After becoming a swami, Paramhansa Yogananda's first public activity was to establish a school for young boys. He began his teaching career in 1916 in the village of Dihika, Bengal, with only seven students “I was determined to build a school where young boys might grow into complete manhood.” He relocated the school to Ranchi a year later and established the Yogoda Satsanga Brahmacharya Vidyalaya, which is still operational today. The first Ananda school was formed nearly sixty years later, in 1972, at Ananda Village, based on Yogananda's educational ideas and directions. The original Ananda School, which began with only seven pupils, now has a site with seven classrooms and ninety students, as well as branch schools in Palo Alto, Portland, and Seattle. The following article is based on a discourse given by Swami Kriyananda, in which he outlines the Ananda Schools' Education for Life system.
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In my life, I've tried to apply Yogananda's primary principles to a variety of disciplines, including business, the arts, relationships, growing families, schools, and communities. Yogananda cared deeply for children's education, yet he said very little about it. We've taken what he's given us through the years, thought on it, and utilized what we've learned in the Ananda School classrooms to enhance our understanding and attunement to Yogananda's vision for spiritual education.
At Ananda, we're working on a system called Education for Life, which is desperately required in today's world. We are instilling in our children what Yogananda referred to as an essentially atheistic vision of life, which is the source of many of our world's ills. When we strictly prohibit all spiritual teachings and higher values, our children learn that there are no such things as higher values, and that there is no such thing as God. Children have a natural desire for values and ideals, but our society provides them with a universe and a life in which they are unable to believe. The cynical lessons of modern education are so ego-oriented, as well as money and job-oriented, that it's scarcely surprising that youngsters grow up cynical and furious at the universe. That is the fault of our culture for allowing such things to occur.
The goal of spiritual education is to help children realize their divine potential and to prepare them for life by providing them with the tools they'll need to keep learning throughout their various experiences.
We don't mean religious education when we talk about spiritual education. What we mean is that we want to teach kids that being good to others and working toward lofty goals will make them happier. A child who has a small bag of dates and eats them all by himself is not nearly as happy as a child who shares his dates with others. In every scenario, we can see that selfish people are unhappy, whereas selfless people are content. They can use this knowledge not only at school, but also at home and in other situations. This is spiritual education if we can bring this type of teaching to youngsters.
Spiritual education also serves to develop a person on all levels. We are triune beings made up of body, mind, and soul, and we are incomplete if any part of us is starved at the price of the others. It's an intriguing truth that people who write, for example, as a mental activity, will frequently engage in some form of physical activity to keep themselves grounded. Sri Yukteswar, Yogananda's guru, offered him a broom when he first had an experience of cosmic consciousness, adding, “Let's sweep the porch together.” We need to figure out how to maintain these worlds in sync with one another. We become unbalanced in some way if we let one go in favor of the other.
We must help our children develop their characters and minds while also preparing them to live successfully in this world through their education. We don't want kids to go out into society and discover that they can't relate to what's going on. They must have access to the facts that are a part of our modern education. They don't, however, need to be taught those truths in such a way that they believe there is no worth in anything. Today, there is a lot of attention on the wrong things. Spiritual education is based on preparing students for society in a way that allows them to maintain their idealistic outlook.
Assume you have children who have learned to love everyone and to appreciate the beautiful things in life. When kids venture out into the world, they may encounter prejudice, criminal behavior, and a variety of other undesirable experiences. Will they be able to deal with the situation? This is most people's main concern when it comes to spiritual education. The answer can be found in people who live their lives with love. It's not as if they become illiterate or lose their ability to comprehend reality. In fact, the broadest understanding comes from a love-centered perspective, while the smallest understanding comes from a hatred-centered perspective. You can only relate to the lowest level if you're on it; if you're on the highest level, you can relate to all levels. To demonstrate that this is true, we can point to examples of people who live this way and are significantly more capable of dealing with life's numerous obstacles. People who are full as human beings tend to be more successful, in my experience. Even in the way that worldly people define success, a spiritual education can assure better success.
Rajarsi Janakananda, Yogananda's most advanced disciple, is a suitable example. He was the chairman of numerous major corporations and the owner of a number of others. He had the clarity, tranquility, and centeredness to step back from the stress and excitement and see the path to resolving challenging problems. His success was due to the fact that his consciousness was anchored in God and the desire to do the right thing.
Children are born with various inclinations, strengths, limitations, and educational requirements. The assembly-line method to teaching, in which the same information is more or less poured out to everyone, is one of the bad elements of modern education. There is no philosophy; all that exists is data. Small classes, in which the teacher can get to know each kid individually, are critical for providing particular attention and determining each child's natural level of comprehension.
