Vidyarthi's Qualities (विद्यातुराणां लक्षणानि)

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Importance of Habits

Rules of discipline, prescribed during formative years, are often laid down for forming good and valuable habits (preventive action) more than for the purpose of prohibiting him from doing undesirable acts (corrective actions). Preparing for the hard life and long struggles before him, rules are laid down, calculated to develop them into strong men with determination and great enduring power.

Importance of Routine

Routine also played an important role in the pliable age which aided in the formation of good habits and master their subjects by the end of their course. It was made interesting and engaging for children so that compliance is easily achieved. Recitation of the slokas and group recitation by several children was for motivating the children and secure their cooperation. Different ways of routine for example was

  • Students of primary and secondary education (the first few years of education) went through the routine of daily recitation and memorization practice. This would enable them to master their subject matter.
  • Students of poetics and literature were engaged in practicing composition and building slokas.
  • Students of subjects like Vyakarana engaged in memorizing the sutras daily.
  • Students of astronomy were engaged in daily observations and mathematical calculations.
  • Students of Vedas were engaged in daily practice of yajnas.
  • Students of sculpture and painting engaged in regular long hours of practice.

Association and Imitation

Association and imitation played a great part in moulding the character and improving the calibre of a student. Even a dull student will improve his intellect if he is close association with a brilliant boy and imitates his methods of study.[1] He we remember the following advise from Mahabharata about association with people of bad character

बुद्धिश्च हीयते पुंसां नीचैः सह समागमात् । मध्यमैर्मध्यतां याति श्रेष्ठतां याति चोत्तमैः॥ (Maha. Vana. 1.30)

Summary : The intellect of a person when associated with bad company becomes bad, while when associated with middle kind of people brings in the middle state but when associated with intellectually higher standard of people, brings in greater growth.

Imitation and copying a good student was promoted and it helped in bringing up a student of lesser intellect. Many subhashitas declare that association with good people elevates a person while bad association only brings his downfall. One should be very careful in choosing one's company.[1]

शिष्यलक्षणम् ॥ Shishya Lakshanam

We find a list of the qualities of a shishya as follows in Shabdakalpadruma[2]

वाङ्मनः कायवसुभिर्गुरुशुश्रूषणे रतः । एतादृशगुणोपेतः शिष्यो भवति नारद ॥
देवताचार्य्यशुश्रूषां मनोवाक्कायकर्म्मभिः । शुद्धभावो महोत्साहो बोद्धा शिष्य इति स्मृतः ॥ इति दीक्षातत्त्वम् ॥
शान्तो विनीतः शुद्धात्मा श्रद्धावान् धारणक्षमः ।समर्थश्च कुलीनश्च प्राज्ञः मच्चरितो व्रती । एवमादिगुणैर्युक्तः शिष्यो भवति नान्यथा ॥

Mahabharata

सुखार्थिनः कुतो विद्या नास्ति विद्यार्थिनः सुखं। सुखार्थी वा त्यजेद्विद्यां विद्यार्थीवा त्यजेत्सुखम् ।। (Maha. Udyo. 40)

Asvalayana Grhyasutras (3.4)

ब्राह्मणमधीयानं दशवर्षाणि

Student Qualities

गुरुशुश्रूषया विद्या पुष्कलेन धनेन वा। अथवा विद्यया विद्या चतुर्थी नोपलभ्यते॥ (Hitopadesha?)

युक्तियुक्तं वचो ग्राह्यं न ग्राह्यं गुरुगौरवत् । सर्वशास्त्ररहस्यं तद् याज्ञवल्क्येन भाषितम् ॥ याज्ञवल्क्यशिक्षा , 232

Service to Acharya

Guruseva is one of the paths mentioned for the attainment of Nihshreyasa Moksha. (Manu Smrti 12.83)

वेदाभ्यासस्तपो ज्ञानं इन्द्रियाणां च संयमः । अहिंसा गुरुसेवा च निःश्रेयसकरं परम् । । १२.८३ । ।[3]

Good Habits of a Shishya

Raising early at dawm

Plain living and high thinking (Costly food and gorgeous dress was prohibited)

Student Duties

A student was to hold his teacher in deep reverence and honour him like th king, parents and devatas. (manu 1.200, Charaka samhita vimana sthanam 8.4)

Vidya Prasamsha Shabdakalpadhruma [4]

ये बालभावान्न पठन्ति विद्यां ये यौवनस्था अधना अदाराः ।
ते शोचनीया इह जीवलोके मनुष्यरूपेण मृगाश्चरन्ति ॥
भोजने भोजनं चित्तं न कुर्य्याच्छास्त्रसेवकः ।
सुदूरमपि विद्यार्थे व्रजेत् गरुडवेगवान् ॥
ये बालभावान्न पठन्ति विद्यां कामातुरा यौवननष्टचित्ताः ।
ते वृद्धकाले परिभूयमानाः सन्दह्यमानाः शिशिरे यथाब्जम् ॥
ये बालभावान्न पठन्ति विद्यां कामातुरा यौवननष्टचित्ताः ।
ते वृद्धकाले परिभूयमानाः सन्दह्यमानाः शिशिरे यथाब्जम् ॥
विद्या नाम कुरूपरूपमधिकं प्रच्छन्नमन्तर्द्धनं विद्या साधुजनप्रिया शुचिकरी विद्या गुरूणां
गुरुः ।
विद्या बन्धुजनार्त्तिनाशनकरी विद्या परं देवता विद्या भोग्ययशःकुलोन्नतिकरी विद्याविहीनः पशुः ॥
गृहे चाभ्यन्तरे द्रव्यं लग्नं चैव तु दृश्यते । अशेषं हरणीयञ्च विद्या न ह्रियते परैः ॥ Garuda Purana (Adhyayas 110 and 115)
subhashita pustakabhandagaram, samanya neetulu 257 sloka, 159 page[5]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Altekar, A. S. (1944) Education in Ancient India. Benares : Nand Kishore and Bros.,
  2. Shabdakalpadruma (See Shishya (शिष्यः))
  3. Manusmrti (Adhyaya 12)
  4. Shabdakalpadhruma (Word विगानं)
  5. Subhashita Ratnabhandagara (Page no 159)