The Strong, Brown God

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This piece was published in the ‘Speaking Tree’ Column of ‘Times of India’ on 28th June 2012 written by Kumar Vikram, the son of AKS, on his father.

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On the banks of the Ganga at Triveni Ghat, Rishikesh, we await the start of the evening special aarti on Ekadashi in early November. At twilight a huge crowd watches as the brimming Ganga swirls by, hastening towards Haridwar on her journey to the great Gangetic plain of northern India. The priests arrive and begin invocation to the Ganga as night falls. Holding in their hands multi-mouthed brass diyas, the priests and host families sing paeans to the river, gods and goddesses to the accompaniment of cymbals and drums. It is a magical moment, with people poised with earthen diyas in their hands, waiting to offer them to the holy river. But something disturbs my father, who brought us all here. Quite unlike his general rational disposition, that morning we had taken a bath in the Ganga near the Ram Jhula, for the first time. A religious man, but with no faith in religiosity, this trip was rather unusual for him as well as for us. “This seems a glamourised form of a conservative faith,” he muses to me. I wondered if he would walk away, once his rationalist side took over. But he went through the motions till the very end; perhaps his composure came from the very rationalism that we thought would pull him away. Back at the guest house, now at ease with himself, he said once again that he found an element of vanity in the entire affair. He, like all of us, did not know that the aartis were hosted by particular families—indeed along with the invocation to the deities, the priests had also praised and wished for the well-being of the host families. Utilising his long and sustained teaching to us for the Buddhist golden mean—the Middle Path—and his love for all life and nature, I rationalised that the choreographed aarti should be seen as homage and thanksgiving by human beings for natural forces like the Ganga, a life-giver. I thought this perspective would appeal to my father as his favourite festivals were Holi and Chhath—both outside mainstream Hindu festivals, completely secular, celebrating life and exalting Nature, without show of wealth and privilege and with no mythical gods and goddesses strictly at the centre of it all. It was Ekadashi, which he had been observing for many decades devoid of all its religious paraphernalia and more as a desire to skip meals twice a month for general benefit. Eating fruits to break his fast, he said, ‘You are right. In ‘Four Quartets’, Eliot called the river ‘a strong, brown God.’ He said this calmly, with a composure coming from the insight he’d gained from, among others, teaching literature for four decades and also annotating and critiquing that long, philosophical poem a few years back. The next day, we proceeded to Haridwar. As is the usual practice, I bought two plastic cans to fill them with ‘Ganga Jal’ as souvenirs of a tourist destination. My father waited for me as I bent down to fill them with the ‘holy’ water at the Har-ki-Pauri. He carried one of the cans to Patna, and the other can was left with us at Delhi. The Patna can that he carried would come handy for his last rites three weeks later—droplets of the life-giving brown God silently sprinkled their blessings on his still frame — devoid of all sounds and invocations, perhaps the way he would have liked it to be.

The writer is an editor with National Book Trust, India

Courtesy: http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-articles/faith-and-rituals/the-strong-brown-god

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कहाँ शुरू, कहाँ ख़त्म

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बात वर्ष १९६९ के उन दिनों कि है जब मैं हायर सेकेंडरी की परीक्षा पास कर इंजीनियर कालेज में दाखिले का इंतजार कर रहा था ! मेरा नाम चूंकि प्रतीक्षा सूची में था, अतः मैं कुछ दिनों के लिए मोतिहारी जाकर एम. एस. कॉलेज में क्लास करने लगा ! मैं अपने मामू प्रो अरुण कुमार सिन्हा के यहाँ ही रहकर क्लास कर रहा था और इस दरमियान मुझे उनका दो – तीन अंग्रेजी का क्लास करने का अवसर प्राप्त हुआ मुझे उनकी बुलंद आवाज जो कि क्लास के आखिरी बेंच तक सुनाई देती थी, अभी भी मेरे कानों में गूंज जाती है ! छे वर्ष बाद जब मेरे पापा का ट्रान्सफर मुजफ्फरपुर हो गया तो मैं मकान खोजने के सिलसिले में हमेशा उनके संपर्क में रहा, चूँकि अब वे मोतिहारी से मुजफ्फरपुर के लंगट सिंह कॉलेज में स्थानांतरित हो गए थे. किस्मत से मुझे मकान भी उनके घर के समीप में मिल गया ! तब शुरू हुआ उनसे दोस्ती का सिलसिला– दोस्ती इसलिए कि अक्सर होली के मौके पर हमलोग एक दूसरे के दोस्त के यहाँ जाते थे और उनका कहा हुआ यह वाक्य के “घर में नहीं खाओ तो अंत तक खाते रहोगे” हमेशा मुझे होली में उनकी याद ताजा कर देता है !

