“True education means trying to manifest the inner divinity in man. How is this manifestation to be brought about? Students must receive education that illumines every aspect of life – the economic, the political, the moral, the spiritual and the physical, the mental and the social environment of man. It should not be confined to one specific sphere. Many students consider book knowledge as education. This gives them only superficial knowledge. They need practical knowledge which will enable them to lead righteous lives.” (Bhagwan Baba)
A young disciple having spent many years with his Guru, asked him a question, “Sir, I have acquired so much knowledge on all the subjects during my stay here. But I am not at peace. Tell me, which Vidya is that which leads to complete knowledge of everything there is to know in the universe.
The Guru was pleased at the disciple. He said, “This is such a simple question. Yet the most fundamental and pertinent! Let me explain. There are two types of education. Para and Apara. Apara Vidya includes all that can be acquired through education, about all the subjects you can think of. It includes languages, literature, science, technology, geography … including all the sacred texts.”
“Para Vidya is the knowledge gained through the process and progress while traversing from I to we; from Atma to Paramatma. The transformation and evolution is what Para Vidya is all about.
Apara vidya is limited to knowledge. Para Vidya is about understanding through experience. Talking about understanding through experience, the ancients tell us about Divya drishti. Drishti literally means sight. Most of us have eyes, so we have sight. Some of us have foresight and some are farsighted while others can see only in hindsight! Same may have insight too … A combination of insight and foresight may result in vision. A person with a vision or a visionary may not necessarily be physically sighted. He may even be physically blind. Remember Soordas!
When vision is directed by devotion to the Divine in the form of Bhakti and insight is evolved enough to attain Viveka, a person may acquire Divya Drishti!
On a mundane level, the modern system of education talks only about attainment of knowledge. Sadly the modern student learns the text, only with a view to pass the exam. The understanding is not the focus and experience is absolutely far- fetched, because in the fast pace of life, we want to achieve so much in such little time. When multi-tasking is the order of the day, understanding just gets left behind somewhere. At junior school, when our generation was taught 3×6=18 it meant that, if I had 3 chocolates each in a pack and had 6 packs, or conversely if I had 3 packs containing 6 chocolates each; I had altogether 18 chocolates. It also meant that 3+3+3+3+3+3=18. But today’s child is in too much of a hurry. He just picks up the calculator and punches 3×6=18. He may not understand how he arrived at the number 18.
Just theoretical knowledge may create clutter in the mind. The mind has to be stilled, in order that it may think, pause, wonder and ruminate . . . With each passing day we learn new things. Learning and experience are never ending. Have you ever wondered what the last thing one learns by experience is? It is the experience of dying!
Complete education cannot be attained by just attending classes and clearing exams . . . the experience of life is an education at every moment. The human mind is so fickle and wavering in nature that many of us go through life without understanding the purpose or the value of life. It is only the blessed few that experience the bliss of having connected with the Divine and understanding the ‘why’ of life!