What is ‘Real’ Education?

“This is not education,” I said to myself over and over again.

I was sitting at the back of a Statistics class in the second year of my college undergrad course. 

It didn’t matter where I sat because my studying was what I did in the weeks just before the exams, locked in my bedroom in my parents’ home. 

At the end of each year, I had the highest scores in college. But honestly, I did not deserve the awards. I had just cracked the code. I knew how to study to get the scores. And THAT surely was not ‘Education’.


Seventeen years later, I was sitting in an Art of Living Part 1 course(now Happiness Program) at the Bangalore Ashram. My parents had both died tragically. A beautiful young nephew of mine too had died under mysterious circumstances. Around me, my world had crashed. 

That August 1997, in the meditation hall in the old Ashram where our beautiful Mahalakshmi wedding hall now stands, I listened to Sanjita, my wonderful Part 1 teacher, tell us about the 10 Keys of the Art of Living. “How simple,” I thought to myself, “This is what I had been waiting to hear my entire life. If my parents had had this knowledge, they would not have died the way they did. If my young nephew had experienced this wisdom, he would still be alive today.”

On those three most transformational days of my life, I began my real education – and it has not stopped since.


I think now, as parents, we teach our children history, geography, math, science and language. We send them to classes for dance, swimming, tennis and music. But have we provided them a real education?  – The kind of education that prepares them to meet LIFE?

Can our children deal with stress? 

Can they navigate themselves through challenges and unfamiliar situations?  

Are they kind and caring?


My old friend Srini sends his son Sudarshan to the SSRVM school on Kanakapura Road in Bengaluru.

Says Srini,”I didn’t want to put Sudarshan in an education factory where they churn out doctors and software engineers. I needed him to keep his mind fresh and open as long as possible. To stay a child as long as possible.”

Fourteen-year-old Sundarshan today is a bright, confident and extroverted child. Like most of his classmates. 

He scores well during exams but most importantly, says Srini, “He is strong, kind and grounded.” 

Srini believes that SSRVM brought out the best in Sudarshan. 


“Only an education that can nourish inbuilt virtues can impart true intelligence”

– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


What makes Sudarshan’s education this unique?

Read about the Vision of SSRVM schools.

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The Author Rugmani Prabhakar

Rugmani Prabhakar is Head of Art of Living Sustainable Development initiatives.

She began her career as a journalist covering news, politics, business and issues of human interest for national and international publications.
In 1997, she met Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar and has since dedicated her life to his vision.
She started the first Art of Living programs in the Gulf from her home-base, then in Dubai, where she lived with her husband and children. She has taught Sudarshan Kriya and meditation to thousands of people in the Gulf including Arabs and expatriates living in the region. She was also Executive Director of IAHV-Middle East and collaborated with Governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi and with UN and corporate organizations in the region to launch several successful programs and campaigns to address prevailing social issues at the time.
In 2011, she moved back to Bengaluru with her family and became the National Director for Art of Living Social Projects and collaborated with the UN, corporates and government organizations for the upliftment of rural communities through innovative developmental initiatives across India.
In her current role as Head of Art of Living Sustainable Development programs, she collaborates with key stakeholders in government, industry and the UN towards a shared agenda for sustainable development.
The Art of Living’s vast bouquet of development works is aligned with all 17 goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


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