Value Inculcation Through Self-Observation

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Item Code: NAW179
Publisher: Vipassana Research Institute
Language: English
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 8174142932
Pages: 72
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 100 gm
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Book Description

About the Author

Sri Satyanarayanji Goenka was born in Mandalay, Myanmar in 1924. Although he topped the list of all successful candidates in the whole of Myanmar in the tenth class he could not continue his studies further because of financial constraints of his family. At a very early age he set up many commercial and industrial institutions and earned fabulous wealth. He also established many social and cultural centres. Because of tension he became a victim of migraine, which could not be cured by doctors of Myanmar and of other countries in the world. Then some one suggested him to take a course of Vipassana. Vipassana has done well not only to him but it has also been benefiting many others.

He learned Vipassana from Sayagyi U Ba Khin in 1955. Sitting at the feet of his teacher he practices it for fourteen years He also studied the words of the Buddha during this period. He came to India in 1969 and conducted the first vipassana course in Mumbai. After that a series of courses were held. In 1976 the first residential course of vipassana was held in Igatpuri and the first centre of vipassana was established here. Up till now 167 centres have been established all over the world. New centres also are coming up. At these centres 1200 trained teachers teach vipassana in 59 languages of the world. Not only ten- day courses are conducted at these centres but also at some centres 20-day, 30-day, 45-day and 60-day courses are conducted. All courses are free of charge. The expenses on food and accommodation etc. are met by the self-willed Dana given by those who benefited from the course. Seeing its benevolent nature vipassana courses are held not only for the inmates of jails and school children in the world but also for police personnels, judges, government officers etc.


To any discerning person, it must strike as a great paradox that in spite of so much advancement in science and technology, society is still besieged with the age-old problems of inequity, poverty, strife, religious intolerance, terrorism, crime and violence. Society today seems to be highly insecure, like never before in history. Though superficially, these problems seem to be disparate, having their origin in the economic, the political and the social systems, all these have their roots in the deficiencies of education being imparted in schools and colleges. Aristotle recognized this over two thousand years ago when he said: "All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of the empires depends on the education of the youth."

The modern education system has been overwhelmed by the rapid growth in knowledge. As a result, the main aim of the very best schools and colleges is to deliver the largest possible amount of latest information in the shortest possible time. What the student is supposed to do with that information seems to be nobody’s concern. The education system completely sidesteps the whole question of human values and goals. The result, as pithily put by Albert Einstein, "perfection of means and confusion of the ends seem to characterize our age." No wonder, today most people, failing to find any meaning in their lives, lead an ad hoc instinctual lite and become crass hedonists, thus accentuating all-round degeneration of the society.

Distinguished thinkers and educationists, of all ages and climes, from ancient sages of the Upanishads to modern thinkers like Vivekananda, Krishnamurty, Aurobindo, Dewey, Gandhi and Einstein, have pointed out that education should cater to the whole of Man and not just to his intellectual development. According to the Upanishads, "Sa vidya ya vimuktaye." Education ‘s that which leads to liberation (from all bondage). Epictetus puts the same idea in different words: "Only the educated are free." Elsewhere, the Upanishads lay down the objective even more clearly: "Vidyaya amritam ashnute." Education leads to immortality. For Vivekananda, Education is the manifestation of perfection already in Man." and for Einstein: "The most important human endeavour is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and to life. To make this a living force and bring to clear consciousness is perhaps the foremost task of education". Krishnamurty advises a holistic view of education: Education should be concerned with the totality of life and not with immediate responses to immediate challenges. In the same vein, Jacques Delors, in the report of the International Commission on Education for the twenty-first century, identifies four pillars of education:

1. learning to know (gathering -intellectual knowledge and ability to learn throughout life)

2. learning to do (which includes occupational skills and competence to handle situations),

3. learning to live together (developing respect and understanding for others, learning to manage dissent and conflict ) and

4. learning to be (which essentially involves developing all the potentials, or self actualization).

All the Education Commissions [from Radhakrishnan Commission (1949) to Kothari Commission (1964-66)] set up in our country have repeatedly stressed the need for providing a holistic education that caters to all aspects of human life: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Figure 1 shows a pictorial representation of such an education. The four facets of education, though interconnected, are distinctly identified for pedagogical reasons. Holistic education should cultivate all these aspects in full measure.

Developing the ability to act independently, rationally and logically on the basis of a deep understanding of the various phenomena of nature and the world in which we live in all its dimensions (be these scientific, social, economic or aesthetic) is termed "intellectual education". This includes the learning to know and learning to do of the framework of Delors.

Physical education means learning the art of keeping the body fit through various means like physical exercises, sports, yogasanas, pranayama etc. The body is the vehicle of all our activities and learning its proper maintenance should be an essential aspect of education.

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