School News

Vedic Knowledge Tools for Students Issue 8 - By Dr. Richard Beall

What is Vedic knowledge and how do we see it expressed at New Indian School?

The minute students arrive at New Indian School each morning, the uniqueness of the school becomes evident. The Vedic technologies they practice yield the kind of practical results that schools across the country and around the world hope to achieve.

Rather than reporting to their classrooms, our students proceed up the stairs to their meditation rooms—the Halls of Bliss (one for boys, one for girls)—where they do Yoga postures, pranayam (a breathing technique that settles mind and body), and the Indian school Meditationtechnique.

In the classroom, they utilize a kind of feedback loop for self-awareness from an ancient science of natural health care and prevention, by placing their fingers around their wrists and taking their pulse to monitor their physiological balance.

In a science class, students link their study of genetics to universal principles—the same principles they may find in their literature or math class.

After school, athletes will do a set of Yoga postures to loosen up for a soccer game.

What do all these techniques have in common? They are tools that help students connect with their own inner Self and systematically develop their consciousness, day after day. At New Indian School, inner development is not left to chance.

Vedic Foundations

In many ways, Vedic knowledge is what sets New Indian School apart from other successful college preparatory schools. It starts with an awareness that there are two fields of life. The first we know very well: the ever-changing “relative” world of diversity and concrete reality, the world of “stuff” and sensory input. The moment we open our eyes each morning, the flow begins: different thoughts, different images, different sounds.

Underlying the diverse, changing reality is a silent, unseen, non-changing field of life, less known but universally present: the “absolute.” I discovered this in college before I learned the TM® technique, in the Aldous Huxley classic, The Perennial Philosophy. Huxley observed that in every culture and in every age, some fortunate few experience this innermost reality. It’s what Emerson called the “Over-Soul” and what some quantum physicists now call the Unified Field of Natural Law. They see this as the answer to the “theory of everything” that Einstein pursued: a single, silent underlying field from which all the forms and phenomena of the universe arise.

Another word for all that is Veda. Veda means “knowledge,” both relative and absolute.

At New Indian School, we teach that Veda isn’t contained in books. Vedic texts are a superficial artifact of the actual reality. That reality is consciousness itself, in all its levels and permutations. We see consciousness in two ways: our degree of wakefulness to ourselves and to our environment, and as the fundamental reality of both mental and physical existence.

Applying Practical Tools from the Vedic Tradition

Vedic knowledge takes a variety of forms at New Indian School. The fundamental premise is to connect relative and absolute, to infuse silence into activity. The first example is the experience and study of the development of consciousness as a curriculum. We explain the mechanics of the TM technique and its potential to develop higher states of consciousness. Our children practice the TM technique twice a day to develop their consciousness, which increases their learning ability.

Secondly, students learn universal principles of natural law expressed in all of their subjects—and in themselves—cultivating a habit of thinking vertically, of seeing deeper principles embedded in traditional knowledge. Their awareness moves in the direction of the underlying unified field: from the surface level of thought to their own deepest Self, the source of knowledge in natural law, consciousness.

Thirdly, we teach units from specific disciplines of Vedic knowledge that Maharishi restored to vitality in his decades of research and teaching. These include:

  • Maharishi Ayurveda® , a comprehensive system of natural healthcare
  • Maharishi Sthapatya Veda® , design of buildings in accord with natural law
  • Sanskrit, the “language of nature” that creates coherence in consciousness when recited orally

Fourth, students learn Vedic expressions or proverbs. These illuminate deeper wisdom and offer life insights:

Vedic Science teacher Susan Marcus says, “Through the study of Vedic knowledge and the experience of its technologies, students come to understand that most problems have their basis in limited vision. Expanding consciousness results in broader thinking, seeing more deeply into the roots of a problem or issue, and being able to solve it at its source rather than on the surface level of expression.”

One school project that Susan gives her students serves as an example of this principle. For one week, students are asked to self-report their experience of being on the Ideal Daily Routine of Maharishi Ayurveda. This includes going to sleep on time, eating nutritious meals on time, and exercising and meditating on time. “One student saw such a powerful effect from being well rested in her daily life that she changed her lifestyle permanently to be more in accord with the natural routine,” Susan said.

Vedic knowledge offers the full development of human potential by providing the tools and technologies for maximum achievement. The role and responsibility of all schools requires not just a vision of the students’ potential, but the practical technologies to achieve it. By adding Vedic knowledge to the curriculum, New Indian School is realizing new possibilities for students’ inner happiness and outer achievements.

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