Today we live in a world radically changing under the explosive growth of science and technology. Technology has handed us powerful tools that have improved our standards of living, conserved our time and energy, increased our lifespan and also created new ways of recreation. Reaching almost every sphere of life, unbridled use of technology is unleashing new ideas and values at a rapid pace. These modern ideas and values are subtly but surely reshaping our thinking, our value systems and shaking the very foundations of our society and culture.
In this context, of particular concern to us is the manner in which our children are being influenced by this culture. To reap the benefits of modern science and technology they are going crazily after technical know-how. But in the process they are unwittingly exposed to the grave danger of what may be termed 'technological addiction' resulting in serious erosion of fundamental human values. After all, it is the human being who has invented machines and is driving them. But alas, human beings have allowed themselves to be driven by them. This slavery to machines has resulted in a lop-sided, skewed culture threatening not only to distort but destroy human civilization. Technology which is a boon when properly utilized is a curse when misused. No doubt the internet, the television and other mass media benefit our children, giving them the blessings of amazingly fast communication techniques, vast amount of information and enormous entertainment; but they at the same time flood them with consumerist values and corrupt their minds at the cost of fundamental human values like unselfishness, service, truthfulness etc. Overmuch exposure to the so-called technological marvels will certainly not help our children to manifest the sublime purity and infinite power inherent in them. This is indeed a serious issue that requires immediate attention. This issue has become a global concern and in India it threatens to strike at the very roots of our national and cultural ethos. Certainly, we must not allow our unique and rich cultural and spiritual heritage to be destroyed at the altar of 'globalization'.
Our children therefore need not only technical knowledge, but also a strong ethical sense, moral fibre and strength of character which would endow them with the ability to recognize the right course of action and the will-power to tread it. Armed thus with strength of character, they can safely handle the power that technology gives them and become self-reliant and responsible global citizens.
To help our children achieve these qualities, we have planned to publish a series of value education text-books and diary-cum-personal journals for students.
Vijnana Sarathi is a diary-cum-personal journal for students of Class VIII. It is so framed as to bring about the holistic development of the mind through inspiring anecdotes, healthy humour and interesting scientific facts. We hope this endeavour will instil in our students an eagerness for learning, a positive approach to life, and a sense of human dignity and self-reliance.
Many branch centres of Ramakrishna Math and Mission were involved in the preparation of this journal. , We are especially thankful to our branch centres at Mysore, Narendrapur, Chennai (Mission), Rajkot, Hyderabad and Coimbatore centres for their kind co-operation. Some of our monastic members also contributed in their individual capacities. Our heartfelt gratitude to them.
May the student community be benefited by this journal and may it help them to achieve a holistic development of personality is our earnest prayer to Sri Ramakrishna.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Art & Culture (810)
Emperor & Queen (492)
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