By Shyamal Sinha
On the auspicious occasion of the Buddha Purnima, Indian Minister for Human Resource Development said on that teachings of the lord Buddha will be included in the syllabus of the Indian education systems. Text books content regulated by NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) will soon include the teaching of the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha which the Union Minister said were “ideas of life (Jeevan ke Vichar)”.
Buddhism believes in reincarnation (rebirth). The ultimate goal of a Buddhist is to reach the state of enlightenment (Nirvana) and liberate oneself from endless reincarnation and suffering. Some see Buddhism as a religion, others see it is a philosophy, and others think it is a way of finding reality
“Politics gives us resources to live life but a Mahatma like Buddha teaches us ‘why to live’ and ‘how to live’ so it is important to include him in our education system,” he said addressing the Buddha Jayanti celebrations in the Indian capital.
“Teachings of Gautama Buddha are ideas of life (Jeevan ke Vichar). We will definitely include Buddha in our curriculum, as his teachings give a right direction to life,” the HRD minister further added.
Also present at the event was his colleague Union Minister of State of Home Affairs and a Buddhist Kiren Rijiju who said, “Buddha’s messages are relevant even today as they were at that time. His vision was scientific. The world looks up to India as it is Buddha’s birthplace.”
Buddhism does not say if gods exist or not, but one can read many stories about gods in some Buddhist books. Buddhists do not believe that people should look to gods to save them or bring them enlightenment. The gods may have power over world events and they might help people, or they might not. But it’s up to each person to get to enlightenment. Many Buddhists honor gods in ritual. Other Buddhists believe the stories about gods are just there to help us learn about parts of ourselves.
Last month, a representative of the Ministry for Human Resource Development, attended the two day discussions and discourse at the Core Committee Working on the Curriculum for Universal Values in New Delhi and assured the Dalai Lama that the idea of values based education had already been accepted in principle.
The exiled Tibetan leader has on many occasions reiterated that modern education has emphasized more on material value and has left out the education of inner value. The 81 year old Buddhist leader has made it his mission to balance the skewed modern education and has spearheaded initiatives with US based Emory University developing a curriculum which serves as a framework for Social, Emotional and Ethical learning programme for developing secular ethics or universal values.