IIT Kanpur: Why does mainstream education neglect wisdom studies?

Acharya Prashant
19 min readJun 5, 2022

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner: Sir, I have been reading Krishnamurti and Vivekananda for the past three years, and having learned from them, I genuinely feel that the teachings of such great teachers should be at the core of our education system. I personally feel that my decisions regarding my career and life would not have been emotionally driven had I studied these teachers before.

Unfortunately, we do not find the teachings of our saints in our mainstream education system, either at school or at the professional level. At most, there might be a few books tucked away in some corner of the library. Even in the premier institutions of this country, one would find complete negligence by the student community with respect to the Vedantic teachings and the sayings of the saints. The students are preoccupied with their pre-decided career paths and don’t pay heed to these teachings. Why are even these so-called intelligent students ignoring these valuable teachings?

Acharya Prashant: There are two reasons. The first reason is eternal and the second is contemporary. Let’s look at both.

The way man is, he is not designed to prioritize learning, wisdom, or realization over his more basic, primary animalistic needs and instincts. It is a bodily thing, it is an evolutionary thing. It is there in the entire mankind irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, gender, or age. Irrespective of what kind of identity you carry, we are not programmed to be naturally drawn towards the teachings of somebody like J. Krishnamurti or Swami Vivekananda. And there is ample reason why we would ignore their teachings or at times even be hostile to them.

You see, when you look at a person and you say here comes a human being, a man or a woman, what is the defining characteristic of the human being? It is the body. It is the body you look at; everything else comes later. So, no body, no human being. And that is the primary identity we all are carrying: we are bodies, and around that identity and from that identity all else is built. See, remove your body from your life, and what is left of your life? The moment you remove your body, you are called a dead man and your world comes…

Acharya Prashant