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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Is it necessary to promote spiritual values at the temple of learning?

    Should educational institutes enforce imparting of religious values in the name of spirituality? Discuss.

    Most of the educational institutions in India have spirituality as one of their core values and are highly focused to deliver spiritual values to the students through the concept of spiritual education. Many Hindu institutions teach slogans, conduct Gita chanting classes, and tell Purana stories to the students as a part of promoting the Hindu values to the students. To promote the views of Christianity, the educational institutions managed by the Christian missionaries conduct scripture/bible classes. Likewise, Muslim institutions also conduct Arabic classes and allocate a time for Quran reading and Namaz. Instead of teaching the basic moral, cultural and spiritual values to the students, most of the educational institutions promote their own religious views to the students in the name of spiritual education.

    Every religion teaches many good thoughts and values to its followers. Similarly, the spiritual books of all the religions also express moral values, the real purpose of life and some ideologies. To promote the spiritual values and the culture of a particular religion, we have many pilgrim centers such as temples, churches, and mosques in India. But why the educational institution which we proudly call as the temple of learning is chosen to spread and promote the spiritual/ religion values?

    It is not about the compulsory reading of the spiritual books and the values of a particular religion in schools or colleges. But is it really necessary to teach and promote spiritual values at the temple of learning? Does the spiritual education given at the temple of learning make the students more spiritual and religious?

    Share your views.
  • #630752
    While this is a good topic for discussion, members are requested to adhere to posting guidelines and not make any inappropriate comments on any particular religion or community. We will give cc for good responses after the thread is locked.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #630759
    A very good topic for discussion and I appreciate the author for posting a good thread. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong to impart religious and spiritual education to the students. We have many cultures if these institute will not give these type of education then how our next generation will learn these important topics. As author already told that there are good things in every religion. No religion teaches us bad habits. No religion teaches us to drink alcohol, to take the drug, to steal the things of others, etc. Every religion teaches us good things. Other pilgrims like Tthe temple, Mosque, church, etc does not have sufficient time to teaches moral values and people also do not want to stay there. They complete their pray in small time and want to leave that place as soon as possible. One more thing most of the educational institutes are conducted by religious societies so they will certainly impact their religious education with the syllabus. I want to add that this type of spiritual education should be voluntary not mandatory.
    Honesty is the best policy.

  • #630763
    A really good and interesting thread!

    I support the notion that religious values should be taught in educational institutions; in fact, there should be dedicated subjects for the same. The reason is that every religion's text has got a lot of information that provides practical knowledge for our day to day lives.

    Now teaching any one particular religion's text is not practical as any class would be having a mixed crowd of children from different religions. Thus the more practical solution would be a textbook that is developed by a team of scholars, professors in the field of religion and Pandits, Fathers and Mullahs. Now, this can be from class 1st to 12th as it goes for any other subjects with each class covering a different aspect of spirituality, practical thinking, mindfulness, meditation and many more.

    This would be a really effective way in which this idea can be implemented in education intuitions across the country.

    Lets all try to create a better tomorrow for India.

  • #630764
    I feel it is absolutely not necessary. In a temple of learning the learners should be taught the morals and ethics of life. How to behave and what are the good manners and what should be the attitude to lean and how it should develop our personality should be taught. Anyhow various subjects about the curriculum will be taught.

    Whether it is Gita or Bible or Quran, ultimately they all will tell us the way of life only. But the problems comes with the way they are taught and how each one tries to project that their's is better than all others. But the innocent minds could not understand how it is better. To reach a particular destination there may be many ways. Everyone will try to reach out their destination in a route decided by them. That is to be left to the individual but forcing somebody travelling on the other path to change the path is not logical.

    In a school, the teacher should teach the student the best way of living and how to be a good citizen of the country. More than this reading Gita or Bible or Quran should be left to their family as it is their personal matter and no teachings are required in the school.

    always confident

  • #630769
    The religion and spirituality existed much before the invention of modern subjects like science, mathematics, technology, law and medical science etc. Religions evolved as a code of conduct for civilised society as prior to that the humans were leading a life akin to that of brutes. Thus the predecessors of modern educational institutions are religious institutions only.

