What Education Means - Swami Vivekananda's views

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Nearly a hundred years ago Swami Vivekananda showed the close connection between culture and education. Wherever there is a great culture, you will find behind it, a highly developed system of education. Ancient India could produce a great culture because it developed a wonderful system of education.

In those days, people took education seriously. In the Taittiriya Upanishad, we find a discussion on what true tapas is. The opinion of the Vedic Rishi is: "swadhyaya pravacana eva-eti" - "study and teaching alone" constitute true tapas. Education itself is the best tapas, that is, the best form of human effort.

According to Swami Vivekananda, the basic purpose of education is the total development of human personality. Everyone is endowed with certain capacities, which remain dormant, although in a potential form, in childhood. Swami Vivekananda believed education is the process by which these inherent potentialities in human personality manifest themselves in completing his or her total development.

This total development of human personality includes intellectual and moral development. Most of the present day school and college curriculum only aim at intellectual development. It is in this field that western science, technology and commerce have attained tremendous success.

Science is systematic pursuit of knowledge at empirical level. The scientific method gives a very good training to the mind. It was by applying the scientific method that western countries made tremendous advancement in technology and acquired great wealth and power.

Swami Vivekananda was one of the first among religious teachers to understand the importance of science and technology. In the first place, Swamiji saw that poor countries like India would be able to overcome poverty and backwardness only by mastering technology. Secondly, Swamiji saw that science is not contradictory to the eternal spiritual principles, which is the foundation of Indian culture. Both Science and eternal religion are concerned with truth. Science seeks truth in the physical world, whereas religion seeks truth in the spiritual realm. Thus, religion and science are complementary.

The other primary purpose of education is to build character and to enable people to lead moral lives. However, this is precisely the field where most of the modern systems of education have failed. Swami Vivekananda has given a new definition of morality. To quote his words, "The only definition that can be given of morality is this: that which is selfish is immoral, and that which is unselfish is moral". For Swamiji unselfishness and service are not mere matters of rules and regulations but of reality. If God dwells in all beings as the Supreme Self, if every man is potentially divine, then to serve God in man or man as God is the best form of worship. To quote Swamiji's own words: "It is a privilege to serve mankind, for this is the worship of God. God is here in all these human souls. He is the soul of man." (C.W.I. 424)

[Above is the excerpt taken from address by Most Revered Swami Gahananandaji Maharaj delivered/read out during the inauguration of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute at Belur Math. Most Revered Swami Gahananandaji Maharaj served as 14th President of the Ramakrishna Order]

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Another great story about Swami Vivekanand

When Swami Vivekananda went to USA, a lady asked him to marry her. When Swami asked the lady about what made her ask him such question. The lady replied that she was fascinated by his intellect. She wanted a child of such an intellect. So she asked Swami, whether he could marry her and give a child like him.

He said to that lady, that since she was attracted only by his intellect, there is no problem. “My dear lady, i understand Your desire. Marrying and bringing a child in to this world and understanding whether it is intelligent or not takes very long time. More over it is not guaranteed.

Instead, to fulfill Your desire immediately, i can suggest a guaranteed way. Take me as Your child. You are my mother. Now on Your desire of having a child of my intellect is fulfilled.”
The lady was speechless.

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Good stuff on this forum....

Thanks to Krunal and Rajesh....


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Keep it up guys.

Swami ji was a gr8 personality. One must read 'complete works of swami vivekananda to understand the nature of self and realise the infinite. His work has been hailed as the greatest work in the field of philosophy. He was a key  figure in the introduction of the Vedanta and yoga to the world. 



On the auspicious occasion of Swamiji's 150th birth anniversary , I would like to share with you a short exposition on 'Vivekananda's views on Education' which I had composed myself about a year ago. I'm hereby attaching that composition . 

Swami Vivekananda , the prophet of the modern age and a modern exponent of the Vedanta Philosophy defined 'education' as the 'manifestation of perfection already in man' . It is not merely the accumulation of facts and information, but the assimilation of knowledge and wisdom , inherent in man but in a dormant state. According to him , the external world works only as a suggestion or occasion and sets one's mind to unveil the successive covers of ignorance and discover the true-self, i.e., the divine nature of one's innermost soul. The divine soul of man is a treasure-house of infinite knowledge about the universe. Thus a man learns from within and in the process of his awakening , he expresses his hidden potentials , which are required for an all-round development of his integrated personality.

                                                            In determining the method of education, Vivekananda looked upon 'religion' as the innermost core of education. To him, religion is nothing but 'realization' , a process of 'being' and 'becoming' . Thus he strongly recommended a 'life-building' , 'character-forming' and 'man-making' education system by which one can increase the strength of mind , intensify faith in oneself , cultivate the will-power , develop the power of concentration , expand the intellect and also one can stand on one's own feet as an ideal perfect being. These are the motivating powers , which push the citizens of a country going forward in the march of civilization.

                In his educational scheme for India , Swamiji gave highest priority to the spread of mass-education and female -education for the restoration of lost individuality of the poor people and also for empowerment of the women.Thus the whole education system of a country , whether spiritual or secular , should be guided by its national ideal , so that the greater challenges of national progress can be met with more confidence and competence in the long-run.

                                        The supreme goal of education should be to strive for achieving 'self-control' and 'detachment' from the worldly affairs like 'pleasure' and 'pain' . Ultimately , a self-less , dispassionate learner can only enjoy the freedom of soul,i.e., emancipation from the bonds of 'illusion' and liberation from the 'self' through 'salvation' , which is the highest state of existence.[ Existence- Knowledge-Bliss](sacchidananda)


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It means that you future is all set. You can even buy research papers at paperell.com if it can help you to be better. I hope that it will.


Education truly is life, and by education I don't only mean books and school. To me, it is more about development in general, becoming more open-minded, being open to new concepts. After reading what the topicstarted said about moral development, I instantly thought of what I saw at Huffington Post. It discussed the necessity of higher education, and how can it shape a person morally. The article discussed if higher education is for everyone, and highlighted some ways you can develop without attending the university 

Dschinghis Khan

Everyone says that the purpose of education is developing personalities. And at the same time, they hold students under pressure, make them do tasks they don't want and in every way restrict their freedom. At least, such services https://essayspirit.com/ help to save time for students but it doesn't help in a whole.


NIce topic



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