Education for the soul - Audio

We are directed towards one basic aim,− how to touch the soul of the children; through their mind, through their vital, through their body but much more directly. So in one important experiment we suppressed all lectures. We decided that nobody will give any lectures at all. Imagine a school of 700 children, 150 teachers and there are no lectures at all. So where there are no lectures, the question was how will you communicate and how will you do your teaching work at all? So what we did was that we prepared lot of learning material and we gave this learning material like in an exhibition and this exhibition was as it were graded so that for one grade you have one kind of exhibition, another with another kind of exhibition and then students were asked to choose whatever learning material they felt interested in. And in each group we had one or two teachers made available, not for lecturing but just for meeting.

This is Tushar? How are you, fine? I came particularly for you.

Comment: You are really fortunate Tushar. Mr Joshi is speaking particularly to you.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: You talked to me on the telephone, so I decided that I must come myself to talk to you.

Tushar: Thank you

So children were asked to select materials and each group had one or two or three teachers available and students were supposed to work on the learning materials themselves. Now the learning material was written in a particular fashion and for this we spent about one month before starting this program. The learning material contained substance of certain subjects of studies but the exposition was supposed to be full of blanks. A lot of material is given and then suddenly the child would find that there are many blanks. So the child cannot read through without filling in the blanks. Now for filling the blanks there was other material given by the study of which they would be enabled to fill the blanks. Then there are so many other documents also made available on their desks so that they can refer to those materials too. And still if they had difficulties they could go to the teacher and ask a question and the teacher was supposed to give a minimum of the answer, no lecturing but minimum of answer. So this was a very great experiment and we found that children were making tremendous progress, every child was an active instrument of learning and teachers were on their toes because they did not know what kind of question we put at what point and by whom and how to answer that question. So teachers had to be quite up to the mark in regard to the materials and then the teacher was supposed to correct whatever the child was writing after filling up the blanks. For example if you have to say: Hsuan Tsang visited India in 800 AD, he came from China. And during his visit to India he had a large view of the world at large. Did he have the map of the world that is a question mark? Remember that Columbus discovered America in 1492.

Now what kind of world was available to Hsuan Tsang at that time? Although he thought he knew the whole world, objectively speaking he did not know. So material was written in this fashion so that the child's knowledge is generated basically from himself by combining so much data. Now this was one experiment we carried out and it was a great success and as a result of that children became very inward looking. Normally in a classroom when the students are learning, listening to the lectures the whole attention is outward going. Very rarely the students are involved while listening to the lectures. But when you are doing work on your own then the children are drawn inwards and the atmosphere is not of listening but of doing the work themselves, very quietly.

And the responsibility of completing our course was not on the teachers but it was upon the pupils. And they were free to move fast, if they wanted to they could move slowly, if they wanted to, they could do any subject which they liked at any given time, so that there was no timetable at all and they could mix up any kind of subjects − for example during this period, one child came to me and said I want to study the history of costumes. The child was only 11 years old but had a tremendous interest in costumes. So she said I want to learn the history of costumes. So I myself had to study the subject and prepare so many materials for the child and while I was doing that another child came and said I want to learn the history of weapons. So I had to start another subject myself to research various kinds of weapons from the earliest times to the present day − from catapults to atom bombs.

So things of this kind began to happen and this was a tremendous load on the teachers because they had to work quite a lot but fortunately we had 150 teachers all devoted to the task of making experiments. So we could do quite well. But this was only an external aspect; the internal aspect was that as a result of this the children began to grow inwardly. We could see that the children were becoming extremely inwardly disciplined and the inner being was flowering. And the relationship between the teacher and the pupil was growing very close.

Now this was our first experiment which you could call a radical experiment, this was followed by a modified experiment where lectures were allowed but within limits because this experiment showed that lectures are not entirely useless. Many excessive lectures of course are to be avoided but there are lectures which are quite important and they could also be useful. So we made experiments to find out what exactly is the utility of a lecture and what is the limitation of a lecture? So this experiment went on for two years.

