Actually, at the present moment there is no education, because education means to understand my identity.
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[Posted April 22, 2006]

Education Means to Understand My Identity

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Founder-Acharya of the world-wide Hare Krishna Movement, Brahma Sampradaya Acharya

Srila Prabhupada

The Telegraph, April 21, 2006--True Happiness is More Than Feeling Good

Lessons in positive thinking, wellbeing seminars and workshops in emotional intelligence - can an A-level in happiness really be far behind?


At Wellington College, one of Britain's top public schools, headmaster Anthony Seldon is piloting an initiative that may eventually see lessons in happiness added to the curriculum in both the state and independent sectors. What an unhappy prospect.

Dr Seldon's endeavour is well-intentioned. He is right that young people should learn that happiness does not lie in celebrity, wealth or conspicuous consumption, not least because popular culture - from makeover television programmes to the cult of cool - tells them that it does.

The problem is that Wellington is opting to teach happiness through positive psychology which, in my view, can amount to little more than self-help with a veneer of academic respectability.

Excerpt from Lecture on Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 2, Text 17, February 17, 1975, Mexico

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A living man means spirit and matter combined. And a dead man means the matter is there; spirit is gone. So you can distinguish what is spirit and what is matter. So similarly, there is, as this is material world, there is another spiritual world. We living entities, we, by nature, we are spiritual, but because we have got the potency either to live in this material world or in the spiritual world, therefore we are called marginal. The real position is, because we are spiritual, we should live in the spiritual world. At the present moment we have lost our spiritual constitutional position; therefore we are in this material world. Just like a man is generally healthy, but sometimes he falls sick, so at the present moment our condition is sick. It is called bhava-roga. Bhava-roga. Bhava means to become, and roga means disease. What is that bhava-roga? We are appearing, taking birth in the material world. This is called bhava: "You become." And after sometimes you become finished, means death. This is called disease. Bhava-roga. Yes. We have to cure this disease and come to our healthy standard of life. That opportunity is here in this human form of life. If you want to cure this material disease and revive your healthy condition of eternal spiritual life, the opportunity is here. Therefore our only business in this human form of life is to cure this material disease, not to aggravate it. Disease should be cured, not to increase it. But at the present moment we are mad after increasing the disease. We are acting in such a way that we have to accept another body. That means material disease will continue.

So to live irresponsibly like cats and dogs is very risky life. Because so long we shall be engaged in the matter of sense gratification—material life means sense gratification—we shall increase our prolongation of repetition of birth and death. So this irresponsible life of eating, sleeping, sex life and defense like cats and dogs will not help us. Therefore... Because this kind of activities will oblige me to accept another body, and as soon as we accept another material body we become subjected to the stringent laws of material nature. And the material miserable conditions are summarized into four items: birth, death, old age and disease. So those who are not in knowledge of the spirit soul, they are very irresponsibly prolonging his life in material activities. Material science could not find out the spirit soul within the body because the magnitude, the dimension of the spirit soul, is very, very small. That is stated in Padma Purana,

shatadha kalpitasya cha
bhago jivah sa vijneyah
sa chanantyaya kalpate

Balagra means the tip of your hair. Divide into ten thousand parts. That one part is the dimension of the soul. That is there within the body. So material science has no such instrument or perfection of study that they can see such a small particle. Therefore these foolish people say there is no soul, but the practical application—the soul is there; therefore the consciousness is there; therefore the body is working in order. The soul is minus, the consciousness is minus—this body is a lump of matter.

So we have to study this very intelligently. Then we'll understand that what is soul, what is the business of the soul, why the soul is entrapped in this bodily, material body, why there are so many varieties, body. This is a great science, and that science is explained in this Bhagavad-gita. Actually, at the present moment there is no education, because education means to understand my identity. The so-called education which is going on, that is called art. Of course, they also say, "B.A., M.A., Bachelor of Art, Master of Art." It is just learning an art only; it is not education. Just like an electrical electrician. He knows the art how to put the negative and positive wire and bring electricity. That is an art. But that electrician does not know what is the science of understanding soul. The modern education, they are simply giving lessons on some art, generally known as technology. So by that advancement of knowledge we can construct high skyscraper building, nice motorcar, nice airplane, nice machine. That is art. But we do not know what is going to happen next life, my soul. That we do not.

So this is the distinction between avidya and vidya. Vidya means knowledge, and avidya means ignorance. Suppose you construct a very nice skyscraper building and next life you become something—you remain a rat in that house—then what is your benefit? The soul has to accept a body according to his karma. If by karma he has to accept the body of a rat, it will not be excused by nature that "You have constructed skyscraper building; therefore you'll again come and live there." No, that is not possible. If by karma you are fit for becoming a rat or cat, nature will give you that body. On account of your high attraction of the skyscraper building you can remain there, a rat and cat, but you cannot enjoy anymore. Therefore every human being should be very intelligent that "What is going to happen, my next life?" and prepare for that because it is said..., avinashi tu tad viddhi: "That small particle is avinashi," means it is not going to die; the body is going to finish. Then if my next life, next body, becomes rat and cat, then what is the benefit I get by this skyscraper building I have constructed with so hard labor and perseverance? This is knowledge. If you simply become interested on this small span of life, say, fifty or sixty or hundred years, utmost, but if you neglect your eternal existence, is that intelligence? We are teaching that science, and the Bhagavad-gita is there. Take advantage of it.

Education Means to Understand My Identity/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
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