The Centre of Indian Culture
THE QUESTION WHICH I intend to discuss in the present paper is, what should be the ideal of education in India. Instead of holding my listeners' minds in suspense till the very end, let me briefly give the answer in the beginning before entering into a detailed discussion. On each race is the duty laid to keep alight its own lamp of mind as its part in the illumination of the world. To break the lamp of any people is to deprive it of its rightful place in the world festival. He who has no light is unfortunate enough, but utterly miserable is he who, having it, has been deprived of it, or has forgotten all about it.
India has proved that it has its own mind, which has deeply thought and felt and tried to solve according to its light the problems of existence. The education of India is to enable this mind of India to find out truth, to make this truth its own wherever found and to give expression to it in such a manner as only it can do.
In order to carry this out, first of all the mind of India has to be concentrated and made conscious of itself and then only can it accept education from its teachers in a right spirit, judge it by its own standard and make use of it by its own creative power. The fingers must be joined together to take, as well as to give. So when we can bring the scattered minds of India into co-ordinated activity, they will then become receptive as well as creative - and the waters of life will case to slip through the gaps, to make sodden the ground beneath.
The next point is that, in education, the most important factor must be the inspiring atmosphere of creative activity. And therefore the primary function of our University should be the constructive work of knowledge. Men should be brought together and full scope given to them for their work of intellectual exploration and creation; and the teaching should be like the overflow water of this spring of culture, spontaneous and inevitable. Education can only become natural and wholesome when it is the direct fruit of a living and growing knowledge.
The last point is that our education should be in full touch with our complete life, economical, intellectual aesthetic, social and spiritual; and our educational institutions should be in the very heart of our society, connected with it by the living bonds of varied co-operations. For true education is to realize at every step how our training and knowledge have organic connection with our surroundings.