Conference from Mexico.
This morning we are leaving early for Puebla. The chat topic today is the need for education.
So, since we were born, we have an ear to listen, a mouth to speak and an inquisitive mind, in the same way our education is something that will be with us for life. What are the essential elements of education? That's what our research and analysis focuses on and we will try to do in this chat which has been the subject of meditation in recent days.
I've thought a lot about this topic especially after seeing the documentary "The Forbidden Education". Also in my work as an educator I meet daily with my students who have questions such as: What is the best lesson to learn and then earn a living? How can I better educate my children? How do we prepare them to face the difficulties of life? The answers that I can give vary from case to case as they depend on the degree of surrender of the devotee. For example a surrendered devotee who knows and appreciates the mission of Srila Prabhupada I would encourage more to be engaged in ecstatic service to Lord Krishna.
Otherwise I would make a general comment about education in schools looking to encourage a healthier society. In some ways they are worlds apart. In light of the research of Oida Therapy and faith education, I'm used to explaining the issues in terminology that is of common sense. There is no denominational affiliation. Since a religious affiliation or a particular instruction of a mission of a spiritual family already has a very intimate and committed nature.
It is important to be engaged in life. Committed to the community, to your ideals, to your loved ones, to your spiritual master but generally speaking in these terms it is not appropriate for the character of a community to be proselytizing. I mean to introduce ourselves in a certain style and in a way where we can emphasize to others that this is the truth; this is the clearest path to find. Somehow one plays down other paths. Like falling in love, when someone develops a love and desire to marry a woman or man in particular indirectly what is that all other women are not so important. The one you chose is most important to you and for you is the best.
This is good and nice to this person but it does not sound as exciting to others. It is because others feel excluded in some way or another. But if one speaks of the enamored family in general, then all will seem nice. But even in that way do we come to dedication. A family is created and maintained with a high intensity of dedication as is education. A spiritual dedication or rather spiritual education can only be achieved with a kind of spiritual infatuation. And that only happens when you find people who you are excited to share it with. Therefore, to make the presentation of Oida Therapy and faith education, socially acceptable, I'm using a vocabulary of glorifying the educational principle. Rather than promoting a particular cause or a particular option.
I pray to Krishna, these inspirations of mine reach good hands and that they know how to utilize them in helping society to find dedication to God as well as the true good of humanity.
Gurukula school initiated by Srila Prabhupada is a complete example of education because there is a practice of total dedication to God in a context clearly pertaining to Vaishnavas. It's beautiful. I personally went and directed several schools for years. But people in the world find it too extreme. My desire is to create new paradigms for education based on the insights of Srila Prabhupada with the desire to present them in a more accessible way to society and to the ideals of a healing education that can be incorporated in schools. But that they are not solely Vaishnava exclusive.
We succeed in presenting the overall Oida Therapy where merit was glorifying faith and healing influence without relying purely on a kind of confession. The purpose of this is to bring God's message to a global dimension. To give more justification to this I can give the example of the Bhakti Vedanta Institute started by my spiritual master Srila Prabhupada.
My Guru maharaj put much energy into this project for his disciples to investigate and publish documents, just to prove that Darwin was wrong. Just that. But super important introductions to Vaishnava philosophy that has little to do with the philosophy or to inspire to take refuge or what name of God I will sing to implore his mercy.
So, I hope this attempt to formulate the basic principles of faith education be the beginning of a chain of materials that can be produced. I invite all of the community, teachers, educators and parents to join this work.
-The basic principles of faith educations are:
1. Life is a gift and is valuable.
2. All women are like our mother.
3. Mischief is like garbage.
4. All others are just like me, with the same rights and duties.
5. Everything belongs to nature and the needy.
6. Use things in excess are undesirable.
7. All we have and what keeps us alive is the reason to be grateful.
8. Compassion for living beings in danger is a spiritual virtue.
9. Individual consciousness units are of a different substance than to matter. There is a need to know one’s true constitutional nature first in faith education.
10. Mystical traditions treated with these tasks and positive results have to be studied.
11. The reasons and motivations of those who made disasters and crime, especially if they were justified with a particular creed, should be studied to avoid falling into fanaticism.
12. Faith education respects the freedom of each, rather than freedom to harm another being in their welfare.
13. Faith education delivers deep conviction that one is responsible for all his actions and bad actions which are the cause of one’s suffering.
14. Time is sacred and must not be wasted.
15. Faith is a gift that can guide one to find meaning in life.
16. Faith in the eternal love helps control selfish impulses.
17. Faith education teaches that one pray to God in the way one sees Him.
18. Faith education teaches to ask for forgiveness for the mistakes committed and to try to rectify those who were affected by our mistakes.
19. Faith education teaches that there is always another chance, for life is eternal, only the material body dies.
20. Faith education promotes green living.
21. Faith education teaches one to contact the inner teacher to guide one to act properly.
22. Faith education teaches that all human beings of the past and present have the same opportunity for transcendence.
23. Faith education insists that one should discriminate between that which is favorable and unfavorable for every living being and situation.
24. Faith Education concludes that one should be thankful for the food God gives us and to know that God does not like us to offer animals, except in an emergency.
25. Faith education respects all faiths that aim to improve the quality of character of believers.
26. Faith education is the joy that grows in the spirit.
27. Faith education is the longing for children to grow up happy.
28. Faith education is sincere and without prejudice towards anyone.
29. Faith education is a new chance for mankind.
30. Faith education always avoids becoming dogmatic.
These points come to me when I reflect on education.
These days I have worked on more materials and ideas in order to produce a documentary and a manual. This adds to other materials that were made in the past and now with Oida Therapy book finished they are part of a larger work.
I had the desire to work on this long ago but first had to establish the foundations of Oida Therapy in general. For faith education is the application of Oida Therapy in education.
I hope that everyone participates in this study and sends their contributions. The project coordinator is mother Sati from Arica who has been working on it a while ago. I suggest doing Forum studies of the materials that are being produced for everyone to know more about what we want to achieve with faith education.
It is Not the new program of the Gurukula temple, nor a new name to the Vaishnava education of the devotees. It's quite a project which aims to respond to secular and materialistic education with concrete alternatives. The results are verifiable.
We are working on it and hope our Lord will bless us in this endeavor.
Srila Prabhupada ki jay. Any questions can also be given to Mother Sati. I bid farewell here to attend the Sunday feast in Puebla.
Your always wisher
Swami B. A. Paramadvaiti.