Education is meant for not just literacy or numeracy or prosperity; it is meant essentially for spirituality
Education is highly sought nowadays, with people paying millions to get prestigious degrees. But what is education meant for? Some common answers are: literacy, numeracy and prosperity.
Literacy enables us to access the knowledge provided by past and present thinkers.
Numeracy connotes the ability to deal with numbers, to calculate using various mathematical methods, simple and sophisticated. In today’s complex economy, numeracy is an important life-skill that education is meant to provide.
Prosperity is the motive that drives most people to education. They seek those degrees that promise the highest-paying jobs: for example, vocational or technical degrees.
Yet is education meant just for literacy, numeracy and prosperity? All these are things to live with, not things to live for. We need a purpose that makes life meaningful. Without such a purpose, life stays unfulfilling – and becomes unbearable when adversities make us question the point of living.
To perceive the point of living, we can ask ourselves: What do we seek the most in life?
It is love, lasting love. We all long to love forever and to be loved forever. Learning how to fulfill this longing is life’s most important education.
This education is provided by the Bhagavad-gita, which declares such spiritual knowledge to be the essence of all knowledge (13.11). The Gita explains that our longing for love can be fulfilled only at the spiritual level, where we eternally belong and for which we eternally long. At our core, we are eternal spiritual beings. We are parts of the whole, the all-attractive supreme, Krishna, and are meant for a life of unending love with him.
When our education thus illumines our spirituality, we can learn to use everything, including literacy, numeracy and prosperity, to fulfill the purpose of education and the purpose of life itself.
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