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Jiddu Krishnamurti on Education

For Krishnamurti, Education was not something that is to earn money and live a life knowing facts and formulas, for him, to be a human being, a “complete” human being(as he calls it). For a complete human being, who is sensitive towards the smallest entity around, one who can admire the trees, the leaves on it, and the air around it.

Why are we talking about Krishnamurti, when most of us don’t even know him and there are many others who have various philosophies around education. But we will particularly talk about him because of his concept of “Understanding of the self”.

Jiddu Krishnamurti (11 May 1895 – 17 February 1986) was a writer, philosopher, and speaker. From his childhood, he was groomed to be a World Teacher by the theosophy organization (under Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater). He spent his life traveling across the world giving public talks and engaging with teachers and other gurus and philosophers.

Krishnamurti was always concerned about education and thus founded several schools around the world, including Brockwood Park School, an international educational center. According to him, the educational aims of these schools were:

  1. Global perspective: A vision of the whole world and human and society and not as distinct from the part; he always emphasized that there should never be an outlook which is divided, but always a holistic outlook and perspective free from all prejudice.
  2. Concern for environment and man: Nature dwells in humans in more ways than we know and understanding nature and caring for it means nurturing souls, and if nature is not cared for, it will boomerang on man. He believed that only the right education, and deep affection between people and everything around that belongs to nature, will resolve many problems including the environmental challenges.
  3. Religious spirit, which includes the scientific mind: He stressed that one should learn to enquire on what is, by oneself and never to repeat what another said.

The Krishnamurti Foundation was established in 1928 by JK and Annie Besant that run many schools in India and abroad.
1. Brockwood Park School, United Kingdom
2. Oak Grove School, United States
3. Rishi Valley School, Madanapalle, Andra Pradesh, India
4. Rajghat Besant School, Varanasi, India
5. The School KFI, Chennai, India
6. Pathashaala KFI, Tamil Nadu, India
7. The Valley School, Bengaluru, India
8. Sahyadri School, Pune, India

The spirit of these schools are somewhat common and shared—large campuses of great natural beauty; a friendly, caring relationship between teachers and students; simple, wholesome diet; basic and comfortable hostels; spacious and inviting classrooms; well-equipped libraries and laboratories; and a small teacher-student ratio with highly qualified and motivated teachers

The right education should be our priority as parents and as JK felt that if only the young could be awakened to understand their conditioning of prejudices, fears, desires, and biases which in the future will inevitably lead to conflict. Understanding of which might bring to their lives a totally different quality and a holistic perspective.

When Krishnamurti spoke to parents, he always explicitly mentioned raising their children holistically so they have knowledge of their own and environment and when he interacted with school children, his language was lucid and simple. He explored with them their relationship to nature and to one another, and to psychological problems like fear, authority, competition, love, and freedom. He emphasized providing the right environment for the children to explore in an atmosphere of freedom and responsibility and their comes order and discipline.

Knowledge of one’s self

The above diagram explains how the right development of the psyche is a factor in deciding many qualities of us as humans.

For us, as parents, it is very important to help our children to get educated without biases. This means giving the child the opportunity to flower in goodness so that he is rightly related to people, things, and ideas, to the whole of life. For the right relationships to exist with one’s own self and the surroundings including the people, nature, animals, and trees, and when we will do this, the right kind of discipline will come into existence that is different from the conventional methods of reward and punishment and we will bond with our little ones at a very different level.

We urge every parent to understand our biases at first and work on ourselves and this will be definitely reflected in our day to day practices that we do with our infants and toddlers.

Happy Parenting!!

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