Life is made richer by teaching youngsters kindness, concentration, willpower, character strength, truthfulness, and other higher traits. These are extremely crucial to a person's growth, yet they are not taught in public schools nowadays. The ultimate goal of life isn't just to find work. So many people live like this and ultimately die, not of old age, but of severe dissatisfaction with their lives. Money won't buy you happiness if you don't know how to be truly happy.
Spiritual education prepares people for the rest of their lives. How many people marry and then divorce because they don't know how to communicate with their partner? They haven't been prepared for that. neither for the sake of life.
Education, properly defined, is the process of increasing one's awareness. It's a warm-up for the real learning that happens after we leave school, when we're in the midst of a never-ending struggle, on the front lines of life's battleground. We can lead children to long-term happiness by providing them with the tools and knowledge they need to make the best decisions possible. They will then be able to attain the kinds of spiritual wins that define success in the genuine sense.
What is spiritual teaching?
A person tasked with teaching a human or universal being what they need to know, study, and understand on a spiritual level in order to contribute to their soul agreement, soul purpose, or spiritual progress.
A spiritual teacher could be anyone we recognize and know, as long as we have a long-term or lifetime relationship with them.
What is a spiritual learning?
The spiritual learner recognizes that there is something outside of ourselves that impacts and accounts for life eventssomething intangible that cannot be fully described. For some, this is God's work; for others, it is man's job “For some, it is simply an undefined spiritual experience;” while for others, it is merely an undefined spiritual experience. In terms of religion, a spiritual learner is someone who absorbs information from a variety of sources and recognizes and accepts that all of the main religions have made significant contributions. A spiritual learner is a person who is open-minded who expects to continue to learn about the human condition throughout their lives. As new information becomes available, he or she expects to modify hypotheses and shift perspectives. He or she is not bound by any one style of thinking, psychology, or religious belief. Because we are continually confronted with new conditions that need us to adapt and adjust, this is critical to living a balanced, healthy, and high-achieving life.
The spiritual learner's perspective can be applied to almost every element of life; any set pattern of thinking or acting that has resulted in an unpleasant outcome should be reevaluated. Individuals of this persuasion are not threatened to reconsider long-standing behavioral patterns that may need to be adjusted or completely abandoned. The guys in my family, for example, were all heavy smokers. It appeared to be the right thing to do, and it appeared to be good for the World War 11 generation. Many doctors and scientists who were funded by the tobacco business backed it at the time. I begged my father to stop smoking when I was a child, but he refused. Every morning, I could hear him cough; it didn't seem good for him, but I had no evidence to back up my claim. At the age of 66, the habit he had discovered to be his saving grace throughout WWII cost his life.
My father was just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, his serious addiction changed his plans on most occasions, but on the day he died, he was down to four cigarettes a day from four packs of Chesterfields. When time ran out, he was beginning to approach his addiction from the perspective of a spiritual student. He was considering the idea that his belief in smoking's innocence was incorrect, and he was beginning to contemplate an other viewpoint. He recognized that his actions were draining his spirit of vitality (he was sick more often, had shortness of breath as his body was failing him and his spirit for life was diminishing.)
In this regard, I feel that the Dala Lama's constant attempts to learn and assimilate new findings are part of Tibetan Buddhism's attraction to Americans. He has said numerous times that Buddhism is an old religion with many old writings. Nonetheless, he has stated that the teaching of classic literature must evolve in response to new understanding. He has shown an interest in scientific information, notably with brain neuroplasicity. This way of looking at life makes our days more exciting, gives us more energy, and allows us to be a part of something bigger. We're more linked to a wider range of people and experiences. Spiritual students are interested in learning about and experiencing whatever it is that nourishes the human soul in a healthy way.
Being a spiritual learner naturally equips us with the tools we need to rewrite our own tale; recall, part of the term is “to rewrite one's own story.” “to gain knowledge from all reliable sources,” including ourselves. This implies that we now have the ability to learn more about ourselves, our views, our job paths, and, most importantly, our culture, country, and world. We won't be able to live without the curse if we don't care for people all over the world. Personal freedom necessitates an understanding of how certain civilizations, cultures, and organizations establish systems that enslave others. We create a tiny, non-diverse world that inhibits our personal and spiritual progress if we are self-absorbed and only care for people closest to us who are most like us. The well-being of others is, in essence, our own well-being. For the spiritual student, there is no separation. Our tale may now be rewritten because we trust other people's ideas, and we trust that people all across the world have valuable insights and wisdom to share.
