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SWAMI VIVEKANANDAS

IDEA OF A
REJUVENATED INDIA

Swami Vivekanandas Idea of a


Rejuvenated India

Compiled and Edited By :


Prarthita Biswas,
M.A.&M.Phil.(History),
M.A.(Political Science),
M.Ed., M.A.(Education)

Asst.Prof., Pailan College of Education


(Affiliated to the UNIVERSITY OF CALCUTTA)
PAILAN GROUP,
Bengal Pailan Park, Joka, Kolkata 700104
&
Academic Counsellor NSOU (B.Ed.ODL)
& RBU DE Mode (M.A.History)
email ID: prarthitab@yahoo.com/

prarthitab@gmail.com

MOBILE NO. 9831447164

Published By:
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FIRST EDITION : 2014

ISBN
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_______________________________________________________

All rights reserved.


No part of this book may be reproduced / translated by any
means without written permission of the editor. Due care and
diligence have been taken while editing and printing the book,
neither the editor nor the publisher of this book holds any
responsibility for any mistake.

Dedication
This book is dedicated to my parents
Late Sri Nrisingha Narayan Biswas
&
Mrs. Dipali Biswas
My Elder Sister:
Mrs.Paramita Aditya
for giving me constant support in my
educational endeavours
I THANK ALL THE CONTRIBUTORS
AND TO ALL THOSE FOR
EXTENDING ME
SUPPORT AND DIRECTION

Prarthita Biswas
5

FOREWARD
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was glad when I heard that Ms. Prarthita Biswas


and her team are working on the book titled
Swami Vivekanandas Idea of a Rejuevnated
India. Swami Vivekananda (18631902) was a
Hindu monk and a key figure in the introduction of
Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the
western world. He was one of the most influential
philosophers and social reformers in his
contemporary India. Rabindranath Tagore told that
in Vivekananda there was nothing negative, but
everything positive.
In last one century, hundreds of scholarly books
have been written on Vivekananda, his works and
his philosophy in different languages. But I am sure
that this book will definitely bring out some
different and enlightening messages from the life of
Swami Vivekananda.
The inspirational messages collected in this book,
selected from the writings and talks of Swami
Vivekananda, speak directly to the concerns of
contemporary men and women who seek to live a
spiritual life in the midst of everyday activities. At
7

the same time, Swami Vivekanandas idea of


Rejuevnated India has also been explained in this
book in different chapters.
I extend my heartfelt wishes and blessings to all the
contributors of the book.
Regards
Dr. Mini Amit Arrawatia
Member, University of Rajasthan
miniamitarrawatia05@gmail.com

FROM THE DESK OF THE PUBLISHER


It gives me immense pleasure to present the
edited volume of the editorial book titled Swami
Vivekananda and his idea of a Rejuvenated India.
The main objective of this book is to create an
atmosphere that will stimulate creativeness, research
and growth in areas of Swami Vivekananda and his
ideas on rejuvenated India.
The aim and scope of this book is to provide
an academic medium and an important reference for
the advancement and dissemination of research results
that supports high level learning, teaching and
research in this domain.
The author, Smt.Prarthita Biswas has
compiled the book in such a manner that all aspects of
Swami Vivekanandas different ideas on rejuvenated
India, on women emancipation ,his philosophy and
idea of a greater India is portrayed in this book. I
congratulate also the contributors of this book for their
valuable and unparalleled contribution.

Publisher
Blue Planet
&
Powered by:
Pothi.com
October 2014
9

10

PREFACE
_______________________________________________________________

Swami Vivekananda is an exemplary


philosopher of India who made Indian religion
popular all around the world. His philosophy has
contributed much to the development of educational
philosophy in India.
Swami Vivekanandas idea of Rejuvenated
India has been explained in this book in different
chapters. This book on Swami Vivekananda would be
helpful to teachers, students, parents, educationists,
researchers as well as religious practitioners etc. in
enhancing
their
knowledge
about
Swami
Vivekanandas Idea of a Rejuvenated India.
Finally, the book could not be released
without the amazing efforts of the reviewers. I express
my deep gratitude and indebtedness to all the
contributors. I would also wish to express my sincere
thanks to everyone who helped me to create this book.
My thanks are extended to BluePlanet for supporting
me with the publication work and Pothi.com for their
professional services for printing and designing of this
book. Any useful and constructive suggestions are
welcome.
Prof. Prarthita Biswas,
Asst. Prof. ,
PAILAN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
(Affiliated to the University Of Calcutta),
PAILAN GROUP, Joka,Kolkata.
11

