GURUKULA-S IMPART HOLISTIC EDUCATION

Gurukula  was an institution of residential schooling in ancient Bharata  with pupil-students better known as Sisya-s, stayed with a Guru  in a hermitage for the objective of studying. GuruSisya Parampara  has been a sacrosanct tradition in Sanatana  Hinduism  including Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism too. Gurukula  is a syntax of two words i.e. Guru  i.e. one who precepts and Kula  i.e. family at home. Till 19th century, Gurukula-s served as central pillar of entire education system in Bharata  wherein, all learners were regarded as equals irrespective of any factor whatsoever. While learning in a hermitage, they served the Guru  as well including all hosehold chores as a measure of inculcating self-discipline and responsibility towards others. Sisya-s used to be away from their homes after undergoing Upanayana Samskara  by 12th year for years together while learning in a Gurukula  observing strict rules of Brahmacarya. Pupils were divided into three categories viz. Vasu-s studied till their age of 24, Rudra-s till 36 and Aditya-s till 48 years of their age. With GuruSisya Parampara  being sacrosanct, Guru-s never charged any fee from their pupils as Gurukula-s were financially supported through donations. It was Maharsi Yajnyavalkya  who transformed Gurukula  system from State funded to society funded. After completing education, Sisya-s used to offer GuruDaksina  as a symbol of gratitude and acknowledgement before departing from the Gurukula. GuruDaksina  may also be in the form of a special task that Guru  may assign to the departing student. Students used to move out of Gurukula  as highly accomplished virtuous persons capable of achieving anything in life. 

Gurukula  system of education has been an ancient feature in Bharatavarsa. Gurukula-s have been centres of many inventions too and every Gurukula  specialised in a different stream of knowledge and learning. Veda-s and Upanisad-s mention Gurukula-s in laudatory terms viz. Gurukula  of Guru Dronacarya  at Gurugram, Guru Varuni’s Gurukula  that witnessed evocation of Bhrigu Valli  etc. By the time British intruders started spreading their tentacles across the nation in 18th century, there were some 8,00,000 Gurukula-s functioning all over. As British occupiers realised in no time that Gurukula-s imparted concrete foundation of cultural nationhood among young minds with which it would have been impossible for them to realise their nefarious goals, task of destroying the institution by implanting British oriented teaching to raise a community of Brown-Sahabs subjugated and loyal to the British Crown, was assigned to Thomas Babbington McCaulay, a confirmed Hindu-hater and colonialist. It was McCaulay who designed an elaborate action-plan to emaciate and destroy lakhs of Gurukula-s across the nation, raise a generation of Hindu-s who used to be embarrassed when introduced as Hindu-s to anyone anywhere and loyal to the British Crown. 

However, the tradition of Gurukula  could not be extinguished completely thanks to the indomitable spirit of a motley crowd of determined ones resolutely pursuing their ancient values. Swami Dayananda Saraswati  of Arya Samaja, Swami Dharmajivan Sastri Maharaja  of Swaminarayana Pantha  and a few others established a network of Gurukula-s, Universities during 19th and 20th centuries respectively. These Gurukula-s have been centres of not only impartation of education but also exhaustive research by educationists to ferret out their positives with the intention to replicate elsewhere. General impression prevailing all over that Gurukula-s have restricted themselves to education of Sanatana  scriptures, religious rituals etc. is entirely misplaced and malevolently nurtured by Secularists, Communists and other ‘enemies’ of Sanatana Hinduism. Mission of Gurukula-s has always been holistic development of younger generation rooted in fundamental values of life capable of competing very well in the contemporary world. Holistic teaching demanded that all students stayed together in hermitage without any differentiation or discrimination, everyone participated in all activities like attending cows, collecting fruits from orchards, extracting water from well or even chopping vegetables for cooking, surviving on simple food, all sleeping on straw mats spread on floors, wearing simple clothes etc. Students from wealthy families, royal scions to very poor ones, all shared life in a Gurukula  with equal verve and any observer could not have been able to discern background of any learner by that. It was an effective way to dissolve any sense of entitlement or privilege caused by anyone’s family background in minds of all students. Differentiation among students was strictly based on academic merits and performance. Gurukula-s were generally located in remote areas, preferably surrounded by jungles to facilitate them focus on their learning. Kith and kin were not permitted to visit their wards in Gurukula-s to prevent emotional obstructions in young minds during learning. All students were Guru’s own family members that developed resolute bond of brotherhood among students. Discussions and question-answer sessions consumed lion’s share of their time while learning to ensure, they wereall well-groomed and resolutely grounded to core values of life. In 1823, Thomas Munro had recorded 100% literacy in Bharata  out of which 76% were highly educated. The glory remained intact even during Mughal invasions as Gurukula-s were society financed and not State supported.   