We found there were three kinds of lectures, lectures which are simply expressions of the ambition of the teacher. The teacher felt extremely happy to exhibit his own knowledge, which is one kind of motivation in a lecture. The second was demonstrative lecture, not exhibition of one's knowledge but demonstration as to how the teacher thinks in his mind, can be expounded through a lecture; just as you do gymnastics display and you show how the different gymnastics are conducted; similarly when a teacher is giving a lecture, he is not giving a lecture to exhibit his own knowledge but he wants to take the child within his own mind and show his mind as to how his own mind is working. So that is the second type of a lecture − demonstrative lecture. And the third is the lecture for inspiration; you inspire the students by lectures. So these are three different kinds of lectures. so we suppress the first kind, the exhibitive type but demonstrative types are quite good but demonstrative types can descend into the executive type, there is a danger that it can descend into the exhibitive, so one has to be very careful in not falling into that kind of a pit. Very fine thin line between the two views.

Now as far as the inspirational lectures are concerned there are very few who can give inspirational lectures. So we made research as to when can a person give a truly inspiring lecture? First when the teacher himself is in love with the subject, that is when he is capable of giving an inspiring lecture, this is one condition but not sufficient condition, it's a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition. Secondly, he must have done fresh research, you may love your subject but if you keep repeating the same subject then it doesn't become an inspiring lecture, you must make a fresh research. Having made a fresh research, you must have a great joy of sharing with others. When these three conditions combine together then you can give an inspiring lecture. This joy of sharing again has certain conditions. When do you have the joy of sharing? And this is where exactly the real task of the teacher consists.

You feel the joy of sharing when you do not have authoritative sense, when you are free from being an authority. When you are a child with children and then only you can share because you are a child with the children, you feel happy to be with everybody as a child. Secondly, when your own soul is filled with intimacy of the inner being of the students, when you feel that you are intimate with the people with whom you are sharing. And this cannot happen unless you yourself lead an inner life that is why all teachers cannot be inspiring teachers. They have to lead a life in which they feel inwardly very much intimate with the souls of the others. And this is where soul education comes into the picture.

When you are in this condition, when the teacher is in this condition then he may give a long lecture or a short lecture, he may not lecture at all he may just be with the students and that would be an inspiration. He may only give a few answers to questions and that also will be sufficient because the condition of the soul is that of communication with the inner soul of the students. Now this is the one kind of research that we did and we concluded that in these conditions lectures are very important and you should allow them but when these conditions are not obtained, it's best that the children do the work on their own and teachers give only answers when required.

Apart from this we arrived at three other conclusions. A lecture is important when you want to introduce a subject. Again it is important when you want to give a synoptic view of a subject, − for example at one time I had 40 students in my class of philosophy and each one was allowed to do any subject in philosophy according to his or her interest. There were no general courses of philosophy. But at a certain stage they all said they wanted to have a synoptic view of the history of Western philosophy. So in three days' time, I constantly gave four hours talks, every day, for three days, so 12 hours of talks on the history of western philosophy in a synoptic way. So when you want to give a synoptic view of things then also a lecture is very useful, either when you want to introduce a subject or when you want to give a synoptic view. Or thirdly when you want to create a collective consciousness about a subject then also a lecture is very important. And finally when students have studied a subject in common on their own then for question-answers a collective lecture is a good instrument. But apart from these needs, lectures are not necessary.

Now having come to this conclusion we established a whole system of education, where the bedrock of the school is not students coming to school to listen to the lectures but students coming to learn on their own. So basically the students have this set in their mind. They are not going to school to listen to the lectures but we are going to school to study and to explore. Teachers are available whenever they are needed and that they are free to swim on whatever subject they are interested in at any given time. And teachers would decide as to who is a good inspirer and who should give lectures, others need not give lectures; everybody is not a good lecturer so why should we impose that task upon everybody. And then according to the needs, according to these purposes lectures could be given from time to time. So this is a new system of education that was evolved.