उनका यह कथन कि ‘ देवानंद की फ़िल्म देखने के बाद मैं अपने आपको दस साल छोटा समझने लगता हूँ ‘ बरबस मेरे चेहरे पर मुस्कान ला देती है ! मुझे याद है कि तब १९७७ का चुनाव आ चुका था, और प्रो. सिन्हा जॉर्ज फर्नान्डिस के निकटतम राजनितिक कर्मियों में से एक थे. उनके पोस्टर को दिवार पर चिपकाने के लिए रात रात भर जागरण करना पड़ता था ! उनका सन्देश आम लोगों तक पहुँचाने के लिए उन्ही के कथनानुसार बस स्टैंड, रेलवे का प्रतिक्षारूम, कुछ ख़ास चौराहा, जहाँ आम आदमी की बहुतायत  होती है, बांटा करता था !

एक और घटना मुझे याद आ रही है, उस समय मेरी बहन की शादी मुजफ्फरपुर में ही तय हो गयी थी ! रोशनी बाजे का इंतजाम मेरे जिम्मे था ! हमलोग उस समय के मशहूर मच्छन बेंड के पास गये थे !प्रोफ. सिन्हा का विनोदपूर्ण मिज़ाज़ था और उनकी बात-चित से ही प्रभावित होकर उस बेंड मास्टर ने ५०००/- कि जगह सिर्फ ५००/- में ही बंद देने की हामी भर दी. एक और वाक्या है.  जब मैं पटना में था और मेरी छोटी बहन की शादी की बात मुजफ्फरपुर में चल रही थी ! उस समय बहन को दिखाने के लिए एक करीबी रिश्तेदार की लाल बत्ती वाली गाडी मुझे मिल गयी थी.  उस समय उन्होंने मुझे कहा था कि अगर लड़के वाले तुम्हारे गाडी में बैठ गये तो समझो कि पहला सेट तुमने जीत लिया ! उनका यह कहना बिलकुल सच साबित हुआ ! लड़के वाले ने गाडी में बैठने से इंकार कर दिया और शादी वहाँ तय नहीं हो पायी.

यह इसे संयोग ही कहिये कि हमलोग ने पटना में अपना गृह – प्रवेश एक ही दिन रखा ! इन्होने समस्या का हल भी ढूंढ लिया ! दिन का खाना अपने यहाँ रखा एवं रात का खाना मेरे यहाँ तय हुआ ! सन २००८ में मेरा जब ट्रान्सफर दिल्ली हुआ और मुझे द्वारिका में रहने का सुअवसर प्राप्त हुआ तो फिर करीब होने एंव मुलाकातों का सिलसिला चल पड़ा ! जिस दिन मैं अपना किराए का मकान फाइनल कर रहा था, उस दिन से लेकर आर. के . पुरम. में क्वार्टर में रहने तक कई बातें हैं जिन्हें मैं कुछ शेयर करना चाहता हूँ ! छठ के समय घात का चुनाव हमेशा उन्हें तनाव में रखता था.

