There is a Sanskrit dialect saying ‘VidyaViheenahaPasuhu’, which means a man without education is like an animal. Thus in other words, it teaches the human being to live in a mannered way. There is a big misconception in the mind of many people related to the meaning of word ‘Education’. In proper sense, it means to ‘bring out’. Every person in this earth is born with some or other kinds or talent. Education is meant to teach the person how to bring out those talents and make use of it. As per the ancient India education system is concerned, it has got a rich tradition of learning and knowledge beginning from Stone Age to the Modern Age.
The Stone Age people were the earliest in India. They devised the way of using tools to automate their daily jobs in various senses. With the help of these they made their life easier. Initially the tool was made out of stone thus the Stone Age was divided into three different periods. The period of Old Stone Agebegan 2 million years ago and lasted 12,000 years ago. The Middle Age or Mesolithic began around 12,000 years ago till 8,000 years ago. The Neolithic or New Stone Age lasted from 8,000 years ago to 5,000 years ago. Starting from this Stone periods education has been reached to a very advanced stage.
When the Stone Age period finished, the education was started to be imparted in the form of literature in the period of Vedas and Brahman. Several literary sources like Vedas, Mahabharata, Dharam Sutra, etc. are available that provides good references about the ancient India education system.
Ancient India education system mainly focused on providing following objectives:
1. Preservation of knowledge and culture.
3. Social awareness
5. Character Development
6. Propagation of purity
Gurukul system is known to be the originator of Vedic India education system. According to this system, places were established where Gurus and Shishyas used to live together at one place called Ashrams.During the Vedic days, the education mainly consisted of teaching of Vedas, Sanskrit Hymns and Ritual Practices. The Vedas mainly used Sanskrit language which later on became the chief language for classical teaching and literatures.
In Gurukul System, the preceptors belong to two classes; Acharya and Upadhyaya. Mainly Acharyas used to perform the Upanayana ceremony (in which the child needs to leave his home for education), teach Vedas along with the Upanishads and ritualistic literature. The Upadhyaya teaches Veda for livelihood.
The Brahmacharya System of education entails strict self-control and self-discipline. This system enforces the pupils to avoid all kind of luxuries so that they can chiefly concentrate on their studies. In addition to that Brahmacharya System focuses on following aspect:
1. Teaches a person how to fight with adverse conditions.
2. Teaches how to remain healthy using techniques like Yoga.
3. Saving energy of pupils by making them avoid any kind of sexual activity.
This type of education is mainly imparted at the age of puberty (14-20 years).
The education provided at the earlier ages was not so easy, as it required the patience, good concentration and the determination.
India Through The Ages