Three things happened as a result of this experiment. One was that students could run very fast according to their capacity or could run slowly according to their incapacity and there was no blame or praise about either, depending upon each individual. The second was that students could widen their interests beyond the borders of prescribed syllabus. They were free to take up any subject and they could concentrate upon anything, for example some of my students wanted to see (there were about children about seven eight years old) what is inside the sea. They got interested in the question of what is inside the sea. So one or two teachers were assigned to them, to these two children just to take them to the ocean every day and then talk to them about the ocean and about the animals of the ocean and about so many fishes and the whole life of the animals in the sea. And I must say that within two years of time, they had fantastic knowledge because in these two years they read so many books on this subject which you could have never prescribed at all in the school because of the inner interest.

Thirdly, we could give a new system of examination. In this system, first of all there was no uniform examination for anybody. No one question paper given to 40 students. Examination was given to every child when he needed either when he asked or when the teacher felt that he needed an examination for this particular subject, or for this particular line of development that he has been pursuing. And sometimes the teacher was supposed to give a given student impromptu examination without any notice. Sometimes examination was given as a matter of fun, just for the sake of exercise. So sometimes the examination was for making the child aware of what he knows or what he does not know, sometimes for assessment of what he has done and in this system nobody failed because everybody had an examination just for the sake of progressing further.

So in this way the whole system of education right from kindergarten up to post graduation, we gradually went on developing for each level there are special needs. Keeping in mind all these needs we went on developing the whole system and within five years by 1972 we had started 61. It took us 11 years, and from kindergarten to the post- graduation we had a completely new system of education. So we felt it is possible to practically implement what we call psychic education, − education of the soul.

Question: But Uncle, children of his age how do we help them focus on what is the aim of their life, how do we help them focus inside as well as outside. For instance this child, how do I help them focus on what is his present needs, as well as help him develop his soul, how does as a mother help? Because this is a problem which I and he face every day, there is a constant battle of words and there's a constant telling him that you are not on the right path. He thinks he's on the right path and I think he's not focused properly and what he wants to achieve, he thinks he knows it all. So this constant battle which all mother's face with our teenage children and at the end of it we are both nowhere. Neither am I anywhere, neither is he, it starts all over again.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: There are three things which have to be understood. First, that the mother or the father has to be prepared to be led by the child. That's the first thing. When you said just now that you feel that child is not on the right lines, now it is quite probable that you are quite right but the child is never entirely wrong. So the task of the mother is to find out in what strengths of the child's movement he is right? So you have to start with an assumption that the child is not entirely wrong. This proposition that he is wrong is to be modified; he may be wrong but not entirely wrong. So you have to find out what are the strands of his movement in which he is really right. Now this requires a lot of introspection, a lot of understanding, what the child is really striving at? What does he really want? What is he looking for? Because every child is fundamentally trying to express his soul, he may not know about soul or anything at all but every child, every individual actually every one of us, is fundamentally trying to express his inner soul.

We do not know that soul, we do not know how we are expressing but there is a striving that has to be accepted. In order to help ourselves into striving, I had once told you of the fourfold movement of the soul. The movement of knowledge, movement of power, movement of harmony and movement of skill − these are the four movements of the soul as distinguished from all other movements. In one way or the other these four movements are constantly moving out of ourselves. It is for us to know which one of these four is being pursued or which two of the four or which all the four of them are in an inadequate manner, imperfect manner, in a very crude manner, which of these four movements are really being pursued by the child. And the task of ours is to give conditions in which this movement is emphasized and to tell the child he is quite right. The child being told by the parent that he's right is a great encouragement. So we should have a multiplicity of occasions where we can tell the child you are quite right. And when there is a multiplicity of these movements then sometimes when you really feel he's wrong and if you tell the child he's wrong, he will appreciate you. Because very largely he's being told right, and sometimes if he's wrong then he can also sit back and say: yes let me see where I am wrong. And when somebody is wrong or the child is wrong, one has to be very careful in telling the child that he's wrong. There are brusque manners of telling: Oh! You are wrong or you don't do anything right, or whenever you do you break things. Oh! You have not yet developed intelligence, things like these kinds of remarks are extremely wrong and they can be avoided.

Comment: I’m guilty of it all.

Question: Can you try to repeat these four movements?

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Movement of knowledge, movement of power, movement of harmony and movement of skill − these are four movements of the soul, everyone has got these movements, all four movements in some measure or the other and it is through these movements that our soul is expressing itself.

