Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda’s Teachings on Education

Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man.” This statement is the essence of Swami Vivekananda’s Teachings on education. It is only with proper education that such knowledge gets transformed into a means for all-round development.

By Biplabjoy Purkayastha, Programme Manager at Rashtram.

“Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man.” This statement is the essence of Swami Vivekananda’s Teachings on education. It is only with proper education that such knowledge gets transformed into a means for all-round development of human beings. 

Education As Mean For Holistic Development

Swami Vivekananda’s teachings and ideas of education gave equal weightage to both material and spiritual development. Swamiji advocated, that the objective of the curriculum should be all-round development of the body, mind, and soul. We need to have proper training of ourselves in all of these domains to make ourselves a complete individual. Only a complete individual is capable of taking the country forward. Swami Vivekananda insisted that we need “nerves of steel, muscles of iron and minds like a thunderbolt.” One of the central points of Swami Vivekanand’s teachings is, ‘Youth should be ready to live for his motherland. They should continue to carry it forward through their ideals and be strong enough to defend it through physical prowess. 

Swami Vivekananda’s ideas resonated with the cosmos and created during his lifetime and continue to do the same to date. In contemporary India, Swami Vivekananda’s teachings on education for all-round development is taken as a broader objective. Even though a wide range of organisations like Ramkrishna Mission itself is running schools to cater to this objective, yet the realisation far from desired. The life of a child in school remains way different from his life outside the school. The focus on experiential learning, the required emphasis on acquiring moral education to make a fully aware citizen is still non-existent in school curriculums. Modern education is developing human-machine incapable of physical and moral rigour. 

Education Aligning With Indian Civilisation

The is a lack of awareness about the Indian culture and civilizational roots in today’s education system. Our education is heavily influenced by the blind imitation of the west. Swami Vivekananda’s teachings never discarded the idea of incoming knowledge from foreign cultures. But he insisted that we aligned with our civilisational cumulative wisdom first. He always strived to keep harmony between the traditional Indian values and the new values brought due to the developments in science and technology. Taking a cue from the depth of Swami Vivekananda’s teachings on similar lines, our education system needs to have the component of our cultural sensitivity embedded in it. The curriculum should have topics from Gita, Upanishad, etc., that can propel moral, metaphysical and social education, among India’s future leaders. This would also instil the age-old values of this land.

Swami Vivekananda’s Life and Journey: An Inspiration

Swami Vivekananda’s journey is highly inspirational in the context of Indian nationalism and its spiritual renaissance. To carry forward the teachings and legacy of his guru Sri Ramkrishna he founded Sri Ramkrishna Mission. He travelled across the globe met people and wrote extensively. He travelled the length and breadth of India, gave lectures to motivate youth to live up to the ideals set ours by ancestors. His ideas encouraged a generation of nation builders that strengthened the foundations of a post-colonial independent India.

To quote him, “Know your past … out of the past is built the future. Look back, therefore, as far as you can, drink deep of the eternal fountains that are behind, and after that, look forward, march forward and make India brighter, greater, much higher than she ever was”. On his birth anniversary let us pledge to learn from the ideas, work, life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda. Let us pledge to stand up to the ideals he stood for and make our future public leaders fully trained in body, mind, and soul for the nation and the entire humanity.