[wwpoenglish] article of CM Yogi... Inter Culture Humanism and Value Oriented Education

  • From: "chintamani yogi" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "mail2cmyogi@xxxxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: "wwpoenglish@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <wwpoenglish@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2014 17:01:42 +0000 (UTC)

 InterCulture Humanism and Value Oriented Education 
InterCulture Humanism:Culture is the mirror of society. Culture gives life and 
light tosociety and the society which is devoid of culture seems dead. The 
relationship between culture and society is asinseparable as the relationship 
between fingernail and finger. Culture is, infact, the identity of society. It 
is clear that a society without its ownculture cannot sustain itself and is 
like a tree without leaves. 
Basically, culture connects us and cultivates us. It establishes aconnection 
between people and other people, people and nature, and people andthe earth. 
The world's problems can be solved if we foster a sense ofbelonging, 
inter-dependence and inter-connectedness. This will cultivate us,raise our 
level of consciousness, uplift us and inculcate within us adivine quality and 
spiritual wealth – the "Daivi Sampada" as the Geeta saidaround 5000 years ago. 
Materialism and militarism are serious problems for our planet. 
Naturally,materialism will increase militarism because extreme materialism 
creates greed,attachment, ego etc, which eventually leads to militarism. 
Material objects arelike salt in curry – if there is too much the taste will be 
spoiled. So having materialthings is not bad, but becoming materialistic is 
always harmful.Individualism is increasing rapidly.A sense of collectivity and 
co-existence is becoming something which is onlyseen in books. It is seen that 
so-called intellectuals are also selfish; theyalso get disconnected from 
society and nature. Their merely personalprogress takes them away form the true 
beauty of life. It is obvious thateducation which is not turned into wisdom in 
the end creates this kind ofisolation and selfishness. Therefore our Sanatani 
Hindu prayersays, ''Sarve BhawantuSukhina, Sarve Santu Niramaya, Sarve Bhadrani 
Pasyantu, Ma Kaschid Dukha Bhagjana''. This means that not only humans or 
Hindus should behappy, rather it prays for the happiness and peace of the 
entirety of creationincluding all creatures and plants.
Each of the world’s cultures has a tremendous beauty, which can beshared with 
other human beings and used to save the planet. Unfortunately, peoplehave 
increasingly misinterpreted their cultures with modern materialistic 
ideas.People now seem to be guided by ego-centric ideas.  They now seem to 
bemore ego-centered, more external and more wasteful. People seem to be 
gettingless attracted towards and less interested in retaining and practicing 
culture.Of course, if culture is not modified in accordance with the changing 
times andwith science, this can create other problems. Dogmatic practices will 
pushsociety backwards.
So-called modern development has threatened the existence of humanity 
itself.Development’s purpose is comfort, happiness and peace, but unfortunately 
peoplehave become more insecure and troubled in this modern world. It is 
obvious thatdevelopment which focuses only on material advancement, keeping 
humans andhumanity apart, will always be threatening. 