12

CONTENTS
1. Swami Vivekananda and Indias Rejuvenation :
An Impact Assessment

- DR. PANKAJ KUMAR PAUL


2. Vivekanandas Views On The Golden Age :
A Near-Perfect Holistic Program To The Path
Of Man-Making Education
NANDITA DEB
3. Swami Vivekananda On Society and

Culture
- DR. SUSMITA BHATTACHARYYA
4. Harmony and Peace : A Message by
Swami Vivekananda
- SHYAMASREE SUR
5. Vivekananda s Scientific
Rejuvenated India

Idea

of

- PRADIP GIRI
13

6 . Juxtaposing Swami Vivekanandas thoughts


On education and women empowerment :
Voices from Bhilwara District

- DR. MIKIKO CARS & KHALEDA GANI


DUTT

7. Swami
Vivekananda and His Vision
about Scientific Rejuvenation of India

- SRIKANTA NANDI
8. Swami Vivekanandas Idea of a Rejuvenated
India with special reference to Women
Empowerment

- PRARTHITA BISWAS
9. Swami

Vivekananda
and his Idea of a
Rejuvenated India with special reference
to Women Education

M.K. GIRILAL

10. Rejuvenation Of Education In India A Dream


Dreamt By Swami Vivekananda
-

SAMINAH KHAN & DR.SARAT KR. ROUT

14

1
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA AND INDIAS
REJUVENATION :
AN IMPACT ASSESSMENT
____________________________________________

DR. PANKAJ KUMAR PAUL


Asst.Prof. & Head
Dept.of Education
Gourav Guin Memorial College
C.K.Road, Paschim Medinipur
&
Research Scholar,
Dept. of Education, The University of Burdwan,
Burdwan, West Bengal, India
Mobile - 9475936106
E-mail : pankajkumarpaul1@rediffmail.com

15

ABSTRACT
The present paper attempts to highlight the impact of
Vivekanandas philosophy to rejuvenate India with
special reference to the students and teachers in some
selected senior secondary schools in Burdwan district of
West Bengal. The study covers one hundred students
and one hundred teachers of both the sexes of Burdwan
district in West Bengal. The analysis of the study
includes several important doctrines of Vivekanandas
philosophy. A conceptual framework has also been
framed to describe the role of Vivekananda of achieving
rejuvenation in India. A students t-test has been used to
determine the attitude of teachers and students of both
sexes about thinking of Vivekananda of rejuvenation of
India. Finally, it has been concluded that Vivekananda
have had a significant positive impact on rejuvenation of
modern India throughout his life.
Key Words: - Vivekananda, Rejuvenation, Association,
Chi-square test, Attitude

16

INTRODUCTION
India today is on the edge for a giant leap from
the ranks of developing countries to that of developed
countries. Our economic growth is robust and we boast
of a very high percentage of youth population among the
nations of the world. But at the same time there are
several areas pertaining to the welfare of our nation
which need our immediate attention. If the economic
growth and the benefits of development are to penetrate
down to the level of masses and if the people of a
country have to live in peace, harmony and happiness,
we need to take some urgent measures (Hawking, 1897).
It is in this regard that we have a very wonderful remedy
in the messages of Swami Vivekananda. He is a perfect
role model for the youth of this country who need to
grow as enlightened citizens. It is under his banner that
the Indian youths can work for the regeneration of our
motherland. With a deep sense of urgency and concern
for the nation we wish to spread the message of Swami
Vivekananda, particularly among the youth of this
country (Kammasana et al, 2013).

This study is a

humble effort in that direction.


