Once upon a time, India, with her rich culture and education, was like the crest jewel on the crown of the world. In those days, students from all over the world came to India for higher studies. Over time, we somehow lost that special position. But if we put our mind to it, we can regain that lost glory. Along with evolving spiritually and culturally, we must also develop materially. We must instil proper knowledge, humility and discernment in children. We must awaken curiosity in them. We must give them opportunities to learn by themselves, do their own research, and think freely.
With this as our primary goal, we must give more importance to research. Students must be provided sound technical support. We must also foster good student-teacher relationships. If we focus on all these, India will, in a short time, regain her pre-eminent position in the field of science.
But it is not enough to gain material progress. Growth and expansion must be in harmony with our values and culture. Even people in the lowest rank of society must benefit from this expansive growth.
Therefore, Amma would like to make a request. All universities must send their students to work as interns in economically-challenged villages for two months a year. It is a great opportunity for our youth to interact with villagers and to learn first-hand their sorrows and problems. Thus, compassion will awaken in the minds of the youth. When they want to spend money on luxury items, they will remember the villagers. Thus they will learn to avoid spending on luxuries and save that money for the poor. They can also use the scientific and technical knowledge acquired from the university to solve the problems that villagers face. This will help improve their living conditions greatly.
Usually, a research project is valued for the funding it receives and for the number of research papers published. But we must also find out how useful each research project is to society or how helpful the research will be for those at the lowest rung of society. This must be the yardstick by which each research project is evaluated.
The goal of education is not to produce people who understand only the language of machines. An all-rounded education must also lead to an inner refinement. We must also learn the language of the heart and the language of compassion.
Amma - Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi