This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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Learning paradigm: Indian tradition

Arbind K. Jha — RBS College of Education, Rewari.

The study of learning, according to Driscoll, is essentially derived from two sources. The first concerns the nature of knowledge or how we come about to know things, and the other is how that knowledge is acquired and represented in the mind. In various western schools of psychology, learning is held to be largely the process of adjusting our mental models to accommodate new experiences. However, from the conceptualization of learning in these schools, it appears that some sort of alienation is there as there is no role of ‘self’ and ‘consciousness’ at all, and thus there is need to have a new paradigm of learning based on Indian epistemology derived from the various schools of thought such as Nyaya, Vaisesika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, Vedanta, Buddhism, Jainism, etc. In the Indian tradition, human knowledge consists of a combination of information and consciousness, wherein knowledge is accorded the highest place and is the ultimate goal of life. Knowledge has three aspects- sravana, manna, and nidhidhyasana. Sravana is the state of existing knowledge, the information content of a subject. Manana consists in doubting, questioning, reasoning and arguing about what one gathers from sravana. Nidhidhyasana, contemplation on the truth learnt through sravana and manana, involving an unceasing flow of knowledge, takes one beyond understanding the truth and leads to the realization of the truth in ones being. When this happens, ones being and knowing become identical. In other words, when learning takes place, it transforms the person completely.

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