Cultural diversity and biodiversity are closelyrelated, and both essential. 
They represent the enormous beauty of the world.No one should forget unity in 
the name of our diverse identities, and no oneshould ignore diversity in the 
name of unity. The Vedant philosophy says,''Don't look at the things, but look 
through the things''. If we look at thingson the surface, we find differences 
between people which lead us to fight andquarrel. If we look through things, we 
find the same consciousness existing inall people and all creation.
The phrase 'Human Rights' isquite popular in this new era. There is a huge 
investment in human rightsat global level. However, we have forgotten to ask 
what our priority should be:human rights or humanity? We cannot ignore the fact 
that if we couldproduce good humans by providing value-oriented education, we 
would need tospend nothing on human rights. On some occasions the advocacy of 
human rightshas created clashes and disputes. The slogan seems quite appealing 
andalluring, but it has also been a cause of division in society and has 
poisonedharmonious relationships which have been established for many ages.What 
is a human being after all? It is a daunting questionwhich human minds have 
been trying to answer for centuries. The Vedant philosophy highlightsthe 5 
aspects of human beings - Anna-mayaKosha, Prana-maya Kosha, Mano-maya Kosha, 
Vigyan-maya Kosha and Aanand-mayaKosha. This means human beings exist in 5 
components - Body,Pran (life force), Mind, Consciousness andBlissfulness. It 
looks as if modern educationhas made us able only to connect with the external 
parts of the body! That’swhy life has become more miserable and society is more 
Nature and culture should go hand-in-hand; nature should support cultureand 
culture should inspire and motivate us in the preservation of nature. In 
Nepal,it is obvious that nature and culture are quite integrated. Therefore, 
let themotto of life of everyone be - "Back to nature through culture and back 
toculture through nature”. In the Geeta it is said thus: Parasparam Bhavayanta 
ShreyaParam-vapsyatha.Why are human beings suffering more in the modern 
scientific era?Is it due to a lack of materialist progress or a lack of 
awareness? Gandhi says- "Need would be fulfilled but greed never". Of course, 
the MotherEarth has given us more than we need, but the greed of a few people 
hasmade quite a lot of people suffer from terrible poverty. Theyhave exploited 
the nature, Mother Earth! These transgressions have now causedgreat problems 
worldwide such as global warming andclimate change. Isha Upanishad says - "Ten 
Tyakten Bhunjeetha Ma Gridha KasyachidDhanam'. This means that we need to learn 
skills that willenable us to experience even physical pleasure with the sense 
of non-attachment.
The Vedassay - "Aatma Khalu Vishwamoolam". Thismeans the whole universe is a 
manifestation of same Aatma,consciousness, supreme Self or Quantum Self. There 
is no Dualism. The samesupreme Self is manifested in every form. If we can 
understand and acknowledgethis wholeheartedly, how can we then be negative 
towards others? How can therebe any conflicts? How can there be any violence on 
this earth? All conflictsgrow only in dualism, never in non-dualism.
Eachculture is based mainly on two aspects – activities such as celebrationsof 
festivals and values. If we can promote the values of each culture, itwill 
create more harmony because values are always universal. No one will 
sayanything against good virtues such as love, peace, service, respect 
andforgiveness. Furthermore, cultures which are based on religion may 
createconfusions and then conflicts, but cultures which are based on 
spiritualitywill create only harmony and co-existence. Howto produce a whole 
and complete human? That is the main question for all ofhumanity. We have so 
far produced professionals, businessmen and technicians,but let us think if we 
have become able to produce a whole human. Mahabharata says, "Na 
ManusyatShresthataram Hi Kinchit". Thismeans nothing is greater than a human 
being. Nevertheless, our modern educationsystem as well as our modern life 
style has ignored the process ofproducing whole humans. This is in fact the 
greatest paradox of moderndevelopment!
Allthe great religions and faiths of the world have taught us humanity, 
butunfortunately they have all eventually got narrowed, limited, misused 
andmisinterpreted for the vested interests of certain selfish people. These 
havenow become the causes of controversies, separation, clashes, disputes, 
hatred,enmity and intolerance. Religions without firm roots and religions 
without anyclear purpose of spirituality will create these kinds of 
distractionsthroughout the world. So we need to reshape and reform religions as 
per theneed of the changing times. In addition, we need to find out the basic 
roots ofall the great faiths in order to achieve coexistence, harmony, 
non-violence andlove, creating an open space to fly high and high for spiritual 
realizationwhich is beyond any dogma, practices and rituals.Whatare the meeting 
points of east and west? These should be deeply explored andthen acknowledged 
by all. Undoubtedly, the west has served all of humanitygreatly at a material 
level. If we use western technology for the welfare ofhumankind, many diseases 
can be cured; many physical challenges will be solved;many physical obstacles 
will be removed. Similarly, the east has an incrediblebeauty to serve humanity. 
If we are able to follow easternphilosophy, several mental and emotional 
problems will be healed; gaps betweenhaves and have nots will be reduced; crime 
and violence will calm down; manywars will turn into peace; and 
dissatisfaction, anxiety and hatred will end. Wemust bridge the gap between 
east and west while talking about Inter-CulturalHumanism. After all, it is the 
right time to understand the message "Yatra VishwamBhavatyek-needam"(where the 
world becomes like a smallnest).
Weshould decide what we actually want to be and what society we want to develop 
-a consumer society or a conscious society? In fact, over-consumption is a 
graveproblem. It is not production; rather it is an unnatural life style that 
is theactual problem. It is not education; it is in fact lack of awareness 
whichcauses sufferings.  Therefore, the time has again come to return to 
theancient life style, where one used to consume the materials without any 
Aasakti(Non-attachment) as the Geeta says. Problemsnever rain from the sky or 
grow form the earth. Precisely speaking, all theproblems are created only by 
Tamasi  Vritti orthe restless human mind. Unless we re-cultivate the human mind 
and change theattitude of every human, problems will be never solved; human 
beings willalways be unsafe in their own world. Therefore, Yoga and meditation 
arequite essential regardless of religion and nationality. Only education 
coupledwith meditation canproduce a perfect human being who can be the solution 
and inspiration.

