Arguments in Favour of Religious Education–Essay
1. All-round development of man is not possible only through physical, mental and intellectual development, as this requires spiritual development also. Physical comforts alone do not provide real pleasure and peace.
The more a man is absorbed in worldly pleasures, the more he is attracted towards them. He tries to get the physical comforts of this material world through all possible means (even through inhuman action). This disturbs world peace.
Various subjects such as geography, science, etc., lead to physical, mental and intellectual development, but they do not develop one’s spiritual side of life. For spiritual development religion- oriented education is needed. Only then the goal of an all-round development in the individual may be achieved.
2. Lack of religious faith in man is the cause of his troubles. All the vices of the world such as enmity, jealousy and intolerance are due to irreligiousness and materialistic tendencies. Hence, religious education is necessary in order to get rid of inhuman tendencies.
3. We have said earlier that religious education becomes defective only when religion is treated in its narrow form. Religion is not to be identified with any sector opinion. The essence of all sects is the true religion.
True religion alone can be called human religion. If it is taught through education, the follower of any religion will not be ignored. It will be worthwhile to provide education in high human ideals which are adored by people of every religion instead of giving place to the rituals of different sects.
4. The aim of education is all-round development of the individual in which development of character is the main aim. Religious education is the best sources for character development. To-day education being devoid of religion, the character of many of our youths is not what it should be.
5. In countries where people are basically religious, religious education will be useful from educational point of view. Education based on religion will be easily understandable and interesting in such country. India is one such country. But religion should not be taken in its narrow form. By adopting essence of all the sects, religious education should be given in its wider perspective.
6. In the modern world scientific experimentalism, scientific inventions, scientific thinking, intellectual and materialistic developments have been continuously going on. Consequently, the progressive countries have achieved material affluence.
But have these countries become happy and peaceful in spite their affluence? The two World Wars are the ‘consequences of the materialistic selfishness. In spite of all efforts world peace has not been achieved so far. The sole reason for it is the neglect of spiritualism.
The truth is that materialism and spiritualism should be integrated through religious education. So it will be necessary to impart universal religious education in schools. In India, Shri Syed Ahmad Khan, Radhakrishnan, Madan Mohan Malviya, Mahatma Gandhi, Dayanand Saraswati, Ravindranath Tagore, Aurobindo and many other great men have advocated religious education.
Smt. Annie Besant and Mira Behn and Mataji considered it necessary to integrated education and religious education. While integrating education and religious education we shall have to keep it in mind that the religion to be integrated should be human- religion and not based on the beliefs of one particular sect.