Immediate past 50 years or so have witnessed paradigm shift in contours of education with information explosion, digital revolution, artificial intelligence and sophisticated learning techniques. These developments are impossible to be wished away on the pretext of sacrosanct values imparted in Gurukula-s. Indeed, now we need both, an amalgamation of all that is sacrosacnct in Gurukula  curriculum and all newer means of learning as well as knowledge developed thereof so as to ensure, Gurukula  taught students do not discover themselves inferior to anyone later in life. While designing an amalgamated curriculum, objectives of Gurukula  education viz. self-restraint, character development, socio-political consciousness, personality grooming, intellect bereft of biases and prejudices, Adhyatmika  advancement etc. must remain foundational as before while incorporating into it all contemporary knowledge and advancement.   

Antarrastriya Virata Gurukula Sammelan  was organised by Maharsi Sandipani Rastriya Vedavidya Pratisthana  from April 28 to 30, 2018 in Ujjain  to introduce Gurukula  education to the world as a brand to envy, organise all of them at one platform and raise their level of self-esteem very high. It was attended by 3,600 representatives from over 8oo Gurukula-s out of some 4,000 functioning in the country. There were 95 delegates from 70 Gurukula-s from Nepal alone in addition to participants from Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan, Dubai, Singapore, Qatar and Canada. Concluding session of the Sammelan  heralded restoration of pristine glory of the institution by dedicating it to display of extra-ordinary talent of Gurukula  students.

Some of the instances are worth mentioning – 

TV Talavat (16) was declared World Champion in Vedic Mathematics-2016 in Indonesia ahead of 1300 students from 18 countries after solving 70 mathematical puzzles in 2.57 minutes flat from three levels of fingering, abacus and visualisation. In addition to Veda  Mathematics, the lad is also proficient in 20 Kala-s out of 72 mandated in Gurukula-s of ancient Bharata. These 20 Kala-s include music, astrology, Ayurveda, Samskrita, painting, logics, wrestling, gymnastics, Judo, Yoga, martial arts,rope, Mallkhambha  etc.

Vatsal Shah (17), proficient in Samskrita, Prakrita, Gujarati, English, Astrology, Ayurveda, Mallkhamba, Yoga, Karate, wrestling, Judo and violin, topped in Slaka Pariksa  of Nyayasastra held in Ahmedabad.

Aditya Dixit (15) is well versed in Mallkhamba, Astrology, painting, Vedic Mathematics, Samskrita  and horse-riding.

Manish Chauhan (13) has mastered the art of painting.

Brahmayogananda  (8) is an expert in blind-fold reading i.e. he can read anything written blind-folded.

Sri Brahma  (7) is an expert in body scanning i.e. diagnosing one’s body to detect disease and healing…. 

