History of the Banaras Hindu University by S L Dar (2007)
The student lived in the house or ashram of the teacher as a member of his family. The Guru regarded him as his own son. The teacher and the pupil shared a common life. They shared the same simple food. A close relationship between the teacher and the pupils was thus established and this relationship was considered sacred and permanent. Through his character, devotion to learning, and the spirit of dedication, the teacher developed the spiritual nature and higher qualities of head and heart in his pupils. The period of studentship was normally twelve years. Studentship for a longer period also existed. A period of thirty-two years is mentioned in the Chhandogya Upanishad. There were others who chose to consecrate themselves to lifelong studentship and celibacy in quest of learning and truth. Such students were called Naishtika Brahmacharis.
The subjects of study during the Vedic period included, besides the Vedas, Vedangas (Phonetics, Ritualistie knowledge (kalpa), Grammar, Exegetics, Metrics and Astronomy), the systems of Philosophy, Kshatra Vidya (the Science of the bow etc), other Sciences, music, dancing, fine arts etc. A passage in the Chhandogya Upanishad throws light on the subjects of study then existing. Narada approached Sanatkumara and requested him to teach. Sanatkumara asked him to state all that he (Narada) knew.!
Addressing Sanatkumara, Narada said :
Most revered Sir, I have studied the Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, the fourth Atharvaveda, the epics and Puranas as the fifth Veda, Grammar, Necromancy (Pitrya), Arithmetic (Rasi), Divination (Daiva), Chronology
(Nidhi), Dialectics (Vakoyakyam), Politics (Ekayanam), Theology (Deva Vidya) or Exegetics (Nirukta), the Doctrine of Prayer or Vedangas (Brahma Vidya), Biology (Bhuta Vidya), Military Science (Kshatra Vidya), Astronomy (Nakshatra Vidya), study of snake venoms (Sarpa Vidya), the Fine Arts (Devajana Vidya which is explained by Sankara as dancing (Nritya), vocal and instrumental music (Gita, Vadya) and other arts (Silpadi).
Though the ultimate aim of education was the knowledge, of self, Atmajnana leading to Salvation (Moksha), it need not be concluded that the ancient rishis disregarded all worldly concerns. Salvation (Moksha) was yanked as only one of the great aims of human life. The other three aims were (1) Dkarma—Discharge of duties (2) Artha-Attainment of material prosperity (3) Kama-Enjoyment of lawful pleasures.
Having finished his studies in the Gurukula, the student returned to his home after performing a ceremony called Samavartana. It includes a number of acts signifying the end of the stage of Brahmacharya. He then becomes a Sndtaka, At the time of parting, the teacher delivered a valedictory address, a type of which we find in the Taittiriyopanishad.
The Vedic Rishis developed the Vedic knowledge by discussions at Assemblies. Then they formed Sanghas where the more successful students flocked together and discussed various problems. The method of discussion in Seminars and academies and organising conferences for the promotion and diffusion of learning was first evolved by the Vedic rishis.
First Edition: 1966
Reprinted =: 2007
Four years ago, when the birth centenary of Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was celebrated, a suggestion was made that the history of the Banaras Hindu University may also be published during the second phase of the celebrations in July, 1962. The major portion of this book was written at that time and it was also sent to the press. But the book was destined to be published only now.
We decided to publish this book in two volumes: one dealing with the history of the University as a whole from 1904, and the other dealing with the growth of the various constituent colleges and the contribution
made by them in the academic field.
We consider it our great privilege in presenting this book to our Alma Mater on the auspicious occasion of the Golden Jubilee. We propose to bring out the second volume during the course of the coming year, We take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped us in this work, We are thankful to Shri Ram Krishna Dave and Shri. Jyotibhushan Gupta who have been very helpful to us in securing some of the photographs of the old members of the Hindu University Society. We are also thankful to Dr. (Mis.) P. C. Dharma who supplied us with some rare photographs.
Our thanks are also due to Shri D, L, Bohra and Shri M. V. Krishnan for preparing the book jacket.
It would not have been possible for us to bring out the book but for the enthusiastic cooperation of the staff of the Banaras Hindu University Press and its Manager, Shri Lakshmi Das. Our sincere thanks are due to them.
Despite our best efforts some mistakes and omissions might have crept in. We crave the indulgence of our readers for all our shortcomings and we would request them to let us have their suggestions so that they may be incorporated if at all this book runs into another edition,
B. L. DAR
Banaras Hindu University
February 4. 1966.
front page › Forums › History of the Banaras Hindu University by S L Dar (2007)