Let us visualize a ‘Tree of Life’. In a tree there is a trunk, there are fruits and there are roots. Similarly the success we get in life, our credentials, our achievements, our triumphs and our character can be compared to the fruits of the ‘Tree of Life’.
Though we might want it that way, the truth is we don’t get the fruits without the roots! The root of the ‘Tree of Life’ are compared to the values which we choose to live by. Trunk is the support system of education and occupation. Let’s then ask the rhetoric question: ‘Do we need Wisdom in our Education’? Indeed yes. Wisdom gives us the knowledge of values and the right attitude to imbibe them. In fact, in my views, all education gives us values – either the good ones or the wrong ones.
Let me give an example: You either become greedy or you strive to become selfless. Much of our attitude is because what we learn either formally or informally. The fruits will be bitter if we have roots of wrong values. The fruits in the ‘Tree of Life’ will be sweet and succulent if we have the right values.
Getting past that, next let’s ponder a more challenging question: why do youngsters need to be taught wisdom? Because youth is the most important phase of life where the roots can be developed by the right values. Young age is the prime time and the formative time to learn and practice the right values.
Vedic India had therefore focused on giving the wisdom of right values to the teenagers, indeed much early on. Most youngsters will face troubles in life – for sure – if they have not acquired wisdom. Most problems in life – be it poor concentration or academic stress or distractions or unreliable behaviour – are due to not practicing the right values – either due to ignorance or due to inconsistency.