    In India, there was a system of Gurukul, where students used to learn from their Gurus. Such institutions were boarding schools type of institutions where the students used to live under the guidance of able teachers and learn the lessons necessary for succeeding in life. Discipline was a hallmark of such institutions.

    However, in modern times, the form and objectives of imparting religious education have gone totally haywire. Most of the teachers themselves don't know the real meaning of religion. They teach something else in the name of religion which is not even remotely connected to the actual religion.

    Perhaps earning money has become the religion of most of the commercial educational institutions.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #630772
    Dear Dr. Rao,

    I understand your concern with the teaching of religion for spirituality in schools. Kindly go through my previous response in which I state a solution in which this can be taken care of. This is just one of the many solutions that can be implemented for imparting neutral religious principles and ethics in schools.

    Frankly, with the rate of crime and violence which seems to increase every day, I don't find any harm in encouraging religious teachings in schools. In fact, I feel that this is the need of the hour.


    Lets all try to create a better tomorrow for India.

  • #630788
    When you say temple of learning means it must include spiritual classes too. If an Institution or a college was established with spiritual effort and background, there is nothing wrong to teach the spiritual values to the children. For example, Chinmaya Mission and Bhavans groups are those basically educational Institutions having strong roots in spiritual values. While Chinmaya Mission schools regularly conduct classes and seminars on Bhagavat Gita and its recitation competition for everyone, likewise Bible courses and Quran ethics are being taught in Minority Institutions. As long as they just teach nothing is wrong in that. It is fine, but they should not induce anyone to convert.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #630863
    I agree with what Mr.K.Mohan said at the end, (As long as they teach nothing wrong. but should not induce anyone to convert.)
    Because that is when the religious preachings seems wrong .Our Country is a democratic Country where we have been given to choose any religion we want to follow .We are a group of religion together with some common and some different spiritual beliefs .Religion is with us since birth .It is only about not learning anything wrong .We give respect to Pandits in Temples ,Father in Churches and Maulvis in Mosques not just because they teach religion rather because they teach values of religion and the moral values and etiquettes.What they follow are based on the principle of humanity .A real Saint is one who blesses all ,never differentiates. He follows the right path .It is true we got an Opportunity to learn modern Education after the foreigners came on our land .The initial Indian schools were in the form of Gurukuls where students were taught social and moral values along with the spiritual values .What we learn in Bhagvad Gita or other Holy books is considered Divine not only because these were written by great Saints or people with equal value .But if you study these books you will definitely get a proper way of living and it teaches us how to lead a good life filled with proper conduct and humanity .It is just some different set of thoughts that start to find their own different way .Spiritual learning is about learning Good and to be a good human being for example ,it teaches us to respect elders .not to be greedy , to show courtesy to poor,to help people in need etc. Hence this kind of learning is necessary in our lives It helps us to become a good human being .Even if now-a days we choose to go to modern schools but still we indirectly get Spiritual learning by our parents or our elders with whom we live .As we grow we then start following what we want to .Spiritual learning enlightens us .Our vision should be clear and it also depends on the student who is taking education .

  • #630874
    What should be taught in educational institutions is the moral values. Spiritual learning must enable the youngsters to think and act morally and ethically. I don't think we need to take refuge in religious beliefs or scriptures to teach students the value of being a good human being. I agree that we may have to refer to some stories/ portions from religious books to drive home the point but making a religious book a part of the syllabus (recognized or otherwise) is not, I feel, acceptable.

    I agree with the author that places of worship/ other options can be utilized to teach religious books or scriptures. Schools are meant to impart education in that they should be able to develop an individual physically and mentally and should be able to prepare them to face life as independent individuals.

    All religious books basically pass down the same message; it is the way we interpret that makes the difference and that being so, I am strictly against religious lessons in the name of spiritual learning. To be good human beings one will have to think beyond the body and cleanse his spirit and classes for that purpose must be devoid of any religious overtones and must concentrate only on helping the students to develop as wholesome individuals.

    'Any fool can know. The point is to understand."- Albert Einstein

  • #630893
    I feel that some of the people that replied are confusing spirituality with religious texts. Spirituality doesn't have anything to do with religious texts. The textbook that I said should be developed must be in such a fashion that it does not directly refer to or recite stories from religious texts. That will only result in unwanted confusions and debates. What would really be effective is the essence of all these texts should be absorbed and implemented in the education system.

