Unitive Vision: the core Principle of Education

By : Anjumol V-clipper28-Kerala

Education,according to Aristotle,is t”he creation of a sound mind in a sound body.It develops man’s faculty,especially his mind so that he may be able to enjoy the contemplation of Supreme Truth, Goodness and Beauty of which perfect happiness essentially consists”.

Rousseau defines education as “the child’s development from within.Such definitions are given by thinkers from time to time.All definitions of all times are not self- sufficient.There are merits and demerits for all educational philosophies.

Educational philosophies like Idealism give more importance to the spiritual growth of the child and the cultivation of strict discipline.But doctrines of Pragmatism explains how an individual can apply the lessons in various situations in life.

Exponents of Pragmatism do not believe in fixed and eternal values.They try to establish standards which are attainable.

In all educational philosophies, a set of principles are established and students must follow those principles.But Narayana Guru who considers the power of knowledge as endless,classifieds the knowledge itself into two.i.e.the wisdom we want to attain in our life is symbolically expressed by Guru as Same(Sama)and Other(Anya).

Narayana Guru’s vision on education is presented in verses 36 to 42 of his great poetical work’ One Hundred Verses of Self-Instruction'(Athmopadesha Satakam) in a precise and succinct manner.Guru divides the totality of Self-Consciousness into two fundamental aspects namely Sama(Same) and Anya(other)and gives definitions to them.

If the reality is perceived in terms of sameness or the feeling that the ‘I’ and the ‘others’ are one, that knowledge is referred here as Sama(Same).If the reality is perceived in terms of plurality and sees a difference between ‘I’ and ‘others’ that knowledge is referred here as Any a(Other). These two primary divisions have both generic and specific aspects also.

Thus these four divisions are integrated together into a whole which makes the global Self-Consciousness.Education should be aimed at attaining a Unitive Vision by following the path of the Same(Sama).

It is a general belief that we live in a world of multiplicities.We consider the “I’ as different from others.Different people see the reality from different angles.A philosopher may choose the path of Unitive Vision but the majority see the plurality as real.

In his commentary On One Hundred Verses of Self-Instruction (Athmopadesha Satakam),Nataraja Guru says that Unitive Vision and Seeing Plurality are twin aspects of reality.Seeing plurality creates troubles as people are torn between rival interests.

An individual cannot become a man and a citizen at the same time as H G Wells says.Nations all over the world wants to make up good citizens.A good citizen may not be a complete man.The aim of education should be the make up of a hundred percent
human.Then only the man as well as the world can experience peace and happiness in their mind.

In Guru’s vision,it is expressed in verse 24 of One Hundred Verses of Self-Instruction as:

“What here we view as this manor that Reflection reveals to be the Self’s prime form; That conduct adopted for one’s self-happiness Another’s happiness must also secure at once”

To accomplish such a Unitive Vision,the innate and overt aspects of the personality should be adjusted and balanced.This dialectical method known to our Rhishis of ancient times was lost in later philosophies.We consider these two aspects as different.

Normally we get interested in one kind of subject either spiritual or a worldly one. One aspect usually overpowers the other.What we have to do is to gain a totality of experience which meets both ends and means.

There should not be any imbalance or lack of harmonious action which causes one interest to overpower others.Then wisdom can be cultivated even with love of beauty or of virtue.

Nowadays,education becomes a process of passing information alone.There is neither a bipolar relation between the teacher and the student nor the all round development of the child.

Education is meant only for practical purposes in a world which is viewed as having multiplicities or pluralities.Here lies the problem of modern education.For attaining higher reasoning or wisdom,one should not give primacy to any single aspect but he should transcend them both through the neutral point where these two aspects meet.

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