In a relatively short number of years the largest privately-owned chain of schools in India has been established, setting a new direction in education that is an example to all other countries of the world.
Maharishi Vidya Mandir, public school system for boys and girls, is a legacy of Vedic scholar, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1917-2008) who actively promoted education for enlightenment – full inner development of each individual.
Over 200 Maharishi Vidya Mandirs have been established in 17 states in just a couple of decades, indicating a deep appreciation on the part of the public for the quality and proven effectiveness of the knowledge and teaching available at these schools.
Many of the schools are already affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the remaining schools will be affiliated soon. All schools are following the normal curriculum of Hindi/Regional Language/English medium public schools, and in addition to this, provision has been made for learning Sanskrit as a compulsory subject.
What Makes These Schools Special?
They are pioneers in the world of education today, as they provide students with a natural way to develop their consciousness and thereby unfold their full creative potential. Through the approach of Maharishi's Vedic Science and Technology based education, students not only learn all the traditional academic disciplines, but they also experience growth of consciousness, the basis of the whole learning process.
The principal aspect of this technology is Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation technique, or TM for short, which is used by all staff and students for a period of about 15 minutes at the start and end of each school day. Many published scientific research findings have shown how the TM technique enlivens the total functioning of the brain and expands the learning ability and general awareness of the individual.
Also the school curriculum is more holistic in that it takes in the relationship between the student and what he or she is learning. Education in the past has focused mainly on the object of study, the known. For education to be complete, it must fully develop all three aspects of knowledge: the knower, the process of knowing, and the known. By enlivening their common basis in pure consciousness with the TM technique, Maharishi Vidya Mandirs unfold the full value of knower, process of knowing, and known, the thereby make knowledge complete. These schools say that their students display a remarkable eagerness for knowledge, and with their happiness and profound grasp of the deepest principles of life, they exhibit a beautiful balance and wholeness that is rarely seen in other schools.
For educators worldwide this is definitely a new paradigm and this system known as Consciousness Based Education has started in other countries, either as private institutions in their own right, or as part of the programme of an existing state school.
Maharishi established his first tertiary institution, known as Maharishi International University, in California in the early 1970’s. Its motto was “Knowledge is Structured in Consciousness.”
He maintained that to gain the full value of knowledge, one must develop the full value of consciousness. If the student's consciousness is dull, if full potential is not being used, then receptivity and creativity are cramped. If the student's consciousness is wide awake, receptivity to knowledge is maximum and learning is most efficient and most complete.
That University is now known as Maharishi University of Management and is situated in the state of Iowa, USA. It has helped many thousands of graduates to successful careers in their chosen fields. (See: www.mum.edu)
Full Range of Subjects
At Maharishi Vidya Mandir, the following subjects are offered: Science, Social Studies Mathematics, Language Arts, Music, Dance, Painting and Vedic Science and physical education.
Computer Science is also introduced at class-3 stage provided student strength is sufficient to support the introduction of the programme. Throughout the school, there is an emphasis on developing writing, speaking and communication skills for students of all ages.
Faculty also share a commitment to cross-curricular focus on writing, grammar, and spelling abilities.
The administrators say that their students develop their creativity and skills to a high degree of competence, distinguishing themselves in competitions, exhibitions, and performances, and winning many honours. On a national level, Maharishi Vidya Mandir sponsors various All-India competitions, bringing together students from all parts of the country.
This system believes that education should be defined as the process of culturing the individual to display perfection in life.
Education should enable any individual to spontaneously utilise the total Creative Intelligence of Natural Law, and as a result, all his thought, speech, and action will be spontaneously upheld by the silent power of peace that permeates all activity in the universe. The potential of every human brain is unbounded, infinite.
With the aid of the TM technique everyone is equipped with the physical machinery in his brain physiology to experience that level of intelligence which is the ocean of all knowledge, the ocean of all energy, intelligence, and bliss.
By starting the school day with group practice of TM in the classrooms, an environment is created that is ideal for the learning process. The students gain a natural orderliness and coherence; they become more receptive to knowledge; they exhibit greater alertness; and they radiate bliss and friendliness to their classmates and their teachers.
This is just a short introduction to a profound subject and more on Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools can be studied at: www.maharishividyamandir.com and more about Consciousness Based Education including in New Zealand at: www.stressfreeschools.co.nz