Is education just acquiring academic skills to earn money?
Education means to understand. Educated means wise man, jnani. – Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 7.5, Vrndavana, August 11, 1974
Two Types of Education
What is this nonsense education how to become a big mechanic of motorcar parts? This is Shudra education. It is called Shilpa-vidya. Vidya means brahma-vidya. At the present moment education means many Indians are coming to America to learn technology. This is not education. But the Europeans and Americans, they are going to India for learning brahma-vidya. That is education. The Europeans and Americans, when they go to Vrndavana and Mayapur, they do not go there to see how we have manufactured cycle and machine for sewing. They have seen enough of this. We may be very proud in India: “Now we are manufacturing cycle and sewing machine or some motor parts.” This is not advanced. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.50, Detroit, August 3, 1975
So there are two kinds of education: material education and spiritual education, brahma-vidya and jada-vidya. Jada-vidya means material education. Jada means “which cannot move,” matter. And spiritual education . . . Spirit can move. – Lecture on Sri isopanishad, Mantra 9, Los Angeles, May 13, 1970
Educated but Unemployed
Recently for a post of five hundred men there were three lakhs applications. This is education. And you’ll find uneducated Indian, still he’s independent. We have seen in Calcutta. In the morning he will purchase a bag of potatoes. Say, he invests twenty rupees. He’ll sit down in a corner and make two rupees’ profit. He invests twenty rupees, and he gets twenty-two. He’s satisfied, poor man. Then in ten to twelve rupees he’ll purchase some dal. He’ll go home to home. He’ll make another two rupees’ profit. In the evening he’ll take some kerosene oil, and he’ll sell. Evening everyone requires kerosene oil. He’ll make another two rupees. He’s illiterate. He makes six rupees’ profit, five rupees’ profit, and if he can, ten rupees’ profit. In this way he’s independently earning five to ten rupees. And educated man? He’s just like dog ”Give me job” and unemployed and eating at the cost of father or welfare activities, welfare department, and moving like dog. Otherwise he is becoming hippie. Is that education? – Room Conversation, January 26, 1977, Puri
Material Education Makes People Atheists
 Jada vidya saba mayara vaibhava. Jada vidya means material education, the so-called material science. And the result is tomara bhajane badha. With the advancement of so-called material science or material knowledge, the result will be that people will forget God. And then, next is anitya samsare moha janamiya: “This advancement of material knowledge will make me more captive, and I shall work just like an ass.” – Morning Walk, October 18, 1975, Johannesburg
The more you are educated [in the modern education system], you don’t believe in God, you don’t believe in God’s law. You don’t believe in your next life. You don’t believe in sinful and pious activities. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.8-13, New York, July 24, 1971
Modern Education is Technical Education
In modern civilization there are big, big institutions for technology, how a motorcar can move, how aeroplane can move. But there is no educational institution to teach how the mover, the spirit soul, is moving. That is called avidya, nescience. The other day, when I lectured in the Massachusetts Technological College, I inquired, “Where is that technology to study the mover?” They could not answer satisfactorily. So that is avidya. So here, in the isopanishad, it is said, andham tamah pravisanti ye avidyam upasate. Those who are engaged only in material advancement of education, the result will be that they will go to the darkest region of existence, andham tamah. It is very dangerous position that at the present moment there is no arrangement in any state, all over the world, about spiritual education. It is pushing the human society to the darkest region of existence. – Lecture on Sri isopanishad, Mantra 9, Los Angeles, May 13, 1970
Real Education
 Real education is, first of all, you must know what you are. You must know, “What I am, what is my father, what is my mother.” That is real education. – Bhagavad-gita 7.1, Durban, October 9, 1975
Sanatana Gosvami was a great learned scholar in Urdu, Farsi, and Sanskrit. He was a very rich man, a minister, came from a very respectable, aristocratic family. Everything was honorable. But still he says to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “My neighborhood men call me ’Panditaji,’ and I am very much satisfied that I am pandita. But I am such a pandita that I do not know what is the goal of my life and what is of real benefit for me.” – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.1, Bombay, November 1, 1974
Earning bread, eating, sleeping, mating . . . that can be done without education. The animals are not educated they are not technologists, nor do they have education degrees in the universities. They’re also eating, sleeping, mating and defending. So if our education is meant for simply eating sleeping, mating and defending, then what is the difference? Real education is to understand what you are. atma-jnana. So long a man does not develop consciousness to understand his self, atma-tattvam, the truth of the self, then whatever he’s doing in ignorance; it is all defeat for his life. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.8, New York, July 22, 1971
Vedanta is the Ultimate Knowledge
The ultimate knowledge is to understand God. If he is so-called educated, without any understanding of God, then his education is imperfect. To understand God is the ultimate knowledge. That is called Vedanta. Veda means knowledge, and the ultimate knowledge: Vedanta. What is that ultimate knowledge? Athato brahma jijnasa. The Vedanta begins with this word, “Now this human form of life is to acquire the ultimate knowledge.” – Discussions with Hayagriva Dasa on Sigmond Freud
Free Education