Spiritual learners constantly rework their unsupportive story. They've gained optimism and trust in others, and they've realized that self-learning and learning about the world are never-ending pursuits. It's exhilarating to live by this concept since learning ceases to be a danger and instead becomes a constant means of improving one's self-awareness. You start to feel free. You are open to everyone around you, but most importantly, you are open to the entire world. Because you are free to be a genuine participant, you are now a contributor to a better society. There will be no more cover-ups, and there will be no need to maintain a false story. Knowing that the old story is mostly made up is the best feeling in the world. It's never only about altering our internal perspective of ourselves when we rewrite our tale. It's also about reordering what we've learnt that isn't correct. Baby boomers, for example, were raised to believe that Germans and Japanese people were nasty and terrible. It turns out they thought the same thing about us, and all three countries' propaganda was wrong. Many young people today believe Muslims are violent, disgusting, and evil people. Some Americans have been known to drag Muslims from their cars and assault them. What a heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous heinous Eliminating the possibility of empathic understanding and essential connections. Keep in mind that any distortion of the truth, whether in ourselves or in others, leads to personal and societal devastation. Spiritual learners are dedicated to learning the truth about themselves, their family, friends, and everyone else who lives on this planet. We are dedicated to scrutinizing every bias in our brains and hearts in order to live in accordance with the truth. We are considerably more likely to develop and retain the curse if we are opposed to the truth out of fear or other defensive motives. Why? Because we are constantly misled about how to feel at ease in ourselves and in the world, we hide behind mythical notions about ourselves and others.
Why is spiritual development important?
Many individuals go through life without attempting to develop their spirituality, and as a result, they often feel dejected and miserable, despite the fact that spiritual development is the key to living a healthy, happy, and successful life.
Spirituality can be defined as the quest for one's inner self while staying away from the modern world's constant distractions. This approach focuses on enhancing your mental and spiritual well-being. Success isn't defined by the car you drive or the size of your home here. Rather, it's about giving oneself permission to grow and project happiness into your surroundings.
The general notion of spiritual growth is the trip in which you participate and guide your own identity, maturity, and the enhancement of your spiritual self, and thus the development of our inner life to achieve serenity. That is why spiritual growth is so crucial. You will realize how amazing and enlightened you can truly be if you develop your spirituality.
You will be able to break free from any mental constraints you may have, giving you unlimited freedom to elevate yourself. To emphasize the importance of strengthening your spirituality, you will notice changes not just in your inner self, or soul, but also in your outward environment.
It will have a significant impact on your health, and if you have any medical concerns, you will most likely see improvements. Spiritual development clearly enables you to act naturally with honesty, integrity, and truthfulness, as well as to live in ways you never believed possible.
There are various ways to begin or continue your spiritual development journey: Meditation is an excellent approach to devote time to discovering your spiritual self. This is crucial and should not be mistaken for selfishness. We all require alone time to clear our heads and purge whatever negativity we may be harboring.
Even 10 minutes a day will suffice to begin your spiritual journey, and you can gradually expand the time as you see suitable. You can keep your thoughts from wandering by focusing on your breathing while meditating. Never underestimate the importance of talking, listening, and thinking about love.
Some people spend very little time in nature, which could be considered a huge mistake. Getting into outdoors, where fresh air abounds, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city, is critical for your spiritual development, as is getting into nature, which will fill you with all of its brightness and magnificence. Spiritual growth is critical for your mental and, of course, bodily well-being.
This will allow you to feel clever and realize how exceptional you are. Discover your spiritual growth and how powerful you may be in the multilayered world.
Why are spiritual values important?
The spiritual dimension is also in charge of capturing and realizing human desires. Sacredness, consciousness, vision, wisdom, purpose, love, and the search for meaning, purpose, worth, and truth of life are all traits it might display.
Spirituality isn't just about religion or beliefs. Religion is essential for one's personal growth and development since it gives a moral code for individuals to follow on this world. It must take into account the distinction between religion and spirituality.
The observance of doctrinal ideas and certain behaviors demonstrates one's affiliation with a certain religious principle. Spirituality, on the other hand, emphasizes a stronger sense of self-awareness and a desire to improve oneself.
Religious ideals in the spiritual dimension can offer guidance for a long-term lifestyle and societal well-being.
Religion's ultimate goal is to foster a relationship with the environment, nature, and fellow humans, not just with God and rituals.
People may come to comprehend that divinity is their true, pure, and primordial essence, or “fitra,” as Islam refers to it, and that they have the power to be “human.” The upper self, or spiritual intelligence, which resides beneath every soul's surface, is what gives life meaning, purpose, and value.
