Academic journal article Techno Learn

Role of Buddhism in the Development of Indian Education

Academic journal article Techno Learn

Role of Buddhism in the Development of Indian Education

Article excerpt

The most important contribution of ancient India not only for India but also for the world is in the field of education. It may also be remembered that education is not an abstract term. It is manifested in the cultural economic, individual, philosophical, scientific, social and spiritual advancement. In other words, education is the means for developing the mind for the betterment of the individual and society. Seen from this perspective, the following views of great scholars and thinkers deserve mention.

Albert Einstein:

"We owe a lot to the Indians who taught us how to count without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have made."

Mark Twain, an American Writer:

"India is the cradle of the human race. Most valuable and the most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only."

Lancelot Hagen, in his publication Mathematics for the Millions:

"There has been no more revolutionary contribution than the one which the Hindus made when they invented zero".

In India during the time of Buddha, there was a racial discrimination in the society. This discrimination was according to profession of man, and according to birth. In the society there were four division of the society of whom Brahman was superior. Brahmanism dominated the society and established their supremacy in the country. They enjoyed rights for religious training and education. But other category of people deprived of their religious and educational rights. At that time there were 62 heretical doctrines in existence and priesthood got upper hand. In this background a religious revolution started in ancient India in 600 B.C. and a new doctrine or system developed which is called Buddhist doctrine or Buddhist philosophy. It is to be said that on the foundation of Buddhism a new and special Education System originated in ancient India. Buddhism made a tremendous movement which played a valuable role in the development of Education System in ancient India or ancient Buddhist world. It is well-known that with the rise of Buddhism in India there dawned the golden age of India's culture and civilisation. There was progress in all aspects of Indian civilisation under the impact of Buddhism. There arose many centres of learning which did not exist before.

Buddhist Education Purely Monastic

The history of the Buddhist system of education is practically that of the Buddhist order or samgha. Buddhist education and learning centred around monasteries as vedic culture centred round the sacrifice. The Buddhist world did not offer any educational opportunities apart from or independently of its monasteries. All education, sacred as well as secular, was in the hands of the monks. They had the monopoly of learning and the leisure to impart it. They were the only custodians and bearers of the Buddhist culture.

Its Rules

The rules of Buddhist education re those of the Buddhist order. The ceremony of initiation into the Buddhist order follows closely the lines of the Brahmanical initiation of studentship. The Bodhisattva himself is represented by in tradition to say to uddaka, the Brahman teacher whom he approached for instruction in attaining knowledge: "I desire, O friend, according to thy teaching and thy direction to walk into Brahmcharya". As the Buddha he inaugurates his order by admitting his first disciples in the following words: "Come hither, O monk, the doctrine is duly preached; walk in the brahmcharya to put an end to all sorrows." Thus the Buddhist monastic order began as a union of the master and his disciples. This process is called as Upasampada or ordination. The teacher of the disciple is called as Upadhyaya.

The layman under twenty years of age seeking admission in the monastery or vihara of his choice approaches there with a suit of yellow robes of the monks in his hands and presents himself before an elder of the monastery for the first initiation called as pabbajja. …

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