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Early Buddhist Education and its Modern Implication

2009年04月01日 11:51:00 佛教在线 点击:0

Dr. Pranab Kumar Baruya

Vice-President of A.C.R.P. & W.C.R.P. Bangladesh Chapter

Abstract: Buddhist Education gave emphasis on the moral, mental and physical development. In later period according to the demand of the society and professional education, art, sculpture, architecture, medicine also included in the syllabus.

The main centre of Buddhist Education was Sangharama. Buddhist Education was a strong protest against orthodox Education system.

The aim of Buddhist Education is to make a free, wise, intelligent, non-violent and secular man. Students became judicious humanist, logical and free from superstitions. Buddhist Education was wide open and available to the people of all walks of life.

The principal goal of the Buddhist Education is to change an unwise to wise, beast to priest.

At present Buddhist Education is China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar made tremendous progress with the introduction of modern subjects.

Key words: Buddhist Education against orthodox Education.

Summary

In ancient India in 600 B.C. a new doctrine developed which is called Buddhist philosophy. On the foundation of this philosophy a new and special Education System originated in ancient India.

The main Centre of Buddhist Education was Sangharama. Buddhist Education was a strong protest against orthodox education system. Nobody was deprived of Education due to racial discrimination.

Buddhist Monasteries become the Centre of Education :

After admission the students had to follow monastic rules along with their syllabus and they were classified according to merit. The period of Education was 12 years.

The teachers were the guardian of the students.  They were responsible for physical, mental, spiritual and moral development of the students. Since Educational Institution (Monasteries) was residential therefore the relationship between the teachers and the students were very very cordial.

Buddhist Education gave emphasis on the moral, mental and physical development. The main stress was given to have a clear idea of Tripitaka. In the later period according to the demand of the society and professional Education art, sculpture, architecture, medicine also included in the syllabus. At the initial stage medium of Education was mother tongue, later it included Pali & Prakrit and in the following days Sanskrit also introduced. It is to be mentioned that Vedic subjects also included in the syllabus. This was a historic development.

Sangharamas the centre of Buddhist Education later developed into colleges & universities. Nalanda, Vikramsila, Sompori, Salban, Pandit Vihar, Taxila were the unparallel universities. Students from China, Myanmar, Thailand, Gandhara came to have their studies there.

The teachers were highly qualified. The aim of Buddhist Education is to make a free man, a wise, intelligent, moral, non-violent & secular man. Students became judicious, humanist, logical and free from superstitious. Students became free from greed, lust and ignorance. Buddhist Education was wide open and available to the people of all walks of life. The principal goal of the Buddhist Education is to change an unwise to wise, beast to priest.

At present Buddhist Education in China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Srilanka made tremendous progress with the introduction of modern subjects. They have made more facilities for the lay people. Education has been incorporated with modern facilities. Buddhist Education in Bangladesh is still in a traditional position and could not succeed due to financial assistance. So, it needs help and guidance from the Buddhist World.

Introduction :

Buddha, the founder of Buddhism was born in Lumbini present Nepal. In ancient days Nepal, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar was one country and known as Indian Sub-Continent. In Buddhist text it is known as Jhambudipa. Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya, Bihar presently situated in India. He spent 45 years after Buddha hood in different parts of India and propagated his religion. In India during the time of Buddha what was the condition of society. How education had come into assistance. There was a racial discrimination in the society. This discrimination was according to profession of man, and  according to birth. In the society there were four division of man of whom Brahman was superior. Brahmanism dominated the society and established their supremacy in the country. They enjoyed rights for religious training and education. But other category of people deprived of their religious and educational rights. At that time there were 62 heretical doctrines in existence and priesthood got upper hand. In this background a religious revolution started in ancient India in 600 B.C. and a new doctrine or system developed which is called Buddhist doctrine or Buddhist philosophy. It is to be said that on the foundation of Buddhism a new and special Education System originated in ancient India. Buddhism made a tremendous movement which played a valuable role in the development of Education System in ancient India or ancient Buddhist world.

Centre of Education:

The main centre of Buddhist Education was sangharama (Monastery / Vihara, Temple) where monks and samanaras reside sangharamas were open to all. Here students from different caste, creed, colour and religion got free admission. Buddhism was a strong protest against orthodox Vedic (Hindu) religion and also Education System. Buddhism established democracy, universalism and monastic life. There was no racial discrimination and nobody was deprived of his rights. Buddhist Monasteries became the Centre of Education.

Admission :

The novices first entered into the Sangha (Bhikkhu Sangha), then had to follow the monastic rules and Sangha rules. Even today these rules are followed. There are many rules regarding food, dress, bed room, meditation, dedication and other rules as laid down by the Sangha. They had to undergo with physical exercise for maintenance of their health. They had to clean the campus, rooms, halls, serve the teachers (Achariya) and assist them in various field. This was the primary duties of the students. After admission students were classified according to their merit and put under the guidance of different teachers. They had to follow the advice of the teachers and obey them. In this way they had to pass twelve years in learning. Students put questions to the teachers; teachers answered the question and discussed matters related to their Education. Students had to perform daily routine works beyond learning.

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