The title’ Thoughts on Education’ is intended to describe the nature of the book. It contains no fully worked-out system, no ready-made pattern of education. On the contrary, Vinoba utters repeated warning against the dangers which threaten education from systems, regulations and rules.
The essays and speeches which are translated here are occasional writings in the best sense of the word; that is to say, these are called forth by, and designed for, particular and special occasions. These essays and speeches are talks given to particular groups of people in particular places at particular times, in order to help those people, to suit their circumstances, to answer their questions, to meet their difficulties.
These Thoughts On Education are the response of a true teacher to the doubts and needs of the real people who assembled to hear him. In other words, these are themselves illustrations of an educational principle which Vinoba often reiterates, the principle that teaching should be given only when it is called out by an actual situation, and that only teaching which is relevant to that situation should be given.
About the Author:
Vinoba Bhave was one of the great spiritual leaders and social reformers of modern India, whose work and personal example moved the heart of all Indians, from Prime Ministers to the poor. Born in 1895, at the age of ten he took a vow of lifelong celibacy and service to others. Searching for a way of life that would embody both spiritual truth and practical action, he discovered Gandhi and joined in his work for the regeneration of India.
Vinoba participated in Gandhi’s non-violent resistance (satyagraha) to the British Raj. Later, after independence had been achieved, Vinoba started out on his extraordinary bhoodan (Land Gift) movement. Over a period of twenty years, Vinoba walked the length and breath of India, persuading landlords to give to their poor neighbors a total of over four million aces of land.
Vinoba’s social activism was founded on a lifetime’s study of the spiritual traditions of India, and also of the other major world religions. These memories reveal both the inner and outer life of a great man who has an unwavering commitment to the practice of non-violence, to an engaged spirituality, and to the power of love.