General trend in education in ancient India

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General trend in education in ancient India

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Wed May 18, 2016 1:15 pm

With regard to education restricted to some people long ago on the basis of caste, that is mostly a myth. Most of the time people did not take to the study of Sanskrit and Vedas because the process was too tedious and time consuming and not very beneficial financially in the end. In other words, the choice to not study Vedas etc. and become brahmins was usually peoples’ own and not due to the teachers and brahmins, as explained in Ref. (1) along with important input from Lord Macaulay’s writings.

As for a few anomalies seen in some ancient literatures about dispensing knowledge by teachers / brahmins, there are many questions about them. The case of Sambuka in the Ramayana, for example, seems totally fictional and probably never occurred (Ref. 2). Similarly, as discussed in Refs. (3 & 4), the situations involving Eklavya and Karna arose mainly due to the preexisting commitments and conditions of teachers (gurus) Dronacharya and Parsuram, as well as the sensitive nature of training / education (in military oriented martial arts, rather than general / basis type education e.g. in Sanskrit and Vedas) which posed dangers and conflicts for Dronacharya and Parsuram (Refs. 3 & 4).

References

(1) Subhash C. Sharma, “Macaulay report refutes the caste basis for quotas,” Sept. 3, 2012, http://creative.sulekha.com/macaulay-report-refutes-the-caste-basis-for-quotas_591797_blog

(2) Subhash C. Sharma, “A comment about the Uttarakanda or Uttara Ramayana,” Nov. 24, 2012, http://creative.sulekha.com/a-comment-about-the-uttarakanda-or-uttara-ramayana_595972_blog

(3) Subhash C. Sharma, ‘The legend of Eklavya in the Mahabharata, who had to surrender his archer's thumb to Dronacharya in lieu of "Guru-dakshina",’ April 30, 2016, http://creative.sulekha.com/the-legend-of-eklavya-in-the-mahabharata-who-had-to-surrender-his-archer-s-thumb-to-dronacharya-in-lieu-of-guru-dakshina_628600_blog

(4) Subhash C. Sharma, “Karna and the legendary Parsuram,” May 5, 2016, http://creative.sulekha.com/karna-and-the-legendary-parsuram_628637_blog


by: Subhash C. Sharma
(http://creative.sulekha.com/general-trend-in-education-in-ancient-india_628734_blog)

Seva Lamberdar

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Re: General trend in education in ancient India

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Thu May 19, 2016 8:48 am

The typically meager earnings of a brahmin long ago engaged in priestly work after learning Sanskrit and Veda -- an example:

"Harihar Roy’s household consisted of four people – his wife Sarvajaya, baby daughter Durga, 75-year-old Indir, a distant cousin, and himself. Tucked away in a corner of Nishchindipur, a tiny village in rural Bengal, his life was simple and uncomplicated, except for the usual ups and downs that go with lack of money. The traditional business of his family was to conduct religious rituals of different kinds. So there were regular “clients” at whose homes he performed them. This included people in his own village as well as a few others in nearby villages. It was not a profession where one made money. People usually gave him a few seasonal fruits, vegetables, sweets and a handful of grains and occasionally a rupee or two for conducting these rituals. But Harihar had a little piece of land and a roof of sorts over his head." ….  (an excerpt from Swapna Dutta's Sulekha blog / summary on B.B. Bandopadhyay's novel “Pather Panchali”)

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Re: General trend in education in ancient India

Post by Vakavaka Pakapaka on Thu May 19, 2016 11:48 am

Seva Lamberdar wrote:The typically meager earnings of a brahmin long ago engaged in priestly work after learning Sanskrit and Veda -- an example:

"Harihar Roy’s household consisted of four people – his wife Sarvajaya, baby daughter Durga, 75-year-old Indir, a distant cousin, and himself. Tucked away in a corner of Nishchindipur, a tiny village in rural Bengal, his life was simple and uncomplicated, except for the usual ups and downs that go with lack of money. The traditional business of his family was to conduct religious rituals of different kinds. So there were regular “clients” at whose homes he performed them. This included people in his own village as well as a few others in nearby villages. It was not a profession where one made money. People usually gave him a few seasonal fruits, vegetables, sweets and a handful of grains and occasionally a rupee or two for conducting these rituals. But Harihar had a little piece of land and a roof of sorts over his head." ….  (an excerpt from Swapna Dutta's Sulekha blog / summary on B.B. Bandopadhyay's novel “Pather Panchali”)
In urban India, the situation is not as bad. In Hyderabad, for example, priests are in great demand and they make a lot of money (they now have fixed charges for different functions). The old system of society financially taking care of Brahmanas is no longer relevant in modern India. In my village, the priests prefer to go and do religious stuff in non-brahmin households (they are getting more money from them than brahmins who still give small amounts of money in the old fashioned way).

