On Education - Articles

May I begin by congratulating all the students and scholars who have received their awards, their certificates and the prizes? It is customary to mark this occasion with a ceremony as also a few words of greetings and reflections that may serve as counsel for the future. In this way, Convocation makes an imprint of a landmark in the lives of all the participants. May I wish that this landmark continues to serve as a reservoir from which you will constantly derive inspiration for a noble and fruitful life.

In our tradition, the great words of the Taittiriya Upanishad uttered by the teacher to the pupil are remembered and repeated on this occasion. These words are simple but packed with power and unfailing force of guidance. The very first two short sentences of the relevant Chapter summarise everything that we ought to follow in our life. Satyam vada, dharmam chara – speak truth, walk in the way of the law of thy path of ascent. A little later, it is said: “Thou shalt not be negligent of truth; thou shalt not be negligent of thy duty, thou shalt not be negligent of welfare; thou shalt not be negligent towards thy increase and thy thriving; thou shalt not be negligent of study and teaching of the books of wisdom.” In a further elucidation, it says: “The works that are without blame before the people, thou shalt do these with diligence and no others. The deeds that we have done that are good and righteous, thou shalt practise with commitment and devotion and no others.” Finally, it addresses itself to a situation where one is besieged by doubt, perplexity, anxiety, or indecision. It counsels as follows:

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