CHILDREN IV – SCHOOLS
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, April 6, 2004
It is useful to read to children in the schools some texts in unfamiliar languages, observing how an unknown tongue is grasped. The hand easily adapts itself to familiar objects. The consciousness will easily grasp sounds familiar from the past. How many useful observations could be readily made! Yoga constantly teaches this joyous alertness. Agni Yoga, 248
It is essential to examine the programs of schools and to strengthen the line of authentic knowledge. Superstition drives people into the crevices of terror. This straightening out of school thinking must be attended to immediately, otherwise one more generation of brainless ones will disgrace the planet. Natural science must be augmented in cognition of the significance of this term. Biology, astrophysics, chemistry, will attract the attention of the youngest child's brain. Allow children opportunity to think! Community, 157
Shamed be the land where teachers dwell in poverty and want. Shamed be those who know that their children are being taught by a man in want. Not to care for the teachers of its future generation is not only a disgrace to a nation but a mark of its ignorance. Can one entrust children to a depressed man? Can one ignore the emanation created by sorrow? Can one rest ignorant of the fact that a depressed spirit cannot inspire enthusiasm? Can one regard teaching as an insignificant profession? Can one expect an enlightened spirit in children if the school is a place of humiliation and affront? Can one perceive any construction during the gnashing of teeth? Can one expect the fires of the heart when the spirit is silent? Thus I say, thus I repeat that the nation that has forgotten its teachers has forgotten its future. Let us not lose an hour in directing thought toward the joy of the future. And let us make sure that the teacher be the most valued member of the country's institutions. The time is coming when the spirit must be enlightened and made joyous through true knowledge. Fire is at the threshold! Fiery World I, 582
Education in the primary schools and secondary schools must be the same for both sexes. It is inadmissible to impose upon a child some specialty, when it is not yet able to define its own aptitude. It is sufficient to begin in high school to map our programs according to students' abilities. Thus one may plan the education of children who cannot yet express their inherent capabilities. It is very important that the program should not differ for the two sexes. This alone will eliminate a very harmful attitude towards sex. Fiery World II, 59
Bribery must be eradicated by all means, but one cannot rely upon punitive measures. They help little. In the lessons in Ethics in schools the thought must be affirmed that bribery does not conform to the dignity of man. One should observe very attentively whether such symptoms of corruption are making their appearance. Next to bribery in shamefulness is the nonfulfillment of duty. But this crime is assimilated so early that one can only counteract it by beginning from childhood. Let children get used to the work of grown-ups. The quality of labor will create the realization of duty. Every negligence, forgetfulness and evasion can be condemned only in one's own heart. Fiery World II, 71
The nature of things must be taught among the most primary subjects. It must be beautifully described in all reality; the succession of worlds must be demonstrated with all scientific comparisons. Not only will religion not contradict such exposition of the foundations, but on the contrary religion will assist, through its most ancient allusions. The study of the nature of things will serve as the threshold to understanding of Living Ethics. One must realize why honor, dignity, and all other high human qualities are indispensable. From the earliest years children should hear about the Subtle and Fiery Worlds; they must understand the principle of Hierarchy and of Good. The sooner they are reminded about Hierarchy and the other Truths, the more easily will they recall former knowledge. The concept of God in all its grandeur is clarified on the basis of Hierarchy. Only thus can the Highest Concept emerge from abstraction and blend with all Existence.
It is necessary that the Leader and the Government understand how to increase the realization of the Higher Representation. It is necessary that schools attractively depict Existence in all its grandeur. Fiery World II, 188
The Fiery Sun is invisible, likewise invisible are great heavenly bodies. It should be explained in schools how insignificantly small is our field of vision. Only thus is it possible to convince humanity that while it is divine in its heart essence, in the body it is subject to all limitations. Only thus will children realize what they must be concerned about. They are very perplexed at that which is manifested in the chest and continually beats. Fiery World II, 238
Day-dreaming must be transformed into disciplined thinking. The ancient sages advised mothers to pass on to their children tales about heroes, and to acquaint them with the best songs about great deeds. Is it possible that humanity nowadays wishes to renounce these wise covenants? The Fiery World is first of all open to heroes–to those who achieve. Fiery World II, 428
You will inevitably encounter a certain kind of people who fly into a rage at mention of the Teachers. They are ready to trust in any despicable stock market speculation, they are ready to believe in any swindle, but the idea of the General Welfare is inadmissible to them. Look intently into the pupil of the eye of these people. Therein you will find an evasive shadow, and they cannot long endure your gaze. These are hidden dugpas. Often they are more dangerous than their more obvious colleagues. Even if a purse of money is sent to them, they will recall a non-existent debtor. If they are saved from ruin, their gratitude will go to the police. Even if one should bring these seemingly well-intentioned people to the very boundary of Our Abode they will declare that what is seen is a mirage. It might be thought that this is due to ignorance, but the reason is far worse.