17

OBJECTIVES
The specific objectives of the present study are the
followingi)

To examine the nature of Swamijis


philosophy prevalent in school education.

ii)

To highlight the view of Vivekananda about


about rejuvenation of modern India to the
young citizens of India.

iii)

To find out the concept of teachers about


role of Swamiji on rejuvenation of India for
betterment of Indian education.

iv)

To examine the concept of the students


about impact of Swamiji in their minds to
enlighten India.

HYPOTHESES
The hypotheses selected in our study are Null Hypothesis
The null hypothesis is the following -

18

H0: There exists significant association among the role of


Swami Vivekananda and rejuvenation of India as per
opinion of the respondents selected for our study in
schools.
Alternative Hypothesis
The alternative hypothesis is
H1: There exists no significant association among the
role of Swami Vivekananda and rejuvenation of India as
per opinion of the respondents selected for our study in
schools.

DATA SOURCE AND METHODOLOGY


The study is mainly analytical in nature. The primary
data has been collected during 2012-2013 from 200
respondents out of which 100 are teachers and 100 are
students in senior secondary schools of Burdwan district
in west Bengal in purposive sampling method. A self
made structured questionnaire was used by interrogating
the respondents to obtain their views about Swamijis
philosophy of

school students

and teachers on

undergoing proper education and reconstruction of India.

19

ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION


The analysis and discussion is undertaken under the
following heads:
1. Philosophy

of

Swami

Rejuvenation of

Vivekananda

and

India: A Non-Parametric

Analysis
2. Important canons of Swamijis Philosophy
3. Importance

of

Swamijis

Philosophy

of

Rejuvenation India: A Conceptual Framework


4. Vivekanandas Philosophy and Attitude of
Students as well as Teachers: Students t-test in
Terms of Multiple Response Analysis

PHILOSOPHY OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA AND


REJUVENATION

OF

INDIA:

NON-

PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS
The present study has attempted to make an
assessment of perceptions of the students, teachers about
Swamijis thinking of enlighten India among the
students and teachers in senior secondary schools in
terms of non-parametric Chi-square analysis. The
20

opinions of the respondents collected from the field


survey can be expressed in the following table (vide
table- 1).
Table No 1: Opinions of different Respondents
selected for the study
Respondents

Yes

Uncertain

Total

Students

93

07

100

Teachers

97

03

100

Total

190

10

200

Source: Field Survey, 2012-13


The calculated value and the tabulated values of
Chi-square are shown in the table-2.
Table No - 2: Testing of the Hypotheses

21

Variables

Calculat

compar

ed value
2

ed

( )

Critic

Critic

-al

-al

value

value

(5%

(1%

freedo

level)

level)

Remarks
Degrees
of
1%

5%

Opinion
of
students
and
teachers
about

Signi-

6.635

Swamijis
role in
rejuvenati

cant (P>

on of
India

ficant

Signifi1.68

3.841

(P>0.0

0.01)

5)

Source: Authors calculation based on field survey,


2012-13
It should be noted (Vide table- 2) that the observed value
of Chi-square (2) i.e., 1.68 is less than the critical value
both at 1 % and 5 % level of significance (i.e., 2.01, d.f. 1
= 6.635 and 2.05, d.f. 1 = 3.841) for degrees of freedom 1,
therefore the null hypothesis is accepted and the
alternative hypothesis is rejected. So, we can conclude
that there exists significant association among the role of
Swami Vivekananda and rejuvenation of India as per
22

opinion of the respondents selected for our study in


school. This study is relevant with the conception of
Advaita Ashrama (1989, 1999) on complete works of
Swami Vivekananda.

