India - From Past Dawns to Future Noons

October 2022 issue of Renaissance – Education for the New Age

From August 2021 to July 2022, every month we took up one of the Twelve Attributes as our theme for the Renaissance issue. We concluded that series with a special issue for August 2022 with the theme – ‘Sri Aurobindo, the Eternal Presence.

With our last issue (September 2022), which focused on the theme Conscious Parenting, we started another series inspired by the famous line of Sri Aurobindo – “All Life is Yoga.” The aim remains the same — to dive deep into the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and other senior sadhaks to search for pearls of wisdom which can guide us to work toward a true renaissance of India.

If we have to be reborn as a society, as a nation, if we have to raise ourselves to work toward the true mission of India, to fulfill India’s true destiny, we must grow in Shakti. What is truly necessary to make Indians, and especially the youth of India grow in Shakti?

An obvious answer is: an education that helps build their capacities and capabilities. Only a strong and capable base, a well-formed ādhāra, can be the right receptacle for the shakti. As the Mother guides us:

Education is certainly one of the best means of preparing the consciousness for a higher development.

CWM, Vol. 7, p. 58

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has given much hope that at last there will be shedding of the McCaulay’s burden which has plagued Indian education for a long time. There is also a great enthusiasm among many that finally our education will be ‘Indianised,’ something truly necessary for a new India.

Several aspects of NEP 2020 reflect the vision of National Education as given by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. This becomes especially clear when we read the policy’s emphasis on holistic education, greater decentralization in decision-making, institutional autonomy, greater curricular choice, rethinking student assessment, revitalizing teacher education and a few more areas.

But a deeper and critical look at NEP 2020 in the light of some fundamentals of Integral Education also reveals several areas where major gaps exist – both in terms of application, and more significantly in acknowledging some of the fundamentals of Integral Education.

In the current issue we explore some aspects that we think are essential for an ‘Education for New Age’. We are guided by the following words of the Mother:

An integral education which could, with some variations, be adapted to all the nations of the world, must bring back the legitimate authority of the Spirit over a matter fully developed and utilised.

CWM, Vol. 12, p. 249

We also find inspiration in these words of Sri Aurobindo:

The mere inclusion of the matter of Indian thought and culture in the field of knowledge does not make a system of education Indian. . .

It is not eighteenth century India, the India which by its moral and intellectual deficiencies gave itself into the keeping of foreigners, that we have to revive, but the spirit, ideals and methods of the ancient and mightier India in a yet more effective form and with a more modern organisation.

CWSA, Vol. 1, pp. 368-369

Paying heed to the Mother’s advice that the past must serve as “a spring-board towards the future, not a chain preventing us from advancing,” (CWM, Vol. 17, p. 296), we have curated an issue which explores several themes related to Education that can not only facilitate a true Indian renaissance, re-awaken the Bhārata Shakti, but also help India and the world get ready for a new age, a new world built on a new higher consciousness.



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