All those studied in Gurukula-s across Bharata  viz. Sabarmati Gurukula  of Ahmedabad, Nityananda Gurukula  of Bangaluru etc. and those skills were acquired is a relatively short span of learning, always in great demand where admission seekers throng their portals for enrolment. Maharsi Vedavyasa Pratisthana  of Pune have been managing 34 Gurukula-s from Jammu to Manipur since 1990 specialising in ancient recitation techniques of Veda Mantra-s viz. Swaraghata  and Anupurvi  through Sabdaraksa, Artharaksa  and Siddhanta Sthapana. Punarutthana Samarasta Gurukulam  of Pune specialise in education of skills like pottery, casting, designing, architecture, idol making etc. Majority of their students belong to nomadic communities like Wadars. Apart from these skills, some 350 students are also taught Veda-s, Upanisad-s, Jnyaneswari, Dasabodha, Dhammapada  as well as computers too, equipped with video-conferencing facility. Maitreyee Gurukulam  was established in 1994 at Daksina Kannada district of Karnataka engaged in raising SastraParangata Vidusi-s to the nation through revival of Pancamukhi Siksa. Entire learning is imparted through the medium of Samskrita  alone. They have 97 girls and they all recite Veda Mantra-s everyday. Prabodhini Gurukulam  at Chikamagalore in Karnataka enrols some 20 students in the age group of 10-11 years annually to impart comprehensive education in Yoga, Veda, agriculture, science, art and music. Four languages Kannada, English, Hindi and Samskrita  constitute medium of learning at the Gurukulam. These students are also mandated to render service of treatment through Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Reiki and cow-urine therapy to inhabitants of 20 surrounding villages. Those students also conduct Samskara Kendra-s and Balagokulam-s in those villages. Raised in 1997 in Karnataka, Veda Vijnana Gurukulam  preserve all ancient practices of Veda-s, Sastra-s and Yoga  in their respective pristine ways hitherto on the verge of extinction. Students serve at Samskara Kendra-s, hold Yoga  camps, assist specially-abled ones, visit homes to recite Veda Mantra-s, examined through Slaka  and Pravacana  methods. Nivrtti Gurukulam  at Udupi  admits students after Class 12 to ensure high standards of their higher education. Their everyday morning prayer itself explains mission and vision of the nation. Nityananda Gurukulam  at Bangaluru offers temple based education focused on Agama Sastra  with the temple managed by children. Their syllabus is affiliated with IGCSC of Cambridge University, all students have cracked Mensa IQ having been initiated into 80 Siddhi-s including blindfold reading, body scanning, materialisation etc. out of 463 mentioned in Agama. In 2012, some ISKCON devotees established Avanti Gurukulam  in Baroda wherein students are taught different occupations and live life as defined in Srimadbhagvadgita. One Gurukula  based in Chennai trains in Lakhpati Kheti  wherein a family of five lives joyously with just one acre of land. Akhil Bharatiya Siksana Mandala  supports some 22 Gurukula-s. Griha Gurukula-s too, are being developed wherein a single Acarya  teaches students at his home. Demand for Gurukula-s is growing steadily in Bharata  as well as abroad. KP Sharma, heading Hindu Dharma Samudaya  of Bhutan expressed desire to establish network of Gurukula-s in Bhutan as they have none. Nepal has 225 Gurukula-s supported by their Government, as disclosed by 95 delegates who attended the Sammelan. Two of them are 130 years old and they all encountered existential crisis when Maoism was at it’s peak in Nepal. Ramesvara Gurukula  of Myanmar is the largest one in that country and their Principal Swami Visnu Vallabhananda Saraswati  came to attend the Sammelan.  

The conclave proposed to study all existing Gurukula-s, identify areas of intervention, then suggest remedial measures to benchmark them through Yugunukulikaran  i.e. modernisation bereft of westernisation and Gurukulikaran  i.e. modifying other educational institution on the lines of Gurukula  against best international practices, revival of all 72 Kala-s prescribed for men and 64 for women, priority for CSR funds and recognition from Government bodies. Sarasanghacalaka  of RSS called for concretisation of blue-print of action-plan to be initiated immediately after conclusion of the Sammelan. Study of original scriptures too, was stressed upon in the Sammelan. SamkalpaPatra  of 10-point pledge was administered to attending delegates before the ceremony was concluded. It is expected to be a milestone in reviving Gurukula  system of education in the country.

