Attitude towards education
(Mother:) “If you said to yourself, my children, “We want to be as perfect instruments as possible to express the divine Will in the world”, then for this instrument to be perfect, it must be cultivated, educated, trained. It must not be left like a shapeless piece of stone. When you want to build with a stone you chisel it; when you want to make a formless block into a beautiful diamond, you chisel it. Well, it is the same thing. When with your brain and body you want to make a beautiful instrument for the Divine, you must cultivate it, sharpen it, refine it, complete what is missing, perfect what is there.”
(Mother:) “You see, it is exactly the same thing as the woodland or virgin forest and the cultivated garden. Obviously, the woodland or virgin forest can have its beauty but in any case it is a chaos: it is the beauty of chaos. On the other hand, say you have a cultivated garden: you can in a given space have all kinds of flowers, for example, and produce the maximum number of things. Well, a human body is like that. If it grows up like that, as it wants, it is a woodland or a virgin forest, a jungle. But if you take it very young and take great care of it, well, it can become a very beautiful garden; and yet the elements are the same. You are not asked to change the nature of the ground, you are told to cultivate it, instead of letting it go its own way in disorder.
Some people, of course, will tell you, “Oh, the woodland is beautiful, it is more beautiful than a garden!” It depends on how one sees things; but then we shall not speak about education any longer, it is not worthwhile. We shall no longer speak of self-mastery, it is not worthwhile. We won’t speak of discipline any more, we won’t speak of yoga any more, we shall leave Nature to go her own way as she wants. It amuses her but doesn’t amuse certain people. So these prefer to do otherwise. Those who are amused by it can continue if they like, but those who are not must have the power to do otherwise.”
(Medhananda:) “When the class is over and you ask your children a question on the subject matter you have just taught, if more than two children give you the same answer you have failed as a teacher. You are only an instructor. If there were only one correct answer, God would have created only one man.
Man expects the universe always to give him the same answer to the same question, but the universe expects man to give a different answer every time. And if he doesn't, Nature will classify him among the fossils, and she has her own way of dealing with fossils. If there were only one answer, nature would have given man a kind of gramaphone-record memory, but she took tremendous pains to evolve man as an individual, and it is the most advanced part of his brain which has the highest capacity of erasing and forgetting. In future schools great pains will be taken to help a child forget the lessons of yesterday.
In the schools of the past the ideal was: the sooner he gets a brain like that of an old man, the better. In the future, the longer he remains a child, plastic and eager to learn, able to experience and to forget, to discover and enjoy, the better it will be.”