J. Krishnamurti on Education – Part 1
When I started this blog, I promised myself that I will write something everyday and share it with all of you over the morning tea. But as it happens with all the promises and resolutions, I am writing very rarely. From today onwards, I will try to have tea with you more frequently.
Today’s post is about chapter of a book. Before I write anything about what I read, let me share something about the author and the book. The Book is compilation of letters of J. Krishnamurti to his schools. Today me and Manish were just wandering around and got into a book shop. Although I always think that I will not buy new unless I read the old ones, I bought two new books. Both are authored by J. Krishnamurti, one is the letters to schools and other one is “On love and loneliness”.
I first knew about the krishnamurti long back, not sure exactly, but it should be atleast 5 – 6 years back. I went with Mohit (one of my frens) to our teachers house Mr. Agnihotri. He used to teach us english during our 12th standard. I was influenced by him for many reasons, first he encouraged me to learn and read more english and secondly because of his dedication and vast knowledge. Till 12th, I was doing my education with hindi medium and because of his encouragement I started reading ‘Readers Digests’ and ultimately switched to english medium after 12th. Whenever I look on my Book shelf, I don’t find any hindi book, and I wonder had I not switched over to english, I would have missed all these good books.
After coming out of schools also, we (me and mohit) used to visit him. On the one hand I was interested in his vast knowledge, mohit is interested in Hinduism and all the pooja rituals he knows. Mr. Agnihotri, although an english teacher, comes from a family which is known in our town (Rishikesh) for its Vedic background and he is considered to be one of the best teachers for Sanskrit and Vedas. So that day when we visited him, I brought the topic of OSHO. At that time I was reading OSHO. I wanted to discuss this topic because, I wanted to know his thoughts about the Osho, as he is strong believer in all the hindu religious rituals and Osho strongly condemns these. Surprisingly he told me that he has read Osho a lot and told me you should read all this and atleast you mind will be open. And he also suggested me to read the Krishnamurti and gave me a book to read. That day I started reading the Krishnamurti.
I can tell you a lot about all this, but will come to this chapter first.
Whenever I review any book, I will mostly give my favourite parts and quotes of the book and not my thoughts on the book. Then you are to decide, if you like it.
Once I read a book of “Shri Aurbindo” about education system in India, it suggested to scrap the system we are following now in our schools and book was published in 18xx. It had the outline of how will be the education once we get independence. It has not happened yet. Krishnakurti also has unique thoughts on education. In this particular letter, he is emphasising on importance of learning and leisure.
“The whole movement of life is learning…..the accumulation of knowledge, which is called learning and to which we are so accustomed, is necessary to a limited extent, but the limitation prevents us from comprehending ourselves………
We learn from a book or from a teacher who has a great deal of information about a subject, and our brains are filled this information….this process goes on endlessly, and gradually we become second-hand human beings… this is our modern education…
The act of learning is the act of pure observation, and this observation is not held within the limitation of memory. We learn to earn a living but we never live.
It is only when you have leisure that you can learn….learning can take place only when there is no pressure of any kind….
We are so occupied with our livelihood that it takes that it takes all the energy of the mechanism of thought, so we are exhausted at the end of the day….
There is no leisure to learn, and so life becomes mechanical, almost meaningless…. leisure is a period when the mind is not occupied with anything whatsoever.. it is time of observation.
It is the absolute responsibility of the teacher to cultivate the flowering of goodness in leisure… for this reason the schools exis… “
That’s all for today… will share something tomorrow….
– Gaurav Sangtani