Chapter 1 – Dev-sanskriti (divine culture)
The gurukul type school was the best of its kind. Gurukul used to be a family like environment, where the teacher was like the father and the teacher’s wife was like the mother to the students. Kids were taught not only content, but culture, behavior etc.
The teacher’s character also plays a big role. Teachers should become what they want their students to be (in character etc.). Teachers should have the heart of a mother.
Difference between shiksha (knowledge) and vidya (education) is that shiksha is just getting information while vidya teaches us the value of life that helps us live a meaningful life. Shiksha is more for material gains while vidya is for self development. Siksha is outward whereas vidya is inward growth. Both have their place and value in a good life. Man has to try himself to get vidya otherwise it is just knowledge and it is like giving a sword to a monkey. Just like iron has to go through extraction proves to become useful, man has to do the same thing. Without developing from inside life is incomplete.
You cannot grow a mango tree from a babuul (tree with thorns) seed. A farmer looks for the best seed to grow. Parents have to do the same with their kids. If parents have high thinking and good character then in their company children become the same way. Parents are the first teachers. By seven years, kids have a good personality development.
Indian culture and dev sanskriti (divine culture), go hand in hand. This is also the Rishi’s way of life. Dev (divine) is someone who gives while devil is the one who takes. Anyone who has given more and taken less from this world is dev. Devil is greedy while dev is charitable. So man has to try to become more dev-like.
Chapter 2 – Aashram of Life and Cast
Basically there are four castes and four divisions of life.
Everyone is born the same, but their karm (actions) decides what kind of classification they get – not the other way round. Castism is not a good system now – it has been misused and should be abolished.
Brahmin class is the voice of society. One has to be this quality by character not birth. (Raavan was bhramin and Ram and Krishna were kshatriya). Bhramin works for the betterment of the society – he can open libraries, schools, training places, child care, women centers and etc. so that people can learn and also participate in seva (service to people). He should stand up against injustice.
The Four Divisions of Life
In the four divisions of life ghrasth aashram is the highest one. In this a person has energy and strength to take care of family and society. In bhramcharya and grahastashram: physical, mental, societal and work are prime during this time. The rest half of the life is for spiritual, emotional, character, good nature and selfless work for others.
Vaanprasth is the most important because a person can support himself by this age and can only give back to the community instead of taking from it. People have no more responsibilities by this time.
Upaasna is necessary for all times in life. You should develop like sandalwood – that itself smells good and makes everything around it smell good too. Upaasna is sitting next to god. If you sit next to god you will try to get more god like qualities.