Chapter 3: Education: Love-Oriented
For learning, humility is required. Our educational system teaches ego, not humility. Teachers are all displeased and complaining that there is no humility in the students. How can the teachers expect humility? When we teach students to be ahead of everyone, we are teaching them ego. How can there be humility in them? It is a fallacy to expect that. When they stand ahead of others, their humility is destroyed and they are full of ego. Those suffering from ego cannot learn music, cannot learn anything.
To learn anything, humility is required. To learn, egolessness is required. But we are not encouraging egolessness. We are, as it were, firing their ego by telling them, “You have to come first and secure a gold medal in university. You have to be a Bharat-Ratna” the highest title conferred on an individual by the president of India “You have to be the president”; “You have to be this and that!” The fire of envy is created in their mind their ego is encouraged. How can they learn music? How can they learn mathematics? How can they learn the essentials of life? For learning anything, a non-ambitious, non-competitive mind is required.
Yes, there is another basis for learning music. That is love of music, not competition with the knower of music. Not competition with a fellow student, but love, sincerity and delight in the subject to be learned is required. It is better that we teach love for mathematics, rather than competition with others learning mathematics. It is better that we create love for music, rather than competition with others who are learning music. Music can be learned because of the love for music. Everything can be learned when we love that thing; then only it is possible to learn. But we are not taught what love is. Our education has nothing to do with love.
So what actually happens is that if you have studied literature in the university, after coming from the university you do not continue to learn literature, because it has harassed you and bored you a lot. If you have learned poetry in the university, your love and joy for poetry in life will have already been destroyed. It is destroyed because it was studied during the race of the egos, studied only to pass the examination and studied to come first. No love for poetry was really created. Therefore, in fact, it happens that our education destroys our genius.
Emerson once said something in honoring the first young graduate of his town he was asked to say a few words in praise of that graduate. Emerson said, “Well, let me first understand and evaluate that young man. After that I can say something.” After a month he attended a gathering to honor that young boy. Emerson told the gathering, “I have liked this young man, I am all praise for him. But why do I say so? I say so because in spite of his having a university education, he has been able to preserve his genius. I praise him for that.”
The state of education is like that. They are really marvelous people who have come out of the intricacies of the university without losing their genius. Ordinarily it is destroyed, it gets destroyed.