Condensed from Talks by Pujya Guruji Shree Rishi Prabhakarji from RishiVani.
An Interview with Guruji Shree Rishi Prabhakar
How is SSY 100% Memory Program different from rote learning?
Memorizing and writing without understanding is a last desperate effort for those who cannot understand but somehow have to get marks.
Why should you memorize if you understand?
Understanding, writing the exam and forgetting – is what we normally do. Understanding, applying and remembering the knowledge forever can only make the learning complete. If the matter is not of great importance and can be forgotten without consequence then such matter need not find a place in textbooks for children.
Remembering everything in the textbooks – will it not cause unnecessary load on the mind?
We have two kinds of memory, Conscious and Sub Conscious. Conscious memory is like the RAM in the computer. It is used for short term and can get overloaded. Subconscious memory is infinite like the hard disk. We can remember whole encyclopedias without effort – if we can program the information in our Subconscious mind. It takes time to program the Subconscious and that is the only addition required.
How fast can we program all the text books for the year, in say 10th standard, to the subconscious?
First of all the student has to understand the new knowledge and get proper connection with his old knowledge. Then he has to make detailed mind maps. Then he has to review these mind maps several hundred times. Normally it takes about 30 days of preparation time for 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th children who have already mastered the previous year’s syllabus, to understand all the subjects by themselves without any teacher.
Then they simply review the mind maps which they have created for about half an hour three times a day for a minimum 40 days.
What do the students do after they have stored the matter in their subconscious mind?
After mastering the content of the text book, we like students to take it easy and enjoy for about a month, doing non academic learning like physical development, seva activities to the community, inter school sports, drama, debate, quiz, dance, music, foreign languages, shilpa shastra, working with terra-cotta, stone, metal etc. During this time, they are only reviewing the subjects three times a day for about 30 minutes each.
What is the process to get 100% marks?
This is the next step. Students go through prepared guides and start solving problems. They take a set of exams as if they are taking the final exam in the subject and learn until they get 100% marks in each exam. Students can do it themselves if they are given question papers and model answers. Intelligent students lead the class and teach it to others if required. Children ask all and any kind of question to their class mates. They hesitate to do the same with a teacher.
The spirit is for everyone to get 100% marks. There are no winners and losers here. All are winners.
We have now produced an environment where slow learners can be individually helped by a trainer.
In normal schools where teachers lecture 30 to 80 students, we do not know who is learning what. The teacher blissfully walks out of the class having done their lecture leaving most children without 100% understanding. Then they only give a test 3 to 4 times in a year and mark the answers without teaching the child what is the correct answer and what mistake the child has done and take the corrective action. They simply do not have enough time to sit with each child.
Are children tense during exams?
No. Here children are very confident. Exams are not for failing and grading the student. Exams are for learning and mastering. About 12 days are allotted for tests when they take two exams of the same subject of one hour each per day. Then they take a break and play and focus on non academic learning. Like this they complete about 10 to 12 exams for each subject. This will give them 100% mastery. Later exams are not meant for learning content, they are meant for practice so they can do the exam effortlessly and in a very short duration.
If everyone gets 100% then how do we select students for things like Engineering and Medicine?
If everyone is eligible then you can select by a lottery.
Where is a place for competition which breeds excellence?
This is an outdated concept. Competition is a Darwinian process of natural selection. It is a jungle culture not a civic society. It brings calamities like the Global Warming. Here you learn to empower others and the good performer is happily acknowledged as the leader. Our real wealth is not money; real wealth is the goodwill and love of the people around us.
If you are competing, you put down others and get blood pressure in their company and in the company of the world itself. God gives you more and more money and facilities as you use it for making people around you happy. If you use it for building a big house or to buy a big car for yourself, you are insulting your neighbor. Learn to build beautiful houses for all in your community to live happily. Then you are a natural loved leader who cares.
Can other Schools take-up 100% Memory Education?
Our intention is to provide this knowledge to all schools. Many schools are coming forward to introduce this program. Our project of “100% Memory program for communities” is a FREE offering to all schools of a large community like a Mandal or Taluka. If community leaders take up the task, we are ready to come and train the local teachers and students free of cost. The community can offer to us Gurudakshina according to their ability.
When were you successful in implementing this program?
We have been experimenting from 1997. We have been successful to train even average students in our school from 2003. Our students completed all their year’s syllabus in 21 to 30 days without effort in the year 2008.
What would be the difference between those who has studied by 100% Memory method and other students in their future life?
Normal students would have forgotten almost everything within three years and they will look more and more uneducated as days pass by. Students with 100% Memory will become brighter and brighter and will be in the fore front of research and knowledge.
What you have done is an unbelievable revolution in education. How could you accomplish this?
I got the clues from our Vedic Pundits who remember huge texts of Vedas forever. Similarly the Holy Quran has been memorized by millions of people.
We have applied similar methods to all the Sciences and Mathematics also. The process is the well known Shravana, Manana and Nidhidhyasa.
Does it interfere with the thinking power of the child?
It actually increases the thinking power and makes the child smart as many Facts, Process and Methods are at his fingertips. You can remember not only facts but also procedures for solving problems.
Why this method has not been applied in education before?
Many times people have memorized without understanding and do not know the meaning and application of verses they have memorized. Children can memorize easily, hence they memorized even if they did not understand. Education must continue to make them understand also. This is the case with Amara-kosha, the Sanskrit dictionary that children memorize for later understanding. If understanding is neglected, educationists will find it necessary to emphasize understanding. Now they have gone overboard and totally dismantled memory. In present day education, we are just understanding and forgetting. Within two or three years after graduation, no graduate is in a position to answer their question papers (even with reasonable extra time) for which they were awarded a degree. Our effort is to bring back genuine degrees.