IMPORTANT

CANONS

OF

SWAMIJIS

PHILOSOPHY
The crucial canons of Vivekananda include the
following (Ranganathananda, 1897):
1. Love is the law of life: All love is expansion, all
selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law
of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying.
Therefore, love for love's sake, because it is law of life,
just as you breathe to live.
2. It's your outlook that matters: It is our own mental
attitude, which makes the world what it is for us. Our
thoughts make things beautiful, our thoughts make
things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn
to see things in the proper light.
3. Life is beautiful: First, believe in this world - that
there is meaning behind everything. Everything in the
world is good, is holy and beautiful. If you see
23

something evil, think that you do not understand it in the


right light. Throw the burden on yourselves!
4. It's the way you feel: Feel like Christ and you will be
a Christ; feel like Buddha and you will be a Buddha. It is
feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without
which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God.
5. Set yourself free: The moment I have realised God
sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I
stand in reverence before every human being and see
God in him - that moment I am free from bondage,
everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
6. Don't play the blame game: Condemn none: if you
can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold
your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their
own way.
7. Help others: If money helps a man to do good to
others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass
of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.
8. Uphold your ideals: Our duty is to encourage every
one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and

24

strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as


possible to the Truth.
9. Listen to your soul: You have to grow from the
inside out. None can teach you, none can make you
spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.
10. Be Yourself: The greatest religion is to be true to
your own nature. Have faith in yourselves!
11. Nothing is impossible: Never think there is anything
impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think
so. If there is sin, this is the only sin - to say that you are
weak, or others are weak.
12. You have the power: All the powers in the universe
are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before
our eyes and cry that it is dark.
13. Learn everyday: The goal of mankind is
knowledge... now this knowledge is inherent in man. No
knowledge comes from outside: it is all inside. What we
say a man 'knows', should, in strict psychological
language, be what he 'discovers' or 'unveils'; what man
'learns' is really what he discovers by taking the cover
off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge.
25

14. Be truthful: Everything can be sacrificed for truth,


but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.
15. Think different: All differences in this world are of
degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of
everything.

Fig.-1:

Importance

of

Swamijis

Philosophy

of

Rejuvenation India: A Conceptual Framework

Input

Perceptions

Output

26

Message to
youth
Idea of
Vivekananda

Message to
educationists

Satsang

Message to
reformers

Uphold ideals

Women
empowermen
t
Upliftment
of

Discipline and
own faith

Rejuvenation of
India

masses
Restoring
national glory
Decision a

Fig- 1 above depicts the hypothesized benefit


process of education, reflecting intermediate and
ultimate impact goals. The inputs of thinking of
Vivekananda channeled through satsang (which implies
the study of good culture and holy company), uphold
ideals and discipline as well as own faith which have the
potential to produce intermediate or first order effects
27

that include message to youth, educationists, social


reformers, womens empowerment, upliftment of masses
and restoration of national glories of mother India.
These first order effects provide the potential for the
second order, and ultimate effects of renovation of India
through the common masses.

Vivekanandas Philosophy and Attitude of


Students as well as Teachers: Students t-test in
Terms of Multiple Response Analysis

Table-3: Attitudes of teachers under male and


female types towards the rejuvenation of India

Sample
Teachers

(N)

PMean

S.D.

Male

50

31.27

8.21

Female

50

29.34

8.57

t-value
1.67

value

df

1.98

98

Source: Field Survey, 2012-13


28

From the above analysis (vide table 3), is clear that the
calculated value of t is smaller than the table value
although there exists slight variation of mean and S.D.
Therefore, the teachers have given same opinion about
the role of Vivekananda to rejuvenate India. It is to be
further noted that teachers have also been encouraged
about the philosophical idea of Vivekananda which is
relevant to contemporary India.
Table- 4: Attitudes of students under boys and girls
towards the rejuvenation of India

Sample
Students

(N)

Mean

S.D.

t-value

P-value

df

Boys

50

33.25

8.28

1.89

1.98

98

Girls

50

32.14

8.11

Source: Field Survey, 2012-13


It is observed that (vide table 4), the estimated
value of t is smaller than the table value with little
variation of mean and S.D. among the opinions of the
29

respondents. Therefore, we can conclude that there exists


no significant variation among the attitudes among the
students of the studied senior secondary schools of
Burdwan district in West Bengal. During field survey it
is documented that although students having different
socio-economic backgrounds but they are too much
motivated about the Vivekanandas thinking about the
renovation of India.

