Mother’s Aim of Education for India (9 December 2008, Gandhinagar) - Audio

My question was: what was the position of Mother about education of India?

First of all, there is a question of the aim of education which should be given to the country. Once I wrote down on a piece of paper, what should be the aim of education for the country and I really talked to the Mother. Same question which you asked me, I thought of that question many years ago in 1971 and I wrote down an answer in order to present it to the Mother so that she can throw light on this question. So when I read out to her what I had written, she said, yes, it’s all right, she said and then she added one phrase: it is prudent. So I told the Mother, I want the real answer, not the prudent answer. So she said she turned to Champaklal and said to Champaklal: give me a paper, I will write it down. She said, and then she wrote down the following on the piece of paper. She wrote:

There is a divine will that wants to manifest itself in physical life. Our aim is to discover that will and to work for its manifestation in physical life.

This is what she gave to me and said this is the aim of education that the country should follow. So this is my answer to your question: what should be the aim of education for the country? I put many other questions also and if I want to give you the full answer, putting everything together in a nutshell, you might say, let me say the following, so I am now saying in my own words, not in the Mother’s words, but what I told you now was the Mother’s own words.

First of all, she said, give spiritual education to the children of India. Then she had said, there should be two systems of education in India, one which is at present but much more enlivened, much more enlarged, much more fortified, much better and the other one is one for those children who want to educate themselves and who are capable of educating themselves.

Now we had made many experiments in the Centre of Education, and I had the privilege of working all along through this all the experimental period, from 1958 up to 1973, all these years, all the experiments which were done in the field of education, I was all alone in the stream, as it were. So after that experiment had reached a peak point. She said:

Il faut généraliser.

That was in French. It must be now generalised. So the question is what is to be generalised? The result of the experiments which were done and that is now worthy of being generalised. So if I were to translate that sentence of the Mother, I have to describe what is that which was experimented upon and what was the result of that experiment. It is that which has to be generalised.

Now what was done over so many years is very difficult to summarise, but if I want to give the quintessence of all that was done, it is the following. The first task of the teacher is not to teach but to observe. It’s a very striking statement. The first task of the teacher is not to teach but to observe. Therefore, the system of education should be such where teachers have the possibility of observing the children. If the lecture system is the only system of education, it does not give you the opportunity of observing the children, even if you have only 10 children. If you are lecturing all the time, you won't be able to observe. If you want to observe the children, you should see them in many contexts, at the playground, while they are talking among themselves, when they are doing some teamwork, and somebody is doing individually, his own work, his own interest, possibility of expressing what he really wants to do. Unless these different occasions are given to the children, you can't observe them. Therefore, the system of education should be such where teachers can observe the children.