Nepal, which is nested in thelap of the majestic Himalayas, is culturallyvery 
rich. We are glad to say that we have somehow maintained the philosophy ofunity 
in diversity in our daily lives, which may be quite difficult to findelsewhere 
in the world. The Upanishad says, ''ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti''. It means 
that truth is one, but the wise people address it differently. Since time 
immemorial,people have been practicing numerous cultures and traditions in 
Nepal togetherwith perfect harmony. They have exhibited this through fostering 
truefellowship and oneness in their society. In Nepali culture we believe in 
theworship of nature and we consider nature to be ''Our Mother''. Centuriesago 
our Rishis (saints) foresaw the potential destruction of nature.That’s why they 
wished for peace everywhere for their posterity. The Vedas say, ''There should 
be peace in plantsor even in space…’’ (vanaspatayashanti , aushadhaya shanti 
,antarikchhya shanti…). Now we areextremely worried as there is no real peace 
in plants or even in space. Ourculture inspires us not to ignore any creature, 
as everything has a vital roleto play in creating an ecological balance. For 
example, in Nepali culture evena dreadful creature like a snake is worshipped 
because we know the snake isalso a part of the same system, which we belong to. 
Similarly, during the Tiharfestival, one of the greatest festivals of Nepal, 
crows, dogs, cows, oxen andhills are worshipped. The reason for worshipping the 
hills, for example, isthat if there were no mountains, there would be no herbs, 
 no animals, nofresh wind or, indeed, any beauty in nature. So we have to 
preserve themountains and hills. Nowadays, it is said that even the highest 
peak of theworld, Sagarmatha, or Mount Everest, is being polluted. Is this not 
the matterof great concern?The Eastern Sanatani cultureis based on spiritual 
philosophy. The messagewhich our culture gives to the world is that material 
advancement withoutspirituality is nothing but a curse for society. The world 
is gradually comingto understand this. In the past western philosophers gave 
importance to'development'. Later they started talking about 'sustainable 
development' andstill later propounded the idea of 'sustainable 
humandevelopment'. Now they are talking about 'spiritual development'. It 
isspirituality that maintains peace within an individual and within a society. 
Culture helps to maintain harmony by solving social problemsbecause it allows 
people to develop a sense of unity within diversity. Whenthis philosophy is 
really practiced, there can be no problems in society. Theproblem the world 
faces is that of individualism which is engulfing humankind. Eastern Sanatani 
culture always emphasizes thebringing together of minds, hearts and souls. 
Nowadays the world is plagued byviolence, crimes, drug problems, suicide and 
family breakdowns. Individualselfishness is growing like the flames of 
wildfire. We have forgotten who weare, what we are and where we are trying to 
go. We have gone mad in blindlychasing material things, since we have come to 
believe that material happinessis everything.  So, eastern Sanatani culture can 
contribute alot to the modern world, which has just entered the ''New 
Millennium''. Thus,the following points should be acknowledged while practicing 
culture:1)     One should recognize the same consciousness (aatma) in every 
creature.2)     A strong family system should be maintained.3)     There should 
be friendly and cordial relationship between countries andcommunities.4)     No 
one should forget the human values in the name of so-called development.5)     
We have to be close to nature and care for the welfare of all the creatures.6)  
   Each cultural practice of the world should be honored andpreserved.7)     
Dharma should be above all the cultural practices. 
Value-Oriented Education: 
What is Value-Oriented Education (VOE)?  Education opens up our mind, but 
Value-Oriented Education (VOE)gives us purity of heart too; education provides 
us with skills, but VOEprovides us sincerity too; education extends our 
relationship with the world,but VOE links us with our own family members too. 
Education makes our livingbetter, but VOE makes our life better too; education 
teaches us to compete withothers, but VOE encourages us to be complete too; 
education makes us a goodprofessional, but VOE makes us a whole human too; 
education takes us to thetop, but VOE takes the whole society to the top. 
Education gives uscapacity of better learning, but VOE gives us the tool for a 
deeperunderstanding too; education gives us Anna but VOE provides us 
Aanandatoo; education may bringlimitations but VOE is for liberation. After all 
right education means- "SaVidya Ya Vimuktaye”. It means that knowledge is what 
helps us toattain liberation.
Why is VOE needed? VOE is highly needed in our modern society because our lives 
havebecome more miserable. The quantity of education has considerably 
increased,but the quality has decreased. Why? The number of educated people has 
reachedat a high level, but murder, hatred, and selfishness have spread out 
likewildfire everywhere. Why? Many institutions are opened, but only few 
civilizedpeople are produced. Why? Degrees are available for all, but the 