Conclusion
This article pinpoints the general attitudes of students
and teachers about thinking of Swami Vivekananda
among the students as well as teachers of the surveyed
senior secondary level schools of Burdwan district in the
state of West Bengal. The result revealed a significant
association of opinion in favor of role of Vivekananda in
rejuvenation of India. The results further indicated that
both types of teachers (i.e., either male or female) and
both types of students (i.e., male or female) are in favor
of Swamijis thinking about rejuvenation of modern
India although there exist some degree of variation of
attitudes among the respondents.

****************
30

References
Advaita Ashrama (1989). The Complete Works
of Swami Vivekananda, Calcutta, Vols, 1-8,
1989,9,1997,3.154
Advaita Ashrama (1999). His Eastern and
Western Admirers, Reminiscences of Swami
Vivekananda, 151.
Stephen W. Hawking (1897), A Brief History of
Time (London: Bantam, 1989), 10,13. CW, 1.8.
Swami Ranganathananda (1897). The Universal
Symphony of Vivekananda, P. 263
Venkatash Kammasana et al (2013). Our life his
mission.blogspot.com Vivekananda_youth.htm

***********

31

2
VIVEKANANDAS VIEWS ON THE
GOLDEN AGE : A NEAR-PERFECT
HOLISTIC PROGRAM TO THE PATH
OF MAN MAKING EDUCATION
_________________________________
NANDITA DEB
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR & HEAD
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
SHISHURAM DAS COLLEGE
SOUTH 24 PARGANAS, WEST BENGAL
Email: nandita.deb123@gmail.com
ABSTRACT:
Swami Vivekananda emphasized on Man making
education for human development as well as national
development. According to him, man making education
is inherent in character development as well as
vocational development. According to him, education
without character is like a flower without fragrance. An
education system that doesnt recognize this can be self32

defeatist at the best. Vivekananda realizes that mankind


is passing through a crisis. 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
ideas,

manners

and

habits

are

pervading

the

atmosphere. Disregard for everything old is the fashion


of the day. At this situation, Vivekananda seeks the
solutions of all these social and global evils through
education. Vivekananda emphasized on such education
through which moral values can be developed among the
students so that they can conduct their life morally.
Today globalization is a reality and interconnections
illustrate how political, social, cultural, economic,
technological and such other parameters measure the
extent of interdependence all the peoples of the world
have upon each other. This papers tries to highlight
Vivekanandas views on the golden age; a near-perfect
holistic program to the path of man making education
and also explains how several characteristics of Manmaking and Character-building education is highly
required for keeping a pace and balance with life in the
era of Globalization.
33

Key words: Man making education, Character-building


education, human development.
_____________________________________________
INTRODUCTION:
Swami Vivekananda is one of the famous philosopher as
well as educationist in the history of Indian education.
His educational thoughts and ideas have been influenced
by his philosophy of life. Swami Vivekananda believed
in the Vedanta philosophy which considers that the
ultimate goal of human life is to attain Unity with the
Creator. According to him God resides in every human
heart. So that, the best worship of God is service to
mankind. According to Swami Vivekananda Education
means that process by which character is formed,
strength of mind is increased, and intellect is sharpened,
as a result of which one can stand on ones own feet.
VIVEKANANDAS FUTURISTIC MODEL- THE
GOLDEN AGE:
Vivekananda s uncontrollable urge for self-expression
evident in the voluminous CompleteWorks show his
34

irrepressible yearning to share the ideas which he


thought would liberate. In it he seems to have prepared a
near-perfect holistic program
model

a developmental

for the future; but this model, whose

application in practical life has begun in several areas,


appears to be still waiting to become a tangible,
actualized and experiential reality.
A Global Citizen, at a time when crossing the seas
engendered the fear of excommunication, Vivekananda
has been described on the one hand as a pure nationalist
and on the other as a true citizen of the world; one can
find from his experiences that he was at home
everywhere colour,