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Re: General trend in education in ancient India

Post by goodcitizn on Thu May 19, 2016 1:15 pm

Vakavaka Pakapaka wrote:
Seva Lamberdar wrote:The typically meager earnings of a brahmin long ago engaged in priestly work after learning Sanskrit and Veda -- an example:

"Harihar Roy’s household consisted of four people – his wife Sarvajaya, baby daughter Durga, 75-year-old Indir, a distant cousin, and himself. Tucked away in a corner of Nishchindipur, a tiny village in rural Bengal, his life was simple and uncomplicated, except for the usual ups and downs that go with lack of money. The traditional business of his family was to conduct religious rituals of different kinds. So there were regular “clients” at whose homes he performed them. This included people in his own village as well as a few others in nearby villages. It was not a profession where one made money. People usually gave him a few seasonal fruits, vegetables, sweets and a handful of grains and occasionally a rupee or two for conducting these rituals. But Harihar had a little piece of land and a roof of sorts over his head." ….  (an excerpt from Swapna Dutta's Sulekha blog / summary on B.B. Bandopadhyay's novel “Pather Panchali”)
In urban India, the situation is not as bad. In Hyderabad, for example, priests are in great demand and they make a lot of money (they now have fixed charges for different functions). The old system of society financially taking care of Brahmanas is no longer relevant in modern India. In my village, the priests prefer to go and do religious stuff in non-brahmin households (they are getting more money from them than brahmins who still give small amounts of money in the old fashioned way).
You talk about your village from time to time. How often do you visit?

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Re: General trend in education in ancient India

Post by Vakavaka Pakapaka on Thu May 19, 2016 1:33 pm

goodcitizn wrote:
Vakavaka Pakapaka wrote:
Seva Lamberdar wrote:The typically meager earnings of a brahmin long ago engaged in priestly work after learning Sanskrit and Veda -- an example:

"Harihar Roy’s household consisted of four people – his wife Sarvajaya, baby daughter Durga, 75-year-old Indir, a distant cousin, and himself. Tucked away in a corner of Nishchindipur, a tiny village in rural Bengal, his life was simple and uncomplicated, except for the usual ups and downs that go with lack of money. The traditional business of his family was to conduct religious rituals of different kinds. So there were regular “clients” at whose homes he performed them. This included people in his own village as well as a few others in nearby villages. It was not a profession where one made money. People usually gave him a few seasonal fruits, vegetables, sweets and a handful of grains and occasionally a rupee or two for conducting these rituals. But Harihar had a little piece of land and a roof of sorts over his head." ….  (an excerpt from Swapna Dutta's Sulekha blog / summary on B.B. Bandopadhyay's novel “Pather Panchali”)
In urban India, the situation is not as bad. In Hyderabad, for example, priests are in great demand and they make a lot of money (they now have fixed charges for different functions). The old system of society financially taking care of Brahmanas is no longer relevant in modern India. In my village, the priests prefer to go and do religious stuff in non-brahmin households (they are getting more money from them than brahmins who still give small amounts of money in the old fashioned way).
You talk about your village from time to time. How often do you visit?
Every two years. I was there last August.

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Re: General trend in education in ancient India

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Fri May 20, 2016 8:30 am

Vakavaka Pakapaka wrote:
Seva Lamberdar wrote:The typically meager earnings of a brahmin long ago engaged in priestly work after learning Sanskrit and Veda -- an example:

"Harihar Roy’s household consisted of four people – his wife Sarvajaya, baby daughter Durga, 75-year-old Indir, a distant cousin, and himself. Tucked away in a corner of Nishchindipur, a tiny village in rural Bengal, his life was simple and uncomplicated, except for the usual ups and downs that go with lack of money. The traditional business of his family was to conduct religious rituals of different kinds. So there were regular “clients” at whose homes he performed them. This included people in his own village as well as a few others in nearby villages. It was not a profession where one made money. People usually gave him a few seasonal fruits, vegetables, sweets and a handful of grains and occasionally a rupee or two for conducting these rituals. But Harihar had a little piece of land and a roof of sorts over his head." ….  (an excerpt from Swapna Dutta's Sulekha blog / summary on B.B. Bandopadhyay's novel “Pather Panchali”)
In urban India, the situation is not as bad. In Hyderabad, for example, priests are in great demand and they make a lot of money (they now have fixed charges for different functions). The old system of society financially taking care of Brahmanas is no longer relevant in modern India. In my village, the priests prefer to go and do religious stuff in non-brahmin households (they are getting more money from them than brahmins who still give small amounts of money in the old fashioned way).
That simply is the proof, brahmin-priests being in great demand currently and getting well-paid in urban areas (e.g. Hyderabad), that there is now a shortage of "brahmins", because brahmins in the past were not being paid properly and as a result they had started sending their kids to other (better-paid) occupations (e.g. school teachers, clerks, engineers, doctors etc., even abroad and in farming) thus creating the present shortage in the number of brahmins. Historically, "brahmin" has been a very difficult and tedious occupation, both to learn and economically afterwards.

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Re: General trend in education in ancient India

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