Sanskara, as a word, has various meanings but in this context I am trying to explain it as the moral and ethical mannerism that an individual learns in the initial stages of life. In the philosophical context and in the ancient world, Sanskaras were given utmost importance in the development of the human life and before the beginning of formal education, children used to learn about Sanskara, and their parents used to be the ones who would be responsible for teaching this to them.
Children at an early age learn a lot from observation and they spend most of the time with the parents or at home, and the moral and ethical mannerism is learned more by observation than articulation or formal teaching.
While parents of the modern era put a lot of emphasis on learning technology-related tools and other modern-day techniques, however to build a strong foundation and habits, it's important to focus on learning Sanskara. Because Sanskara defines the moral and ethical character of a human being, and gaining it at an early stage in life could create a strong foundation.
A lot of people take an entire lifetime to define what is good or bad because they lack the basic understanding, and their moral and ethical education has never taken place. Ethics play a very important role in education.
They should be understood as the way of dealing with good and bad with assurance and moral duty. Ethics are deep-rooted points that help a human being measure right and wrong. A human being forms values based on the teaching of Sanskara.
Sanskara is like sowing of a seed of individual morals and ethics into the soul of a human being during his childhood so that obedience of these values becomes part of life and remains with them throughout the life. A person will always act based on the Sanskaras embedded in him or her from within; it drives an individual inside out.
The mind, the body, the external world, and the inner realm, these are four very important aspects of any human being, and Sanskara plays a vital role in balancing all these aspects together so that a human being can become strong from within and grow exponentially without any fear to discover their true potential.
Here are the ways in which children can learn Sanskara:
Formal education about Sanskara: There should be a formal way of teaching Sanskara to the children at an early age and it should be given equal or more weightage compared to other elements of education.
Parents’ education about how to form Sanskara: Parents spend a lot of time with children before starting their formal education. Therefore, if we create a curriculum that helps out parents in learning how to inculcate the right moral and ethical habits in their children at an early age, building a solid foundation for their children could be easy.
Sanskara as a way of life, not as rules: It’s very important to create a fine line between Sanskara as rules and a way of life. If Sanskara is taught as a way of life, it will be more sustainable than instilling it as rules. Therefore, it has to start from an early age and for reinforcement, simple methods should be used rather than articulating them in a forced manner.
'Manifestism' and Sanskara: During my research, I have found that many times Sanskaras are limited to the textbooks and classroom, and human beings are:
a) not being able to remember them for a long time;
b) not being able to visualise the usage of Sanskara in real life and the root cause is that 'Manifestism' of Sanskara doesn’t happen.
The education about Sanskara is limited to explanation and examples, and because the manifestation of Sanskara in the form of tangible elements is really essential to realise its benefits and usage in the real life, and in the absence of actual proof on Sanskara in real life at an early stage, the formation remains limited.
This is a philosophical gap in the education system and my education philosophy 'Manifestism' provides a solution to bridge the gap, which highlights moving from just education of 'Sanskara' to helping children manifest Sanskara in their daily life so that they become fundamental principles and provide direction to live an independent and happy life.
Inculcating Sanskaras in the life of an individual means teaching through our own moral actions and making these actions visible and tangible in the daily life. Sanskaras have the power to drive an individual from within. Therefore, Sanskara and the manifestion of benefits in daily life should be included through formal and informal methods.
(The writer is the innovator of education philosophy 'Manifestism')