empiricists), whether it is fully within the human mind (idealists) or whether it is corresponding to the reality outside the human mind (realists), is a deeper metaphysical question. But it needs no philosopher’s support for us to know that our minds are capable of grasping not only the finite truths of our day- to-day experience, but also grasping and realizing the Infinite Truth, the Summon Bonum of the human mind. It is on this supreme conviction that the life of the common man and what we know as his ‘Common-sense experience’ depend.
SATYAGRAHA AS THE CONTENT OF EDUCATION
Goals or aims of education determine the directions which education should take as well as the end that needs to be achieved. The method of education determines the process through which education is imparted. The content of education is what the individual receives what of education. The content may be knowledge of one kind or other, nation of one type or other, or training in the concrete sense of the term in a skill or an occupation. Satyagraha in its pervasive and comprehensive nature functions as the content of Gandhian education. Satyagraha can be presented in the most adequate manner as the content of education. There are greater practical limitations in the presentation of Satyagraha or its realization as the goals or method of education.
Gandhian education develops as its content Satyagraha based on truth. Gandhi says, our creed was devotion to truth and our business was the search for a devotion to truth. Truth becomes the content of Gandhian education as the first constituent of Satyagraha. A trainee or aspirant of Satyagraha considers truth and ahimsa as his religion; thus he tries to develop that goodness through his own truthfulness and suffering. He exhorted students constantly saying, “Truth will make you courageous"6
SATYAGRAHA AS THE METHOD OF EDUCATION
The method of education, as a general notion, determines and specifies the activity and experiences though which the educational content and learning experiences are provided. IT is a means to the realization if the goals of education. It is a the how of education in which socio-cultural and pedagogical elements have their roles to play. As the central process of education, the goals are gradually through the method which results in achievement of different levels. Satyagraha constitutes the method of Gandhian education. Educational goals are ideology and will consistently remain on the plain of ideology or ideals to a great extent. But educational method bring down this ideology to ideals to the plain of practice. Satyagraha is fundamentally ideological, put education will bring down this ideology to concrete methodology and help individuals to attain the principles of Satyagraha.
Gandhian Education employs the principal of Satyagraha as a method centered on truth. For Gandhi truth is a way of life. As way of life truth becomes life-centered, and intrinsic to all activities and involvements of the individual. Truth is the central component of the Hindu sanatana dharma as the recommended way of life. It is here that truth comes down from the domain of the intellect to the level of morality on the one hand, and ordinary actions on the other. Truth was absolutely concrete for Gandhi that was why he subjected that principal to experiments: Gandhi says, “My object is to show that he who would go for novel experiments must begin with himself. That leads to a quicker discovery of truth, and God always protects on honest experimental” Gandhi was deeply convinced of the experimental potential of truth as a principal in Satyagraha. This concrete nature of truth makes it amenable to become a method in education. This educationist in the Gandhian context remains on the lookout for truth in all the classroom learning experiences with reference to the individual’s mode of the involvement, response to situations and reception of the content of education. Truth would thus become a reality in education.
Education further employs the principles of satyagraha as a method centered on live. Gandhi says, “when my friend goes astray, if undergo suffering in order to raise his noble attitudes, the whole thing will be motivated only by love”8. Love becomes the roots and flowering of satagraha. Education has all the potentials to integrate this concept to the methods of work in all these details and bring it closer to the principles of satyagraha. Love can and should function as the motivating factor, as Gandhi side, in all activities and love will be the fruits that we shall be reaping. Education in the classroom can work on the principle of love as method of work when students will concern themselves with the total welfare of those others sitting there. Education can ensure that noble feelings are entertained by the individuals in the class even in moments of adversity. Numerous opportunities arise when the application of love can be practiced in the classroom. Love as Gandhi saw it was not a mere passive attitude of forbearance but a most active and dynamic attitude of concern for the welfares of others. Education outside the classroom offers much greater prospects for the practice of love as a method of education. once everything is seen from the point of view of love as a uniting factor much can be done to ensure its relation to all forms of involvements.
SATYAGRAHA AS PROVIDING DIRECTION IN EDUCATION
Gandhian education subsumes Satyagraha as a principle and a force that has an encompassing potential to penetrate every minute detail of education and bring in a powerful transformation. Satyagraha in the present context is thought of as a great principle of powerful potential s to generate the spiritual personality in the individual and the spiritual and moral transformation in society. Satyagraha becomes an instrument thus of change in the individual and society. What is required is the discovery of the techniques to effect this transformation. This is what satyagraha in education has the capacity to do, because education is the major instrument of transformation in the individual and society. Education helps us recognize our right task in the context of satyagraha. Gandhi was clear in his view: Swaraj does not depend on jail-going. It depends on everyone doing his or her own task. And that task has been shown to you visit a villages, identify the conditions of villagers and try to make them friend of all sections. Make Hindu- Muslim unity a concrete fact. The scope of satyagraha is thus broadened to include every aspect of welfare in the swaraj Satyagraha provides the necessary directions in Gandhi an education. It provides directions in the development of curriculum in education. Education is a time consuming process. The formation of the personality of the learner, acquisition and internalization of knowledge, acquisition of mastery over skills, all these would mean the development of a suitable curriculum in the school or in the college. Curriculum contains everything that is organized for the provision of education. Curriculum includes everything that the student does from the moment he enters school up the time he leaves it on a day. Satyagraha shows what these details should be.
A systems analysis of Satyagraha yields the detailed constituent elements. Curriculum includes knowledge, and activities of various kinds. Chiefly it is a holistic affair through which education is imparted. Constituent element of Satyagraha like the values find suitable place in the curriculum. Curriculum development takes thus direction from Satyagraha.
Satyagraha provides directions in organizing learning experiences that are central to education. Gandhi writes, “If teachers aim at developing the discriminative powers of the boys and girls under them, they will continually foster their reasoning capacity and enable them to think for themselves”9. Every education institution depends, for its success, on the learning experiences that the institution is capable of organizing and providing. By learning experiences in the narrow sense we mean the activities in the classroom for communicating some knowledge or skill, and in the broadest sense we mean all the systematic and educationally definable activities that we organize in the school as a whole. Satyagraha provides directions necessary for these learning experiences. In most cases in schools these learning of academic activities or purely of an academic nature, consisting of academic activities or literary involvements. Instead, Gandhian Education attempts to transform these learning experiences into an experience of Satyagraha, Perhaps in simulated situations, together with an awareness of the concreteness of Satyagraha In such experiences. These learning experiences differ in different types of education, with focus on knowledge, formation and training as the content of education. Determined by these directions provided by Satyagraha education will be in a position to organize its learning experiences to develop the constituent principles that Satyagraha include.
SATYAGRAHA AS A NOVEL FORM
Gandhi thought it essential that satyagraha is a heap to eradicate evil should be employed to redress the grievances of kind through mutual consent and understanding in human sociely. Satygraha is a domestic law and is first exercised while dealing with any dearest person and the nearest. H has also been instrumental in wining even the deadliest criminals. The purer the satyargaha and stronger his lover for the other party. It is much better for both. Gandhi belives that the beauty and efficiency of satyagraha are so great and the doctrine so simple that it can be preached even to children. This simple law can be equally and effectively made to work as a method of securing rights by personal suffering in political and social fields. Satyagraha makes itself known as mass-movement intended to replace methods of violence. The nationalist movement in india, Like all nationalist movement was essentially a bourgeois movement. It represented the natural historical stage of development and to consider it or criticise he a working class movement to a supreme degree and he become the voice of indian people to that extent. The main contribution of Gandhi to india and the indian masses has been through the powerful movement.
After independence the establishment of the democratic government changed the entire context of socio- economic and political situations in India. For the Sarvodaya thinkers political freedom brought a new opportunity to work for the transformation of society. To then-as to every true Gandhian-Swarajya means self- rule. The problems of the people should, therefore, be handled through the initiative of the people themselves. The old system of landlord ship, unjust distribution of wealth, unjust social customs and corrupt social atmosphere could no longer find place in the new order.
Vinoba points out that there are three ways of bringing about a new social order. The first is the way of massacre of those who have exploited the helpless masses. This Violent way is frought with serious dangers. The doctrine of the sword has lost its justification-either practical of moral- in the modern era. Violence superficially resolves a problem, only to give rise to many more in its place. If the masses take to violence, they would invite dictatorship and military regime. The second alternative is to bring the changed order through law and governmental action. But even in democracy law can be equally tyrannical if it is not based on the willful consent of the people. Besides there is no scope for individual initiative and freedom in resolving issues through laws. Vinoba explains that he is not against taking legal steps to end social and economic evils.
But in democracy the first thing is the psychological preparation of the people for the change. Real transformation comes through a chain of triple change. First there should be the change of heart secondly this should lead to the change of the ways of living and as a result, thirdly, social institution should assume new form. According to Gandhi, “then principle of satyagraha constitute a gradual revolution”10.
This psychological understanding of the legitimacy of the desired change on the part of the people -both the exploited and the exploiters-can be brought about through compassion. A question arises as to whether the old forms of Gandhian satyagraha-viz. non-cooperation, boycott and civil disobedience on a mass scale-can be harnessed for this task also. Vinoba shows that the changed circumstances do not allow those forms of Satyagraha. It is not a business of throwing away a foreign political tyranny or smashing the slavish dependence. It is to perform a delicate operation on the body of society that has been rendered half-dead by the rotten moral and social traditions. Boycott and non-co-operation of the old type would have further paralyzed the social life.
Vinoba chose the problem of landless peasants. In 1951 he started the Land-Gift-Movement in Telengana, and since then it has spread all over India through some few hundred workers. Its objective is to effect equitable is to effect equitable land distribution by the abolition of the landlord ship system by an appeal both to heart and head in a non-violent way. It is a novel attempt to arouse the sense of justice through an appeal to compassion. In fact, Gandhi in his last life-mission had lighted this path. The blindness of fanatice and the cruelties of the grief -striken individuals had only one remedy-that of an appeal to heart through love.
Vinoba has to counter with greed and the traditional habits of indifference to social responsibility. While going from village to village on foot, and talking to the people all ranks, he persuades them to detect the dangers of landlord ship. He attacks the very idea of private ownership. ‘It is a fire that ought to be quenched by the donation of land for those who are landless’-he says. In some societies private property is considered to be a sacred right. Vinoba argues-Is it not proper to part with that sacred right and do even more sacred duty? And many times property is only legal theft. The ideal of non-possession needs to be actualidsed in the new era.
Individuals are only trustees of their property, and they should keep it for the benefit of society. Just as air and water are necessary and available all, so should land be considered as belonging to all. None should be allowed to own land. Bhumi (land) is the wife of the Lord Visnu and hence she is the mother of all creation (Vishnu Patni, Mata Bhumi prthivyam). How con men own her? As mother nourishes all her children so should land do? When one is asked to donate, it is not equalized with the alms-giving to beggars. In the Upanisads Prajapati enjoins dana as equitable dana as the duty of man. Sankaracarya explains dana as equitable distribution. It is a rightful demand on the part of the landless. The concept of Yajna is also as old as the Vedas Sacrifice has been a reverently admired institution in Indian culture. The Gita declares that that unless men make sacrifices the cycle of life cannot keep on moving. Every society rests on willing sacrifices of its members. This movement has, according to Vinoba, provided an opportunity to free oneself from the entanglement of attachment. It guides one to the path of salvation. In the language of the Buddha- it is Dharma Cakra Pravartana (starting the wheel of spiritual upliftment or religion). Through this dynamic approach the spiritual values are introduced into social and economic life of society.
Regarding satyagraha Gandhi says, ‘satyagraha is the law of love for all. It eschews violence absolutely’ the wise villagers of the country are no doubt behind it, that they fully attracted towards this movement due to its religious form and economic assurance. The entire land of village is pooled together for the benefit of the whole village community. The task of the reorganization of social and economic life starts with the initiative of village people. So the preparation for self rule begins. The rich and landlord persons are also welcomed in the collective responsibility. The vision of the new society appeals to them, they left their comfortable palaces and went to fields alongwith their new fellows and brothers. Vinoba emphesises the sanctity and intimacy of family relations which are to be introduced and inculcate in social life. The values charatrastics of family life are protection of helpless, service of the needy people and respect and reverence for all people of a society. All these vertues proved helpful to the village society to be a big family.
Vinoba recommended Gramdan even is a defence measure. To him small manageable village communities with their well ordered and disciplined way of life need no military force. During the movement of crises some peace brigade organization who voluntarily dadicate themselves for the preservation and maintence of peace and law and order which proved absolute sufficient.
