Subramuniyaswami, Sivaya A few years ago we traveled through Trinidad and Tobago and had the opportunity to visit a secular school and talk to the administrator in charge. He confided, "We are raising educated criminals in our school. We have followed their pattern after they graduate and gain employment, and we now know that without any kind of religious education, material values hold sway." What is an educated criminal?
An educated criminal must be a person who is given no alternative by which he can judged his own actions, one who is taught to follow his own instinctive impulses, to be clever and cunning and claim his materialistic independence. Modern secular education, in is efforts not to give precedence to one religion over another, has of course eliminated them all! However, questions arise and teachers must come up with answers. At a loss because they cannot speak out their own persuasions, they must rationalize, deduct and quiet these queries according to the ideologies they are allowed to teach: secular humanism, communism, existentialism and materialism.
To solve the problem, aggressive religious organizations are giving supplementary education to the members of their congregations. But those parents bound down in smoke, drink and drugs, or high, extravagant living are not about to join one of these congregations. Their children are fair game for the four enemies of religion: secular humanism, communism, existentialism and materialism. The solution is obvious, in secular societies we must provide supplementary religious education which not only teaches the children the righteous values they should know, but also teaches them how to discriminate against what they will come to know as they go through the universities and enter life's challenges.
Today's communication technology brings facts and fantasies to our living room. It is sometimes hard to distinguish one from the other. And every organization around the world, including public schools systems, is eager to impregnate the minds of the youth with its belief patterns. Whoever gets there first, gets their minds, is the winner. Hinduism, constantly infiltrating the mind substance with its eternal truths, will perhaps win out over those who perpetuate other looks at life.
Being the founder and principal of the Indo-American Saivite School, to me education is of the utmost importance. Our children learn the basic priorities, the yamas and niyamas. They are taught to put them into action in their early lives. They are the good citizens of tomorrow. In our day-care centers, a Montessori system of training is used, but adapted to blend in Karma, the knowledge of devas and inner world, color psychology and even certain principles of parapsychology. For children are psychic, you know, and we do not want them to lose this valuable gift. They are taught to appreciate and develop and use these extraterrestrial abilities in daily life. When they are naughty, they are sent into the shrine room to do pranayama and come out when their aura shows beautiful pastel colors. They know the rightness of this training. There are two kinds of knowledge. When blended together the little person on the inside becomes big, confident, well-adjusted and able to meet the challenges of the world - his or her own karmas.
In perusing this issue of Hinduism Today, we can see that education is its theme. U.S. high schools offering Hindu studies, Shirley MacLaine teaching the yuppies who will in turn teach their puppies, join with Satya Sai Baba's EHV. He is opposed by the Muslims and she by the fundamentalists. Everyone is teaching something and someone is opposing them for it. This must be "just the way things are" at this time in the Kali Yuga. Let's not be daunted, but proceed with confidence. This year brings us into a 60-year cycle of new birth, new growth. Happy Hindu new year everyone, 5089, April 13.