country,

religion

were

not

negatively divisive boundaries to him. They were merely


lines drawn on water. Unlike the frog in the story he had
himself narrated, he did not restrict himself to any
narrow boundaries like the well; he painted on the wide
canvas of the world with the color of English, a language
which has since acquired a more enhanced global
presence as it has moved away from the shadow of
colonization and come into its own as an international
language. Also, instead of being rigid in his affiliations
Vivekananda could say, Truth is my God, the universe
35

my country (CW V 92); and again, I belong as much


to India as to the world (CW V95).
Today globalization is a reality and interconnections
illustrate how political, social, cultural, economic,
technological and such other parameters measure the
extent of interdependence all the peoples of the world
have upon each other. Vivekananda was aware of this
and in his inimitable style put this idea forwards thus:
There cannot be any progress without the whole world
following in the wake, and it is becoming every day
clearer that the solution of any problem can never be
attained on racial, or national, or narrow grounds. Every
idea has to become broad till it covers the whole of this
world, every aspiration must go on increasing till it has
engulfed the whole of humanity, nay, the whole of life,
within its scope (CW III 268).
VIVEKANANDAS IDEA ON THE GOLDEN
AGE; A NEAR-PERFECT HOLISTIC PROGRAM
- A DEVELOPMENTAL MODEL FOR THE
FUTURE :
Here are some of the components of his developmental
model :
36

A Global Citizen: When he advocated universality he


did not want it to imply uniformity; in his conception
variety is not only acceptable but it is encouraged -in
fact, variety is to be nurtured, fostered, grafted, fused
together to result in a stronger more energetic amalgam.
Pragmatic and not abstruse or metaphysical: The progress
of the world through all its evils is making it fit for the
ideals, slowly but surely. The majority will have to go on
with this slow growth- the exceptional ones will have to
get out to realize the idea in the present state of things.
Practical Vedanta: The tenets of Vivekanandas
practical Vedanta were first,
potential

the

perfection/divinity,

confidence or faith in oneself

manifesting

of

second, self-

above all else and third,

freedom and fearlessness in challenging contexts.


The Goal for India: He suggested a creative exchange
between India and the west a symbiotic relationship
of give-and-take, enriching both and improving each
where it was needed. Therefore he suggested that India
had much to take from the west in the form of science
and technology, and much to give to the west in the form
37

of religion, spirituality a term which itself needs


extensive annotation.
Education: Education is one of the foremost facets of
Vivekanandas blueprint. When he declared that he
wanted

man-making

and

character- building

education (CW II 15) he was talking of a system which


we have yet to put into practice more than a century after
he showed the way. Real education is that which enables
one to stand on ones own legs (CW VII 147-48).
VIEWS OF VIVEKANANDA ON MAN-MAKING
AND CHARACTER-BUILDING EDUCATION :
Realizing the Divinity within is essential : Swami
Vivekananda emphasized that as we are making progress
in the external world with science and technology, a
progress in the inner world is equally, nay more
important. According to Swamiji, to make progress in
the inner world means to manifest the divinity within.
Religion should not contradict reason : Swami
Vivekananda wanted all the religious ideas to be tested
by reasons. He said Do not believe because your
grandfather believed it, or because it is written in some
book. Believe when you are fully convinced.
38

Religion is the Science of the Self : Just as science is


a search in the external world, religion is a search in the
inner world. Therefore, religion should be expressed
and recognized as a science.
The Four Methods to Realize the Divinity Within:
According to Swami Vivekananda, all the religious
methods can be classified under four categories:
(i) Karma Yoga: A way to realize ones own divinity
through unselfish actions.
(ii) Bhakti Yoga: A way to realize ones own divinity
through love of God
(iii) Raja Yoga: A way to realize ones own divinity
through self control, and
(iv) Jnana Yoga: A way to realize ones own divinity
through knowledge obtained by reasoning and analysis.