 

 

Published @ http://www.indusscrolls.com/is-it-possible-to-bring-back-gurukula-system-in-modern-times/

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SPECTACULAR FOUR YEARS OF MODI GOVERNMENT

Narendra Modi Government have accomplished much more development in the country in their four years of tenure than 48-years of almost uninterrupted rule of Congress. Following principles of Antyodaya, development plans under ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government have been commited to inclusive growth that ensured welfare of poor, youth, farmers, minorities and women. Even minorities are quite satisfied as Government have ensured ‘empowerment without appeasement’. Such a massive development extended to all sections of society, had never been witnessed before in country’s history. 

Most conspicuous achievements of the Government have been – 

Revival of economy  When the Government was sworn in May, 2014, national economy was gasping for survival, currency was sliding, foreign exchange reserves under erosion and nation countenanced a menacingly bleak future. PM Modi moved methodically with extreme patience deflecting onslaughts from opposition, demolishing all hurdles to notch 7% GDP by the end of four years of his tenure. FDI has been steadily rising as the nation moved onto to first 100 preferred nations for investment. Even our long time adversary China too have just launched India Investment Fund with an appeal to all to invest in it liberally as Bharatiya economy is well-poised to enter into a golden era.  

International relations  In this area, Modi Government have performed exceedingly well. While BRICS has been energised, SAARC has been accorded a well-deserved burial courtesy our immediate western neighbour. Prestige and image of the country have expanded vertically as well as horizontally multiple fold with the nation being viewed as one of the most important powers in the world. Relations with immediate neighbours are as important as with USA or Japan unlike in past. Real moment of glory was arrived at when UAE allowed us to raise temple in their country. While Prime Minister is assiduously striving to raise the nation to the level of a superpower, his diplomatic efforts to cartelise petroleum buying countries to unite and neutralise frequent petroleum price-hikes by oil producing middle-east countries is unique in it’s own way. His intense efforts to revive Hindu and Buddhist circuits with South-East Asian countries proximate to China to wean them away from China and defeat hostile Chinese designs, are marvellous in vision. Quite paradoxically, Prime Minister proved his nerves in foreign relations in 2014 itself when he secured safe release of Bharatiya nurses from captivity of ISIS without bloodshed or use of force !! 

National defence  Modi Government have been aggressively pursuing upgradation of security forces in all respects. Their morale is now sky high and forces have proved their mettle on several occasions like surgical strikes across borders with Pakistan and Myanmar. Operation Gagan-Shakti, held in April 2018, was acclaimed worldwide with even China compelled to admire that. It was due to rising strength of security forces that Chinese had to retreat in Doklam and Kashmiri separatists brought to book. 

MakeInIndia, Ujjavala, MUDRA Yojana, and JanDhan Yojana  These development schemes have brought about revolutionary changes in lives of crores of deprived natives, languishing at the last rung of society. These schemes have been instrumental in women empowerment too as approximately 74% borrowers without collaterals happen to be literate and semi-literate women. Crores of women have been liberated from the agony of smoke-chulhas through Ujjavala Yojana. Every native of the country now has his / her bank account linked with Aadhaar so that there is no pilferage of subsidies by middlemen / musclemen. These schemes are so effective that even poorest of poor can dream of becoming entrepreneurs instead of being pathetic job-seekers.        

Corruption free governance  Not only there has not been even a single allegation of corruption on Central Government but also radical measures have been adopted to eradicate big-ticket corruption through digitisation, Aaadhaar linking etc. All old cases of corruption charges are being probed meticulously by SIT, agencies and guilty brought to book as per the process of law. 

SwacchaBharata, Demonetisation and GST  These three are historic moves to clean the nation, nullify all illegitimately earned money, inflation as well as counterfeits followed by one indirect taxation system throughout the country. After temporary initial hiccups, these moves have proved to be great boons for nation’s economy that has started growing exponentially. 

