Friday, 9 February 2018

Understanding Teacher and Student

Conversation with Sri. Chandkiran Saluja
(Samskrit Bharati Foundation, New Delhi)

Observation: We meet some amazing people all throughout your life who give a different perspective to life journey. One of the best conversations which I had with Sri Chandkran Saluja is here.

The following was the experience gained to understand how a teacher and student interaction can be made better in a classroom. The conversion with Sri Chandkiran Saluja, provided a wider prospective view from Ancient Hindu Philosoph.

Q1. How should a teacher be? Is there any ancient script directly addressing how teaching needs to be carried out?
A: Teacher must himself be a learner – “Learning by doing”.
We have no literature which will tell directly the teaching methodology in ancient Hindu education system. No direct answer. They all give example and we need to think about it.
Q2: How important is it for teacher to know the methodology of teaching?
A: You eat food and it gets converted to essential elements for the body. Do we know the methodology for its conversion?  Sometimes it is not necessary that you know the methodology. But we deliver with intent of benefit to human-kind.
Q3: What are the different methods of teaching?
Methods of teaching:
1.      Learning by doing
2.      Audio visual
3.      Direct experience
4.      One of our classes can be students asking questions to teacher. This way we get different view of the class learning. Main motto would be “Learning by doing”.
5.      Basic principle – method is to follow to find like and dislike and later categories the teaching process.

Teacher’s basic skills also matters. For example:
·         Enter classroom
·         Write on board
·         How they talk?
·         Where do I stand in the class?
·         Whom do I talk too?
·         Different questioning ability ( grade wise)
·         Cognitive domain questioning (Practical in life)
Currently the environment we teach is very quiet.
Q4. What does Gita convey?
A.    Conversation method between Arjuna and Krishna
·         Perception theory – argumentation – you convert it by motivation - I will do it.
·         Method followed in Gita – Q &A , cross questioning. This needs to be cultivated in today’s classroom.
·         Features of a student-in Gita Krishna gives many names to Arjuna to tell the quality of the student.
Q5. What does Upanishad deal with ?
A.    Inductive approaches are dealt in this

·         Videos -  direct experience, reconstruction of experience
·         Analyse – cross verify knowledge by asking
§  What are your views
§  Give examples
§  Debate (Seminar)
§  Dialogues
·         Viva Voce – questioning
Q6. What does Atarvaveda signify?
A.    The meaning of guru and student.
·         AcharyaUpanamemano ….. GhranthdUpavanthe
·         Bhramacharya means “Bhrama –who has faith”  knowledge expansion is bhramacharya
Q7. Different terms for teacher and its meanings
·         Shikshaka – reads, study, no instruction is given
·         Guru - remove doubts
·         Upadhyaya – who has faith
·         Adyapaka – motivates
·         Acharya – takes within his womb and nurtures
Teacher must be a learner, have good habits, standard of living, high thinking, creative mind and also should know the nature of the subject – which we call the pedagogy methods.
Students Psychology
I prepare – so students study
Education with daily life – newspaper reading and relating is a must.- Discuss on it- New experience gained.
Anubhuthi–adeethi (imbedded Quality)
“Atma, avevasrotayahmantavayahnididhyasitavyah” – knowledge is all about listening, contemplation and practice (cognition, understanding and application).
My experience should become motivation
Q8. What is the essence of Rigveda?
A.Rigveda – Attarvaveda  means procedure for everyday life – knowledge. It also tells about child schooling structure and psychology.
Bala- Creation of environment, child psychology, and child centered education
            Child – respecting others
            Narrow – board meaning is what you can derive from ancient script. Deeper understanding is required to obtain the board meaning- here we get to know the life skills.  Sanskara is what out hindu philosophy teaching ( 16 rituals are there- after marriage how we are, during pregnancy how we should be, girls should come back home by evening to home, …)
Our body itself is part and parcel of the society.

Q9. Why should one read Mahabharth?
Maha – great
Bhar – who feed
Bharath – process of feeding
Kurushketra – place of work – our body- do your work
Fight – Pandav – senses
Kaurava – desires
Krishna – mind – thinking control
Dritharashtra – v. selfish
Yudishtra – kind
Krishna – guide
Arjun – friend
Dushyasana- Insult-created with motive
Work in Society – Mahabharath
Individual and society are in human being itself. They are the same side of the coin.
Scientist must study humanities, as science is not only technology but way of work. It has got solution for every problem. Any problem has set of hypothesis, which is systematically solvable. This means that any proposition has a hypothesis along with data, where we need to analyze which rises to provide theory. Do your work.
Q10. How to read sloka and get to know the meaning?
Solution: Read the sloka, then its translation. Now again read back  thesloka- we get the meaning of it easily.
Q11. Are we really doing right thing by looking at past?
Things which have changed are Food processing, cloth all these are only physical changes. The one thing that is still same as our past is the desire to achieve something. We learn from history, live in present and hope for the future.
All subjects are interactive. We need to play with science. Any subject is part of human being. Let student do their work, see, you give examples and say theory.
Eg: cartoon is derived from panchathantra.
Yoga shastra – way of teaching, yoga is to join, study of chita vithinirodana.
Chit is with Abhyasa (practice)  vithi – control mind and body
Thapa – student – to work hard – body gets hot.

2 types of teachers (spiritual and material – Vashishta and Vishwamithra, Krishna and Drona)
·         Well versed in theory
·         Practical but not theory
Students grasp with individual differences.


Monday, 7 August 2017


The best creation of God to human race is the brain, which is just 2 ½ kg. It has millions of neurons, where each neuron can hold up to 20,000 information! Research shows that if we start to count neurons one per second without a break, it takes 1347 odd years. With this huge amount of information we coordinate the day to day activities, learning and observing from the environment in which we grow.
We know that animals also possess brain. To understand how we are different for animals, let us appreciate our brain structure. Our front part of the brain is the frontal lobe, through which, we imagine. This is the gift to human race and this is what makes us different from animals.
At any given point of time we as human, always work towards anyone of the harishadvarga (kama, krodha, lobha, madha, moha, matsarya). It means to say that our neurons are working 24/7 without a break trying to individualize oneself. Due to this ongoing process the neurons changes its structure depending on mental and physical strengthens. This is true for a new born child or even to a grown up adult.
For a child what we can do to ensure it grows in an environment which will help itself to groom as a powerful individual? We need to make it realize that one is responsible for their individual growth, and no one can interfere without it’s concern. Every child has a unique quality, identify it. Tell them. Children actually try to identify one self. So they look upon from whom they can acquire from and they adopt. So we need to show them the good things and also the things from which we know that they can learn from. We should realize that peer pressure cannot be control. What can be done is only at the domestic front, where we have a grand vision of life for us and for our children. The only thing that needs to be taught to a child is to demonstrate our self as adult.
Our eating habits also have its influence on the child’s neuron activity. For example, junk food increases anxiety level and causes for addiction, which has its effect on our harishadvarga’s. So it is our responsibility as adult to understand eating habits and also to make child understand what happens.
Children these days are exposed to different medium of lifestyle. We need to keep an open mind to accept and respect the child’s view point. Later we will be in a position to help the child grow.
All well said, but the current global challenge with all these changes are the sustainability of our culture. So it is left to us how we balance with the growing trends and culture.

Dr. Kavitha Sooda
Assoc. Prof, Dept. of CSE
BMSCE, B’lore
(courtesy Dr. Ravindra P N, Brain Scientist, Dharwad)
Published in Synergy Maganize, DEPT. of CSE, BMSCE, June, 2017