dignity hasgone down. Why? Trained people are produced from many institutions, 
but sincerepeople are very few. Why? Many books are written; much research is 
done; manyprofessional achievements are attained, but humanity is threatened. 
Why?Therefore, we need VOE. Therefore, the Vedasalso say, 
“Vidyaya-amritam-ashnute”.It means wisdom provides immortality.
What are Universal Values? Education is not only for news but also for views; 
it is notonly for information but also for inspiration; it is not onlyeducating 
but also enlightening. It is quite an integrated process. An educatedperson 
should have all kind of qualities. Education should make everyindividual 
capable physically, mentally, intellectually, emotionally andspiritually. 
Therefore, some universal ideals of “love, peace, respect,tolerance, 
forgiveness, co-existence and non-violence” should be acceptedby all the 
educators worldwide. Theses values are truly indispensable, devoidof which, our 
society cannot sustain itself and people will forget humanity.And, we can 
easily imagine the future ahead and foresee what our future will belike. No 
matter what our religious beliefs are, what our practices are, butthere are 
ultimate goals which one has to achieve in life. Everyone alwaysaspires for 
love, peace and happiness, and that includes a spiritually balancedlife. Even a 
person who may not be spiritual should also believe and practicethe ideals of 
love, peace, tolerance and service. 
 International Practices of VOE:The realization of VOE has become quite strong 
in last few decadeson a global level. The negative forces like selfishness, 
hatred, terrorism,individualism, violence, intolerance, etc. have now become 
day-to-day problemsin the world. The phenomena such as family breakdown, 
increasing of negativeattitude and spread of health hazards like drugs and 
HIV/AIDS seem to beescalating worldwide, which have now terrified humanity. 
These are, of course,very threatening challenges to the peaceful existence of 
humankind.  It seems that our future is dismayed and horrified now not because 
of anythingelse other than our own deeds, achievements and productions. 
However, some goodactivities and practices for the promotion of VOE are going 
on all around theworld.  
VOE Teaching and Learning Methods: General education can be transferred, but 
VOE should betransformed. VOE is more teacher-based than text books; it is more 
awakening,not only informing. It is life-oriented, not exam-oriented. 
Therefore, we needto create a special environment in institutions to transform 
VOE in students.First of all, we need trained, committed and spiritually 
motivatedteachers for VOE. The pedagogical methods for implementing VOE may be 
stories,poems, prayers, songs, mantras and bhajans. Similarly, specialcamps can 
be organized. Likewise, special Satsangas can be helpful. Itis apparent that 
all the festivals hold several values such as environmental,social, scientific 
and spiritual.  It is therefore imperative to integratefestivals into teaching 
/learning process so as to make children realize theimportance and values of 
the festivals. The whole process should be very peaceful,harmonious and 
motivational. One should get answers by asking himself orherself. The whole 
environment should be free from stress, fear and confusion.Extreme 
materialistic attachment has made our life very narrow; therefore oneshould be 
able to open up the mind and heart freely and infinitely. ActuallyVOE does not 
require any set text books; rather than that, the wholeinstitution should be 
based on VOE.  It should be applied through variousmethods in order that 
everyone can understand it and follow it automaticallyand positively.
Conclusion:There is a saying - better late than never.  So we must startnow. 
Educators worldwide are now quite worried; therefore they havestarted various 
packages and discussions at their level.  So wemust awake and work now. In fact 
the bright future of any nation dependson the children as there is a saying,”If 
you plan for one year, plant rice. Ifyou plan for ten years, plant trees. If 
youplan for 100 years, educate the children".  Our ancient ancestorsgave us the 
highest message of VOE - "Satyam Gyanam AnantamBrahman”. Therefore, after the 
completion of education at Gurukul,the Gurus finally used to sermonize their 
students inthe graduation ceremony - Satyam Vad, Dharmam Char, 
Swadhyayan-maPramad, Matridevo Bhav, Pitridevo Bhav, Aacharyadevo Bhav 
etc.Consequently, the time has again come to revive and restore our 
ancientknowledge based on VOE in this modern age without being biased, 
extremist,prejudiced and orthodox.  It is only VOE which will change 
theattitudes of our children making them complete human beings. And, in 
returnthey will change the entire human society. 
Dr. Chintamani Yogi
        Founding Principal - Hindu Vidya Peeth-Nepal (HVP)
         Founding Chairperson - ShantiSewa Ashram (SSA)
         Patron -  Youth Society for Peace ( YSP)
         Founder - Society for ValueEducation (SVE         P. O. Box:6807, 
Kathmandu, Nepal     Tel.00977-1-5527924 / 5006125


         www.hvp-nepal.org and  www.cmyogi.org  and 


* * *

Other related posts:

  • » [wwpoenglish] article of CM Yogi... Inter Culture Humanism and Value Oriented Education - chintamani yogi