और अंत में उनकी अंतिम इच्छा जो थी हरिद्वार, ऋषिकेश जाने की, उसमे उनका साथ मेरे लिए अविश्वनीय है ! चाहे छोटी वाले के यहाँ खाना हो या गंगा स्नान या गंगा की आरती सभी में हमलोग साथ साथ रहे ! उनके चेहरे पर जो मैंने संतोष की झलक देखी वह हमेशा मुझे याद रहेगा ! नियती का भी कैसा विधान है जिस गंगा जल को उन्होंने हर की पौड़ी पर लिया वहीँ गंगा जल उनकी मुक्ति के वक़्त उपयोग में आया. ! विशवास ही नहीं होता है कि जो अपने अंतिम रात में दोस्तों के साथ भावी योजनाओं को अमल में लाने की बाद करता है वो चंद घंटों के बाद बिना किसी को आवाज दिए उस यात्रा पर निकल जाता है जहां से लौट कर कोई नहीं आया ! सिर्फ आती है उनकी यादें ! यादें ना जाए उनके साथ बिताये पलों कि, दिल क्यों रुलाये ! यह सिलसिला अभी ख़त्म नहीं हुआ है, पता नहीं कहाँ ख़त्म होगा ! शायद अंतिम क्षणो तक यह साथ रहेगा !

सितम्बर, २०१३

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अमल कुमार सिन्हा

श्री अमल कुमार सिन्हा केंद्रीय जल आयोग, नयी दिल्ली से हाल ही में वरिष्ठ अधीक्षक अभियंता के पद से सेवा-निवृत हुए हैं

ENLIGHTENED GUARDIANSHIP—A WRITE-UP BY PROF. HIMANSHU RANJAN

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Special Posts on the Second Death Anniversary of AKS Falling Today, 28th November 2013

 We are grateful to Prof. Himanshu Ranjan for sending us this write-up on AKS coinciding with the Second Anniversary Special Posts–AKS Centre

Once when I was about to light a cigarette, held between my lips, at a cigarette shop at Aghoriabazar Chowk, Muzaffarpur, AKS suddenly came up close from behind and asked the shopkeeper for a stick of Panama. The sound of his voice and his reflection in the mirror in the shop made me go numb from head to toe. He casually lit up his cigarette and moved ahead towards Kalyani.

I came home trembling all over and went to sleep under a blanket. About an hour later AKS returned, called out my name and asked if I had fifty paisa change for giving to the rickshawalla. I gave the same to him with downcast eyes and got busy with my studies. We even took our dinner together sometime later like any other day. Between then, when I was just a graduation student, staying with him and under his tutelage, and the time just before he breathed his last, he never mentioned the matter to me or to anybody else to the best of my knowledge. Why didn’t he do so, I often asked myself. He had all the liberty, authority and right to give me a dressing down. But his soft, understanding and large hearted approach to the issue engendered an enduring profound respect for him in my heart.

Conscientiousness

Once I came home from the movie ‘Bullet’ produced by Dev Anand. The time was of the infamous Emergency and the historic Sampurna Kranti agitations. I found AKS pacing up and down in the verandah in an obviously disturbed state of mind. As soon as he saw me, he asked, “where are you coming from?” I said I had gone to watch the movie ‘Bullet’. He said with a profoundly painful expression, “you know only too well what the condition of the country is, and yet you had the frivolity to go and see a movie like ‘Bullet’—clearly a worthless one?” It was a revelation to me that a private, simple person could be affected by the general state of his country. Later, he told me he wanted to discuss some of his ideas and feelings with me and was disturbed to find me absent. I was flabbergasted to realize that he wanted to share something with me—a mere graduation student! Needless to say, the small incident did wonders to my self-esteem.

Sense of Humour

Once AKS and myself were walking to Aghoriabazaaar Chowk. I was pulling along his bicycle by my side. Being busy in conversation with him, I did not notice a motorcycle coming from the opposite side. At a particularly narrow point near a big pothole, the motorcycle screeched to a halt right in front of me. The rider shouted at me in anger: “Couldn’t you see a ‘Bullet’ coming towards you? Are you not scared of being hit?” AKS thought something over in a flash and responded with a disarming smile: “Bhai Sahab, how can an army be scared of just one bullet?” Both the rider and myself gave uncomprehending looks towards him. Then AKS slowly pointed towards the brand logo on the front portion of the frame of the bicycle: it was ‘Army’. All of us suddenly burst into a fit of laughter before going our ways.