“the shape of the world would indeed be transformed if all of us lived in a spirit of love and amity with one another”11
1. Thekkinedath, J. Love of Neighbour, P-68
2. Ibid P.69
3. Bhatia, B.D. Philosophy P-123
4. Gandhi M.K., An Autobiography P.298
5. To the students, P-213
6. Ibid P-113
7. Gandhi M.K. An Autobiography P-231
8. Gandhi M.K. Harijan, 5 September, 1940
9. To the student P-71
10. Gandhi M.K. Satyagraha, P-6
11. The Tribune English Newspaper, 2nd October International day of NonViolence.
IMPACT OF SARVODAYA PHILOSOPHY IN INDIA AND ABROAD IMPACT ON INDIVIDUAL
Man is a social being. He is a active member of society. He is the central figure of the society. During first and second world war human being experienced torture and brutalities. But still human being superior to all the leaving beings on earth have got freedom in the social, political cultural spheres of life. But it has been seen so many times that some sections of community were deprived due to lack of equal opportunities in different areas. Before independence the people of our country were not fully safe and satisfied. There were lot of frustration among all sections. There was a differences between black and white people. History of this universe has witnessed man’s struggle against nature and searcity of necessities.
We all know that Mahatma Gandhiji was a strong supporter of protection of human being. He established India’s freedom through a non-violent revolution. When Gandhiji was selected was selected as legal advisor in Durban (South Africa). He faced there ill-treatment. He was most influential practitioner of nonviolent resistance who used a unique combination of spiritual and political pressure to achieve humanitarian ends.
Gandhiji Sarvodaya remained a boon for the all round welfare of individual. As the means of Sarvodaya “good of all” Gandhiji’s vision, welfare of all individual who are living in the society. They should not deprive from any facilities. As Gandhi’s Sarvodaya as a boon, a vision and a contribution in Gandhian philosophy in its origin, dynamic in out look. It is based on a philosophy on praxis. This demands the commitment of its follows the special care, watch and word and the upliftment of all humanity, especially of the last and the least in any society. As a result of Sarvodaya a new efficiency and perfection appeared in every sector. People felt mental satisfaction, a new dawn arised, sense of achievement and security appeared in every human beings.
Through SarvodayaGandhiji attempted to recapture the spiritual heritage of India, which had thrived. In the villages and villagers and used it to built the nation. This was the greatest contribution toward nation as well as every human being. In the economic order of Sarvodaya, dependence on others is slavery and self sufficiency is absolute freedom. Self-sufficiency fills self confidance and self respect among peoples. So that they could take part in social revolution. Individual mently prepared that he shoud walk with every pace along with the society.
IMPACT ON WOMAN CLASS
Man and women live in the same life, have the same feeling. Each is a compliment of the other. The one cannot live without the other’s active help. But however the male section has dominated woman from ages past. And women has developed inferiority complex. She has mently prepared that she is inferior to man. But in the scripture of Indian tradition and seers among men have recognised her equal status than man.
But any how, there is no doubt behind this concept that at some stages there is bifurcation Gandhiji wanted to remove this type of discrimination between man and woman. He wished that equal status should be given both of them. As both are fundamentally one, it is also true that in the form there is vital difference between the both. So the vocation of the two must also be differ. The duty of motherhood, which the greater majority of women will always undertake, requires qualities which a man need not posses. She is passive and man is active she essentially headmistress of the house and in the same way the man is the bread- winner of the house she is the keeper and distributer of the bread. She is caretaker. The art of bringing up the infants of the race in her special and sole prerogative.In the absence of her care. The race must become extinct.
In Gandhi’s opinion, It is degrading both for man and woman that woman should be called upon or induced to for save the hearth and shoulder the rifle for the protection of that hearth. It is a reversion to barbarity and the beginning of the end. A women should not be treated as an sexual pleasure and a child manufacturing machine. “wife is not the husband’s slave, but his companion and his helpmate and an equal partner in all joys and sorrows as free as the husband to choose her own path”1.
Gandhiji suggested that women are the incarnation of Ahimsa. Ahimsa means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for suffering. A woman has to suffer from birth to the last moment of life. She has to cross into different stages. She should be given equal status.
Woman has been suppressed under custom and law for which man was responsible and to shaping herself she had no proper media. In a plan of life based on non-violence, woman has as much right to shape her own destiny. She is the central figure of society. It was the vision of Gandhiji that woman should be developed in every field. Gandhi strongly sporter of widow marriage. A widow has got every right to marry just as a widower has. In his opinion that child widows should be treated as vigins and they should be re-married in a befitting manners. He relised that child marriage as an evil is responsible for Indian social, physical, moral degeneration. He strongly felt that the real cure lies in the change of heart. A desirable change appeared in women lives.
IMPACT ON EDUCATION
Gandhiji was not a technically an educationist like other leading philosopher Tagore or Arbindo but his views on basic education testifies to the fact that he was a well known social educator. He advocated social revolution to walk hand to hand with any political revolution and education is an important means to bring social revolution and reform. As Gandhiji scheme of education known as basic education.
In the scheme of education an attempt is made to establish a relationship between knowledge and life. Children were taught through the medium of craft. Child is made an earning member of the society. Craft is made the basic centre of education. This was actually called a Wardha Scheme of education. Craft is used to develop the whole personality of the students. Teachers and students are free to work according to their interests and local needs. Basic education curriculum is applied for students from 7 to 14 years. Professional subjects introduced in the teaching learning process. Religious education did not occupy any place.
According to Gandhiji, self realization is the greatest religion. A new change appeared in the process of teaching learning. Gandhiji for the first time advocated craft based child centered education. He said that local craft should be made the medium of education. So that learner might develop his body, mind, and soul in a harmonious manner. Ever matter is taught to the students by activity and practical works of crafts knowledge is organised in a systematically manors and efforts are also made to establish correlation between teaching and learning experience. Students are also assigned various projects by the teacher. They completed the projects by the mutual cooperation of their fellow being. These projects were evaluated on the basis of the usefulness and beauty of the major items prepared by them.
As a result of Gandhian scheme of education job oriented and vocational education gained recognition and popularity. Such type of education was introduced after Xth class. Gandhi also advocated a scheme of education based on the essential values of Indian culture and civilization. He also kept the dignity of labour at the top position. Only white collar jobs should not be regarded a sign of high status. Every person equally preferred to get the high status in the society.
As Gandhiji was idealist in his soul but Naturalist and pragmatist in action. He translated his ideas and ideas into a real practice by a harmonious blending of these philosophies. Its realization of God was done neither in a temple performing rituals nor in jungle practicing isolated-meditation. Gandhi advocated the development of a child as per his interest, abilities and needs. His pragmatic views were very much acceptable to a democratic society and especially in the field of education.
IMPACT ON PANCHYATI RAJ
Inspired by India’s ancient village model of political and social structure Gandhi advocates the theory of Panchyat Raj. The term Panchyat means Republic and Raj means Rule. So Panchyat Raj stands for a village republic rule having full and supreme power exercised by the people, with the people and for the people aiming at the all round welfare and development of each and every body, who are a member of society as well as nation. It is the term that Gandhi gives the basic political unit of Sarvodaya Society. Which to be formed from the grass root level where the individuals are the centre of concern. The main aim of Panchyat Raj is to enable public to act as an Institution of self-government. It is to empower the people to chalk-out their own devices to bring all round development in the villages of our country. It is a society in which each individual lives a life and adjust himself of the basic of mutual responsibility and accountability. Gandhi’s vision of an independent India is every village will be a republic or Panchyat Raj having full powers. More and more power should be given to the local bodies as these are the major foundation of our country. It should be strong and firm for the betterment of whole nation.
Independence must begin at the bottom. Thus, every village will be a republic or panchayat having full powers. It follows, therefore, that every village has to be self-sustained and capable of managing its affairs evan to the extent of defending itself against the whole world. It will be trained and prepared to perish in the attempt to defend itself against any onslaught from without.
Thus, ultimately, it is the individual who is the unit. This dose not exclude dependence on and willing help from neighbours or from the world. It will be free and voluntary play of mutual forces.Such a society is necessarily highly cultured in which every man and woman knows what he or she wants and what is more, knows that no one should want anything that other cannot have with equal labour.
In this structure composed of innumerable villages, there will be ever-widening, never-ascending circles. Lift will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom. But it will be an oceanic circle whose centre will be the individual always ready to perish for the village, the latter ready to perish for the circle of village, till at last the whole becomes one life composed of individuals never aggressive in their arrogance, but ever humble, sharing the majesty of the oceanic circle of which they are integral units.
Therefore, the outermost circumference will not wield power to crush the inner circle, but will give strength to all within and derive its own strength from it. I may be taunted with the retort that this is all Utopian and,therefore,not worth a single thougth. If Euclid’s point, though, incapable of being drawn by human agency, has an imperishable value, my picture has its own for mankind to live. Let India live for this true picture, through never realizable in its completeness We must have a proper picture of what we want before we can have something approaching it. If there ever is to be a republic of every village in India, then I claim verity for the picture in which the last is equal to the first or, in other words, no one is to be the first and none the last.
Decentralisation of power involvement of the people in development programs need based planning, local solutions, attaining the welfare of all public, are the characteristics of Panchyat Raj in Sarvodaya the complete political structure is to be organised from the bottom, village, district, province and the nation so that it will be the rule of all directed towards the betterment of every body.
IMPACT ON ECONOMIC EQUALITY
Gandhiji was infavouring of economic equality. He stands for economic equality and it is to be realized that equal distribution of wealth for the fulfillment of the basic needs of every person regardlessness of individual’s contribution to the system of production. He clarified that “Economic equality in my conception does not mean that every one would literally have the same amount. It simply means that every body shall have enough for his or her needs” . The goods, needed by every body to fulfill their basic needs such as food, drinking water, shelter, clothing, housing health and education should be the criterion in the distribution of wealth and other materialistic item. Economic equality is the principle of every welfare society. It brings perfection in society and enlightened the member of society. All personsborn equal.
Gandhi explains, “My idea of society is that while we are born equal meaning that we have a right to equal opportunities all have not the same capacity I would allow a man of intellect to earn more, I would not cramp his talent. But the bulk of his greater earning must be used for the good of the state, just as the incomes of all earning sons of the father go to the common family fund. They would have their earnings only as trustees.”4
The surplus earning of individual should be shared and utilized for the common good of the society. Man is a social being of the society, he has fully right to adjust himself with the change of the society time to time. So equal opportunities in every field should be provided to him. So he must have a sense of achievement and security. Gandhiji’sSarvodaya philosophy fully related to the upliftment of whole nation.
IMPACT ON SOCIAL LIFE
Under a dictatorship human beings can have no scope or hope for the allround welfare. For the all-round development and welfare requires freedom and opportunities. But is it sure that the free individual will help the society to bring efficiency? According to Sarvodaya ideology there is no rivalry between the good of the individual and society. Human good is one individual whole, “if one man gains spiritually. The whole world gains with him”5 If society fails to achieve betterment, the individual suffer surely. Both are interrelated with each other for all-round progress. Men compose a society and that society works for progress of every person on the basis of mutual understanding. As and whenever any conflict arises it should be understood as a sign of an unhealthy element either in society or in the individual. The consideration solves the many issues concerning the mutuality of man and society.
In a civilized society each man is equal to the rest of the individuals. Each person is morally awakened, and is physically healthy and whole satisfied. People need no supervision in social economic or political life as violence is in the form of exploitation, suppression or supremacy find no place whole love reigns. Men are induced to work not by the fear of law or punishment but by manual love and understanding.
According to Sarvodaya, since each for all and all for each is the basic principle, all economic institution should be neighbor-oriented. It is the principle of stu (production for the use of neighborhood) technology may come to help man, but it should replace machine if any one loses himself in a centralized huge society, mass production system is no boon. It leads to unemployment in individual’s own society and exploitation of other communities. In Sarvodaya, the thinker suggests decentralized, agro-centric and small manageable communities; society is the main centre of community in which almost each person involves directly or indirectly. Gandhi’s Sarvodaya was a boon for every citizen. A lot of change and perfection occurred in social life. Today also we are seeing that social mobilization is growing very fast and everyone has to walk with the every step of others fellow. Gandhiji gave special attention towards poor sections, who were deprived from education and other opportunities.
IMPACT ON POLITICAL POWER AND STATE
For Gandhiji political power is not an end but one of the means of enabling people to improve better their personal and social condition in every field of life political power means capacity to regulate national life through notional representation and national integration, if national life becomes strong and perfect as to become self-regulated, no representation becomes necessary. There will be a state of enlightened anarchy. In such a state every one is his own ruler. He rules himself in such a manner that he is never hindrance to his neighbour. In the ideal state, there is no political power as there is no state. But the ideal is never completely realized in whole life. Hence the classical statement of Thoreau that the government is best which governs the least.
Gandhi looked upon an increase in the power and functioning of the state with the access fear, because although while apparently doing food by minimizing exploitation. It does the greatest harm to making by destroying individuality which lies at the basic root of all progress.
The state represents violence in a concentrated and organised form. The individual has a soul but as the state is a soulless machine, it can never be weakened due to violence to which it owes its very existence. It was the firm conviction of Gandhiji that the state suppressed capitalism by violence it will be caught in the coils of violence itself and fails to promote non-violence at any moment. According to Gandhiji what I would personally perform would be, not a centralization of power in the hands if the state but an extention of the sense of trusteeship, as in my opinion, the violence of private ownership is less injurious than the violence of the state. If it is unavoidable, I would support a minimum of state ownership.
