Excerpts from President’s address to the Nation on the eve of Independence Day (Aug 14, 2006) “Jeevan Vidya experience: Jeevan Vidya is being practiced by Prof Ganesh Bagaria, IIT, Kanpur, Prof Rajeev Sangal, Director IIIT (Hyderabad) and their teams. This scheme is concerned about addressing the basic causes of major problems of violence, corruption, exploitation, domination, terrorism and war. It has been found that violent and anti- social behaviour, unless dealt with care and with professionalism, could aggravate the extreme behaviour. Jeevan Vidya develops tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty in human conduct by enabling self-knowledge that understands harmony in the self and in the entire existence. The academicians could bring about marked change even among the inmates of jails through the use of these techniques. Jeevan Vidya is a 'teachable human value based skill' that can address inherent conflicts within the mind of the individual, within families, in organizations and in public life. Inner conflict is the very essence of violence. For example, with the skills imparted, it would be possible to reduce the overall period of secondary education from 25,000 hours of teaching to 20,000 hours, since the children become more responsible and productivity conscious. These experiments can be outreached to influence many people by developing networks using ICT through our educational system that needs to pay increasing attention to this aspect of human development. This process of imparting self-knowledge would promote a learning atmosphere, where this whole movement of inquiry into knowledge, into oneself, into the possibility of something beyond knowledge would bring about naturally a psychological revolution. From this comes inevitably a totally different order in human relationship and therefore society as a whole. The intelligent understanding of this process itself can bring about a profound change in the consciousness of mankind.” Address and Interaction at the National Institute of Technology, Raipur,Chhattisgarh 07-11-2006 : Raipur, Chhattisgarh Evolution of Enlightened Society Thinking provides knowledge Knowledge makes you great I am indeed delighted to participate in the interaction meet with the students of National Institute of Technology. I greet the students, and congratulate the Faculty and staff of NIT, for shaping the young minds. I always cherish interaction with the students and Faculty members. Since I am in the midst of students who have undergone value education organized in collaboration with “Abhyudaya Sansthan, Achhoti”, I would like to talk on the topic “Evolution of Enlightened Society”. Evolution of enlightened citizenship I would like to put forth to this intellectual gathering, an action oriented solution for evolving a happy, prosperous and peaceful society in our planet, which I call as ‘Enlightened Society’. How do we create such an enlightened society, which has three components (a) Education with value system (b) Religion transforming into spirituality and (c) Economic development for societal transformation? Let us discuss. (a) Education with value system: The best part for a person is his or her childhood and the learning period in school. The prime learning environment is five to seventeen years' of age. Of course, at home, love and affection are imparted. But again most of the time in a day is spent in preparing school's homework and study, eat, play and sleep. Hence the school hours for children are the best time for learning and need the best of environment and mission oriented learning with value system. During this stage, they need value based education in school and at home for them to become good citizens. This reminds me the echo from a great teacher's saying, "give me a child for seven years. Afterwards, let the God or devil take the child. They cannot change the child." This indicates the power of the great teachers. For parents and teachers, school campus and home have to have an integrated mission that is education with value system. They must inculcate moral leadership amongst children which involves two aspects. First it requires the ability to have compelling and powerful dreams or visions of human betterment, a state of things in which human beings could be better off in the future than they are now. Secondly, moral leadership requires a disposition to do the right thing and influence others also to do the right thing. If the child misses the value based education in the school, no government or society can establish a transparent society or a society with integrity. During this period, it is essential to elevate the young minds through a moral science class at least for one hour each week, delivered by great teachers. That will elevate the young minds to love the country, to love other human beings and elevate the young to higher planes. Throughout the world in every school till the age of 17, it is essential that moral science is taught. Such enlightened individuals will definitely promote peace and harmony in the planet. Now, I would like to share an experience that I have witnessed regarding religion transforming into a dynamic spiritual force. My interaction with Shri Nagaraj: I had an opportunity to meet Shri Nagaraj and his team who are propagating the concept of Jeevan Vidya. Also I read his book. Teachings of Shri Nagaraj can form part of a value based education system. He says children must be allowed to gain the experiences of life. We need not impose our ideas on others. Freedom from illusion is a stage of moksha. We need to understand the meaning of existence, life and humane conduct. If we understand these three we will be sensible intelligent and wise. Shri Nagaraj further says the strength of life does not reduce with its utilization. We can feel it. Our strength and power increase and become stronger gradually with their utilization. These important messages will enable the students to understand their potential and contribute in a meaningful way to the society of which they are an integral part.