Various compulsions relating to my job in Sikkim did not allow me to complete my Ph.D on Matthew Arnold under his supervision. I failed him, could not give him the satisfaction of shaping me up in a much more desirable way, especially because I know he doted on me and had certain expectations from me. But then, life is a complex play which hardly ever takes a pre-judged path. AKS is there behind whatever, whatsoever I am.

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Himanshu Ranjan (second from right) in the front row.

Prof. Himanshu Ranjan,  a senior Associate Professor in English at SHEDA, Deorali, Sikkim,  did his Graduation with English Honours from Bihar University, Muzaffarpur (batch 1976-78), and his Post-Graduation in English Literature from Patna University (batch 1978-80). He was one of the closest students of AKS., besides being a family member.

LOVE POEMS BY AKS-III

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Special Posts on the Second Death Anniversary of AKS Falling Today, 28th November 2013

 

AKS wrote very few poems, and never sort of bothered to get them published. We are reproducing today as separate posts three love poems that we have been able to locate. While two poems are written back-to-back on  a piece of paper and are simply titled as ‘Poem (1)’ and ‘Poem (2)’. The third poem is just untitled. The dates of composition have been mentioned, which are being reproduced here below the each poem. It is, however, possible that one or two of these love poems, had got published in a journal ‘KAVITA INDIA’, which used to brought out by the late Prof. A C Sahay of Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, one of the senior colleagues of AKS at Langat Singh College, Muzaffarpur–AKSCENTRE

UNTITLED

I want to love you like an animal,

But when I sit with you, talk to you

You make me feel like an angel,

And I become useless.

 

I know you want to remain pure,

My coming to you, unto you, will be

Perhaps, an act of infamy,

Then I feel kicking,

Your, mine, the whole world’s angelic face;

Then all resurrections appear pointless.

 

Thought itself is soul-satisfying—

Thoughts of stars born and unborn,

Thoughts of times passing and yet to be,

of songs waiting to be mouthed.

Of you, and me cautious and you careless.

(Composed on 22-23 August, ’94)

 

–Arun Kumar Sinha

LOVE POEMS BY AKS-II

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Special Posts on the Second Death Anniversary of AKS Falling Today, 28th November 2013

AKS wrote very few poems, and never sort of bothered to get them published. We are reproducing today as separate posts three love poems that we have been able to locate. While two poems are written back-to-back on  a piece of paper and are simply titled as ‘Poem (1)’ and ‘Poem (2)’. The third poem is just untitled. The dates of composition have been mentioned, which are being reproduced here below the each poem. It is, however, possible that one or two of these love poems, had got published in a journal ‘KAVITA INDIA’, which used to brought out by the late Prof. A C Sahay of Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, one of the senior colleagues of AKS at Langat Singh College, Muzaffarpur–AKSCENTRE

Poem

(2)

Yes, it is love because it can’t be anything less

Because it was immeasurably full and simple;

Neither the eyes bled with tears

Nor were there reminders of age-old fears.

 

If it was not love, the way we walked

Between trees and through thoroughfares,

Touching by not touching, wayward as wind,

If it was not love, what else could it be?

The quizzical heightening of the eyebrows,

The busymen’s stare and the priests chanting,

The olies of the scholars, the pride of the rich–

I have suffered them all and seen them thinning

Like so many falsenesses into the air.

 

Love, help me believe it were you.

