Sadhguru was recently invited to speak at “The New Indian Express ThinkEdu Conclave.” Held on January 30 and 31, 2014 at Chennai, the conclave hosted eminent academicians, thinkers, social scientists and India’s top political and corporate leaders, who came together to focus on the challenges faced by the Indian education system and ways to overcome them.

Sadhguru addressed the question “Should Faith Affect a Child’s Education?” Cautioning against the imposition of any faith on students by the community, he said that students must nevertheless be exposed to the ideas of all faiths and that the co-existence of multiple forms of worship would serve to diminish the possibility of conflict.  He emphasised that education, in this respect, should nurture and not indoctrinate.

Inspiration vs Information

Charging the current education system as being non-conducive to the development of inquisitive minds, which were critical to the blossoming of an individual human being as well as the society at large, he said that an effective education system was one that encouraged a sense of learning and longing: “Education in a true sense is a tool to expand human perception and, if possible, human consciousness.” Unfortunately, the present education system in the country, which should be inspiring, was instead a heap of information, he regretted.

“Today, societies have chosen to use education to produce cogs for a larger machine. Individuals are being moulded to serve a larger purpose of industrial conglomerates. If 80 per cent of the people in the country are engaged in an organised system, you cannot ignore it,” Sadhguru said.

He said that the education system should encourage a sense of curiosity, which would die if given readymade answers. The need of the hour was to protect and nurture human intelligence to the extent that it can, without the hindrance of conformity. If a child is simply protected and nurtured, it is only natural that human intelligence would wonder, “What is life about?”

Also speaking about leadership at the end of a students’ debate on the topic: “We are producing people of business not leadership,” Sadhguru remarked. “Anyone can gather 100 people and block a railway line or road. But a leader is someone who makes a nation happen, not stop.”

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