We have to study education that leads us to immortality. There is only one Truth. It is spoken of in different ways by different men and women of wisdom. Truth is that which will never change even with change of place, time and circumstances. The principle of Truth is that which is ever pure, ever blissful and awareness. All subjects and education should be studied in order to know the Truth.
The word vidya has two letters – vi and dya. ‘Vid’ means to know, ‘ya’ means that. True education is to know ‘that’. When you ask the question, what is ‘that’: that is the principle of Truth. The ultimate goal of education and vidya is to know that Truth, which is eternal, permanent, steady and changeless. Body and mind are ever changing; therefore, they cannot be the Truth. There is only one atma – the atmic principle – which is eternal and permanent. There is only one atma, which pervades every creature. To know this eternal truth is the ultimate goal of education and an important part of education. There is nothing wrong in learning material education because we are a part of the material world and have to continue to live in this material world. But to learn only material education, thinking that that is the ultimate truth, cannot be called true vidya; it is avidya or ignorance.
Even through the ears, which are our instruments for listening, we can listen to only particular frequency of sounds – not below, not above. There is no way we can refuse that there will be other kind of sound waves, which exist below what we can perceive and above what we can listen. It is a big mistake to think that what we can learn through this body-mind complex is all the truth. In fact, what we think exists, does not exist. What we think does not exist, really exists. There is only one thing that is existing, and that is God; in fact, this world does not exist at all.
Even if you want to look at your reflection in a mirror, there should be three facilities. The first thing is mala – there should not be any dust on the mirror. The second is vikshepa – there should be a light, which dispels darkness around you and the mirror. The third is avarana – what it means is the mirror should not be covered by a piece of cloth. The true mirror, the beautiful mirror, is our inner senses – i.e. antahakarana. But the inner senses or the antahakarana is covered by the body, mind and the intellect; therefore, we are not able to see the ultimate truth within ourselves. Body consciousness is a kind of cover. As long as we have body consciousness, we cannot enjoy divine consciousness. This body is mine, I am not the body. When we can rise above body consciousness, we are removing the cover that covers the mirror. When you fill the mind with the light of wisdom, the darkness of ignorance will go away and you will be able to see your reflection. That is why it is said that this ultimate wisdom, awareness, is God. Only when we purify the mind, the mind will become steady and firm. By getting into good company, you can get rid of the perversions of the mind and rise to know the Truth.
As long as we have a trace of selfishness, we will never be able to recognise the atma. We have to rise from selfishness to selflessness and from selflessness to the divine principle. The ultimate goal of education is to rise from tamasik quality to rajasik quality and then finally to satvik quality. The feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ is full of animalist quality and beastliness. Divinity is to know that everything belongs to God ultimately.
From ajnana (ignorance), first we know vijnana (science). But from vijnana, we have to rise to sujnana – the good wisdom – that is spiritual education. When both vijnana and sujnana get together, it leads to prajnana, the complete wisdom. The real nature of man – svabhava – is to know the atmic reality, divine reality. What is this atma or atmic reality? It is pure love, it is seeing oneness everywhere. That is ultimate wisdom. When we see the oneness, we attain purity; when we have the purity, we can attain divinity.
When we truly love God, we will not involve ourselves in any sinful activities. When we have devotion, no sin can taint us. When we develop true devotion, we will have fear of sin and then we will have morality in society. We have to develop devotion in children and that is the kind of education we have to inculcate. Then the students will offer every one of their actions for love of God. All actions will be to help others and not to hurt and harm others. Only when all the spiritual institutions and religious institutions get together to push forward this change and transformation in the society, we will be able to safeguard the interests of the society.