Today is Death Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
The society is inflicted from few serious crimes. We are witnessing more rapes, molestations, serial killings, drug addiction, school children killing their classmates, etc. The more surprising thing is that the children of affluent families and are also indulging in such crimes. There can be numerous reasons behind that but the primary reason is that our education has become totally materialistic. I am basically talking of moral and ethical values which are being left behind in this competitive world. The educational system and parents both are responsible for the same.
Vivekananda once said that the tremendous emphasis on the scientific and mechanical ways of life is fast reducing man to the status of a machine. Moral and religious values are being undermined. The fundamental principles of civilization are being ignored. Conflicts of ideals, manners and habits are pervading the atmosphere. Disregard for everything old is the fashion of the day. The defect of the present-day education is that it has no definite goal to pursue. A teacher has no clear idea about the goal of his teaching. The aim of education must be man making and this is where the education is failing.
We are not equipping children with a positive and healthy frame of mind. Modern-day children are averse to reading good books which teach the ‘lessons of life,’ they are glued more to the idiot box and computer games. This is the crux of the problem. If books furnishing tales of Harshvardhana or Shivaji or Asoka are read at an early age, the young mind starts idolising those characters. They try and emulate the great men, who become role models for them. The epics can dissuade them from aiding and abetting crime; it would encourage them to stand up for their beliefs and values. When the young ones don’t have such heroes to worship and ape in real life, things go wrong and they don’t know how to differentiate between right and wrong.
Swami Vivekananda also felt that the aim of education is to manifest in our lives the perfection, which is the very nature of our inner self. This perfection is the realization of the infinite power which resides in everything and every-where-existence, consciousness and bliss (satchidananda). After understanding the essential nature of this perfection, we should identify it with our inner self. For achieving this, one will have to eliminate one’s ego, ignorance and all other false identification, which stand in the way. Meditation, fortified by moral purity and passion for truth, helps man to leave behind the body, the senses, the ego and all other non-self elements, which are perishable. He thus realizes his immortal divine self, which is of the nature of infinite existence, infinite knowledge and infinite bliss.
He says, We need technical education and all else which may develop industries, so that men, instead of seeking for service, may earn enough to provide for them-selves, and save something against a rainy day. He feels it necessary that India should take from the Western nations all that is good in their civilization. However, just like a person, every nation has its individuality, which should not be destroyed. The individuality of India lies in her spiritual culture. Hence in Swamiji’s view, for the development of a balanced nation, we have to combine the dynamism and scientific attitude of the West with the spirituality of our country. The entire educational program should be so planned that it equips the youth to contribute to the material progress of the country as well as to maintaining the supreme worth of India’s spiritual heritage.
It is in the transformation of man through moral and spiritual education that he finds the solution for all social evils. Founding education on the firm ground of our own philosophy and culture, he shows the best of remedies for today’s social and global illness.
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