Comment: but when you said these four movements I was thinking which movement my soul is taking?

Prof. Kireet Joshi: So this is the question therefore to ask again, right you are studying? What are you studying, tell me?

Question: My subjects? History, geography, civics, economics, maths and research.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: You like all the subjects? Which subjects do you like?

Answer: Towards the beginning I liked all but towards the end I don't like any but in the beginning I liked English and towards the end when you get the hang of maths, you start liking it.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: You know the method of teaching subjects in our schools is so crude. For example history is one of the most fascinating subjects but we never tell history in the right way. History and geography should be taught together because you have to explain space and time because history is time and geography is space and space and time are always correlated; so geography and history are always correlated.

For example, I was just talking about how Hsuan Tsang came from China to India. If I tell the child Hsuan Tsang came to India in 800 AD. The child doesn't feel interested in it at all because he doesn't know China, he doesn't know India, he doesn't know 800 AD. Now it makes no sense actually. So the first thing to tell the child is to speak of China to speak of India, what is the 8th century? What does the 8th century mean? And what was happening in India at that time and why should a Chinese traveller take the trouble of travelling on foot from such a far distant land to India and to travel the whole of India and to spend years and years, and he went back, he went took a caravan of books with him from India in Sanskrit, which he went afterwards back to China translated into Chinese.

Now imagine, just imagine a case of today. If you would like to go to any country with such a task, you wouldn't. Why because there's no attraction in any country of this kind but at that time there was such a great attraction in India that somebody happened to come to India like that. First of all you must understand that to come from China to India how does one come from China to India? It's no joke, no, such a huge mountain to be crossed, especially at that time. And such dangers of travel and then India also, one doesn't know what kind of India was at that time. There were so many kingdoms of India at that time; there was not one kingdom as today. So you have to pass through so many kingdoms. You have to imagine the atmosphere at that time that the great atmosphere of India at that time was not kingdoms but search of nirvana. That was the main search at that time people were asking how do you get nirvana that was the question. So very often our children are not told how to understand history and geography so the subjects are very dry. Now you said you like English

Tushar: That too in the beginning, there's so much activity, you have to write and all the chapters, new chapters that you haven't read it's interesting in the beginning but in the end it's really, it's a drag towards the end because you're constantly repeating one after the other, like you have so many tests and three semesters then this last board. And so by the time you get so sick of it doing this again and again.

Comment: There can't be greater evidence of the failure of present educational systems than what this 14 year old boy tells us.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Yes absolutely, such a bright boy.

Tushar: For example here we have this chapter called 'Space Exploration' so what the teacher did was she just came basically she read the chapter and she went away. So we said this chapter's got such a great scope or you could show us a video, cassette or something. Oh! Why should I take the painS and you have to finish the course and I’ll have to arrange for a video then you will get the video? No. I don't mind getting it. No, but how will I finish the course then you must understand, I've to finish the course.

Comment: So this is the calibre of the teacher.

Tushar: It was such an interesting chapter that was just lost because of the uninteresting text that was given. She said she said: okay, you get books about space exploration. All of us got so many books, she didn't even see one. I said: mam put up a bulletin board about all the interesting events and so many and like she could show us a movie or something but nothing because she had to finish the course.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: You require a great individualized education yourself. You are a good explorer yourself. He is a great seeker of knowledge. It is because they are not being given knowledge therefore you are feeling not interested. You are a seeker of knowledge basically.

Tushar: like in Hindi, we have to learn all these like writers and all we have to learn their whole life stories, imagine learning ten people's life story, where they were born, in which here they were born, which school they started I mean I can't remember that from my own family members, often I remember so many writers and then they expect her to reproduce it word by word. Whenever I’m studying, my parents say why don't you just try to understand it. But that's not what the examiner is going to ask. He's going to see have you reproduced what's given in the book. Should we produce that word to word, it's fine and good? If you haven't, if you've been trying to express yourself in your own words....

Comment: Tushar, you don't have to pick up word by word, if you understand the fundamental requirement, time is the essence. If you know when Methali Sharan Gupta was born then you can understand his literature better than today. He was not born in the 21st century, he was born maybe 100 years ago, 150 years ago, what was the condition of that time? When was Tulsidas born?