The state cannot directly promote non-violence except providing congenial condition. In Gandhiji’s views a completely non-violent state ceases to be called a state. As power is decentralized among people, those will be no state. More over, centralization of political power suppresses individual liberty. So Gandhi had favoured the idea of decentralization, which guard individual freedom, through which the ideal of realization of the self is achieved.
In the democracy which Gandhi had envisaged a true democracy established by non-violence, there will be equal freedom for all, and once for all.Every body will be his own master
IMPACT ON ART AND BEAUTY
Gandhi’s life was a message to a nation. The Ashram life was also characterized by rigor and discipline. They intend to shape the society on similar lines. Art and beauty is the foundation of primary things. It should itself the complete detail of conduct and personal behavior of a parson or a society. Inner art and beauty always spread a greater impression upon a system. It also reflects speech and behavior of individual. In other words, Sarvodaya way of life, a justification of a social order of ascetics and recluses, of grim faced, dry and unromantic disciplinarians devoid of the experience of joy and warmth of life. It must be conceded that in ideal human society art and beauty, literature and sculpture should find the pride of proper place. No trial to do away with the innocent enjoyment of art and reverent worship of beauty can hope to create an ideal social order. Reverence to art and worship of beauty should not be indifferent to life. In fact, they spring from the life of life. Creative and uplifting literature is valuable and unique specialties of human being. These should be given special attention, full scope and essential nourishment. It is special one to adore art for the art’s sake and quite another to recognise art as an end itself. If education is to build a higher culture, sublime art and normal grandeur both equally deserve honour in the education scheme of life. Gandhian Sarvodaya made the lives of people sublime as equal opportunities and respect gave to all section of society. This was a real worship towards another land. In a sense this was an actual art and beauty for humanity, which increased the efficiency and confidence of task and individual respectively. So Sarvodaya thinkers, emphasized on useful art and craft and on a social order that almost suits to them useful and best. There were some critical situation in human society, which were arising in a gradual process and created hindrance in front of individual, which was one’s attitude toward the issue of intrinsic value like art and beauty. Sorvodaya thinkers came forward to rescue their ideology from such a blot. They positively acknowledged the place of value of art and literature in the ideal society. Specially noteworthy was the contribution of kaka kalekar. He stressed of the necessity of uplifting the status of different arts along with the upliftment of society. He rightly recognized that beauty and art are not against spiritual values of life. Art in an ideal society promoted the appreciation of innocent beauty, pure and highly cultured play. Art and lower enjoyment are different from and even opposed to each other. Art expressed not only through literature, music and painting, but its nobility was revealed even through the way of manners of every living.
IMPACT ON HUMAN NATURE
Man is the central figure of struggle for a long time. In ancient time,many countries in the world were not independent. India was also one of them. Human situation was not well. The important events of the world such as Renaissance, the French Revolution (1789)proclaiming the slogans of liberty, equality, and Fraternity, Bolshevic Revolution in Russia 1917, Industrial Revolution in England 1930 etc. recite the story of human struggle. The Second World War (1939-1945) happening in the different parts of the world at different times went through the human story of struggle. Before Independence there was a lot of conflict between Indians and Britishers. We all know that a person an apostle of the truth and nonviolence, protector of Indian, known as father of nation. Whose life is a miracle for human civilization. Gandhi’s philosophy of Sarvodaya which means ‘good for all’ improved the situation of human beings.
Faith in the ultimate reality that express itself through love sustaining the universe, is the basis of Gandhi’s basic contention that fundamentally man is good by nature. Man is the best creation of almightily. Love reveals through the creative, constructive and evolving nature of the universe. This ultimate goodness is the hope of all striving towards progress.
Gandhi said, “I believe that the sum total of the energy of mankind is not to bring us down but to lift us up, and that is the result of the definite, if unconscious, working of the law of love. ”6
Sarvodaya activist at the same time aware about these facts that the human world us not blissful and happy. This makes one conscious of the evil factors in man’s nature which may only be an outer layer. Gandhiji said, “Every one of us is a mixture of good and evil” .
The criterion to decide man’s real nature, obviously we almost hope to depend on the actual experience of mankind throughout the past ages. Man has waged thousands of wars since he came in conflict with other man or group, but each time he has strived to secure peace. From the period of 1500 B.C, to 1860 A.D. eight thousand treaties were arranged to secure permanent peace. Peace has its own value. Gandhi’s ideology brought a new energy for millions of common humble people for the betterment of their living family life. Recorded history is the reminiscence of the negation of the man’s fundamental and true nature.
Gandhiji said, “The moment he awakens to the spirit within, he can not remain violent”8
Same is the true of the other harmful aspects of human mind. Sarvodaya activist considered these as major hindrance and almost tried to solve it for the promotion of human personality, and realized that discipline and education have to consider the capacity of man. During the period of Gandhi human civilisationraisedand a lot of perfection appeared in human nature.
ATTAINMENT OF MOKSHA
In Hindu religion, self realization is considered to be the best means to achieve Moksha. The Hindu Dharma preaches the path of Karma and Bhakti. Well there can be different ways of achieving salvation. There are four paths of attaining liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth, namely selfless work, self dissolving love, deep meditation and fully discernment. Separate institutions of Hinduism attach importance to different paths. Bhakti teaches people selfrealization, by raising their conscience and making them aware of the power of God laying within them.
According to Gandhiji that the inner voice was the result of his ceaseless efforts to attain self-purification. As conscience is the best master of every individual Gandhiji felt that mental peace makes the man perfect. According to Hindu philosophy, Dharma (right conduct or morality), Artha (wealth), Kama (desire or pleasure and Moksha (Liberation) are four goals value while Artha and Kama guided by Dharma as instrumental values. Kama and Artha are regarded as basic as well as lower valuewhere as Dharma and Moksha are regarded as higher as well as spiritual value.
Moksha provides a lot of joy and peace therefore, considered as highest form of goal. Gandhiji vision was most wide-spread. This was appeared in all his teaching and actions. As a perfect figure of society detail of every moment in life was most important for him.
Gandhiji said on many occasion, "what I want to achieve is self realization to see God face to face and to achieve Moksha. In the very core Gandhi confessed that he was an aspirant of Moksha” .
The Hindu religion teaches people the art of self dissolving love, which paves way of harm only. You are said to be deeply in love with God at the moment the depth of your love cannot be measured. At that point of time, you attain total bliss, as self realization dawns upon you. During the moment of meditation and try to concentrate towards the God, the creator and preserver of this universe, your mind becomes empty. Moksha is in a form of freedom from all luxury items. During the moment of meditation, there will be no thoughts in mind and one can think only about almightily God. If directs the way of individual toward attaining salvation. Another point of prime importance which will straight way connect you to God is service to mankind. Be sensitive, kind and compassionate towards other living beings. It is the easy and best talk to God at any moment. This will all depend upon you inn-conscience. Gandhiji felt every moment that the inner voice or inner conscience was his friend, philosopher and guide in all moment of difficulty.
IMPACT ON THE PATTERN OF SOCIAL LIFE
Sarvodaya thinkers suggest a fixed pattern of social living. It is good to emphasise—and the Sarvodaya thinkers do often concede -that no fixed pattern of social order should be designed as the ideal one. Change is the law of life. What a particular people at a particular time build as its ideal communal life and as one avoiding all tyranny, exploitation and slavery, may in future prove to be a trap to destroy freedom and brotherhood. If life becomes stagnant human imperfection often poisons it. Like a river even social life keeps itself pure by necessary speed in change, that is why revolution in this sense is a perpetual necessity and needs ever vigilant people. Even different people at one and the same time may design their communities in different ways according to their circumstances and necessities. Only the lamp of Love should be kept burning. It is again for education to develop a detached outlook towards the adopted pattern of society.
It is laziness and reluctance to think for oneself that induce men to stick to the obsolete forms of social institutions. But new institutions have the same danger of paving a new road for authoritarianism and conservatism. To paint out a definite way and ask one’s devotees or co-workers to lead it, though only after full conviction, many times comes to mean founding a new sect and creating a new kind of ritualism. This only amounts to developing antagonistic and dividing tendencies in society. There is thus a grave danger in establishing revolutionary social order through evolving new organization and institution since they themselves can mar the true spirit of revolution and be a symbol of vested interest and corruption. Gandhi had a knack of dissolving the institutions and organization nurtured by him when they had played their role and proved to be the cause for which they stood. The Sabarmati Ashram and the Gandhi Seva-Sangh were thus dissolved by him. And it is for this very reason that he thought of dissolving the Indian National Congress as a political organization.
Democracy loses its worth if authority, leadership, and any particular ideology or maxims are adorned at the cost of free thinking, liveliness and originality. It was Gandhi again who disliked the title—Mahatma—reverently attached to his name by the people. He was all out to condemn those who would have liked to make him an unfailing authority. His advice to student was to study all isms and not accept any at least prematurely. The ideal should be to rise all above all isms, welcome life without any reservation and move with it.
Vinoba too is cautions enough to emphasise the temporary character of and the need for detached outlook towards the organizations formed during the Bhoodan-Yajna-Movement, e.g., Sarvodaya-patra, Shanti-sena, Lok-sewak etc. About the old organizations formed during the struggle the struggle for independence he frankly remarks—“Our organizations have become totally parched and sapless and devoid of liveliness”10 In order to make the revolution truly a people’s revolution he made it, what he called—Tantra-mukta -free of any strict adherence to external strings. Hence, the monetary assistance from centralised funds was refused after 1957.
IMPACT ON LEARNING AND LEAVING
Education does not work in a vacuum. There should be no bifurcation of human life-one part devoted to learning and the other spent in living. Learning and living should walk hand in hand. The Sarvodaya thinkers, therefore, emphasis that from childhood till youth, education should not build character and develop intellect, but it should equip the individual with some art or craft so that he may contribute both to the smooth moving and good maintenance of the wheel of social life. In his scheme of Basic Education Gandhi has tried spinning and gardening as the central crafts round which the whole of educational curriculum was arranged. The scheme was thought out on those lines because every educational scheme has to take note of the needs and requirements of the society to which it is to be applied. Gandhian scheme was intended to fit well only in the social order consisting of small communities mostly self-sufficient in primary needs. Such communities have to become agro-centric aided by cottage and small-scale industries making full use of available man-power. It is not against the higher stander of living, but it is essentially incompatible with the demands of insastiable and ever increasing wants. Such communities can be highly cultured wherein human originality and skill can contribute to beauty and variety of things.
Even such an educational scheme will have to adjust itself to the requirements of the different states in a society and will have a work for a homogeneous social order in the long run.
Though the vehicle of education would thus differ from society to society to a certain extent, it is evident that the core of education-the values and attitudes that it would promote-will remain everywhere the same. Chief educationists today stand for democracy and peace. Bertrand Russel, for instance, regards that the four virtues of character-Vitality, Courage, Sensitivity and Intelligence-should be cultivated in modern age. These will prepare for freedom, consideration and cooperation. Gandhi has said that his scheme of education prepares for nonviolent, non-exploitative social order. We have discussed the whole panorama of virtues that are to be cultivated according to Sarvodaya if a new freedom and peace-loving social order is to be erected.
What measures should be taken to create and maintain discipline while implementing such an educational scheme? Russel says that modern educationists have made the process of discipline natural. “The fundamental idea is simple: that the right discipline consists not in external compulsion but in habits of mind which lead spontaneously to desirable rather than undesirable activities”11 Gandhi was categorically against corporal punishment. If teachers have love, understanding and discipline, students naturally follow the suit. Vinoba says that so long as there is the rod of punishment in schools, violence will be working havoc in society. It has been pointed out that young ones should be taught through play. For the sake of discipline also education through a craft is helpful. From the point of view of educational theory educational through ‘doing’ has been understood to be an advancement over previous educational theories. John Dewey in America was the foremost propounder of this advancement. It has been shown that Gandhi has gone a step further in presenting the idea of self-sufficiency of educational institutions. It is true that many educationists in the conference that Gandhi had invited were against the self-sufficiency aspect of Basic Education. But from the democratic point of view self-sufficiency or independence from all sort of external authority is an essential requirement of educational institutions. Again India is a poor country. It was natural for a national leaser like Gandhi to think in terms of the majority of the population and to provide for the education for all at the least expenditure. But it is certain that Dewey’s Experiments were declared to be not so very successful. And Gandhi’s scheme has not been given a fair play even after independence. Gandhi had said, “I do not wish that my schemes should be carried out by those who have neither faith nor confidence in it” But his scheme has been implemented half-heartedly due to the divided attraction towards both the ways of life-one suggested by Gandhi and the other implied in the rapid and colossal industrialization on the lines of the European countries. We cannot, therefore, assess the success or failure of Gandhian education educational scheme.
Whatever the details of the educational system in democratic countries, it is certain that education no new lines for peace, freedom and cooperation is a necessity of the present age. It is worth while to consider how the well known thinker J. Krishnamurti has also emphasized the role of education as the only means of the radical transformation of human mind for the total development of his personality. He sees the miseries of the human world arising out of competition, comparison, compulsion and coercion. Neither for discipline nor for excellence any of these should be employed in educational institutions. The fullest capacity of the gardener is the same as the fullest capacity of the Scientist love and sensitiveness, absence of fear (of freedom) and development of intelligence (or the capacity to deal with life as a whole) -are to be the content of education. A generation educated in this manner will be free of acquisitiveness and fear, the psychological inheritance of their parents and of the society in which they are born. Such a generation will create the new society.
