Sri Sathya Sai Vrindawith Love, at His service

Who should decide on a child’s study direction? – Divine Discourse Summary – January 23, 2020

The modern education today is granting all kinds of knowledge to the students, several abilities and talents but they are all only external in nature. However, nothing is being taught to the students that can help them turn inwards, control their mind and senses and be still and composed. Every child is born unique with his own abilities, likes, interests and the purpose in life. Somebody may be a good musician; may not become a good mathematician. But unfortunately, none of the parents are interested in knowing what the child is good at, what is the interest of the child. They are only interested in the marks that are obtained by writing these standardised exams everywhere. However, this is not the right approach to a child’s life which is so precious. We can be happy, and we can do only that which we like to do, which we are made to do; doing anything else becomes burdensome.

This, parents must understand by observing their children’s interest from the beginning. In Indian culture we believe that the child is born with the Vasanas of the past, with the instincts of the past. The parents will take and submit the child to a guru in a Gurukula. Guru would observe the child, understand what the child is interested in and accordingly train and teach the child. It was always possible that the king’s son might become a poet, or the poet’s son might become a farmer, or a farmer’s son might become a Pandit. But with the passage of time, due to the commercialisation of all vocations and professions, the only purpose of all education became earning money and leading a comfortable life.

Our system of education is trying to bring back that original idea of education where education was imparted to every child first free, second, according to the interest and taste of that child. The child may not be great at mathematics but might be very good at literature. If such a child is made to feel that he or she is a dunce because she did not score well in mathematics, it is going to be unfair and unjust to that child. Therefore, the effort of our teachers should be to identify that talent, that special ability that God has bestowed upon that child and help that child develop that particular talent and not just worry about the marks that they are attaining in different subjects. If money alone made people happy, then all the wealthiest people should have been the happiest. But unfortunately, the wealthiest people are the most sad today. If you are good at something be it literature, art, music, science, any field, if you do well, if you have developed expertise on that, know for sure that money, name, fame, popularity, everything will follow it like a shadow.