They want to build a bigger house, have a bigger shop, reach a higher position. From being a junior clerk, they want to be the head clerk; from being a master, they want to be a headmaster; from being a deputy minister, they want to become a minister. Somebody wants to be the president of the country, or to be something else. A sort of mad race for being something or the other takes hold of them for their whole life. In this mad race the whole peace, energy and capability in their lives get destroyed.
What do they achieve in the end? In the end, they reach nowhere. Wherever they reach, they will find someone ahead of them. And as long as there is someone ahead, they will have no peace. There has been nobody in the world so far who has experienced being ahead of everybody; there is always someone in front. The world is big and we are standing in a circle. In a circle who is ahead and who is behind? Everyone is ahead of everyone else. And then the race goes on and on and on. So far in the world nobody has got ahead of everybody. But we are still teaching children to come first; we are teaching madness. They will remain in the race throughout their life and will waste it.
Our whole education is based on jealousy and envy. We go on saying to people, “Do not be envious, violent and jealous,” but our whole education is rooted in jealousy. We point to one child and say to the other, “See how intelligent he is, and how dull you are. Be like him!” Thus we are creating envy and jealousy.
What are we creating in the mind of this child? We are pouring the poison of envy into him. We do not love this child. This poison will flow through his veins, through his mind, for his whole life. The child will always want to be ahead of everyone and the joke of it all is that nobody ever has been ahead of all, and there is no joy in being ahead. What has joy to do with being ahead of somebody? What relation can peace have to being ahead of somebody? No, this is a fundamentally wrong teaching.
This ambition, and the educational system revolving round that center of ambition, is wrong. If we want to create a new world we will have to change this center and create some new center.
What can the new center be?
I would like to tell you that competition cannot be and should not be the center of education.
The center of education should be love.
What do I mean by love? If we want to learn music and we are so many sitting here and if in our effort to learn music we try not to allow anybody to get ahead of us in music…can we learn music in such haste and fever? If we fall into that race to remain ahead so that nobody insults or disgraces us, so that nobody proves that we are unsuccessful and we are nobody, can we learn music? Will this be love of music or love of ego? If it is love of ego, then music cannot be learned. Can we learn music while loving the ego?