Can such an educational movement be confined to the sphere of educational institutions alone? The Sarvodaya thinkers carry the educational process on double lines. On the one hand, they intend to educate the new generation through educational institutions. On the other hand, they try to educate the people at large through nation-wide movements and campaigns in order to improve their lot through the process of eradication of the evils in social life. They thus sow the seeds of integral revolution, satyagraha in various shapes and forms reveals the nature of this second process of education. Dhirendra Mazumdar has pointed out that in the age of science and democracy when each and every adult-along with the growing new generation-requires to be educated, education cannot or should not remain confined to the old institutions and patterns. It needs to come out of the spheres of institutions to work on each and every level of human relationship in society. Thus only the non-exploitative casteless, classless and culturally homogeneous society can come into being.
1. M.K Gandhi, the teaching of Gita 208
2. Gandhi M.K. Harijan march 31,1946
3. M.K Gandhi men are Brothers: “life and thought of Mahatma Gandhi” P-183
4. Gandhi M.K. young India, 4 -12 -24
5. Gandhi M.K., Harijan 12-11-31
6. Gandhi M.K. Harijan 10-6-39
7. Gandhi M.K. Harijan, 11-8-40
8. Joseph Mukalel, Gandhian Education, discovery publishing House 4831/24, ansari Road Darya Ganj. New Delhi P-2
9. Gandhi M.K. Young india 14-7-20 and Autograaphy 184
10. Russel Op. cit P-30
11. Quated by T.S. Avinashlingam: Gandhi’s Experiment in Education P-61
CONTRIBUTION OF MAHATMA GANDHI FOR SARVODAYA AND EDUCATION
UPLIFTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Education should focus attention on the development of the individual and society. It is the major question that the efforts of education be useful for the harmonious development at different level. It is clear that no body can emphasize one without-lacking into consideration the development of the other people. For Gandhiji, “Individual development and social progress are interdependent.”1
Gandhi is for a synthesis of the two in its full sense. Gandhi wanted a such type of Society, “In which all individual have to play their part for the good of the whole without losing their character. ”2 Every objective of Gandhi envisaged infect harmonized with other. Gandhi was not developing only a theoretical point of view but dealing with a hot practical problem.
Gandhian Education directly aims at the development of a society. The main aim of education primarily adds a major duty on the individual who is being educated as well as on the one after his education. This requires great training for every person on education point of view that enables him to commit himself on a regular basis for the welfare and all-round development of society. In an ideal society each man ii equal to the rest of the individuals. Each one is morally awakened and physically healthy and fully satisfied. People need no supervision in social, economic or political life, since violence int eh form of exploitation suppression finds no place where love reigns. Men are induced to work not by fear of lawa or punishment but by mutual love and understanding. “There is then a state of enlightened anarchy.” “I have described it as Ramaraj, i.e. Sovereignty og the people based on pure moral authority.” “But the ideal is never fully realized in life. Hence the classical statement of Thoreau that government is best which governs the least. “ This is the ideal of true democracy.
Exhortations to learner and teachers in the country to attach importance to the value of social service and social welfare in all aspects of education were common his speeches and writing.
Gandhi develops some points in this regard
1. “There should be concrete Hindu-Muslim unity.
2. The disease of untouchability and caste differences should be rooted out of the Hindu community.
3. We should be convinced that there is no authority other than that of truth and Ahimsa.
4. The public should develop a sense a cooperative service.
5. Young men and women should forward in great number to dedicate themselves for the service of people.
6. People should wake up from lethargy and involve themselves in spinning or any other constructive work.
7. Educated people should teach literacy to their illiterate brothers. ”
Gandhian norms of education became an orientation to the services of the people. Gandhiji wanted that education to turn itself to the needs of the people at the grass-root level. He wanted to remove the deficiencies which are involved in present day education. He realized that today’s education is suitable to reduce the poverty and to solve the main problems of villages. Education should be based on social development. Education to be worthy of its name should keep these drawbacks in focus and work towards to bringing the students.
UPLIFTMENT OF MINORITY CLASSES
Gandhi occupied a great place in our country. He was called ‘Mahatma’ which means great soul. People also called him ‘Bapu’ the father, means a protector of the family. He was a visionary, he tried to bring Ram Rajya on the earth. Gandhiji influenced the lives of our countrymen for more than half a century. He was known as a man of principle and action, which he has cleared during the struggle of whole life. He has also given his services to the minority classes. Hindu-Muslim unity was very close to Gandhiji’s heart. He felt that if Muslim did not join the nationalist movement, India’s freedom would remain just a dream. He wrote in young India, if I deem a mohammendan to be my brother, it is my duty to help him in his hour of peril to the best of my ability. All type of community had a great proud of them. In a real sense he has given an equal respect to all community. Gandhiji was infavouring of it that the person of minority classes should have a sense of security. There rights shouldbe given to them in an equal merit. There should be no difference among all communities. He tried to remove the difference between black and white. He was a real activist of human rights. The people of minority classes gradually begin to develop in every field. They felt that it was a miracle under the leadership of Gandhiji. A league was formed in 1920 for the protection of rights minorities known as league of nations 1920.
UPLIFTMENT OF LABOUR
God created man to work for his food and said that who without work was thieves labour is a form of sacrifice. According to Gandhiji the very nature of human being is to work. The great nature has intended us to earn our bread in the sweat of our brow, Everyone, Therefore, who idles away a single minute becomes to that extent a burden upon his neighbors. Gandhi tried to improve the working condition of labour class. If all labored for their bread and no more, then there would be enough food and enough leisure for all. Then there would be no cry of over production, no disease and no such misery as we see around. Such labour will be highest form of sacrifice. In this situation, all people live a simple life of minimized desires.
According to Gandhiji bodily labour is equally good and valuable as are clerical job, when all workers, much of the distinction and inequality will lease to exist. There should be also a special provision for every worker to receive a wage as per their labor. Gandhiji also wanted that wages should be brought to a level that would ensure a decent living which should mean balanced food, dwelling houses and clothing, which should satisfy healthy requirements. Gandhi’s attitude to the labour class was one of compassion. He transformed the uneducated people by teaching them fearlessness. Gandhiji considered fearlessness to be the main characteristic of morality. It is essential for the acquisition of all noble qualities. It is supreme freedom from fear. Gandhi transformed the ordinary masses into great heroes. Work is worship. Therefore a labour worker’s aim should be to raise the moral and intellectual height of labour and thus by sheer merit to make him or her capable not merely of bettering his or her material condition but making labour master of the means of production instead of being the slave. Capital should be made conscious of its duty from whose performance right follows as a matter of course in a concrete form:
(a) “Labour should have its own unions.
(b) Education both general and scientific of both men and women should be regularly undertaken through night school.
(c) Children of labour should be educated after the basic education style.
(d) There should be a hospital, creche and a maternity home attached to every centre.
(e) Labour should be able to support itself during strikes. Gandhi’s dream to promote the labour class turned into a practical situation. A new perfection and light arised among all labourers. All most result came if favour of Gandhiji. ”4
UPLIFTMENT OF EDUCATION
Gandhian education system becomes a God gift for youths. Education is an all-around drawing out of the best in child and man-body, mind and spirit. He advocated that education as the development of the innate potentialities of the child for a nobler and divine life. Gandhian education system was almost based on practical and work experience. Gandhiji wanted that the personality of those to be educated is the primary importance not only the tools and subjects. Education should cover the entire field of life and must provide golden opportunities for the full development of the mental moral, spiritual and physical attributes of man.
Gandhi felt that prevailing system of education in India is not only wasteful but positively harmful. The higher education not bringing much benefit to our lives. Most of the youths were wasting their times. Gandhiji started the child’s education by teaching it a useful handicraft and enabling it to produce from the moment it being its training not only mechanically as it done today but scientifically that is the child should know the way of every educational process. This was the most essential feature of Gandhiji’s philosophy of education. Instead of taking handicraft to the academic institutes and imposing it on the educational curriculum, Gandhi insisted that education must proceed from the handicrafts. He suggested that from the spinning wheel one could proceed to arithmetic. In the natural process of the use of the spinning wheel and its products, mathematics would become imperative. Gandhi almost worked for the betterment of human. Gandhiji said “the core of my suggestion is that handicrafts are to be taught not merely for production work but for developing the intellect of the pupils”5.
In the opinion of Gandhiji the knowledge of handicraft should not be limited to the mere craft. It must includesa knowledge of its science. Gandhiji also stressed on the importance of the self-supporting aspect of the craft chosen as means of education.
Gandhiji said, “I can imagine a school entirely self supporting. If it became say a spinning a weaving institution with perhaps a cotton field attached to it”6. All education to be true must be self-supporting. All ideas of Gandhiji related to education brought a new energy for all section of society. Their philosophy of education was based on through concrete life-situation related to craft or to social and physical environment, which impressed every sector of the social life. Gandhiji also emphasised that the major goal of education should be based on character building. A sense of courage, strength and virtue developed among youths.
Gandhiji saw the real situation of world which is full of suffering from immense crises from many sides. Many crises, conflict, harted and distruct between one community and the another are growing very fast. The real difficulty is that people have no idea that what type of education is perfect. We assess the valued of education in the same was as we assess the value of other articles are lying around us or in our society.
Gandhiji’s educational philospy is dynamic and realistic. Gandhiji’s vision on education was truly civilized for the betterment of society as well as whole country. There is no question of surprising that he developed from faith on education. Education not only educates the people but brings a new change in the society. His experience of South-Africa not only changed his out look but also helped him to see the real picture of whole world. It appears that many of the views expressed in earlier writing find in Gandhian thoughts on education. The emphasis on body. Heart, mind and sprit in the educational process is most visible one.
ATTAINMENT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL REVOLUTION THROUGH EDUCATION
Many genuine thinkers and leaders of human world are naturally engrossed in seeking ways and means at least to mitigate the scope of the colossal danger.
The Sarvodaya thinkers worked in a characteristic way to resolve the present day problems in India. Indirectly they suggest a way out of the present world situation. From Gandhi upto the present Sarvodaya leaders the line of action adopted by them is to take up some urgent issue in society and create a social dynamism through peaceful revolutionary movement to eradicate evil in individuals and institutions. The spiritual values of Truth and Love have been the fundamentals of their revolutionary action for political, social, economic and cultural transformation. During dealing with these issues the Sarvodaya thinkers, nevertheless, point to the center of any and every human problem.
It is the mind of individual human being that plays in various ways and creates catastrophic miseries. The fundamental cure of all human problems lies, therefore, in the transformation of the human psychological mobilization in creased systemically way, which would to a useful for a present and generation to come. With the revolutionary change in the psychological world, desirable change in the context of human relationship neither the state nor the law would be of much help: The technique of such revolution, according to Sarvodaya thinkers, works through educational process.
The etymological meaning of the world “education” itself shows that it is a process of drawing out what is already there. The function of education is, therefore. To remove the obstacles in the way it the spontaneous and healthy working of human body and mind. Sarvodaya thinkers consider that the role of education is purtificahim of mind and body. That is why it leads to spiritual salvation. On the other hand, it helps to effect the canalization of mind’s energies for cooperation works for richness in every aspect of life.
In the language of served metaphysics the realization of the fundamental spiritual unity of life is the final consummation of human life. According to then love is the spontaneous expresser not for them theoretical assumptions but realities of genuine experience which can be had even by the commonest of men if the impediments in the way of their natural expression are weeded out through education. Sarvodaya thinkers strive to build a new human world on the foundation of the consciousness of this fundamental native Reality revealing it self thorough love. This love urges to understand and embrace the diversities of life and to rise above chem. They maintain that when social life is dominated by love through and through and not by competitive inclinations will melt away. Education for love and understanding is way to such an ideal state of human
affairs. Love has its own reflection in equities and injustices, hatred and competition, have no destination in the field of love, Love burns itself not hurt others. Psychological ruination though education brought a new perfection and made. The deploy to introspect. This is useful to make the human personality correct.
UPLIFTMENT OF WOMAN EDUCATION
“A woman like man needs education”7
Education of the man is the education of individual but the education of woman is the education of the whole family. She is the first teacher, best teacher and she is equal to millions of teachers. She has to decorate the whole system. As woman has to performed many role in different stage, as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, Grandmother and as a responsible house wife. Education of woman is essential in every stage and every eras. Gandhiji said, “As for woman’s education I am not sure whether it should be different from men’s and when it should begin. But I am strongly of opinion that woman should have the same facilities as men and even special facilities where necessary. ”8
In order to prepare enlighted citizen, every effort depends on woman education.