Experiments and Experiences: Vivekananda


said,

Experience

is

the

only

source

of

knowledge. In the world, religion is the only


science where there is no surety, because it is not
taught as a science of experience. This should not
be. There is always, however, a small group of men
39

who teach religion from experience. They are


called mystics, and these mystics in every religion
speak the same tongue and teach the same
truth. This is the real science of religion.
Conclusion of the experiment: After experiments of
science, conclusion must be reached which either
verifies or rejects the hypothesis or leads us to a plan for
another modified experiment. In spirituality, the final
conclusion is the realization of the divinity within, or
realization of God.
Unity in Variety is the Plan of Nature: Scientific
truth is same everywhere. As there are practical errors
or

approximations in science, so there are in

religion. The basics or fundamental truths of all


religions are same.
Service to the living God: Swami Vivekananda says,
The outer world is not different than the inner
world. Those who have realized the Self say that the
outer world is a projection of the inner world. Now,
when you see God in all, then naturally you get involved
in doing service to this living God.
40

CONCLUSION:
According to Vivekananda, the function of education is
the uncovering of the knowledge hidden in our mind.
Vivekananda supported the idea of Swadharma in
education. Every one has to grow like himself. No one
has to copy others. In an atmosphere of freedom, love
and sympathy alone, the child will develop courage and
self-reliance. He should be talked to stand on his own, to
be himself. Each child should be given opportunities to
develop according to his own inner nature. Freedom is
the first requirement for self development. Education
ultimately aims at realization. It is a means of a sorority
of mankind.
Thus, in numerous different contexts his conception of
the golden age finds expression. Vivekananda prepared
the sketch and left the task of actualization to the
generations which were to come after him. Doing this
would therefore give shape to his notion of the Golden
Age. Encoded in his repeatedly-quoted adage Arise,
awake and stop not till the goal in reached The words
hold one key among many others which can be found in
his words; they have to be reiterated, rethought and
revalidated. In these indelible words is the code which
41

suggests

that

energies

which

are

oriented

in

other directions need to be refreshed and channeled in


paths where their need is felt. Arising from sleep, stupor
or lethargy would equate to making energy available for
activity which in the earlier state had been dormant.
Only by arising will we know that a potential golden age
awaits in the wings, waiting to be actualized. Then the
goal is to be identified by the involvement of the
awakened consciousness as a goal which is worth
striving for, a pragmatic, meaningful, relevant goal
which will impact the individual, the community and the
world as a whole.
__________________________________________
REFERENCES:
Jyotirmayananda, Swami (2000) [1986],
Vivekananda: His Gospel of ManMaking with a
garland of tributes and a chronicle of his life and
times, with pictures (4th ed.), Chennai, India:
Swami Jyotirmayananda, p. 960, ISBN 8185304-66-1.

Vivekananda, Swami (1947) (1st ed) The


complete works of Swami Vivekananda (CW II,
pp15 & CW VII, pp147-48).
42

Vivekananda,
Swami
(1996).
Swami
Lokeswarananda, ed. My India: the India eternal
(1st ed. ed.). Calcutta: Ramakrishna Mission
Institute of Culture. pp. 12. ISBN 81-8584351-1.
Prabhananda, Swami (June 2003), Profiles of
famous educators: Swami Vivekananda,
Prospects (Netherlands: Springer) XXXIII (2):
231245.
Rolland, Romain (2008), The Life of
Vivekananda and the Universal Gospel (24 ed.),
Advaita Ashrama, p. 328, ISBN 978-81-8530101-3.
"Swami
Vivekananda
quotes".
http://jnanagni.com. Retrieved 3 April 2012.

"Swami
Vivekananda
Sayings".
http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com. Retrieved 30
March 2012.
"Thoughts, quotes and sayings by Swami
Vivekananda".
http://www.swamivivekanand.com. Retrieved 30 March 2012.

43

"Universal teachings of Swami Vivekananda".


http://www.ramakrishna.org.
Retrieved
30
March 2012.
*****************

44

3
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA ON SOCIETY
AND CULTURE
____________________________________
DR. SUSMITA BHATTACHARYYA
ASSISTANT PPROFESSOR
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY
PRASANTA CHANDRA MAHALANOBIS
MAHAVIDYALAYA
KOLKATA, WEST BENGAL
Email : mithu_susmita@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT :
Swami

Vivekananda

was

recognized

as

true

representative of Indian culture and civilization with


strong spiritual orientation. His notion about Indian
society is not only linked with deep understanding and
introspection but is related with application also. Before
going into detail analysis of his view on society and
culture, focus should be given to sources of formative
influences on him. Four major sources can be identified
45

as root of his versatile genius. Swamiji pointed out that


several developmental goals can be achieved by holistic
social

emancipation

with

special

emphasis

on

emancipation of women, their economic independence,


and

economic

development

with

application

of

modernization and industrialization.


