Swami Vivekananda was one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the modern world, a great lover of humanity where unconditional love extended to all people without any distinction of caste, class, creed, race, regions or religion.
Moral and Religious Education
Religious education is a vital part of a sound curriculum. Vivekananda considered the Gita, the Upanishads and the Vedas as the most important curriculum for religious education. For him, religion is self realization. It is not only for the individual’s development, but also for the transformation of total mankind. He pleaded for unity of world religion. To Vivekananda, ethics and religion are one and the same. God is always on the side of goodness. the moral and religious education develops the self-confidence among the young men and women.
Swami Vivekananda showed that no man is inferior to the other; no class has got special qualification over the other. the Vedantic spirit of oneness makes the individual identity with the community and serve it with a service motive without any personal gain. Swami Vivekananda maintained that individual liberation is incomplete without the total liberation of mankind.
For Swami Vivekananda, the welfare of all is based on promoting freedom and equality of all. Thus, his concept of equality fosters fellowship and unity among individuals and nations. Swami Vivekananda laid emphasis on social unity for social economic upliftment of the people.
A builder of modern India
Vivekananda’s influence on modern India can be seen in its development of socialist ideas, its new emphasis on mass uplift and mass participation, and its growing identification of mass welfare with genuine patriotism. He also had the same firm belief in hindus and Muslims working together for the development of the Indian nation. He wanted Hindu-Muslim unity based not only on the religion of Hindu Vedanta and Islamic democracy; he also wanted it to be built upon his basis of common interests.
Vivekananda recognized the difficulty of poor children in rural areas in attending primary school’s even if they were available and in their vicinity, as they would be required to help their parents in their work and enable them to earn their miserable livelihood. He therefore, talked of the need for taking education to where the children could conveniently gather and at the same time which would not cut into their work.
Vivekananda believed that education should aim at developing the mind rather than stuff it with bookish knowledge and that it would be easier for a stimulated mind to acquire knowledge on its own and digest it properly.
Today of course, everyone is for women’s education and giving them their rightful place, but in actual fact, women’s education in rural India is still at a low level, while as regards the inclusion of spirituality in their education, it is still to be accomplished. Secularism, mass uplift and mass power, women’s liberation, abolition of untouchability, inclusion of social service as a part of religion worship, Hindu-Muslim unity, universal literacy and informal education- all these constitute the contribution of Swami Vivekananda’s to the building of modern India.
Vivekananda's Philosophy of Life
The real education according to Swami Vivekananda is that which prepares the individual for struggle for existence. education prepares a man for social service, to develop his character and finally imbibes in with the spirit and courage of a lion. Education is a tool of liberation from the darkness and ignorance. Teaching and learning are part of the process. The teacher only guides, suggests, points out and help the students. the teacher only motivates and encourages the students to find out the hidden treasure of knowledge.
Indian nationalism was the basic foundation of his philosophy of education and philosophy of Vedanta and Upanishads. He was against the system of the contemporary education system which turned men into slaves, capable of slavery and nothing else. He emphasized that the aim of education being life-building, man-making, character-building. Swami Vivekananda stressed education for democracy and national development. education was a powerful instrument to achieve these developmental qualities in the people.
Vivekananda's means of Education
According to Vivekananda, the means for education is love. Love and character buildings are the best means for education. love in the minds of the educator is the real source of his influence upon the education. The true education, gives the growth and expansion of personality. he wanted that the education for total human development was the main vision. The child should be taught through love, fellow feelings and love for human beings. Education must help the individual to recognize his cultural heritage and to use it in the struggle of life. Education is a lifelong process towards the fullest development of human personality, self-discovery, self-perfection, self-awareness and self-manifestation.
Vivekananda and Aims of Education
Vivekananda wanted all round development of education to heart and mind, to strengthen character and national consciousness, to help in the cultivation of strength and energy, nurture the brain and intellect and stir feelings of kindness and sympathy.
According to Vivekananda, education is a process in which the young minds will receive strength, energy and vigorous character. Through this process, the individual will mould themself into a complete perfect human being of their life. All knowledge comes from the human soul. Man manifests knowledge, discovers it with himself, which is pre-existing through eternity. Education is a man making and nation making process. The prime aim of education is to achieve the full perfection already present in the child. According to Vivekananda, all the material and spiritual knowledge are already present in the individuals mind, but it is covered by certain ignorance.
Vivekananda considered women to be the incarnation of power and asked men to respect them in every way possible. He insists that men and women are equally competent not only in the academic matters, but also must have an equal companion in the home and family. The ideal women in Indian is the mother, the mother first and the mother last.
Education should spread to every household in the country, to playgrounds and agricultural fields. If the children do not come to the school, the teacher should reach them. Vivekananda favored education for different sections of society, rich and poor, young and old, male or female. from the analysis of Vivekananda’s scheme of education, the uplift of the masses is possible only through education. His view on education bring to light his constructive, practical and comprehensive character. Through education, he tries to materialize the moral and spiritual welfare and upliftment, irrespective of caste, creed, nationality and time. He said, purity, patience and perseverance help overcome all obstacles.