 

(Composed, 6 June ’89)

 

–Arun Kumar Sinha

 

LOVE POEMS BY AKS-I

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Special Posts on the Second Death Anniversary of AKS Falling Today, 28th November 2013

AKS wrote very few poems, and never sort of bothered to get them published. We are reproducing today as separate posts three love poems that we have been able to locate. While two poems are written back-to-back on  a piece of paper and are simply titled as ‘Poem (1)’ and ‘Poem (2)’. The third poem is just untitled. The dates of composition have been mentioned, which are being reproduced here below the each poem. It is, however, possible that one or two of these love poems, had got published in a journal ‘KAVITA INDIA’, which used to brought out by the late Prof. A C Sahay of Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, one of the senior colleagues of AKS at Langat Singh College, Muzaffarpur–AKSCENTRE

Poem

(1)

Crowning glory of life it was

To have found you come like a dream

Into the parlour of my desire,

To have filled it and furnished it.

To have to be at only one place,

To wish to be there when one has to be here,

The compulsion to be noble and honourable,

The daily business of living and the still,

Regular chiming of the time,

The frozen angels on the mantlepiece–

Endless are the waiting hours, endless

The tasks and responsibilities

Before I could attend to you wholly

In the parlour of my desire.

(Composed on 6 June ’89)

-Arun Kumar Sinha

A Poem for Bhutto–Written by AKS on the Very Next Day of Bhutto’s Execution on 4th April 1979

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Special Posts on the Second Death Anniversary of AKS

Today, 28th November 2013, falls the Second Anniversary of the demise of AKS. To mark the occasion, we are privileged to share four poems of AKS–three are love poems, while the fourth one is on the hanging of the Pakistani leader and former Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (5 January 1928 – 4 April 1979) by the Military ruler General Zia-ul-Haque–which was widely seen as rather unjust end of a popular democratic leader. This poem on Bhutto has, as far as we know, remained unpublished. It was written the very next day of Bhutto’s execution on 4th April 1979, and thus carries the powerful sentiment for the tragedy of the democratic leader among the intelligentsia and democratic activists in India and elsewhere. Bringing it before the reading public nearly 34 years after the poem was composed by AKS, who himself passed away two years back, gives us mixed feelings.–AKSCENTRE  

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Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

A POEM FOR BHUTTO

Remembering you after you are no more

Seems to be a sin

I can’t help.

For I see my doom

Coming to take me from my bed—

Oh Lord, hold the sky,

It’s toppling all over the place,

While my father eats off my flesh

And does not say sorry.

 

Lord wherever and whoever you are

Take care of me

And

My man in heaven

Arun Kumar Sinha

Composed on 5th April, ‘79

13th International DH Lawrence Conference

Information for the teachers and scholars of D H Lawrence

DH Lawrence Society

The next DH Lawrence International Conference organised by the DH Lawrence Society of North America  will take place from June 23rd to 27th 2014 in Gagnano, Italy.

For more information about the Conference visit the DHLNA website.

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VINOBA BHAVE: PIONEER OF LIVING EDUCATION

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Today, on 15th November, which is the death anniversary of the Sarvodaya leader and thinker, Vinoba Bhave (September 11, 1895 – November 15, 1982) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinoba_Bhave], we bring to you the synopsis and chapter-plan of a book planned by AKS on the educational philosophy of Vinoba Bhave. A lot of ground work had been done by him for this book, but somehow that could not be completed.This synopsis and the chapter-plan were prepared in 2004.

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VINOBA BHAVE

PIONEER OF LIVING EDUCATION

Outline

To say that there has to be a characteristically Indian view of the matters which concern the development of our nation vitally (such as education and agriculture) should not be taken as an assertion of the strident nationalism. This is more as a caution that we approach our problems with such an outlook. Since we emerged from colonial subjugation less than 60 years ago (not at all a long period in the history of a vast and ancient country like India), we are always in the danger of being taken in by the pious sounding resolutions taken at the forums that are led by the Western countries. Again, since we are still in the very early stages of a developing economy, we are always likely to be intimidated into forgetting our interests at such forums.