Social re-structuring  Modi Government have adopted tough, realistic stand of issues like Haj subsidy, Triple Talaq and Halala, reservation for religious minorities etc. standing like a rock against all sorts of pressure and manipulations. These bold measures have imparted a new dimension to nation’s psyche altogether unknown hitherto. 

These four years were largely consumed in laying foundation stones for a dynamic, thriving Bharatavarsa after mending, repairing all deep cuts, nicks and festering wounds inflicted upon the nation during five decades of Congress regime. Simultaneously, Prime Minister Modi has been relentlessly waging a long-drawn battle against all sorts of anti-national elements within the country bent upon driving the nation towards decline, destruction and disintegration. After reversing decline of the nation, PM Modi is furiously engaged in transforming the nation into a modern and dynamic one. In a nutshell, even poorest of poors have now started dreaming confidently of their golden future in years to come. Following lines of the famous American poet Robert Frost aptly describe the scenario on behalf of the greatest statesman in the world that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is – 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

 

Incidentally, these lines were also very dear to our first Prime Minister JL Nehru too !!           

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XV-FINANCE COMMISSION : FINANCIAL UNIFIER TO THE NATION

First Finance Commission was established by President in 1951 under Article 280 of the Constitution to define financial relations between Central Government and individual State Governments. The Finance Commission (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1951 lays down terms of appointment, qualification, disqualification and powers of the Commission. As prescribed in the Constitution, Finance Commissions are appointed every five years comprising of Chairman and four members. XV-Finance Commission constituted in 2017, has been mandated to formulate recommendations on the basis of which tax revenues are to be divided among Centre and States under new regime of GST and a resolve for augmented devolution of financial resources to States, ground of real actions of development.  

XV-Finance Commission has suddenly attained paramount importance owing to their decision of relying on Census-2011, the latest one available hitherto, for the purpose of formulating their recommendations. This one decision, absolutely appropriate and objective, has raised lot of dust and storm in southern States, aggravated by ongoing political atmosphere of recriminations and isolationism. GST and Census-2011 have together transformed entire contours of the institution of Finance Commission just as entire political class suddenly woke up to tremendous importance of NCERT ignored and neglected till then, when NDA-1 headed by PM Vajpayee undertook the exercise of re-writing school textbooks in 1998 !! Finance Ministers of Southern States lost no time in assembling in Thiruvananthapuram to express their serious apprehensions about XV-FC recommendations based on Census-2011 report that states declining rate of population growth and population stabilisation in those States. Those are Apprehensions In Anticipation (AIA) indeed !!   

Their AIA are largely based on a possible significant decline in their share of taxes received from Centre as they have been performing better than northern States in terms of HDI including population replacement. Kerala and Tamil Nadu together declined to add 30 million more mouths in that period of 1971-2011 while UP, MP, Bihar and Rajasthan merrily added 50 million more mouths to burden national resources during the same KalaKhanda. Every prosperous State whether Gujarat, Maharashtra, Panjab or Haryana have a permanent grouse that they always receive much less share of taxes per Rupee transferred to Centre by them. Whenever political party in power in these States is different from that in Centre, they vehemently demand, entire revenue collected by them must not be touched by the Centre while more than willing to ‘sacrifice’ their share of central allocations in favour of backward States. If such nefarious demands are to be considered seriously, not only entire concept of distribution of resources among States is rendered infructuous but also it raises a serious question as to why should all these States remain united in a single republic at all !! Why should the country exist at all then ?? If wealthy States in a nation decline to support weaker States to rise and prosper, it will lead to complete anarchy and fragmentation of entire country which in turn, will destroy their entire prosperity to reckon with. Addressing regional disparities financially, is a paramount task of every Finance Commission. Poverty anywhere in a country is a threat to prosperity everywhere in the country. Richer States shall always receive less than what they contribute to the nation only to ensure, all round development and inclusive growth for all. That is celebrated as the most progressive way of devolution of development funds from Centre to States.  

