Vidyarambham - An Initiation into Education
Whether we are going to produce beautiful things on the planet, very destructive bombs on the planet, or something else more destructive than that, simply depends on how well-coordinated a human being's emotions and intelligence are. How well-coordinated a human being he is determines how well he will use his intelligence and that will ultimately decide what he will produce in the world.
The most intelligent people in the world have contributed to all the violence on the planet. A certain segment of people have always been essentially violent. Initially, when he was a caveman he killed with stone, that is the Stone Age; Iron Age means he killed with iron; Bronze Age means he killed with bronze; Nuclear Age means he kills with nuclear weapons. Some people have always been essentially violent, but the scale of violence that can happen today has happened because the best brains in the world have worked to create the most violent ways to kill humanity. If the intelligent in the world had not cooperated, a violent man would kill one or two, with a stick or a stone. But only because the intelligent in the world have cooperated, a violent man can kill in millions.
Intelligence twisted out against our own wellbeing is no intelligence. Intelligence is the biggest blessing that a human being has, but right now it has become a curse upon humanity simply because the human being is not coming out as a well-coordinated being. He has dislocated the human being within himself. This intelligence is dangerous.
In Indian culture, education always started only after certain initiations, because education is seen as a power. Before you start your education, you go through what is called Brahmopadesha, where the basic mantra which was taught to the child was Aham Brahmasmi, which means “I am the Brahman.” One way of looking at this is, when you say “I am the Brahman,” you are saying, “I am responsible for everything.” So in some experiential way, it is brought about in the child’s life that he feels for everything in the existence. Only then education is given.
Editor's Note: The ritual of Vidyarambham introduces young children into the world of knowledge, letters, and the process of learning. It is exclusively designed for children to begin their education and brings forth the wealth of true knowledge.
This Vijayadashami (October 19), following the culmination of the Navratri festivities, a special Vidyarambham ceremony will be held at Linga Bhairavi. This “Day of Victory” is known to be an auspicious occasion to initiate children into education, and performed in the presence of Devi, it is all the more a unique opportunity for children to make a fresh beginning.
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