Faculty of Human Ecology, Department of Government and Civilisation Studies, UPM
What spirituality means?
Spirituality is defined as the awareness of a feeling, sense, or belief that there is something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater total of which we are a part is cosmic or divine in nature. True spirituality necessitates the opening of one's heart.
What is spirituality as a student?
The university we know is made up of people from all walks of life, and spiritual backgrounds are no exception. Many people are obviously devoted about their spiritual life and would be delighted to keep them going while studying. According to studies, about 90% of the world's population is religious, demonstrating how important it is for most students to have a healthy spiritual life.
What is spirituality, exactly? Spirituality is frequently associated with religion or religious belief. Meanwhile, spirituality is defined by Wikipedia as “the reformation process aimed at recovering the distinctive form of man orientated toward the image of God as portrayed by the sacred scriptures of the world's founder religions.” The Holy Spirit, the third person in the Holy Trinity, gave this to the early Christians. The introduction of mental life into spirituality was made possible by the broadening of this feature in medieval times. In this current day, however, both esoteric and religious spiritual traditions are used together. Regardless, the religious concept of spirituality continues to have the greatest impact on humanity.
Some people find it more difficult to continue the highly religious activities they used to practice as a student with numerous classes to attend and many papers to turn in. Some students are also depressed because they lack a parent or guardian to encourage or inspire them to participate in religious activities. Work or other activities, particularly joyful ones, can sometimes deplete a student of spiritual zeal. Peer pressure can have an affect on people's spiritual lives because many people want to do what their friends do because there is no one to supervise them at university. Another element that contributes to the decline of spiritual life is the lack of spiritual programs, places, and teachers or leaders.
Both kind of spirituality have numerous advantages. To begin with, it aids in the attainment of virtue because some spiritual activities encourage people to have excellent values. There are laws and norms in most spiritual activities. Christianity, for example, contains the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” love your neighbor as yourself, greatest commandments (love of God and love of mankind), ten commandments, and so on. Other religions, like Christianity, contain commandments that encourage individuals to love and be decent. Spirituality, on the other hand, can be a loving ethic that guides a student's dedication to assisting others. It can also be a measure of equanimity, indicating how well a student can find meaning in adversity, perceive each day as a gift, and feel at ease. It can also increase a student's eagerness to participate in charity activities such as community service and unreservedly aiding others. It can also help to counteract social vices, strengthen morals, and promote good health.
Recognizing the importance of spirituality in the lives of students, the school has established spiritual groups and programs to aid in the spiritual development of students and the community at large. The Christian Union, the Jewish society, the Muslim society, Yoga, and the Catholic society are only a few of them. These societies gather on university grounds, particularly in the Stag Hill campus's Quiet Centre.
There are more areas for spiritual elevation outside of the campus. The Stag Hill campus is only a short distance from Guildford Cathedral. There is also a Baptist church near the school, a Catholic church in Guildford town centre, and a mosque in Woking called Shah Janhan.
Finally, because of the importance of spiritual growth, students are encouraged to identify with the university's clubs and religious organisations. This will not only improve their spiritual life, but it will also have a significant impact on their schoolwork, community service, and personal lives as Surrey students. Participate! Surrey, be spiritual!
How education affects your values and spirituality?
Values education has the potential to significantly reduce many of the social evils that occur as a result of a lack of values. When values and spirituality education is integrated into technical education programs and supplied to both genders equally, more balanced persons emerge who are well-prepared for civil life.
How do you teach spirituality?
Make a list of your personal beliefs. You must select what you believe in order to promote spirituality in your child, whether or not you practice an official religion. That doesn't mean you have to know everything, but you can think about the following questions: Do you believe in God? Do you think there was a divine aspect in the world's creation? What do you believe happens when someone passes away?
Consider what kind of spiritual education you want your child to receive in addition to your personal beliefs: Will your family become members of a church, synagogue, or other religious institution? Do you want your child to go to church on a regular basis? Are you planning on enrolling him in a religious school? If you and your partner hold opposing viewpoints on spirituality, now is the time to decide how you'll tackle spirituality with your toddler before he's old enough to be perplexed by your differences.
Spirituality should be introduced early on. “Not only do young children not comprehend who God is, but they also don't understand who a grandmother is,” adds Neifert. “You still want children to know Grandma, so you begin talking about her right away. The concept of God is the same way.” Your child will believe you when you say Grandma is essential in her life (even if she only sees her once in a while), and she will believe you when you say God is, too.