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Swami Vivekananda's vision of education
Nation is observing 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda (1863- 1902) - a great spiritual leader, thinker and social reformer of India. As a reformer, he saw education as a 'man-making' process. In a sense, he subscribed to the humanistic approach to education. According to him, what a man learns is what he 'discovers' by taking the 'cover off his own soul which is the mine of infinite knowledge'.

Swami Vivekananda was against the kind of education that reduces man to the status of a machine by undermining human values. He had emphasised a harmony between the worldly education with the awakening of spiritual self wherein.

He had once said, "The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle of life, which does not bring out the strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and the courage of a lion — is it worth the name?"

While criticising the education being imparted during his times, he observed that it was leading students to a race of dyspeptics, mechanical life and jelly-fish existence. According to him, true education leads learners in assimilating ideas to be used in life and building character. In other words, good education is one which leads to life building, man making, and character making through assimilation of ideas.

He was of the view that the goal of mankind was knowledge which was inherent in human beings but was needed to be 'discovered' and 'learned'.

While stressing hard work and concentration in learning, he had said, “Whatever you are doing, put your whole mind on it. If you are shooting, your mind should be only on the target. Then you will never miss. If you are learning your lessons, think only of the lesson."

Thus, Swami Vivekananda saw education as a process of unfolding innate human potentials of intellect, wisdom or character and spirituality to serve the society.

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