Tushar: But you can't give your own inputs. You have to give whatever is given in the book the same words, the same thing.

Comment: You must understand the requirement of learning about the time, which is very important because unless it is about the timing of a person, you won't understand his work because the work is related to that time. In any drama, written in any period of time reflects the circumstances prevailing at that point of time, that's the essence of time. So you don't consider it as superfluous, why should you learn, when was Surdas born and when was Tulsidas born and under what circumstances he was living? There's a basic need for this, if you want to understand his literature then you must understand when he was born, in what period of time he was writing. So this is a basic necessity, you don't have to verbatim, I mean learn or cram it up. But you must understand the basics.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: He has a big problem. The parents and teachers expect that he should get good marks first. Secondly teachers don't spend time on all the aspects that you are mentioning in which he is interested basically. And thirdly the courses are so heavy that if he goes into questions of this kind with regard to every question that is put, there's no time. For now these three important points are there in his conditions. I do not know what is the answer to be given to him because unless I teach him myself .

Tushar: Like for example my Hindi sir comes, he's making me write letters and essays and all that. Even if I try a little new style of it, like putting it in a different way and he said: no, you can't do it that way. I said so I’m just trying to express myself. No but you can't, that's not the way.

Comment: No, that is arbitrary.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: He's so creative; he's very creative you're a wonderful boy, very nice boy.

Question: There's one other problem he faces: he gets very nervous before the exams, extremely nervous. Now he's not been able to control it for the last three years, he suffers from a severe bout when the exams come.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: But it requires a good teacher, who should take him on an excursion for 20 days or 30 days and sit with him. Why don't you arrange really, seriously. He's so creative.

Tushar: Any time you tell me.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: If I had time, I would take him because he's so wonderful, I like him so much.

Tushar: Today's exams, he has time and after this 20th.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: But you are going away to Bangalore.

Comment: There are two of them anybody can look after him, really get to have input from you about his future.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: He's so creative himself and he requires these inputs. Whatever you say now, these inputs require time and it does not need to be bothered about whether the examination is to answer or not. He needs to know for the sake of knowledge. And for example his question as to why video should not be shown in a subject where a video would be tremendously different.

Tushar: Maybe at a plantation class, where plants, yes that's a good thing but why we were doing it was not because we wanted to plant trees but because we wanted to get an A grade. We had to be present every time for that class because what did she make us do? She made us, painting work was going on in the building and there were these large Ashoka trees, all the paint got deposited on the leaves. So she gave us all the rags and told us, clean. I mean that that's really not fair, you're just going to the class because you want a grade not because of interest or anything. No interest, no new things, every time we just took some plants and put them in the pot. She never tried out new styles, she didn't teach her how to make bonsai and that was promised at the beginning of the year. She didn't know anything about that.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: I must resign from my work and take him up but what is necessary is to, you yourself can take him for an excursion for 20 or 30 days and just leave it and excuse it. You go to Darjeeling or a place like that for 30 days and take with you such beautiful books and just be with him all the time. Would you like to do it? Please do that. I really recommend you, all right, please do that during this vacation. Just in one month and be exclusively with him. No other occupation in your lives, accepting him. He is such a beautiful gift to you, I tell you truly not because he's your son but he's such a beautiful child he deserves to be given that much time. And you yourself are so educated and you should pour in him whatever he can take. And if I get the time, I like to go with him sometimes.

Comment: Would you like to tell him something, how he should sit and meditate every day maybe a little.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: I am opposed to all mechanical things. So it would be wrong for me to say, every day five minutes you take out, I am opposed to all mechanical things. You should never do anything mechanically but what I can say is that you should have every day, whenever you feel happy, a time for contemplation. You know this is what I was doing myself and as a child. What is your age now?

Tushar: I'll turn 15.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: When I was 13, 14, for two years I did this exercise before going to sleep, 15 minutes I used to be in contemplation; when I used to think that I am as wide as the whole universe.