    Going back to gurukul system of education is nearly impossible now. Although I personally think that was the best form of imparting education to children. The need for spiritual learning arises because children nowadays are not taught any lesson in empathy, friendship, sharing or moral values. I guess at least in some schools there will be subjects such as moral science but that too doesn't cover the intended subjects or is not effective enough.

    Therefore I strongly believe that developing an individual textbook on spirituality, moral values and such concepts which is based on the religious texts would open a door for students to develop their personality on these terms.

    Lets all try to create a better tomorrow for India.

  • #630901
    I agree with the idea that spirituality is nothing to do with a religion. Each religion will have its own way and means to teach spirituality. At the end all religions will talk about spirituality only. A student should understand how he can be a useful stuff to the society. Every one should understand the ethics of life, morals of life and discipline in the life.
    always confident

  • #630911
    It is really very unfortunate and embarrassing that many educational institutes give more time to their religious roots rather than concentrating on good academic and technical education.

    Linking spiritual and religious matters to education is only for realizing cheap benefits from a sector of society which feels that the institution belongs to them.

    In fact institution is only for the sole purpose of imparting value education to the students with a clear and open mind rather than an orthodox one.

    An educational institution is not a place of worship. It is a place to acquire knowledge which eventually leads to wisdom. So these institutions are in fact the temples of wisdom. We should only carry out those activities there for which the place is intended.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #630939

    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #630942

    'Any fool can know. The point is to understand."- Albert Einstein

  • #630943

    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #630949
    [Response removed by Admin. Read forum policies.]
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #630951
    Sorry for the deviation. We will discuss the picture posted by Mohan and the conversion related factors in a different thread that I will be posting if necessary.

    Members are requested to please continue with the main thread.

    'Any fool can know. The point is to understand."- Albert Einstein

  • #630953
    Truth always hurts! This should also be taught in schools as a part of value education.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #630976
    #630863 is the first response which discusses religious conversion in this thread, It got 5 points. #630939 is the second thread discussing conversion got 3 points. #630942 got 1 point. #630942 again got 1 point.

    But #630949 was deleted and awarded minus 1 point. Why? Someone may please clarify.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #630978
    A good thread. Religious views which are taught in the Educational Institutions must be taken only as a teaching lesson. Different people will be having different religious views and we cannot compel a person to learn or practice a particular religion. All Religions and caste have their own identities and it must be taken in that view only.In our current scenario, we are facing problems based on our caste and religion and we need to have faith in our beliefs.
    "Earning knowledge is by sharing it with ISC and we will rectify our mistakes."

  • #630983
    Partha - none of the editors is fiddling with the points. All points are being obtained via the automated system only. I have clearly stated that points & cc as applicable would be given after the thread is closed. Your one response was removed with minus points for being inappropriate.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #630996
    I reiterate what Saji stated that we should not discuss conversions in this thread (accordingly just now I have removed the other responses & the image connected with that aspect.)
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #631003
    What does the response #630983 of the ME signify? I haven't understood.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #631004
    As a secular country, we should make sure that public funds are not spent in teaching religion in public schools. This means that any Government educational institution or partial Government funded institute should steer clear of any type of religious curriculum.
    As our constitution gives all of us freedom of religion, schools running on private money can't be stopped from teaching religion. So, an institution which gets its funds from profits or through donations from its followers should be allowed to teach religion as per the law.

    The major problem as I see with teaching religion is that it hampers the development of scientific temper among students. Theory of Evolution is a big case in point where all religions can't see eye to eye with its teaching since it invalidates the presence of any god. There are many other problems with religious texts that are not compatible with our modern values like contraception, abortion, equal rights, homosexuality, etc.

    As for the argument of moral and ethics, a good case study is Japan's educational system which provides the best social values compared to anywhere in the world. They have no religion in schools or in society and yet are the best-behaved citizens any country would love to have.

    Summarizing whatever I have said, religion and science don't go hand in hand. Therefore, as a Government of a secular state, no public funds should be spent on teaching religion.