Beware of them! Chiefly, protect the children. They are the cause of many children's ailments. They find access into the schools. For them historical fact and the law of knowledge are non-existent. Upon encountering sickly children, inquire about the quality of their teachers.
Just now, when an important time is drawing near, it is necessary to disinfect as many children as possible: They will be the ones to think about the cities of the future. They must be given a truthful book about the saintly heroes of the Common Good, but this book has not yet been written. Fallacious are children's books, spurious their playthings, false the smiles of their tutors. Amidst constant falsification is it possible to expect truthfulness? I advise to devote time to the children. Let them carry stones and timbers for their city.
I have spoken about secret dugpas for your information; but for yourselves you need pay no attention to them, as to every striving worker they are mere dust. But if you show children Our Domicile, they will joyously walk through all the laboratories and observatories. Our prismatic mirrors will give them unforgettable joy; because they love everything real, and We Ourselves strive for Truth. Give the children only real, true objects! Illumination, III:V:19
The little girl carrying the heavy volume of the Bible in the chambers of luxury appears as a creator of a new world. The little girl who perceived the Teacher of Light under the blue sky is the destroyer of the dungeons of darkness. When the spirit of a small girl could feel the Brothers of Humanity, then the name of this spirit is a light-bearing sword. When, since childhood, the spirit could sense that the Brothers of Humanity regenerate that which exists, then this spirit holds the light-bearing name. We cherish the spiritual leaders among children. Hierarchy, 24
Imagination is the result of the accumulation of experiences. This is sufficiently known. But there may be vast accumulation, and instead of imagination there will nevertheless be evidenced only lustful desires and irritation. Affirm that imagination cannot form itself without the participation of the heart. Hence, inner or outer creators will be those who have wisely correlated the accumulations with a manifestation of the fires of the heart. Thus one should tell all children in all schools, in order that not even one tenet of the Teaching might become abstract. Heart, 196
Discourses about causes and effects should be introduced in the schools. Let the teacher propose a cause and the pupils think out the effects. In such conversations there will be displayed also the qualities of the students. It is possible to imagine many effects from one cause. Only a broadened consciousness will apprehend what effects will correspond to all the attendant circumstances. One should not be consoled by the fact that even a simple farmer can calculate a harvest. The manifestation of cosmic currents and of mental conflicts is far more complicated. From childhood on, let youth be accustomed to complicated effects and to dependence upon spatial thoughts. It should not be supposed that children need to have safeguards erected against their thinking. Brotherhood, 144
A subject must be introduced in schools–the synthesis of the sciences. From it students will perceive how closely connected are many branches of learning. They will see how great is the circle of science! They will apprehend that each scientist is in contact with an entire series of scientific provinces. If he cannot be fully conversant with them, at least he must understand their problems. Through acquaintance with synthesis, students will be able to more consciously select their own scientific activity. Let us not forget that up to the present such choice has been extremely fortuitous, often resting upon vague family traditions. Likewise, the student passed helplessly through disconnected school subjects without understanding precisely why these subjects were necessary. In the study of languages it has not usually been pointed out what are the advantages of each one. Therefore, a dull attitude toward learning has so often been noticed. This has not been laziness, but simply lack of knowledge of the meaning and aim of the subject. Assuming that each scientific subject should have an attractive introduction, the synthesis of science will enlighten even the smallest consciousness and lead it toward labor. It should not be thought that such synthesis can be absorbed only at an adult age. Actually, in their early studies it is especially easy for children to assimilate broad views. Of course, the exposition of this synthesis must be attractive. Brotherhood, 426