Tushar: Whereas there was this lecture demonstration on aerobics, Reebok and we weren't allowed to go for that and other people were allowed. So I mean that that's really not fair, you should go for what you like and you shouldn't be forced.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: So you have to contemplate that you are as wide as possible. Secondly, everyone should be happy, everyone should be happy. And third was an aspiration that I want to give my life to make the whole world happy. For two years I had this contemplation regularly and there was no mechanical repetition of name or any mantra or anything of the kind but only this aspiration.

I don't say that this is good for everyone but everyone should find out one or two thoughts in which one feels very happy, you find out what thoughts really make you happy. And then regularly one can go on repeating it in one's consciousness. So instead of sitting for meditation this is a better way of spending this time. So I wouldn't prescribe him any mechanical method of meditating. Tell me do you like to do something with your hands, stuff like mechanics or painting, drawing, clay work?

Tushar: Yeah pottery.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: You like pottery huh?

Tushar: I never got to handle it but it is fascinating.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Really.

Tushar: I was asking to take me to the potter and show me how he does it.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: But you have done yourself?

Tushar: No, I painted a picture. Would you like to see it?

Comment: He paints well. He painted a picture for me which I hung up in the new office. This is a genius, really.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Really?

Prof. Kireet Joshi: He's very creative.

Comment: I wish I could show you but this is now in my home.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: But are some other paintings here?

Comment: He really did a very good job. Somebody came into my office who did this? My grandson did this and they were very appreciative.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: How nice, he is very creative. You take him to Darjeeling. And just be with him all the time, exclusively his.

Comment: I think that's what he constantly asks me. He says just sit here with me. I don't want you to go anywhere, I just want you to be with me.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: That's very good, you fulfil this. And then you say he's wrong, he's so right. He is very right in this demand that is the need of his soul.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Let him listen to Rabindra Sangeet music of Tagore. Have you heard Tagore's music?

Tushar: No.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: You must hear his music. It's the music of your soul, you will find it as if you come to your own home. When you hear his music, it's music of the soul, you feel extremely happy even if you don't understand the words it doesn't matter. The music itself is really good. I don't know if you can get the cassettes or something but I think you'll be able to get them. If you understand Bengali you can explain. Then you should take Rachnawali of Tagore, all the songs are there and you'll get cassettes of some of his paintings also. I like that music the best in the world. So wonderful Tagore's music.

Comment: What about the nervousness?

Prof. Kireet Joshi: It will go away because he feels a lack of confidence to face the examination. Once he has done true education there is no problem. It's a symptom; it is not the disease itself. The real point is that he has to be master of the thing that he has to face. So that will go away as soon as you give him this experience.

Comment: Perhaps it's a common thing for an adolescent. So in another one or two years....

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Also, but this is the main thing. You see he feels nervous because he's not sure whether he'll be able to answer the question. But that happens particularly when you are not sure about whether what questions will come, what answers you'll give. When you know that whatever questions will come I know the answers then there's no problem.

Comment: What kind of input as parents should we give to our children? So for instance you said that you are right, that is a very important point. What we do mostly, say you're wrong and very seldom say you're right. I think that's what all of us suffer from, that's one major pointer that you should do anything else that we can because I find that they are at such a vulnerable age of 14, 15, 16, where they still can be, we can do something for them.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: He's a wonderful child and you can make a genius out of him. He has tremendous capacity. You find some very good educated person and let him have a dialogue with that person. You bring him some time to me, to dialogue. If I find some time you just ring me up, I like to spend some time with him. I like him very much.

Comment: He is fortunate.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: I like him very much.

Comment: I'll say that she has groomed him well.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Very well, she herself is so nice.

Comment: My friend has the same problem; her son is extremely overactive and very assertive.

Tushar: He's very good at heart but like sometimes he just gets really aggressive. Very good at heart, very affectionate but he's aggressive.

Comment: She's finding a problem helping him she wanted to ask you also.

Comment: Uncle, isn't one child a problem for all of us. Having only one child isn't more of a problem than having two?

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Not necessarily, depends if you have got a lot of time with one child so you can really give the time.

