Bharat (India) was a world leader in knowledge and education in the pre-British era
The educational system in Bharat during the pre-British era was at the peak of excellence. The European travellers and rulers of those days have had a first-hand experience of this. Ramswarup has discussed about this in his thesis named ‘Education System during Pre-British Period’.
A. During the pre-British era, Bharat was at the peak of knowledge and education. It was the leader in the whole of Asia and Europe. In those days, no one in Bharat was illiterate. The authenticity of this can be proved by the fact that Megasthenis (302 B.C.), who was a courtier in the royal court of King Chandragupta was utterly impressed by the educational system and literacy of Bharat. He has heaped lots of praised on the educational system of Bharat.
B. Brigadier General Alexander Walker was working in Bharat from the year 1780 A.D. to 1810 A.D. He has said, ‘No one in the world has such extensive knowledge and education as the Hindus.’
C. The European visitors have described the excellent organisation of the educational system throughout Bharat in those days.
In the year 1820 A.D., Abbe J.A. Dubios has said, ‘It is difficult to find any village in Bharat where there are no schools. The education system here is favourable and meets all the demands of the students’. – Gurudev Dr. Kateswamiji (Dhangarjit, March 2009).
The literacy rate in Bharat was higher than Britain
Before the British arrived in Bharat, there were 7 lakh 32 thousand Gurukuls (Traditional Bharatiya schools). The literacy rate in Bharat was 97%. There were a total of 18 subjects in the curriculum. These included Ayurveda, Health Science, Mathematics, Architecture, etc.
– Anant Gadgil (Lokjagar, October 2009).
Discipline in the Bharatiya education system
‘The students had to abide by the rules. Bharatiya educational system was very strict in terms of abiding by the scriptures. One had to strictly abide by the rules in terms of diet, hairstyle etc. Practising self control was a must. The Bharatiya educational institutes had strict rules. There was no place for dishonesty in those institutes. Where there is dishonesty there can be no education, and where there is education there can be no dishonesty!’
Western Nations have started to realise the greatness of Bharatiya culture
The Western society considers Bhartiya culture, Sanskrut language, Spirituality, Srimad Bhagvadgita, etc. as a boon to the world. Recently, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has accepted the introduction of literature based on the principles of Hinduism in the international educational curriculum. According to UNESCO, these literary works will help in incorporating good moral values in the youth and also help in eliminating the ill effects of bad habits and immorality. Some educational Universities in America and Europe have also included Sanskrut language and stories of incarnations like Ram and Krushna in their syllabus. Some American Universities have made the study of Bhagvadgita compulsory for their students.
How many of us have self-confidence like Swami Ramatirtha?
Swami Ramatirtha was a very intelligent student. Mathematics was his favourite subject. His original name was Tirtharam. Once, during an examination 13 questions were asked. The students were told, ‘Answer any 9’. Tirtharam solved all the 13 questions and wrote, ‘All the 13 answers are correct. Check any 9.’ Such was his self-confidence!