Gandhi acclaimed woman as the mother maker and silent leader to man. He thought that woman is the embodiment of sacrifice and suffering and her advent to public life should therefore, results in purifying it. There would have no meaning of freedom as long as woman were enslaved by ignorance, superstition and evil social custom, Education was the most potent instrument for these regeneration. Man and woman both are peerless pair being supplementary to one another. Each helps the other and anything that will impair the status of either of them will involve the equal ruin of them. This universal truth has to be kept in mind during the moment in framing scheme of women’s education. Man is supreme external activities and so he needs a greater knowledge of the outside world. On the other hand, home life is entirely sphere of woman and therefore in domestic affairs, in the upbringing and education of children women ought to have more knowledge. In the opinion of Gandhi woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacities. She has the right to participate in very minutest detail in the activities of man and she has an equal right of freedom and liberty with him. She is entitled to a supreme place in her own sphere of activity as man is in his. This ought to be the natural condition of things and not as a result only of learning to read and write. By sheer force of a vicious custom, even the most ignorant and worthless men have been enjoying a superiority over women which they do not deserve and ought not to have. Many of our movements stop half way because of the condition of our women.
The question of the education of children cannot be solved unless efforts are made simultaneously to solve the women’s education. And I have no hesitation in saying that as long as we do not have real mother teachers who can successfully import true education to our children they will remain uneducated even though they may be going to schools. The discriminating appreciation of this basic principle would help the development of full life of man and woman. “Woman is naturally more self-suffering, Non-violence therefore comes more easily to her”9.
CONTRIBUTION TO DIFFERENT CLASS, SOCIETY RELIGION
An apostle of truth and Non-violence and leading liberator of India. People of all classes and religion of society were drawn to him and instinctively felt him to be a leader of deeply spiritual, religious and moral perceptions, which he sought to realize through the pursuit of truth. Almost Gandhi’s public life was lived as an open book. He lived in South-Africa for 21 years and them in India from 1915. During his whole life he remained a seeker of truth and non-violence. Today people of the county remember him for his sense of selfless. As he proved himself during his whole life.
A central quality of his leadership was its natural evolution through intense interaction with the people of every class, religion and society. As a selfless serviceman, he impressed people of every class, religion and society. He also worked for the upliftment of minorities’ class. He was infavouring of the unity of all communities. He desired a class-less society. In his opinion all are worker, there should be no question of inequalities. Equal respect should be given to all religion.
To Gandhiji the spirit of service and sacrifice to all class, religion and society in an equal form without any differences was the key to leadership. Gandhiji viewed a class-less society with welfare of all section of people including all religion. For all people of every class, religion and society raised a sense of equality, security, achievement and fraternity. This was all a miracle of Sarvodaya and education philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. People also arises a sense of swaraj which means ‘self-rule’ or home rule. It means complete freedom from all oppressive structures and home rule based on moral principles. On the individual level, Swaraj means one’s own rule. There would be no question of any inequalities. The Gandhian concept of Sarvodaya made an attempt of reorienting human mind, of reconstructing human society. This idea and its regular practice made his successful contribution towards every class, religion and society.
ATTAINMENT OF FAITH
In Gandhian thought, the goal of human life is the all round development of the manifold possibilities of human nature-“self realization” Such type of realization of the self is possible only by complete dedication of man to the service of community and identification with humanity in general. The society which will be able to create an atmosphere favourable to the realisation of this goal has two major fundamental characteristics. First, it must be based on the recognition of the moral freedom of man considered as an end itself. Secondly it must be based on the principle of non-violence.
The principle of non-violence in this context implies fearlessness and selfcontrol. If the people are non-violent, Gandhiji urged, there could be no exploitation in any stage and social action would be based on the principle of cooperation and mutual understanding. People should work collectively. Thus, the voluntary co-operation of the people would render the compulsive element of the state entirely out of place. This would result in the emergence of a state less society.
Gandhi was fully against all type of centralisation because centralisation connotes force and anything based on force is opposed to freedom and morality.
The Gandhian individual was very different from the individual of utilitarian. It was inspired by the inner urge selfless duty and service. The person was not a series of senstations or a bundle of desires and impulses-he is a moral being and embodiment of divinity. An individual can realize very well the moral nature which his real nature only by pursuing the general way of Ahimsa, Satya and Nisahkam Karma (Non-Violence truth and selfless work). He can do so only in a moral climate free from all restriction and bondage on his natural being.
Gandhi felt that the state hample the fulfillment of the basic moral and spiritual aspirations of the individual and therefore was opposed to it.
When society is composed of such type of persons everyone surely would be his own ruler, ruling himself in a system that would not hider anyone. So he would try to bring, about reconciliation between the society as a restraining factor and the person as a free being.
He was realistic enough to accept the flaws and limitations of man as that one is usually to be found in our world. Such type of fellows makes the establishment of state necessary. A stateless society can evolve only when men have grown accustomed to their social obligations. He advocated that the state or society should be maintained to realise the aim of a stateless society.
UPLIFTMENT OF RURAL AREA
Vocational education is concerned of by Gandhi as the principal means of his most ambitious village reconstruction. It is not an exaggeration if we say that Gandhi thought and lived for the rural India. The upliftment of the rural population was Gandhi’s primary concern. Every aspect of education he thought only with reference to the welfare of the rural masses. He says, “If our education would become compulsory, considering from the viewpoint for the needs of Indian villages, we should begin from the belief that education will become self- supporting”10. Vocationalisation of education is a comprehensive phenomenon which enables Gandhi to provided solutions for most of the evils and pitfalls found in Indian villages. Gandhi invents the charka as the unique solution for all these problems which the rural India faced.
By rural reconstruction Gandhi means several specific things. For him it becomes a process of enlivening village life in this country. The village is the nerve-centre of India. He says, “My mind is living in the villages. They are calling me to bury myself in them”11. Inspite of his most busy political schedules later Gandhi found time to ‘bury himself in villages to experience their life and to feel one with them. Village reconstruction for him means leading them to a healthy and hygienic life. The dangers of unhygienic environment are often the focus of Gandhi’s discussions with villagers wherever he went. Gandhi’s efforts in village reconstruction in this regard in Champaran was a memorable episode. Leaving his active political involvement for a while Gandhi travels to Champaran in Bihar to help the planation labourers there.
Village reconstruction for him meant economic liberation. Gandhi reminds us of the past glory of the Indian villages when villages were economically, selfsufficient and independent. Gandhi alleges that the introduction of British economic system and consequent industrialization destroyed the Indian village economy: The village economy of the time was based not on the rights of the people, but on doing their duties. Those who were involved in such occupations earned their livelihood...There was more light in the eyes of the people then now; their hands were much more lively. Life at that time was based on a well accepted law of ahimsa. Today people in the villages are deserting their village life for lucrative jobs in towns destroying the structure of Indian villages. Gandhi’s village reconstruction plans aims at the economic liberation of the villagers so that their overall life-pattern will be safe and sound within the framework of a simple life that Gandhi envisaged.
Rural reconstruction for Gandhi means all forms of self-employment for the village population. All plans for vocationalisation for villages concretely aim at ultimately providing jobs for every individual;. Gandhi says, “I would therefore begin the child’s education by teaching it a useful handicraft and by enabling it to produce from the moment it begins it training” . Gandhian education is liberal rather liberating. It liberates the individual from the bondless it gains this independence. Rural India is what it is today only because of the economic backwardness, exorbitantly low per-capital income and manifold dependence and construction through self-employment is the unique ways of helping the villages to become independent and partly manage their own affairs.
Gandhi attached great significance to manual labour with reference to rural reconstruction. Manual labour is significant for Gandhi not because it is related to poverty. Gandhi discovered in manual labour a dimension of self-expression within the frame work of the simplicity that is precious to him. Manual labour is an expression of the individual’s social attachment. It is the best means of associating oneself with the day-to-day survival and progress of a community. It is the most concrete way an individual can contribute to the welfare of other persons in particular and of society at large. It is an expression of the ultimate service Gandhi envisages: “So a man can only exercise perfect love and be completely dispossessed, if he is prepared to embrace death and renounces his body for the sake of human service”13.
The dignity of manual labour is to be understood in this wider and nobler sense. Gandhi wants education to uphold this dignity of labour. All this is based on Gandhi’s perfect conviction regarding the value of life. Everything is ultimately traced back to the ultimate values of life: truth and love.
It is this dimension called manual labour that Gandhi sees as a perfect mans for village reconstruction. Education should enable individual in the village to fall back on manual labour as the principal means of participation in the rural development, programmes. Gandhi says, “Manual training should be given side by side by side with intellectual training, and that it should have a principal place in national education. The principle means of stimulating the intellect should be manual training”14. Education not only provides a background for the proper development of these attitudes but also pave way for a systematic application of these principles in village reconstruction. A number of attitudes require development in regard to the exercise of manual work. Gandhi considers all these attitudes as essential elements of the individual’s personality development: Through the vocation in which the student receives training the personality hidden in him or her should receive full development. On completion of education Gandhi wants a perfect man to emerge, a man perfect in the social, psychological and spiritual sense.
Gandhi admonishes students to take active participation in rural reconstruction and feel for themselves the dignity of labour. Gandhi bewails. He was convinced that a nation could never march towards progress without committing themselves to physical labour: There is nothing more unworthy of a nation than to dislike physical labour. Villages are the nerve-centres of the nation. A reinvigoration of the village through plans of rural reconstruction cannot be brushed aside for anything apparently more important. Vocational education accepts rural reconstruction, as a principal objective and a perennial urgency for which no efforts can be spared. Gandhi’s thoughts on the villages are far-reaching. In his opinion, The problem is whether this basic scheme of education fulfills the genuine needs of the people living in villages. I do not hope that India will never be industrialized so fully as to leave no village .the village there fore will always be the most important unit of India Vocationalisation will be the chief means of the reconstruction of Indian villages. These philosophies were pragmatic and farsighted. The rural area was the main destination of his economic thought.
UPLIFTMENT OF CHILDREN
Children should know to discriminate between what should be received and what should not be received. It is the duty of a teacher to teach his people discrimination. Teacher should boost the knowledge of students. In a system where there is some stress on conformity, critical thinking has to be taught in the schools. The importance of developing an attitude of mind to think objectively and critically was trellised, Gandhi did not want to teach the village children only handicrafts. He wanted to teach through hand-work all the subject like history, Geography, Arithmetic, Science, Language, painting etc.
Gandhi developed the tendency to despise manual labour. In a country where more than eighty percent population is agricultural and another ten percent industrial, it is a crime to make education merely literary and to unfit boys and girls for manual work in after life. He held that children must from their infancy be taught the dignity of labour by teaching them handicraft and enabling them to produce from the moment they begin training. Craft occupied a pivotal place in Gandhi’s scheme of basic education. Craft is not to be taught as a single be imparted through it.
Gandhiji said, “The object of basic education is the physical, intellectual and moral development of the children through the medium of a handicraft. ”15
Only every handicraft has to be taught not merely mechanically us is done today but scientifically, that is the child should know the why and wherefore of every process. The principle idea is to impart the whole education of the body and the mind and the soul through the handicraft that taught to children.
Gandhiji said, “My idea is not merely to teach a particular profession or occupation to the children, but to develop the full man through teaching that occupation”16.
In the opinion of Gandhiji all education should start from the hand, rather from the five fingers. The brain must be educated through the hand. If I were a poet. I could write poetry on the possibilities of the five fingers. In essence he combined practice with formal training. He however was not the first to have this version. So many great men in the world who specifically expressed in similar conviction. But in one important respect he differed from most of others, while their minds caught the vision of a new day, the bookishness of their lives held some of them captive. Therein is Gandhiji preeminence; psychologically the craft centered scheme balances the practical and intellectual element of experience: Sociologically it promoted a true sense of dignity of labours and developed qualities of co-operation and brotherhood. From the economic point of view it made education remunerative, generated the spirit of self-reliance and independence.
As per the views of Gandhiji the real property that a parent can transmit to all equally is his or her character and educational facilities, Parents should seek to make their sons, daughter self-reliant, well able to earn an honest livelihood by the sweat of the brow.
There is a lot of contribution and impression of Gandhian ideology upon children. Children call him Bapu with great love and affection. Children remember him with great reverence the real hero of sacrifice.
UPLIFTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT
Gandhiji believed that there was enough employment in India for all people who would work with honesty and use their proper energy. For Gandhiji everyone has the capacity to work and earn than his daily bread and butter, who ever is ready to use that capacity is sure to find work. Gandhi gave broder significance. Gandhi was infavouring of self-rule. He wanted that those should be self- goverence. Governance is best tool of any system. Swaraj is a term which means self-rule. It means individuals own rule. Self-goverence is the primary and essential requirement.
In fact Gandhi’s Swaraj consists of a state embracting a society which is depended on moral a society which is the embodiment of equality-political, social and economical. Gandhi did not want any economical classification or casteism under his concept of swaraj.
Village Swaraj: village swaraj is a complete republic, independent of its neighbours for its vital needs the first concern of every village would thus be to grow its own food crops and cotton for its cloths. It should also have the reserve for its cattle, recreation and playgrounds for adults and children. The village would also maintain a village theater, school and public hall. Education would be compulsory up to the final basic course. As for possible, every activity would be done on the basis of cooperative thinking.
The Government of village would be conducted by the panchyat of leading and experienced person, annually elected by the adult villagers, male and female. Such persons would be fully responsible to conduct the affairs of the village for all-round development.
