On Education - Articles - War, True Education and International Understanding - II

War, True Education and International Understanding - II

War, True Education and International Understanding - II

War and Peace have been a constant theme of the World History, but the time has now come to abolish war for ever. With the invention and manufacture of nuclear weapons, we are threatened with the extinction of the entire human race. Our soul has been stirred and we cry out to prevent the tragedy of the imminent holocaust.

There is a crisis. And we are looking for light. We know the roots of the crisis are deep. They are embedded in the instincts of human nature. We find that so long as we seek possession, acquisition, domination, wars will be unavoidable. Truly, wars are not fought in the battlefield, but in the minds of men. Therefore, we must attend to our instincts, our desires, our ambitions, and we must find the alchemy to transform them. The need of the hour is to change human nature.

Today, the world has become interdependent. No individual, no group, no nation can live in isolation. Revolutions in transportation and communications have reduced distances. What happens in one part of the world affect every other part of the world. In this interdependent world the only rational way of living is to learn to co-operate and to share. But precisely at this moment we find the full tide of competition and conflict. We find the rising head of the monster of egoism and selfishness. This is the issue: Is there a way to resolve the contradiction? We must have co-operation, and yet egoism in our nature bars our way.

Fortunately, the wisest of our time have made profound studies and undertaken heroic experiments. Great institutions like United Nations Organisation and UNESCO have come to be built up. It has been discovered that the inner self of man and universe subsist in each other. If we live in our deepest self, we can break the prison of egoism. And then man and man, man and nature and all can live in harmony and peace. War can go and we can become capable of establishing ever lasting peace on the earth.

But this golden dream can come true, only if we make the right use of one great instrument. That instrument is education. But let us at once say that by education we do not mean the present system of training by stuffing brains with books. We mean by education the process of bringing out the perfection that is in our deepest self. We mean by education the cultivation of our faculties and embodiment of values.

War, True Education and International Understanding - II

War, True Education and International Understanding - II

UNESCO has spoken of the new man for the new world. It has given the ideal of complete man. We must therefore strive for integral education. We must train our body so that it may have health, strength, agility, grace and beauty. We must discipline our vital drives, so that we may have courage and heroism. We must cultivate our mind so that thoughts may become clear and universal. We must strive to decide what is right and what is wrong. We must become creative so that we may create beautiful forms, beautiful thoughts and beautiful actions. And, finally, we must live in our deep spirit and learn how to radiate the light and sweetness of soul. This is true education. And there is no doubt that true education can save the world from the imminent holocaust.

True education necessarily brings to us universality. True education makes us citizens of the world. True education implies international understanding. A truly educated person appreciates multiplicity of cultures, even though he sees unity and oneness. He promotes equality. He is a lover of liberty and he lives in the spirit of fraternity. He stands for human rights, but he also performs all human duties. His heart is the natural home of universal values, and he is a native member of the Family of Man.

International understanding and peace should become the central aim of education. This is the urgent need of our times. But let me add one word of address to our teachers. And this will be my last word here. Teachers are our friends, guides and philosophers. We derive inspiration from them. Therefore, if true education for peace has to become reality, our teachers will have to set example by their thought, words and deeds. Will they do it? I have confidence that they will do it, and I promise that with their help, we students will build the new world of peace where there will be no need of imminent or even remote possibility of destruction.

War, True Education and International Understanding - II

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