Vinoba Bhave

Vinoba Bhave

As the body, mind and soul of a human being can’t be separately looked at for the purpose of better development of each, so a nation’s past is tied with its present, its culture with its geography, its economic with its social realities, and each is to be seen in relation to the mysterious aggregate which is India. Therefore, a holistic approach is now increasingly considered to be the need of the hour and this is found to be lacking in the Western model of development.

Coming to the educational aspect, the Indian model, if it can be so called, was, in the recent times, first of all spelled out and put to practice by Rabindranath Tagore. Education has the power to change reality and so it cannot be merely abstract and intellectual. Tagore held that education to be truly creative should be in full touch with the complete life of a people—its economic, intellectual, aesthetic, social, and spiritual life. Similarly, Mahatma Gandhi was aware of the catalytic role of education in bringing about a social order free from all sorts of discriminations and in which the all round development of each and every citizen would be a continuing process. The recognition that the citizen of the country can be best moulded during the early formative years of his life led Gandhi to formulate his concept of ‘Basic Education or Nai Taleem’ which caught the imagination of the educated people, though not in a big way.

Vinoba Bhave (1895-1982) sought to make the concept of Basic Education a reality at Sevagram Ashram, Wardha (in present Maharshtra). Bhave added new dimensions to the concept of Basic Education. He repeatedly said that Basic Education does not stop at imparting ‘education through craft’ as people generally believed. His plan for education was a plan for discipline and its ‘main spring’, as he put it, “is not self-indulgence but self-control.” In his words,

“People have got into the habit of thinking of Basic Education as if it were one method or system of education among others, like the Montessori method or the Project Method. But it is not a matter of method or technique; Basic Education stands for a new outlook, a new approach. The fountain-head of all the world’s conflict is that knowledge has been separated from work. They have been separated by a faulty psychology; they have been separated in life by a faulty sociology; they have been assigned different market values by a faulty economics.”

(Vinoba: Thoughts on Education, Sarvaseva Sangh Prakashan, Varanasi, 1985)

 By ‘work’, Bhave meant, first of all, work related directly or indirectly to the fields. He believed, “If a single person is cut off from the life of the fields, his life will lack completeness…Human life are like trees, which can not live if they are cut off from the soil that nourishes them.”

Vinoba-Education

But Bhave knew that the real human life only started with the fields, with the bread labour, exactly, to which every person must contribute. He said, “real human life will be reached only when the greater part of life can be given to all the other interests that make up the world of man.” The world of the arts, according to him, of history and geography, and the great political aim of bringing in a juster civilization was as much open and vital to the life of man and women as the life spent on the fields.

Vinoba Bhave did have a vision of a complete man, but his complete man will be forever in the making. He stands for a poetic approach to life in which the fulfilment comes not from closing possibilities and reaching the dead end of perfection but from creating more possibilities of growth and expansion. He, therefore, hated all systems. He said, “I am very much afraid of systems, specially in educational work; a system can make an end of all education.”

Vinoba is not anti-science. He is called a saint and he did have saintly demeanour and way of life but he was open to ideas, and was even eager to assimilate different, even apparently contradictory, streams of human activity, like science and religion. He knew the value of science and how it rids the society of, to recall his words, “the faults of our ethical and religious traditions.” If science makes us understand the physical laws, the religion takes us to a journey into our self. If knowledge of the physical laws (Vijnan) is combined with knowledge of the self (Atma Jnan) —here education through craft can prove a good starting point—the goal of Sarvodaya (upliftment of all) will be realised.

To many, if not all, of the intelligentsia Vinoba’s prescription as well as remedy of the problems afflicting the Indian society will appear puerile. At the first instance, with the developments on the technological plane and the globalisation underway, and India’s own chronic problems like illiteracy, unemployment and staggering population, the concept of self supporting educational programmes, tagged as it is to Gandhi’s vision of Gram Swaraj, sounds, as of today, wishful thinking. Yet, we know, in our innermost hearts that the craze for wealth, luxury items and the contempt for physical labour and the resulting rise in crime graph is proving disastrous, to say the least.

