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    The Ashrams of the Vedic Rishis functioned as the main seats of learning during the Vedic period. Each Ashram was a little university under the control of the presiding rishi, a holy man with a dedicated life. Education is aimed at the acquisition of highest knowledge and wisdom and not of ordinary knowledge for purposes of worldly life. The ideal was wisdom with knowledge—Jyana Vijnana Sahitam—to aid an individual to achieve his expansion into the Absolute, his self-fulfilment. And it was pursued through tapas of various kinds, viz., austerities, sacrifices, penances, etc. The whole life of the Ashram was regulated by Rita, the Eternal law which upholds the cosmic order ; and Satya, accord between thought, word and deed, which could translate Rita in life. The realization of the highest and ultimate truths, Rita and Satya was through tapas—inhibition of senses through a discipline involving purity of body and mind, and meditation sustained by a life of austerities—and through yajna, sacrifice or complete dedication of one’s cherished things to Higher powers.

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