Reverting to the myth of North-South Divide being methodically created by Southern Finance Ministers, it is interestingly ironical that north too have rich States viz. Panjab, Haryana and they too, receive less than what they contribute to the Central pool of taxes. So resources ‘sacrificed’ by southern States do not move into coffers of wealthy northern States at all. It is an interesting observation that districts in north Karnataka contribute higher proportion of taxes than districts in southern Karnataka yet they spend more in districts of southern Karnataka even as the State Finance Minister complains about North-South Divide in the country !! Western UP, as developed as any other advanced State in the country, contributes maximum revenue to the State Government that is mostly deployed in eastern regions of the State. North-South Divide is being propagated by vested political interests owing to impending Karnataka Assembly-2018 and Lok Sabha-2019 elections notwithstanding grave consequences that may fall upon national unity and scars thereof, may be difficult to heal soon. 

Nation have come a long way from Census-1971 to Census-2011. During this period of existence and development, even poor, backward States have registered giant strides when it comes to demographic composition and they are continuously improving in terms of population replacement. It will be an entirely preposterous and a regressive exercise in futility if XV-Finance Commission are to formulate their recommendations based on Census-1971. Nation have undergone gigantic socio-economic changes in this 30 year KalaKhanda  and it would amount to spike of irrationality if improvised data available are ignored to placate a few lobbies of vested political interests. As a matter of fact, all their AIA are hilarious and ignorant in nature because during KalaKhanda  of Census-1971 to Census-2011, poor and backward States had added more than 100% mouths to be fed than those Southern States (50 to 75%) whose Finance Ministers congregated to object incorporation of Census-2011 as baseline of fresh recommendations !! They may well turn out to be losers in terms of devolution of taxes if recommendations are again based on Census-1971 which they have been demanding ignorantly. On the contrary, Finance Minister has already categorically assured them ‘incentives for efforts and progress made in moving towards replacement rate of population growth” destined to reward States all over the nation who have done well in terms of demographic composition. 

It may well turn out to be a matter of interesting research as to how much poor and backward States contribute to tax collections as large number of manufacturing units are located in those States, vast reservoirs of natural resources viz. coal, iron ore and other minerals, water, petroleum etc. too, are located in those States. Moreover, being highly populous, they are Consumption States and pay indirect taxes on huge volume of purchases. Now all these huge amount of taxes collected in natural resource rich Consumption States, are transferred to their respective corporate headquarters located in metros like Mumbai, Bangaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad etc. from where direct and indirect taxes are paid to the Government and credit for being huge tax contributors to the Centre is appropriated by those States. Therefore, is it not true that poor, backward States have paid significantly for the development and prosperity of developed and prosperous States in western and southern regions ?? Is it not true that large chunk of taxes contributed by wealthy States to Centre in reality, belongs to poor and backward States ??   

Similarly, it may also be researched how much funds collected as deposits by commercial banks in poor and backward States are deployed as credit for development of developed and prosperous States. Credit-Deposit Ratios of all these States may well turn out to be an eye-opener for all those holding Apprehensions In Anticipation dear to their bosoms and stoking fires of separatism for their political gains.  

The institution has also been responsible for democratising the issue of Special Status accorded to certain States based on defined guidelines. This issue had assumed extensive coverage in media when Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister CB Naidu was obstinate about grant of special status to AP though Prime Minister firmly turned it down as it would have opened a Pandora’s Box for 10 more States (Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, 6 NE States, Bihar and Rajasthan) to rise demanding the same though their reasons for special status are more genuine than that of Andhra Pradesh. 

Finance Commissions have always been instrumental in integrating the nation financially, then socio-politically.

 

Published @ https://makingindiaonline.in/online-news-in-hindi/2018/05/08/xv-finance-commission-financial-unifier-to-the-nation/

 

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