  • #631008
    Partha - you were questioning the points is what I understood so explained that the points were as per the system. Please stick to the topic of the thread and do not create diversions!
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #631010
    Vandana , the discussion was going on well, and when Saji interfered and asked me to submit the proof, I have done it and then he retracted and sought escape by going for separate thread on that. Then why I must be punished and raked up to share and then minus points. I think editors are behaving in more strange manor. Let them wait until evening and then take decision, why they interfere and make huff in between. By the way my submission within the limits of the thread topic and why the post was removed. If ISC feels my submission was against guidelines, then this thread itself needs to be scrapped.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #631012
    I second the opinion of Mr. Mohan. That is exactly what happened.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #631014

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #631016

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #631017
    You guys are missing out the big picture here!

    I was going through Mr. Ankit's response, agreed that India is a secular country, and we do have freedom of religion. Teaching religion in school will never be possible and it will never work out too. I believe that the topic of the thread was should spirituality be promoted in the temple of education. Kindly understand that spirituality and religion are two very different things. Spirituality is something that you attain, the stage of self-awareness, knowing what to do and having the ability to control one's emotion all these comes from spirituality. Religion is just a path in attaining that, it is nowhere said that religion should be implemented in schools what can be done is to develop an outline as to understand what can and cannot be added from religious texts.

    And the resource is never limited there; the Vedas can also be a good source for getting this knowledge. In response #631004 Mr. Ankit was concerned that children might lose their scientific temper if spirituality was instilled in their education system. I don't think that will happen the reason is that we already have a great many subjects that generally make the students learn sciences. What is really needed is some lessons in humanity which I feel we can achieve through teaching spirituality in educational institutions.

    Please note that religion and spirituality are two very different things where spirituality can be taught while religion is something that you learn naturally.


    Lets all try to create a better tomorrow for India.

  • #631024
    This thread talks about temples of learning, religion and spirituality and garnished with enhanced 15 points and 15 CC but the contents reveal few other things also. Thank you participants for enlightening as what not to do.
    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #631030
    With personal allegations (though I have become habituated) being raised against me, let me make it clear that my intention of asking Mohan to provide the media source which featured the news as brought out by him was because I was sure that it was not any news feature as claimed by him. As a moderator, I might have to chip in to make things clear and it has got nothing to do with any personal opinion or bias.

    Now that Vandana ma'am has asked us to stick to the topic, please follow the main thread. Anyone having a difference of opinion may kindly raise a separate thread for discussion. I will join there.

    Coming to the point of discussion, I have already said that we should not mix spiritual learning with religious books. I reiterate that religious books should not be taught in schools. If Gita is to be taught in schools run by Hindu organizations, Bible in schools run by the missionaries and Quran in schools run by the Muslim societies, will we be finally having a society that stands on similar moral and ethical grounds? All religions will teach that their beliefs and ways of life are superior and this will only create a further divide in the society. So, let schools impart lessons that can help an individual to develop as a good human being who can contribute to the well being of the society as a whole.

    'Any fool can know. The point is to understand."- Albert Einstein

  • #631040
    There are too many fallacies in your arguments.

    Both the dictionary definition of spirituality and its usage is done with something related to souls which are again incompatible with science but are tightly related to all religions which teach about an afterlife.
    Science does not accepts Creationism nor in any life after death. Knowing self, emotional balance and moral obligations are built in the human nature and needs just a good social environment to grow properly.
    Separating spiritualism from a particular religion might be somewhat okay, but it is still part of all religions and therefore should be kept outside of places of scientific learnings.

    Religion does not come naturally. It is indoctrinated to a child by his/her parents during childhood or to impressionable minds during adulthood. If religion would have come naturally to human beings, you wouldn't have a family following the same religion in a household.

    Hindus might like to say that Gita and Vedas teach a way of life and not a religion but they still, in any case, teach a story that doesn't match teachings of science. It praises natural elements like fire and water as supernatural entities, talks about Ram, gives you hymns to cast away daemons... I can go on and on about things that should not be taught in a school.

    Note: I pick Vedas because Sidharth specifically mentioned it in his response. I don't have any affection for any other religious text too and if brought out in a logical course from sane people will talk about their unscientific stories too.