Formerly, the students were in the guru-grha, spiritual master’s place, and they were expected to go to every householder and beg. There was no system of payment. The teachers, being brahmanas, did not accept any payment in pound-shilling-pence. Even fifty years before, there was some small school, and all the villages boys would come and take education. Education was very much widespread because it was free in this way.  – Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.24.34, New York, August 12, 1966
Sex Education
There is a Bengali proverb, “To cry and to enjoy sex doesn’t need any education.” When you are aggrieved, you cry automatically. When there is a sex impulse, you enjoy it automatically. It doesn’t require any Mr. Freud. Without the help of any educator, everyone knows cats, dogs, animals, human being everyone knows how to enjoy sex life. – Discussions with Hayagriva dasa on Sigmond Freud
Education in Varnashrama
Education for the brahmana: how to learn to be truthful, how to control senses, how to become educated in Vedic knowledge. Ksatriya, he has to learn how to fight: “Go. Fight. Go in the forest and kill animals, learn how to kill.” Vaishya ”Go to the field. See how the plow is moved, how to give protection to the cow.” Finish education. And Shudra, he has to work under the order of the master. Master says, “Do this”: he’ll do it. So where is higher education required, university degrees? – Room Conversation, January 26, 1977, Puri
Vaishya’s occupational is to learn how to produce food, how to give protection to the cows, and if there is excess stock, how to trade with it. So anyone can learn by seeing only. It doesn’t require any high education. If the father is tilling the field, the son can learn it by seeing it. Just like in Vrindavana, Krishna was tending the cows and calves of Nanda Maharaja. There was no education.
Fifty years ago we have seen that those who were in the lower status of life, they never sent their children to school. I have seen it. “Oh, what is the use of wasting time? Better admit him in some working shop or in some business.” The Marwaris still do that: “Please keep my son in your firm.” And small children learn by seeing. Just like our children, they are seeing this Deity worship, this kirtana they will learn. Similarly, those who have to work to earn their livelihood, mechanical or something  what is the use of wasting time going to the university? Scientific education for hammering? Hammering you can see. You take a hammer and go on (laughs). What is the use for… Technical nonsense. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.5, Vrindavana, October 27, 1976
You cannot engage a bull in the business of a horse, nor can you engage a horse in the business of a bull. Today practically everyone is getting a college education. But what is taught at these colleges? Mostly technical knowledge, which is Shudra education. Everyone should be tested to find out which education he is suited for. Some Shudras may be given technical education, but most Shudras should work on the farms. Because everyone is coming to the cities to get an education, thinking, “We can get more money,” the agriculture is being neglected. Now there is scarcity because no one is engaged in producing nice foodstuffs. All these anomalies have been caused by bad government. It is the duty of the government to see that everyone is engaged according to his natural qualities. Then people will be happy. – Science of Self-Realization, 6d
Test of Education
Canakya Pandita, the great politician, has given the definition of a learned scholar. Who is a learned scholar? Matrvat para-daresu: To see every woman except his wife as mother. 
Para-dravyesu lostravat: To see others’ property like garbage in the street. Nobody is interested in the garbage. You throw. That is education. atmavat sarva-bhutesu: Think of all living entities as your own self. If you feel pains and pleasure by something, you should not afflict the pains to others. If your throat is cut, you feel so much pain, how you can cut the head of another animal? Samah sarvesu-bhutesu. These three things are the test of education. – Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 1.26-27, London, July 21, 1973
Duty of Parents
Pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat ‘na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum. That is the instruction in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Your duty is to give protection to your relatives, children, father, mother etc. That’s very good. But real protection is that “My child, this boy, this girl, has come in my belly. Now this is the last birth. I shall train them in such a way that in next birth, they’ll not have a material body.” How it is? Janma karma ca divyam ye janati tattvatah: “Anyone who has understood Krishna as He is.” This is the secret to teach your children about Krishna. From the beginning, you can do that. The children are under your control. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.19, Mayapur, February 26, 1976
The guru should give education how to surrender to Krishna. The father should educate, the mother should educate at home. The leaders should give education in institution. The politicians should give education in their assemblies, congress. Give this education. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.19, Los Angeles, June 15, 1972
Education with Character
These (gurukuli) boys they are simply chanting, dancing. They are advancing in Krishna consciousness. Not like that useless education after some years they will learn how to smoke bidi. They’ll never touch bidi. This is education. Tan manye adhitam uttamam. They will have character and they’ll become Krishna devotees. That is real education. Don’t think, “These boys are not given any academic education.” They know little, not very much. We don’t require to know very much, neither we are very much concerned learning A-B-C-D. One who has taken to Krishna consciousness directly, he is actually advanced in education. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.19, Mayapur, February 26, 1976