Curriculum for Peace (12 March 2008, Gargi College, Delhi) - Track 4

It’s a very deep question of most civilisations. Sometimes the motives that individuals, it’s a kind of an examination of what man is, what he should be doing, how he is to live on the earth. The facts of injustice are plenty in this world and if you are taught don’t allow injustice, allow it don’t worry be peaceful; there is a big question of cowardice, and strength and justice and the capacity to go right up to the end till justice is obtained, not only fight against injustice, t see that injustice is rooted out, go right up to the end. Do you want children not to have this capacity to teach them peace? What kind of peace, what is the content of peace that we want to give to our children. What’s your curriculum, how will you teach things? I think that everybody will agree that if the war is not inspired by expansion, domination, exploitation but if it is for the sake of establishment of justice; war is quite justified. You have got to tell the children: Be warriors my children, you have got to, there is no question about it, this is a very important item of your education. If you can’t produce a race of heroes and warriors is education justified, you want to produce cowards, who run away.

If your choice is between cowardice and strength then of course strength is to be preferred. Now the question is if you are strong, whether you should fight or not fight and this is the question before you, what will you do? Fight for what, no peace. You have to answer the question fundamentally, in its truth you have to answer the question. Now you have more complexity in the question. Peace, fighting, fighting violently, fighting non-violently, it’s a further issue. I can fight, I can fight by oratory, I can defeat in argument and then you can say I submit. In Brihadarnyaka Upanishad there is fight between Gargi and Yagnayavalka, a debate between the two. Ultimately Gargi announces her defeat and the debate is over. It was a non-violent fight, there was no taking the sword and cutting off the head. So this is a further issue. Even if you grant that there should be fight question is whether you should fight violently, or non-violently. It’s a further issue, what is violence? When I kill a mosquito which is biting me, is it violence or non-violence. Am I to fight with the mosquito violently, or non-violently, why should I kill the mosquito, they also have a right to exist as much as I have a right to exist.

Unless you have thought over these issues quite securely, you can’t make a curriculum. To make a curriculum is a very great responsibility. The answer to all these questions will arise only if you go into the depths of what human being is, what he is supposed to do on this earth and how he can be helped, unless you answer these questions the other problems will not be answered. Even today in villages children are being beaten up if they can’t answer the question, it’s a violent method of teaching and they say it’s quite good, no, children don’t learn and they are beaten, it’s an idea. I’ll teach a lesson, how do you teach a lesson, there are many ways of teaching lessons.

So let us come now to some definitive answers. Every human being in the world is a growing individual, this is a basic fact. When you make a syllabus, you should have some controvertible propositions and it is a basic proposition – every individual in this world is a growing individual. Every individual ought to grow. On this proposition there is no question. Every individual in this world is a growing individual he ought to grow. The question is what is the length and breadth of this growth, to what extent he should grow, if there is any limit, or he should grow infinitely. And if he is to grow infinitely, how can one develop infinitely? Principally the answer is that every individual must grow infinitely, limitless growth for every individual. That is why we say that universalisation of being is the highest goal of every individual.