Education Should Liberate You From The Past

Education is a process of liberation, but it has not been actualised anywhere in the world.

Liberation means liberating the mind from the past, from theologies and political ideologies, liberating the mind in such a way that when a student comes out of education he is just a clean pure seeker with no prejudice.

That beautiful sentence at the gates of the universities in India, `ya vidya sa vimuktaye’ — `education is that which liberates’ –, shows how man can be unaware. Liberation becomes impossible when the university itself has a certain prejudice, a certain programme to put into the minds of the students. So first dissolve Hindu, Muslim, Jaina, Catholic — these names, from the universities. Secondly: India… has more than one hundred universities, which is meaningless… The result is that the standard of education goes on falling. When you have so many universities you cannot get the best as professors…

Just because somebody has a university degree does not mean that he becomes automatically capable of teaching. Teaching is a totally different art. Passing an examination is one thing; to teach, you need to be articulate, you need to have a vast range of knowledge. I mean not only the textbooks that you have read in the university, you have to be constantly in touch with the growing knowledge.

Thirty years ago somebody passed his master’s degree or became a Ph D and for 30 years he has not bothered about what has happened in his subject. In 30 years human knowledge has increased more than has been possible in the past even 3,000 years. Now a professor who is unaware of these 30 years of development is absolutely incapable.

Should politicians become vice-chancellors? Retired politicians, those who have been defeated in the elections, need some place of respect. The vice-chancellorship has become a refuge. So make it a law that no politician can become a vice-chancellor.

Universities should be teaching also the latest discoveries, the latest literature, the latest poetry, and the latest in everything. The universities should be sensitive enough: each year there are new novels, new music, new dances, that should become part of the curriculum. Universities have to remain always up to date.

Speaking is an art, and a professor should be an artist. His words should not be simply words; they should carry some poetry in them, some music in them. Each professor and each student should learn a simple meditation method. He can choose one. There are 112 meditation methods; the simplest is vipassana. It is uncomplicated. Make vipassana part of the curriculum; unless a person passes in vipassana he cannot get his degree.

Then it will be real education. Then it will be a liberating factor, because vipassana will liberate you totally from your religions, from your races, from your countries. It will make you an individual. You will not be anymore a member of a mob. You will have your own integrity, your own centeredness, and your own roots.

Meditation is an absolute necessity for humanity to survive. All other subjects should be taught, but no other subject is so important as meditation. But no university is teaching it. If all the graduates from the university come out with a meditative mind, they will change the whole structure and fabric of society.

These are my simple suggestions, absolutely practical; there is nothing utopian about them.

Excerpt from `Death to Deathlessness’. Courtesy: Osho International Foundation. Website:

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