Village and cottage industry if encouraged and honestly taken up would wipe out unemployment in a short time the race of villagers, who form the backbone of the country, of useful work which would help the individual and also the country’s economy. Labouring saving device might be all right for sparsely populated countries like America. With millions remaining ideal, it is unsuited for India.
Gandhiji therefore, advocated quick and effective rehabilitation of village and cottage industries and strongly advised the educated to recognize the dignity of labourand shed their prejudices and complexes over different classes of work to remove unemployment and improve the economy of the county by the process.
ATTAINMENT OF GOAL OF PEACE
Gandhiji also advocated that education is essential for the attainment of the goal of peace. Peace is related to emotional aspects of human personality. Only a person can remain happy and peaceful when is contended and has no desire. It can be attained only through morality and ethics. According to Gandhian education is the realization of the best in man-body, soul and spirit. He maintained that education must be based on ethics and morality. Ethics and morality are integral part to Gandhi’s life. All his thought, action and lectures are fully based on these two major concepts. The ethical perspective, education may be considered as a means of attainment of salvation. It help to the way of peace bring the perfection among all. It is also the absence of violence and hostile thought. As a regular practitioner of non-violence, Gandhi right from the earlier stage considered that non-violence is an indivisible, important and essential part of education. Education cannot be separated from ethics, morality and spiritualism. In order to develop and complete this purpose Gandhi has given some important norms for all learner, so as to ensure that morality and righteousness always be considered as an essential part of education. Almost education plays an essential role which helps to equip individuals with the skills and attitudes which are necessary. In order to adopt in changing situation and to increase the creative spirit in the task of social change, work and knowledge should go together is the main principle of Gandhi’s education. Gandhiji realized that the world is now full of violence with the greater achievement of science and technology human being has invented many new technologies which are helpful in the present era. Peace is the sound and balanced mental state which learns to find rest in action and which utilize all the inherent vital energies to create a perfect harmony in action. As it stands for trained the heart, in which we attain equipoise and becomes a balanced personality, Gandhiji was a well known figure of peace. The main aim of Gandhian education was to attain the goal of peace. Gandhi sent a message of peace and prosperity to society. A new awareness came among all section. This was the major contribution to all youths.
Gandhi’s peace is an individual value just as truth and ahimsa begins with the individual and get realized in the invidual, peace is a great value that should begin with the individual and become the basis for development of other social and psychological attitudes.
Edmond taylor remark, “This has produced the great Gandhian personality, a combination of inner peace arising from a more total integration of all the elements in the personality than most men achieve”17.
The development of the spiritual personality takes place in total integration with the psychological attitudes. We almost find this integration revealed in the Gandhian personality. Peace becomes not only a goal but also a condition for selfrealisation. It becomes the necessary condition for the spiritual development of the individual.
Today peace is catch ward in international relation because the workd has come to realize more than ever the vital role of peace in the survival of mankind.
At the same time of Gandhi’s assassination Earl Warren wrote, “the assassination of Gandhi removes from the world by a cowardly act a powerfull force for the world peace. Gandhi was essentially a man of peace”18
the whole universe recognized Gandhi’s contribution to world peace. Gandhi always set his eyes on world peace as the foundation on which to build a world of truth and love.
1. Bhatia, B.D philosophy of education p = 129
2. Ibia -D -129
3. Gandhi M.K Tarija 18 march 1939
4. Gandhi M.K Sarvodaya (The welfare of all) Navjivan phblishing hours Ahmadabad-14, P-119
5. Gandhi M.K basic Education, P-44
6. Gandhi M.K. New Education P-30
7. Gandhi M.K true education p = 155
9. Gandhi M.K Harijan, 5-5 -1946, p- 118
10. Gandhi M.K Basic Education p-36
11. Mahatma vol. 4,p-36
12. Gandhi M.K Harijan 14 July 1937
13. Mahatma vol. p-11
14. Mahatma vol.4, p 187
15. Gandhi M.K India of my Dream, P-71
16. Tandulkar Mahatma vol-IV P-200
17. Toylar, E. in profiles, P-272
18. Warren, Earl in profiles, P-96
Through nation-wide action he sought to mould the millions, and largely succeeded in doing so, and changing them form a demoralized, timid and hopeless mass, bullied and crushed by every dominant interest, and incapable of resistance, into a people with self respect and self reliance, resisting tyranny, and capable of united action and sacrifice for a larger cause.
Gandhi made people think of political and economic issued and every village and every bazaar hummed with argument and debate on the new ideas and hopes that filled the people. That was an amazing psychological change. The time was ripe for it, of course, and circumstances and world conditions worked for this change. But a great leader is necessary to take advantage of circumstances and conditions. Gandhi was that leader, and he released many of the bonds that imprisoned our minds, and none of us who experienced it can ever forget that great feeling of release and exhilaration came over the Indian people Gandhi has played a revolutionary role in the greatest importance because he knew how to make the most of the objective conditions and could reach the heart of the masses, while groups with a more advanced ideology functioned largely in the air because they did not fit in with those conditions and could therefore not evoke any substantial response from the masses.
The action he has indulged and taught the people has inevitably raised mass consciousness tremendously and made social issues vital. Gandhi must be judged by the policies they pursue and the action they indulge in. But behind this, personality counts and colors those policies they policies and activities. In the case of very exceptional person like Gandhi the question of personality becomes especially important in order to understand and appraise him. To us he has represented the spirit and honour of India, the yearning of her sorrowing millions to be rid of their innumerable burdens.
Sarvodaya philosophy is the philosophy of spiritual and psychogical revolution. Gandhi gave a message to nation for all-round development in every field through the philosophy of Sarvodaya. At present Gandhiji is no more in the world but the volume of work done left with us will inspire the human civilization forever. There are very few men who have so deeply influenced the mortal in every nook and corner of the world and have so universally loved and respected as well. Sarvodaya opposed the idea of egoism and wealth. There is no scope for class conflict in Sarvodaya. Sarvodaya is concerned with Gandhiji’s social ideas of a community. In the word of Gandhiji it is a casteless and classes society. It brought a spiritual and psychological revolution among all section of society. It shows the revolution does not confine itself only to a section of life, either to the external objective or to the internal subjective one. Real revolution is integral.
All the social institutions, organization and customs that control and guide human affairs, from the Governmental machinery to the organization for education and play-one and all -reflects the mind of people who themselves give them flesh and blood. When these traditional institutions organization and customs grow obsolete and dangerous, it is for men to replace them by new and suitable ones, or even to dissolve them as unnecessary for human development.
But it not the human mind itself a creature of environment and traditional and individual believes of previous birth. To an extent this is true. But if the determinism were complete, man will have become a tool in the hands of a history or nature. It is the belief that man can make and unmake the human world that assures the possibility of revolution. Only if he can raise above the instinctive psychological plane that mutual understanding that he can hope to bring perfection and inner place. As Vinoba’s opinion the darkness of thousands of years in mountain cave is dispelled within a moment when a lamp is brought near them. The lamp of understanding brings with it the light of knowledge and the warmth of love that together wipe out ignorance and misery-the result of traditional and past impressions. This spiritual understanding is the realization of the fundamental unity of life. Gandhiji had received religious education from his family. He was a great devotee of Gita. He tried to see and understand the philosophy of Gita in the in the modern context. He made it clear that all the living beings of the world are endowed with the spirit. Therefore from the spiritual point of view, all men of the world are equal. So everybody should be developed materially and spiritually. Gandhi visualized a radical philosophy of life, which is later described as Sarvodaya. Sarvodaya is the picture of a new society for the integral liberation and the all-round welfare of all human being. Gandhi’s vision of life was so long which he tried his best to applied his philosophy into actual practice. The essence of Sarvodaya can be seen and realized very well in every walk of life. Sarvodaya showed the way of development to all section of life.
According to Gandhiji both the ends and means of human life should be eternal and pious. Gandhi’s Sarvodaya philosophy, it accepts the material world as real. It accept human soul as part of God and God as the creator of world and this point of view propounds that the ultimate of human life is the realization of God which can be achieved only the way of Bhaktimarg and leading a life of pure conduct. Self realization is the best way to serve the humanity. Service of fellow being is considered higher level of all services. One need not required necessarily a long period to realize. Realization is not a temporal process at all. That is why it is futile to argue whether evolution is essential for the transformation. Both these concepts out to coverage on the single point of realization. All human misery is due to the ignorance of the basic oneness of the essence of all manyness.
Gandhi has divided knowledge in two categories-material knowledge and spiritual knowledge. Material knowledge is related to material world and many aspects of human life as social, economic and political. The spiritual knowledge is related to the creater-created and Soul and God. According to Gandhi, both types of knowledge are essential for human life. A man can get the knowledge of the material world through self-efforts, which he required a better opportunity, special from the relevant experience of life. But he can achieve the spiritual knowledge from the sermons of Gita by giving them a practical form.
Gandhi also occupied a prestigious place as an educationist in the world of education. He was the leading and man of action of his age. He worked a lot and made a wonderful structure of education in every aspects related to human life. Infact, his approach to education is quiet sound, fruitful and very practical.
He stands as a modern educationist. He advocated a progressive view of point in education. He considered education is a strong force for individual, social and national development. Whatever it may be Gandhi’s basic education cannot be denied that it is India’s heart and soul. It is a scheme which is mostly suited to the immediate needs, aspirations, culture as well as social, political, economic background of the Indian people. Mahatma Gandhi has indelible mark in the sphere of education, besides all other dimensions he has touched. The educational system in the colonial days had seen the amber of light under the spell of Gandhi’s basic education. He democratized and humanized educational system, brought about an unprecedented change in the perspective of life. Gandhi advocated social revolution and reform to go hand in hand with any political revolution. Basic education was the practical embodiment of his philosophy of education. He realized that education is closely associated with the socio-economic development of the society. He took up scheme for basic education in which vocational training or work experience is the utmost important. It due to the fact that it stimulates the human mind for creative thinking or dignity of manual work. He emphasized on the firm faith in God, dignity of labour. He applied creative thinking from primary to higher level of education. At present it can be seen that the Kothari commission also followed Gandhi’s ideal of vocational training in education. This commission also reemphasizes, the Gandhian principle of learning by doing in the modern education.
Human personality developed in every walk of life due to the creative thinking applied by Gandhi. A new change appeared in human civilization. He expanded fourfold personality in the individual that is body, mind, heart and spirit. True education promoted the spiritual, intellectual and physical strength of the individual. According to his views on education of heart brought the idea of sympathy, fellowship and deep feeling of love.
Gandhi’s concept of basic education remained much better for the people of our country. It fulfilled the needs of people and educates them who were deprived due to a lot of causes. Gandhijiplaned for basic education through which the children become able to earn to meet the expenses of education themselves. They learnt the importance of dignity of labour and manual skill. Mostly children become self-learner and self-earner. The basic education bought to fulfill the needs of the education in a Sarvodaya society. Gandhhiplaned for craft centred education with mother tongue as the medium. Education ultimately aimed at the development of both mind and body and the capacity of earning individual’s livelihood. The syllabi for the new education were framed in such a way so as to eliminate narrow nationalism and emphasize the ideal of Sarvodaya. World history was taught with the Indian history.
Social revolution came in the society. Relationship between village and city begin to develop. Mutual understanding level of a society begin to go higher. A better social relationship developed among all. Its result can be seen in a visible form. Gandhi was himself a architecture of this social revolution.
THE WAY TO END WAR AND EXPLOITATION
Gandhi aimed to end war and exploitation. He set up a new social order on the basis of truth and nonviolence. He was a great social scientist often experiencing certain principles. He located the truth on the basis of Indian ideas and beliefs through a serious study of Tolstoy and Ruskin. As a true social reformer, he can be acclaimed as a great politician, leading prophet, a humanist, a social scientist, a democrat and above all a true economist. He viewed the function of the existing state as evil which hardly world permit a new social order of his dream. He opined for a co-operative federation of village republics. He pointed the role of majority rule in western democracy and precarious position of minorities.
The world context today demonstrates the result of such attachment to ‘My and Mine’ as against ‘Thy’ and ‘Thine’. Right from the ideological universe to the practical day to day commercial life a competitive race to excel and defeat others has been going on the conflicting ideological blocs in their faith not on the inherent worth and truth of their doctrines but on the strength of their armaments and the wealth the possess. In this fierce tug of war the lives of common men and women are being squeezed and the entire human world is facing a dark future. In history we have seen many up and down. Education has played a vital role to refuse blind faiths and other obstacle. First of all, we world think about the individual how was the condition of individual? How was the condition of families as well as society? Today we are feeling well it was not possible earlier.
It is the contribution of GandhianSarvodaya. In our society there was a lot of gap between upper class and lower class. They people had no feeling. Psychological conflicts were arising. People were not safe and sound. But during the GandhianSarvodaya moment some progress gradually has been seen. People aware for the betterment of their lives. A sense of creative and new thinking appeared in every mind. Individual grow systematically. Individual mentally prepared against social evil. It has been seen in history men have prepared themselves to face the unexpected situation, which almost comes in their way of course, forces have been emerging to face this tragic situation. But everyone waits for others to start the healing process. Our morality has been reciprocal. If others good we are prepared to pose goodness. We seldom thinks of taking the initiative first. But morality should be a concern of the individual himself for his own spiritual progress, irrespective of how others behave. What should be think? How should be think? It all depends on the inner voice of individual. Presence of mind matter everywhere. For the upliftment of all such type of thinking would be much matter. War and exploitation would be reduced. We are seeing and facing many obstacles in the present world. If science has given scope to the technological advancement so as to give birth to the nuclear age of destruction, it can equally give a new turing to technology so as to construct a society of compact and manageable size. Science has taken humanity to a blind alley. Only morality based on spirituality can teach science that in the world of man. Man should be the primary concern.