  • #631062
    So far as the subject-matter of the thread, my comments are as under:-

    (a) I think it is the primary duty of the educational institutions to help students excel educationally. All other issues are secondary.
    (b) Only after fulfilling the primary duty, the educational institutions must help students to develop some universal values like punctuality, honesty, courage, valour, strength of character, etc. These are truly secular values.
    (c) In a secular country, religious education must be banned. For this purpose, if necessary the Constitution must be amended and minority institutions may be scrapped. No exception is necessary and no exception should be allowed. Minority academic institutions must be merged in the mainstream education.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #631102
    In nutshell, it can be said that in the normal course, the educational institutions should not venture upon imparting religious or spiritual education to the students. However, as far as, moral education is concerned, it is an integral part of the education process. Basic morals like honesty, truthfulness, refraining from stealing anything etc. are common to all religions across the board.

    There is a branch of knowledge known as Theology which deals exclusively with study of religions or divinity and is taught in selected universities, seminaries, and schools of divinity as an academic discipline. Such institutions/courses are different and should not be confused with normal educational institutions.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #631109
    Before answering this thread, one should ask himself/herself a question. Is there a difference between Spiritualism and Religionism? Most of us mistake and use these two words inter-changeably.

    Spiritual values are those which we would love to see in every human being, these are honesty, peace, righteousness and to shun violence. Spiritualism is imparting or practicing all these.

    Religion and religious values are traditions and principles that have been passed over for many years. These are necessarily what was laid down by the very founders of religion. Most religions will have common good qualities. Religionism is imparting or practicing a religion in excess.

    The second point in this thread is the word 'temple of learning' it can cause confusion because the word temple directly or indirectly connotes 'Hinduism'. We should look at the phrase as 'seat or places of learning' which are the schools and institutions.

    Once we understand the above, the answer to the thread is very simple. It's 'Yes'.

    There is a difference between both, people at temples of learning, be it a Patashala, a Gurkul, a Madarasa or a seminary should strictly follow the difference to ensure that we impart quality education with good moral/human values and not deviate to the path of guiding the young minds towards religious fanaticism.

    All education institutions, irrespective of faith should adhere to the principle of 'Spiritual but not religious'. This would ensure that the teachers and students( from various religions in a single school of learning) focus on the well being of the body, mind and soul and not get colored with religious overtures that will finally lead to a Hindu opposing a Muslim, a Christian opposing a Buddhist etc.

  • #631141
    Well said by Mr. Natarajan, Spirituality and Religionism are indeed two very different things. This is the single point that I was trying to convey across in my previous responses. Just because something is not quantifiable by science doesn't mean that it should never be taught in schools. If that is the case then we will never be able to teach children rhymes, poems, stories etc.. The reason being they all come out of creativity and not out of science.

    The reason why I said religion comes naturally is that religion was made by human beings to be followed by other human beings. Thus normally when a baby is born his / her religion is already assigned to him/her there is no way he/she can change it unless they reach a knowledgeable age. On the other hand, spirituality is not so, it should be instilled in a person through teachings, texts and practical knowledge.
    Mr. Partha was talking about educational institutions helping children out educationally, all this also comes under education. The so-called universal values are part of a child who is growing into his /her adulthood. Thus schools should not prioritize one from the other, rather they should mix them together to provide a balanced system of learning.

    Mr. Kailash, I fail to understand why you have bought Theology into the picture, that is a totally different field of education. What I was merely saying was making the kids learn and follow the basic things in life that they will be able to gain through spiritual learning.


    Lets all try to create a better tomorrow for India.

  • #631145
    Reference of Theology was made to make it clear that there is a distinct academic discipline to study religion as few authors are confusing spiritualism with religion.
    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #631181
    #630759:@Hakimuddin. Places of faith have no time - instead of focussing on elaborate rituals, trying to compete in one-upmanship, all should impart and foster spiritual well being.

    Education institutions are run by religious societies - I strongly feel we should delink education and religion because a bias, a strong leaning towards one's own religion will creep in. Instead of this all institutions should incorporate spiritual teachings, which will certainly help to ease the stress the current students face.

    #631004@Ankit, I agree with you money, public or private should not be used to teach religious doctrines bordering fanatism to the young boys and girls in our schools. This makes them narrow-minded and rigid when it comes to accepting secularism.

    With regards to science and religion, history is littered with examples that both were at loggerheads with each other. Scientific minds had to meet in secrecy for the fear of religious persecution. I think mankind has to realize that religion and science should complement each other. The practical way for this would be to enhance the spiritual energy in these young minds who can then have the scientific ability to ask the question Why? What? and How?

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