Vinoba spoke from the heart and even his worst detractors will admit that his heart was full of sincere compassion for the underprivileged. But Vinoba could not shake off the idiom of the scriptures. In his much acclaimed book called Third Power (Teesri Shakti), his thoughts have the power to move mountains of inertia and prejudices, but these are, rather sadly, couched in the metaphysical idiom which does not strike a responsive chord in those who have received, what is rightly or wrongly called, modern education. Yet, anyone who has pondered over and, in a way, fought for providing education to the entire Indian masses should not have much difficulty in finding his way through the unnecessary mist caused by the metaphysical idiom of Vinoba’s speeches and writings.

(Arun Kumar Sinha)

Vinoba Kutir

Vinoba Kutir at Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram

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VINOBA BHAVE

PIONEER OF LIVING EDUCATION

Chapterisation

 

Preface

Introduction

 1.      Historical Background of Vinoba’s Educational Philosophy

This chapter will briefly deal with the contribution of some of the pioneering educational practitioners and thinkers of India from Raja Rammohun Roy to Gandhi’s concept of Basic Education.

 2.      Evolution of Vinoba’s Educational Philosophy

Vinoba’s educational philosophy evolved out of his growing understanding of the causes and miseries of the Indian people as a result of his participation in the freedom movement. This chapter will bring into light this aspect of Vinoba’s development as an educational thinker.

 3.      Vinoba’s Experiment with ‘Nai Talim’ at Sevagram, Wardha

Vinoba’s experience with his experiments at Sevagram Ashram led him to believe that schooling is one step of learning which is to be followed by Deschooling which means that the student in the adult phase of his life will become independent of all outside control including the knowledge that he got from books and teachers. Vinoba was disillusioned with the half-hearted support that he received from government and non-government agencies and even from parents. This chapter will especially refer to Vinoba’s struggle to keep the institutions imparting Basic education or ‘Nai Talim’ afloat.

 4.      ‘Nai Talim’ to ‘Nitya Nai Talim’:  Vinoba’s Idea of Living Education

Vinoba felt that Basic Education too would get into a groove. His exploring mind struck upon a new idea. He called it ‘Nitya Nai Talim’, an education that would be new with each new day. The concept of ‘learn through work’ given by Gandhi was enlarged by Vinoba into ‘think through work’.  In other words, education should ensure life long growth of the individual. This chapter would bring out the salient features of Vinoba’s ‘Nitya Nai Talim’.

 5.      Vinoba’s Concept of Educational Function of Culture

Vinoba lived and spoke like an ascetic but he knew that it was necessary to expose oneself thoughtfully and sensitively to art. Just as scientists contribute to man’s understanding and control over his environment, so artists are creative of culture. Vinoba believed that the artist is a kind of educator, and it is for the teacher to lead his pupils delicately and lightly into the realm of art. This chapter will elucidate the educational function of culture in Vinoba’s scheme of the continuous development of the students.

 6.      Vijnan and Atma Jnan: Education as a Means of Union of Science and Religion

In a way, Vinoba combined the idealistic approach of Plato with the scientific approach of Aristotle. According to Vinoba, a truly educated person will not accept the division of the universe into the objective and the subjective. He will strive for the union of scientific knowledge and the knowledge of the self in his own life and in his environment. If knowledge of the physical laws (Vijnan) is combined with knowledge of the self (Atma Jnan) the goal of Sarvodaya (upliftment of all) will be realised.

 

(Arun Kumar Sinha)

Quote

I strove with …

Tags

, ,

I strove with none , for none was worth my strife.

Nature I loved, and next to Nature, Art:

I warm’d both hands before the fire of life;

It sinks, and I am ready to depart.

– W.S. Landor

(1775-1864)

This is recorded in AKS Diary ‘on 13.06.2005’. These are from the just four-line powerful poem of W. H. Landor (1775-1964) titled ‘ Dying Speech of An Old Philosopher’. Landor’s best known works were the prose Imaginary Conversations, and the poem Rose Aylmer.