Life of humanity receives vitality from man’s liberty and not from comport. That is why Sarvodaya thought advocates that unless men drive out violence from each and other fieldand replace in its place the way of mutual understanding and love, there would be no hope for any conflict. As Vinoba has said a new understanding of the true religion of man should come forward to unite men irrespective of any kind of differences in them. Such a unity will declare homicide-individual or collective in war as sin against man and God.
Violence does not work merely in bloodshed. It imperceptibly crushes life through moral partiality, social inequality, economic exploitation and through political tyranny. The fundamental understanding of the unity of all humanity can fulfill itself only if all these roots of miseries are eradicated. Gandhiji prepared non-violence to violence in his opinion non-violence is more fruitful than violence. Non-violence is the means to attain the goal of truth.
It implies complete freedom from violence, freedom from hate, anger, fear, vanity and ill-will. Non-violence creates love, patience and purity of the heart and freedom of passion in thoughts, words and action. All would be essential for the absolute success of human being. There would be a proper status of every person in the society. Deficiencies would be automatically removed. A new and less- polluted environment would be appeared in society.
True goal of education according to him is not intellectual by moral and spiritual.
“True education is that which draws out and stimulates the spiritual, the intellectual and physical faculties of the children.”
As Gandhi’s aim of life is to make a whole man. His first aim of education knows as immediate aims of education which improved the day to day life of individual. The aim of bread and butter would be improved which is the essentiality of man. Man would be much perfect in different branches i.e.
Character development, Harmonious development, self-supporting, complete leaving. Dignity of labour, and leadership quality. The next aim of education, ultimate aim would make the man attentive to realize God or truth. People will have a sense of self realization, which is the highest aim of life. Today there is a need to get true education for every individual. Which will not come from material power but from spititual force. It must strengthen man’s faith in God and not weakening it.
Gandhi emphasized on the activity centered curium instead of bookish curricum. Student would have excellent command over the subjects that is craft master tongue, mathematics, social studies, general science, Art, Domestic science, Hindustani etc. Craft used as a method of teaching for all other subjects. The principle of learning by doing emphasized almost. The importance of mother- tongue as the medium of instruction through which individual can easily understand the taste has been preferred. As per the induction of basic education, basic craft became the center of education. So the teaching of all subjects would be related to craft. In the field of education beside craft method of teaching such as learning by doing, learning by living, experience method, co-relation method, question answer method, discusscussion method has been suggested most. So that perfection may be brought in the field of education for the uliftment of present generation and forthcoming generation. Gandhi suggested the idea of voluntary discipline, which can be attained through self-discipline. An ideal atmosphere can be grown by self-disciplene. This would be a helpful to sublime life. An atmosphere of pure life, self-restraint, fearlessness and self-sacrifice would be the major part of the system. Through craft activity, a co-operative living will be appeared in the society, from which social discipline will emerge. Its progressive results will be appeared in front of everyone. Gandhi was infavouring of the freedom of a child. In his opinion the basic scheme of education needs ideal teacher dedicated to impart education.
ROLE OF TEACHER
Gandhiji said, “I have done my duty by my pupil if I have made him a better man and in doing so I have used all my resources. That is enough for me.”
The teacher should be dutiful and hard working person. He should use all sources to make a better man. India needs enlightened citizen for the fulfillment of a bright India. Teacher must be perfect in his respected work, so that a sense of dedication could be brought among all future teacher, leader, and social worker. It would be the real worship towards our mother land, if our teacher trained in the guidelines recommended by the basic scheme of education. The education system of our country would be much better. Students will have a power of goverence and self-rule. They will not depend upon other person for their basic and common needs.
Today it has been seen the world is suffering from immense crises from many sides, Crime, conflict, hatred and distrust between one community and another, hunger, unemployment, poverty and illiteracy, paucity of resources and pollution of environment and some national violence, terrorism, drug trafficking etc.
These entire altogether make a grave danger to Nation. The present day crisis is grater that the crisis that occurred during the time of Gandhi. The world is now full of violence. Today there is a need to remove the deficiencies from each system. Gandhi’s Sarvodaya and education philosophy have been performing a vital role to remove the short-comings since its beginning. But as we already discussed that there is a difference between the present crises and crises during the time of Gandhi
ROLE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
With the advancement of science and technology which are very helpful in our life. But it is also realized that in some other ways some selfish people who used it as a weapon for gaining his desire wish and pleasures. Any type of action done under the motives of selfishness is a kind of violence. Purity of means is an essential condition of realizing good ends, if a good end is to be attained, it is also essential that the means adopted for the realization of the end is also good. In the opinion of Gandhiji, if one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself. The main concept of Gandhian philosophy, ‘end and means’ played very important implication for the doctrine of truth and non-violence. These concepts of Gandhian philosophy would also be helpful for the sublime life of forthcoming people.
Gandhi’s scheme of education is a activity based. Which is not only for social progress but would be much better for the moral political and economic development of an individual or society. As Gandhi regarded education as a potent force for social reconstruction. Which promotes the social pattern of a society. Change is the law of nature. Education brings a change in the society during the passage of time.
SPIRITUALITY AND MORALITY
If spirituality reveals the unity of all life, morality which is an off-shoot of spirituality, should not be tolerate partial application to a section of human spices. One should not morally suffer in society because of sex difference, nor should one be punished for theft in amassing of wealth at the cost of other is no sin. Virtue and vice in the individual’s life should not be made to depend on natural or circumstantial conditions. Natural distinctions are necessary for any beneficial. And nature’s anomaly can be met and overcome through education and medical treatment. So circumstances should be made favourable for the weak, the poor and down trodden so as to develop virtue in them. Equality of opportunity for spiritual and moral development is an essential characteristics of an egalitarian society.
Distinction based on caste or Race or religion and then no distinction based on caste or race or religion should be considered legitimate. All person belong to one family. There are not untouchables and no inferior races, Birth and colours of skin are not measures of determining purity. Man only one the basis of high class should not be respected but qualities in respect of any community should be respected. So as long as lower and higher classes based on superior or inferior talent or on more or less quantity of possessed wealth, the evil in the form of hatred and envy will continue to threaten peace and order in society. Equality of economic and social status to all is a demand of non-violent society. For this task every kind of work should be considered sacred. These should a sense of equality in every corner of society. So every one will have a sense of security, dedication and democratic quality. They would participated in social mobilization. So our society would be considered first in every field. In order to root out the distinctions based on pleasant and unpleasant works, as also on intellectual and physical labour, all should share physical and productive labour and all should get opportunity for intellectual learning. The ideal society will be synthetic society of producers. Everybody will do best in work and will get what he needs most. Sharing of life in weal and woe will alone create a bond of unity. The unwritten code of service and sympathy in family life are to be extended to life in society.
But the responsibilities will the watch and ward of truly free society. If no external rules and regulations are to be thrust on individuals, they will have to respond positively to every call of duty. Such willing response is possible if love governs in our lives. Pure anarchy is workable when human life is based on selfdiscipline and restraint that spring form consideration and love. Then each one of us will be a proper representative of ourselves, and we will not need the selected few to govern us. There will be a short of direct-democracy. It will then be Prajya and not Rajya. All organization and institution will be formed only to manage things and not to control to men. This will be the end of ruler policy (Raja Niti) and the new dawn LokeNiti.
In order to realize such a pure democracy political decentralization will the first according to Sarvodaya. Huge party-machines keep moving about the center of power and within the circle of majority union. The central political authorities at governmental level get engrossed in the hugeness of responsibility and becomes too helpless under the red-tapism to feel for the suffering of common man. In decentralized political life every man will be in direct touch with the management so as to have a say in the matter of vital issues.
Gandhi’s philosophy of education is sound psychologically sociologically and biological. Gandhiji realized that the child can make intellectual progress only through learning by doing, which is proposive and productive. During working on a craft which involves planning, experimenting and reflecting. It will accustom the child to look nearly, to attend to details, to measures correctly thus developing his keen observation. Gandhiji has accepted the child as the focal point of education. He has supported al-round development of his personality. He says that the function of education is to stimulate the dormant faculties of a child to effect complete development.
Manual work not only encourages intellectual development by associating muscular action with cerebral efforts. It will also develop the child’s imagination for he must visualize in advancement what he expects and wants to make. It develops his reflection and encourages the coordination of the whole process by putting to work all the senses and organs.
The basic scheme which reflects Gandhian philosophy of education gives ample opportunities for self expressions. These is much scope for practical work in Gandhiji’s basic education plan. By this method a child can study the causes of origin of different problems, their present state form and can comprehend them. Individual can be tested to estimate its scientific relatively and social importance and can apply if in a practical life to accure its vast knowledge systematically.
Manual work will satisfy his need for creativeness and will develop selfreliance and self-confidence leading to self-respect and security.
The craft centered education will give greater concreteness and reality to the knowledge acquired by children. The principle of correlation will attach knowledge of life with other forms of knowledge. Gandhi has given emphasized the great importance of the principle of correlation as laid-down by psychology and has supported the method of making every useful media for life education as industry oriented. He realized that basic handicrafts should be in the form of a full circle and other subjects should revolve round it like planets and get energy from the central sun.
Gandhiji wanted that education should fit a man for performing a useful role in the non-violent social order. He will learn the art of discipline, self- governes, breadth of vision, tolerance and good liaison with neighborhood. There should be no restriction to get education but every member of a society has a right to free education. This ideology will bring an awareness toward education-literacy rate will be increased. Gandhi wished the ideals of useful citizen to be encouraged through education. Schools would be regarded as a co-operative community center, in which students can learn lesson in love and affection, truth, justice, Cooperative endeavour, equality, fraternity and social service ideals. All these will lead to health citizenship and a feeling of democracy. A sense of cooperative living and collective thinking will be arised in every mind.
Gandhi’s philosophy of education is related to biological aspects. It gives emphasis that human beings should be able to fit himself in a successful existence under the situation of a complex and changing pattern of civilization.
On psychological point of view it balance the intellectual and practical element of experiences and may be made instrument of education to educating the body and mind in coordination. From the sociological point of view, it will conduct to a sense to true dignity of labor and of human solidarity, which be ethical and moral gain of incalculable significance. It would develop the quality of cooporation, Fraternity and sense of service and sacrifice among children which would make a pleasant atmosphere in society reducing all major cause of friction and conflict.
EDUCATION FOR PERPETUAL REVOLUTION
But is it possible to capture revolution in any set-pattern of social order. Revolution moves with life and life changes each and every moment. What is new today, became absolute tomorrow. The paradoxically, spiritual revolution will have to teach detachment towards the approved social order, in the mean time it will have to emphasis the necessity of translating the values of spiritual life into actual social living. At present humanity is facing a dilemma. It has been sufficiently proved by history that if spirituality keeps repeating the abstract truth of the unity of life, remaining at a safe distance from the complexities of common man’s life. It creates a gulf between spiritual life and world life. This leads to divided personality of man who then lack of integrity and purpose. In this way, the all human world loses cohesive factors and reaches the top of selfishness and violence. It appears nears its own destruction.
On the another hand if spirituality give a social pattern, sticks to its set forms of institutions and customs, reverse them as God-sent and orders men to obey them irrespective of liberty and equality, it grows into a dogma and shuns human progress. Then cruelty and brutality can honorably rule humanity in the name of duplicate spirituality. If spirituality is to escape the two horns of the dilemma, it will have to recognize what Gandhi has said. Life in all its aspects is unity and all human problem should be approached integrally. Again spirituality will have to keep men alert and set them always on guard to prevent the slackening of the speed of perpetual revolution. The concern of spiritual revolution is the all round development of individuality and society. It will enable man and men to live fully comfortable and enjoy in all innocence the peaceful and cooperative life of liberated humanity.
In that situation is then the another name of education. The attitude of detachment to the self-created new social life can be aroused through proper education. In order to grow and develop the child education will be a boon, which will help always the child for his whole life. In a real sense human mind will have to conditioned to decondition themselves, if no set ideology, or even terminology, no dogma or pattern of living is to domite humanity. This means that the faculty to deliberate and the capacity to create will have to be developed side by side. Such educational system will work only if the persons who are related to education field believe in the fundamentally incorruptible purity of human nature. Such type of education for spiritual revolution will alone hasten. The dawn of a how world for which Sarvodaya thought stands.
