We are proud of being the citizen of this great country. Our nation has exhibited all round growth and development in all the spheres. The economy is also growing at a faster pace. If we have to sustain this higher rate of economic growth, we must make sincere efforts to build a sound, socially relevant and effective fabric of education system. The three pillars of education system viz. Knowledge, Skills and Values must be interwoven in such a way that they as vibrant, motivating and integrated system may contribute their best for the growth of the nation. The recent government initiatives to implement right to education (RTE) for everyone in the country is really praise worthy. The major concern for all of us is its quality and reach. Educational policy makers and planners have to be strategic and must exhibit their concern to have right type of education for not only' developing-strong knowledge base and strengthening skills but also a vibrant process of inculcating effective value system.
In the contemporary socio economic environment of the country, the great epic "Bhagwad Gita" has its greatest socio economic relevance for the masses of this nation. Specifically, we find two great messages:
· Harmonisation' of Different Ideas
· Work without Expectations
Their relevance in the present socio culture fabric of India is significant. For effective democracy, we have created an environment wherein freedom of expression is generating variety in ideas. For the purpose of national integration, harmony among those divergent ideas is to be brought in and this process may be specifically outlined and propogated with the help of utterences found in this epic. We all are getting the right type of inspiration - . when Lord Krishna in Gita says, "I look upon all creatures Equally; none or less dear to me and none more dear." This will help us to develop a casteless society and a sense of providing equal opportunities to all Regarding , कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते, the Gita inspires all of us as Krishna says "Work day and night. Behold, I am the Lord of the universe, I have no duty. Every duty is bondage. But I work for work's sake. If I ceased to work for a minute, there would be chaos. So do thou work, without any idea of duty". If this karma philosophy is nurtured and propogated through our education system, the progress of the country will be beyond imagination.
This great epic has inspired the greatest leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekanand, Vinoba Bhave etc. of the country. The values professed by this epic and subsequently practiced and imbibed by them in their personality has made them legendary figures of the universe. Swami Vivekanand once said "the greatest virtue man ever gave to God is truth. Truth is the fruit of realization." Mahatma Gandhi practiced truth and became the greatest for leading all of us in making our country an independent nation. In chapter seven of Bhagwad Gita, it has been emphatically inferred that "very few men ask for the truth, fewer dare to learn the truth, and fewest of all dare to follow in all its practical bearings. It is not their fault. It is all weakness of the brain." This is a great learning.
We specifically need that our next generation must get inspiration to work hard for the country. The values professed in this epic should be propogated widely as has been stated clearly. "It must come to daily, everyday life of the people. It shall be worked out in the cottage of the poor." The specific required values focused on individual "who hates none, who is friend of all, who is merciful to all, who has nothing of his own, who is free from egoism, who is even minded in pain and pleasures, who is forbearing, who is always satisfied, whose will is firm, who is free from joy, anger and anxiety, who is pure and advice, who does not depend on anything" etc. The nurturing of these values for individuals is very important. They are to be included in our primary educational framework.
This great epic has basic spirit to inculcate and imbibe the basic philosophy of Karma in our countrymen. For this, initiatives to restructure the education system are to be taken immediately. As Gita has specifically said, "you have to work for the good of others. Because whatever a great man does, ordinary people will do also." This is a great learning and if we are able to imbibe this spirit in our masses, the country will attain commanding heights of glory.
The learning from Gita has to reach to all. It has to reach the unreached. It is to be presented in simple and lucid style. Specific values professed by this epic needs to be outlined for its wider reach. Commentaries on this epic has to be presented in our own local languages. Basic values professed in this epic needs to be spread for all. The commentary presentation has to look at the needs and tastes of different types of readers. This will bring not only an atmosphere wherein duty consciousness will increase but also it will strengthen the fabric of national integration where people have the privilege of enjoying democracy with distinct and divergent opinions. In the context, the present treatise is an welcome addition and the writer of this treatise has made sincere and dedicated efforts to make reader centric.
A few specific comments which are relevant to all of us in the present day national environment, made by the writer of this great presentation on Gita is as follows:
· Concern for the country and national fervor is utmost for all of us. Rashtradharma is supreme. Its importance is much more than Vyaktidharma or Kuldharma.
· Peace, forgiveness, greedlessness etc. are essential for individual development and character building and they are narrated as the basic human values.
· Donations are to be given for the social needs, public requirements and national ' causes. If this is professed and practiced, the inequalities in income and wealth will also be reduced to the minimum.
· Politeness and good conduct are essential for character building. People should not harm anyone. These virtues need to be inculcated amongst us. This will help us in bringing peace and reducing crime.
· Work is worship. People should work for the nation. In the great epic, the words dharma and karma have been used interchangibly in most of the places. This signifies that our duty is our karma and our karma is the dharma for all of us. · The Karma will not be sinful to those who do not see the results in terms of happiness or distress, profit or loss, honour or dishonor. Karma without expectations is to be propogated to all.
· 'धर्मसंस्थापनाथार्य संभवामि युगे युगे' denotes the establishment of truth, morality and justice in the society. This visualization will help us to build welfare oriented society in our country.
I have the distinct honour of writing the foreword of this great and scholarly presentation on Gita by Dr. Keshava Rao Sada Shiv Shastri Musalgaonkar. Dr. Rao has devoted himself to the cause of free teaching of Sanskrit language at remote and rural places like Indragarh (Datia), Magasoni (Shivpuri), Kahani (Sivani), etc. Dr. Musalgaonkar was involved in the mammoth task of promotion of Sanskrit language and literature by making them accessable to the learners who are not only academically backward but also they are economically poor. He is the recipient of Rashtrapati Samman (2008), State Government Rajsekhar Samman (2008), Bharatmuni Samman (2007), etc. Recently, on 26th January, 2013, he received Mahakavi Kalidas Samman, 2012 (created for the first time by the M.P. State Govt. in the field of Sanskrit literature promotion). Even at the age of eighty six, he is still contributing his best by writing this commentary on Bhagwat Gita in addition to his earlier commentaries on Harshcharitam, ShishupaVadham, Mahakavyam, Dashroopkam, Dhvanyalok, etc.
This scholarly work will enrich our educational policymakers and planners to formulate an appropriate strategic policy framework for inculcation of basic values emanating from this great epic in our educational structure at all levels. The book will also be useful to educationists, social reformers, researchers and general readers at large.
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