Comment: They want to make them do everything from A to Z because they have more time for one child.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Actually I have to reach at 6.30, if you don't mind. When one is so much interested in TV, you should get very good videos and gradually you create an interest in education. Because nowadays so many good videos are there and let him see very good videos even for 15 days at a stretch, don't worry at all. If he's so interested let him see videos for 15 days, exhaust himself so that he doesn't feel that he's hampered. You can even sit with him and explain to him if necessary. It is not explained too much, even if he does not understand simply if he sits and goes on watching, let him watch. It is very useful. Only this picture should be really good, not this junk which is coming up on the television.

Mother: He reads a lot. The child reads a lot.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: How nice.

Comment: He reads a lot and even the serials he watches − all kinds of programs, a discussion, political news and sports.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: But that's good. You shouldn't discourage him.

Comment: But the whole thing comes to that academic.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: That is true he will suffer on account of that. But you take him for a month or so, like that and show him video for 15 days and then you introduce whatever is to be studied. And actually the courses of children are not very big courses. If a child does for one week very nicely he gets good grounding already. So what you need to give him is one month, if you can really give one month is quite a good deal of time. Just try this and see what happens, we shall see afterwards but try this out and take very good videos, it would be very nice.

Comment: Sir, you've talked about three types of teachers, don't you think it's extremely difficult to find an inspirational teacher?

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Very difficult. In a school you may find only one or two at the most.

Comment: Right, that's the unfortunate part of our next generation. Tushar: The school that you were talking about, is it just a theoretical school or is it really established?

Prof. Kireet Joshi: At Pondicherry, I actually worked for 20 full years of my youth. I spent there, so nothing imaginary but really I worked with children.

Question: They can make a living?

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Oh yes, they are so good, they learn six, seven languages, without a degree. Actually the rule there is that if you want a degree, don't come here. So children are free actually. Parents don't like it but children like it very much.

Question: What courses are they following?

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Like I told you everybody has its own course. For example − if he likes clay work, he'll be allowed to do clay work himself. He can do this in an art studio. He can be there for eight hours if he wants nobody to obstruct him. If somebody likes music for eight hours he can play the piano, eight hours.

Comment: He enjoys music.

Tushar: She comes and plays harmonium and just goes. That gets so boring as our curriculum is so restricted.

Comment: We have fine arts but music is restricted.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: I know then you buy one piano at home.

Comment: He's been waiting for me to buy him a piano.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: How right he is. He is very right in asking for piano.

Comment: He's been begging me for the last two years; there's been nobody who can teach him.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: You're not a teacher. He's much older already. Actually piano should start at seven but it's all right, one is never too late but you can start and piano is a very, very great education of the soul.

Tushar: How many students are there in Pondicherry?

Prof. Kireet Joshi: 700. You ultimately find a place in the world because if you want to. Otherwise in the Ashram itself you get a lot of employment and your self-employment also. You can do many things, you can be teachers also.

Comment: Uncle, there are times when you're under stress or you don't know why? Your reactions are very strong or negative, or you're irritable and you're not being able to understand why, but every little irritation, or every little thing which doesn't appeal to you brings out the negativity in you. How at that time must one be able to control oneself because such situations happen, you regret when you think about it later on but at that time you're not able to control. So how does one because you can feel it coming on, you can know that it's happening, how does one bring about that change because that disturbs the entire equilibrium that you have worked for the last whatever eight days or ten days you're peaceful and suddenly something goes wrong, three days of your life are finished in this in this wavering and heated self and a disturbed soul.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: This is your personal question and not a general question. Then I would say it is unnatural for you. Your soul is quite different from this kind of; it should not come at all in your life. Your soul is quite different from this. You are not meant to be in a state of quarrel or a state of.....that's why your soul is not that at all so if it ever comes to you, you should really regret it because it is not a part of your soul.

Mother: I regret it and I am very upset about it.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Don't be upset about it, be regretful but don't be upset. You watch as if it has happened to somebody else and resolve that next time it shall not happen and to not happen. It's a question of your resolution, that's all.

Question: It's just a question of my resolution.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: That it shall not happen. You are so developed inwardly that it should not happen. It's a fact, I don't please you by speaking such words but it's a fact. Sometimes to know good facts about ourselves is an encouragement of our soul, so it is good to be fortified in our soul.


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