ROLE OF INDUSTRIALIZATION
Sarvodaya society has place for industrialization and technological advancement, which would be use of the economic development of an individual and society. He would be in human control. Man will not depend up other fellow but he would be self-earner himself. Village is the soul of India. In every condition there would be an improvement in rural area. India is a country of villages. Industrialization would leads to concentration of economic power. Concentration of economic and political power will help a small minority, who are deprived due to a lot of cause. In which the vertical and horizontal distance among people on the basis of economic status will be reduced to a minimum Gandhi formulated his Scheme of basic education in the context of poverty, illiteracy, backwardness, frustration and the degeneration of our masses, resulting from the disruption of traditional social institutions and the distractions of the small scale cottage. Gandhi was in support of basic education it a critical look on own and deeper understanding of the problem of a society which is the responsibility of a pedagogic system. Social defects in the social organization can be noted and solved according with the help of education. In Sarvodaya society no place of untouchability, division of labour on the basis of caste system. But Sarvodaya thinkers suggested equal status among all. So that every one could participate in any organization without any bondage or restriction. Basic education creates love for manual labour, which will help a child to know the dignity of labour some body may be an effective element of a society through education skill. Education make the man perfect, which will help the individual to face different situation.
Education play a vital role in mediating between individual consciousness and community consciousness. Community consciousness will be useful and helpful to channelized in a creative manner.
Change is essential Gandhi was very optimistic that goodness of an individual would compel him to do something good for the society. Something good can be done by an individual, if he knows the merit and demerits of the society. Society will provide him a lot energy to channelize the system. A man lives in the society from birth to last moment of life. He has to follow the traditions and customs lay down by the society. Individual, social groups, community played a crucial role in restructuring a society for all around welfare of each person. Conflict and violence can not bring a better society. So their role should be minimize. Social group can get activate and collective will can bring social change.
THE WAY TO END COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM
In a decentralized political system every individual will be in a liaison with the management. Such a political order goes ill with the amorphous and ever increasing industry centered city life. Factory civilization has demoralized humanity to such an extent that it is high time to start reshaping it. Cultured and peace way of life develops mostly in agriculture-centered society. Small scale and cottage industry will have to maintain the standard of living at higher level. The market economic will spoil out to yield place to neighbor-and-labour centered one which can be truly non-exploitative. Due to these efforts colonialism and imperialism can be finished As per revolutionized new trend of manageable, self reliant, all types of units specially related to political and economic will stand for liberty. The system of society will automatically go higher. Economic condition of the individual and society would also be improved. There would be a new charm in every system. All the items or variety instead of arousing differences, will definitely beauty and charm to the human lives. The fellows of such democratic system will not be loyal only to some own basic things but will have as a true city of the whole universe. His personality will reflect the quality of a universal man. The power of the defence will also resides in a bosom of each citizen, not in the hands of some dictator. Truth and non-violence not conflict or war will the instrument of common man. To it can been seen our country along with other countries in the world growing very fast in every field. There are the results of Gandhian philosophy of Sarvodaya Gandhi visualized an integral welfare in society, which is done through Sarvodaya. The Gandhian philosophy of Sarvodaya inherited from the cultural heritage of India. Indian culture since the early days of recorded history clearly conceives of the welfare of all. Even Kautilya’sArthasastra, a master piece of ancient Hindu treatise on diplomacy and state craft prescribes that the ruler must be just and righteous, his supreme consideration being the welfare of the people.
Women education-Gandhi considered women to be the best creation of God. He realized and made it clear that although the area of work of both male and female is absolute different but in the meantime their cultural, domestic, social, economic needs are same. Both of them should be given equal opportunities for their life and forthcoming life. Women education will effect for a long time. She has to educate the whole family, so she must be educated. Even it could not be cleared whether the same type of education should be given to both man and woman or not. But one thing cleared that a men and women are of equal rank, but they are not identical”.
It is also cleared that the woman should be given specific knowledge of looking after the family and manages the domestic affairs. Observing and inspecting the poor situation of woman in the society, special emphasis has been given to woman education. It was the opinion of Gandhiji that the education of the boys cannot be complete till emphasis is not given to provide the same facilities for the education of the woman which are available for the education of boys. Gandhi told that primarily women have to work as a wife, mother and in the form of the builder of the society. It is said that in the first two functions, she is different from men. But tin order to perform her third major responsibility, she should have a clear and a lot of knowledge of her civilization and culture. She is Godness, she will have to devote her services for the upliftment of all. Her education will be a source of inspiration to all persons in the years to come.
ESSENCE OF SATYAGRAHA
The essence of satyagraha is that it seeks to eliminate antagonisms without harming the antagonists themselves, as opposed to violet resistance, which is meant to cause harm to the antagonist. Gandhian methodology of satyagraha continues to be a pillar of strength and inspiration to provide guidance to generations- present as well as future, as the year pass by , the immortality of satyagraha is further reinforced.
The concept of satyagraha is related to the social, political, cultural, economic and psychology conditions which influenced the life and personality of Gandhi. he adopted the non-violet approach to resist as all the forces that exerted pressure on him physically and psychologically. he believed that the supreme law that governs all living things and the universe is nothing but love and nonviolence. It was Gandhi's firm belief that the basis of all religious of the world was the law of love. The very purpose of non-violet resistance and upholding the principles of truth was none other than asserting the freedom of oneself over his mind and body. Gandhi's concept of satyagraha is an integrated concept and includes truth, nonviolence, nonstealing.
Chastity or brahmacharya, poverty or non-possession, bread labour, fearlessness, control of the palate (asvada), tolerance, swadeshi and removal of untouchability.
According to Gandhi, satyagraha can be adopted by anybody. Gandhi said that satyagraha was like a banyan tree which had innumerable branches. Satya and Ahimsa together made its parent trunk from which all the innumerable branches shoot out. Satyagraha has also been considered as a weapon of soul force to resist any kind of oppression.
While Gandhi regarded satyagraha as a way of life, during the freedom struggle of india , satyagraha was used as a weapon to resist the authority of the state and to achieve various things for the general welfare of the people. The champaran and bardoli satyagraha were conducted by Gandhi not only to achieve material gains for the people, but also to resist the unjust authority of the then british regime. The civil disobedience movement of 1930, the dandi salt satyagraha and the quit india movements were classic examples when Gandhi used satyagraha as a weapon of the soul force. Satyagraha as a means of resistance and conflict resolution has different forms. The principles, conditions and qualification of satyagraha are relavant to all these forms. Anna Hazare’s resent nationwide movement can be seen in respect of Gandhi’s satyagraha in present time.
Gandhi was well aware of the increasing influence of materialistic considerations on the modern society and individual and he was also aware of the fact that people are getting indulged in corruption. According to Gandhi, the main objective of satyagraha was to eradicate the evil or to reform the opponent. In the present socio-economic political system ,there is a dire necessity to wean the individual away from the influence of wealth, luxuries and power. In all the educational institutions, right from the lower level to the level of university, it would be worthwhile to teach the young people the concept of satyagraha and the principles of truth and nonvolence, as the basic factors contributing to the peace , harmony and the welfare of the society . In all the industrial establishments and other places of mass employment also, satyagraha would be a viable alternative to other methods for the peaceful resolution of disputer and conflicts. And in all walks of life, wherever there is scope for conflict and disharmony, the practice of the principles of truth and nonviolence in the smallest way possible, would definitely make a great contribution in bringing about peace and harmony.
Satyagraha as an ideal and as a great weapon of conflict resolution will always serve as a great inspiration to the people of all generations to come, both in india and else where. it may not be possible for ordinary human beings to practice brahmacharya, poverty and simple living in the age of scientific and technological development, but the usefulness of truth and non-violance will always be relevant wherever the goal is prosperity, welfare and development, because without truth and nonviolence, there cannot be peace and without peace there cannot be development.
The whole wise men of India attracted towards this movement because of its religious appeal and economic assurance. The entire land of a village is pooled together for the benefit of whole community. The task of the reorganization of social and economic life star’s with the initiative of the village people. The self governance started so that the present generation and the generation to come be benefited and they could make them their lives sublime. A sense of joint responsibility raised in society. The landlord are also welcomed in this movement the thought regarding a vision of a new society appeal them to leave their comfortable palaces and immediate visit to the fields along with their newly friend and brothers Vinoba emphasizes the sancitity and intimacy of family relations which are to be introduced in society. The main value of family life are service of the needy fellows care of the helpless people and compassion for all people who are living in the society all these virtues proved absolute success in the village society.
Till the beginning of 21st century India had extremely been exploited. In Hind-Swaraj Gandhi thought of solution not only for moral and political problem but also for economic problem. The whole social system depends on the economic basis of society so he was confident that garments self made would be a medium to achieve swaraj. So that every person would get opportunity to work at home. Gandhi was fully aware about the unemployment condition of the society. It is unemployment which is the major cause of grief riots. If unemployment is avoided, poverty itself shall be eradicated. Khadi is the best media to eradicate its advantage is that people of different community engage in protection process together. With this tension and friction would be minimized and constitute a well knit society. People will have a sense of achievement and security and they would learn to work collectively.
Gandhi was gifted with a scholarly ability as he proved it during the whole life with the establishment of the society and basic education. He imparted his services to all section in a society to enlighten them. Who were backward, frustrated and deprived sections he gave a message to nation of basic education which is a major contribution in every field. He almost worked for the present generation and the generations to come today we can realize very well. Our country is growing very fast in every field. People are taking sufficient advantage of his selfless work. He got opportunity to play a vital role in Indian libration movement. He has been known for his leftist leanings, which can be noticed in his writing he had the rear ability of flooring even his critics with his suave manner and politeness in his behavior Gandhi in all his undertaking proved himself one of the greatest massange of world peace. My life is my message. In his major contribution he became a leading figure of Universe.
Gandhi showed the world not only the goal of peace but the supreme method of achieving world peace. Peace and tolerance for Gandhi were the supreme mean for the realization of truth and love, which were identical to the ultimate end of man. Peace becomes a great national goal in the Gandhian context. Peace also becomes an international goal in the frame work of Gandhism. Today we can see that peace is the catchword in international relations because the world has come to realize more than ever the vital role of peace in the very survival of mankind. At the time of Gandhi’s assassination, Earl Warren wrote, “The assassination of Gandhi removes from the world by a cowardly act a powerful force for world peace. Gandhi was essentially a man of peace the whole world recognized Gandhi’s contribution to world peace in way more than one. Gandhi’s contribution in every field became a boon for present generations and the generation to come. There is a lot of improvement in society, which was earlier deprived from opportunities in different sectors. Today we can see that there a social mobilization throughout the country. People have raised their living standards. Today woman community is also growing very fast in the field of education. Woman has got supreme position in our country. We hope that this process will remain continue in the year to come.
Today there is a lot of opportunities to work for everyone. As Gandhi has given special attention to improve the social condition of people by teaching them a lesson of Sarvodaiya, basic education, and Satyagraha. Before independence many countries were not free, our country was also one of them. At present we are living in a independent country equipped with luxury facilities.
We know that Sarvodaya thought and action and the concept of basic education have benefited from the reforms and revolutions of the past and present ages in different countries. It has been avoided and improved the pit-falls and dangers which degraded the past generation. Sarvodaya and basic education concepts and thought remain helpful to each person in the society. These effects the all forms of life. Today people who are living in a rural area, they are also benefitted from every facility. As Gandhi used to say any mind is living in the villages. They are calling me to worry myself in them. Sarvodaya and education for Gandhiji was a initial means of reaching out the suffering of millions in rural India and prompting them lot to the human level. The real picture of his selfless and hardworking efforts can be see throughout the country. As he had tried to strengthen the foundation of village.
It has been recognized that the revolution in the sphere of either the social, political and the economic is to treated the human problem. Almost human problems are spiritual and these treated integrally. It is cleared that the Gandhi’s Sarvodaya and education philosophy is a philosophy of integral revolution. Psychological revolution has been uplifted through the process of Sarvodaya and education. And it would continue for ever for the betterment of all generations.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” (Mahatma Gandhi) Recommendation for the further study
The researcher wish to give some suggestions for further researcher on the basis of Sarvodaya and Education philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi.
1. To study the basic concept of Sarvodaya and Education in the research work.
2. To study the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in the field of Education on National and International level.
3. To study the condition of rural areas with special reference to past and present.
4. To study the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in the field of human right and as a revolutionist in Indian libration movement.
5. To study the impact of Sarvodaya and Education in different class, caste and religion.
6. To study the impact on education specially in rural area.
7. To study the impact of Sarvodaya of industrilisation.
8. To study the impact on Sarvodaya on agriculture and agriculturist.
9. To study the psychological revolution through Sarvodaya and Education.
10. To study the economic condition of rural areas.
11. To study the different aspects of Gandhian education system.
12. To study the impact of Sarvodaya and Education abroad and along with India.
13. To study the Women situation in the present and past.
14. To study the upliftment of social life compare than past.
15. To study the economic condition of society and country on the basis of Sarvodaya and Education.
16. To compare the ancient education system and present education system in the availability of basic education.
17. To study the living and nutrition level of the villagers.
18. To study the condition of labour and labourer on the basis of Sarvodaya in encient time and present.
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- Arbeit zitieren
- Dr. A.V. Krishna Rao (Autor), 2018, The Relevance of Gandhiji's Sarvodaya, Education and Vedanta Philosophy in Modern Era, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/477225