_____________________________________________
INTRODUCTION
Swami Vivekananda was recognized as true
representative of Indian culture and civilization with
strong spiritual orientation. His notion about Indian
society is not only linked with deep understanding and
introspection but is related with application also. Before
going into detail analysis of his view on society and
culture, focus should be given to sources of formative
influences on him. Four major sources can be identified
as root of his versatile genius.

46

INFLUENCE
SPIRITUAL

SOURCE
HIS MOTHER

INFLUENCE OF
INDIAN CULTURE
AND CIVILIZATION

ENERGY AND SPIRIT

MODERN FORMAL

OF WESTERN

EDUCATION

CIVILIZATION AND
CULTURE

SPIRITUAL TRAINING

RAMKRISHNA
PARAMHANSA DEV

INTIMATE

COMMON PEOPLE

ACQUAINTANCE

47

According to Swamiji This universe is simply a


gymnasium in which the soul is taking exercise .
Hence on the basis of this statement it can be said that
culture is a process of spiritualization of man. Swamiji
also put emphasis on material culture as necessary for
the society as a whole. Spiritualization of man makes
him conscious of his own innate infinite strength and
potentiality and when a man becomes fully conscious of
this, he cannot sit idle, it drives him to manifest his
power in creative activities which bring forth material
prosperity and cultural achievements of various types.
[DasGupta:

1991]

On

the

basis

of

views

of

Vivekananda, the highest culture resides in the


conception of ideal Brahminhood. In this connection he
also writes that Bramhinhood cant be associated with
exclusive privilege of few. Each and every person has
the right to attain this status. They should have the
opportunities to manifest this within themselves.
Swamiji defined Bramhin as a person who has killed all
selfishness and who likes and works to acquire and
propagate wisdom and power of love.
Swamiji has outlined the path of development of
society. He pointed out that the nature of society varies
48

from one situation to others. Fishing was the livelihood


for those who lived on the sea shore. Agriculture was
related with the people of plain lands. Interestingly
Swamiji opined that the struggle of existence is
relatively less for the people of plain land. Hence they
had sufficient time to engage in culture. Their
civilization becomes more developed in comparison to
others. Simultaneously their bodies became weaker with
the passage of time. Practice of food consumption was
another basis for marked difference between several
societies. There was clear distinction between societies
of animal diet and societies with vegetable centric diet.
Thereafter

kingdom

began

to

take

shape

with

preservation of common interest of self preservation.


Swamiji had identified major forces as well as formative
forces of growth of societies. These forces were natural
environment, racial factor, conquests and invasions,
religion, commerce and contribution of labourers.
There were some causes behind the decline of
civilization. Internal cause was related to demoralization
due to wealth and luxury. Invasions and conquests by the
barbarians could be treated as external cause. Swamiji

49

thought that dissociation of the ruling class from the


mass was another cause of this phenomenon.
Vivekananda highlighted some basic features of
society. At the outset it can be said that society is an
objective projection of the subjective reality. On the
second aspect, it should be remembered that society was
imperfect and it will remain same in future also.
Vivekananda thinks that objective society will always be
a mixture of good and evil. Objective life is linked and
followed by its shadow and death. As the third aspect, it
can be said that after attaining certain stage of
development, individuals gave up the concept of
objectification. Then they turned their focus to
subjective reality. On the basis of fourth dimension it
must be put in mind that after certain period of time
human evolution becomes mental and spiritual in place
of physical. Finally, it should be kept in mind that desire
of man can be controlled by social laws. Swamiji
analysed the purposes and functions of society in its true
and intrinsic nature. In relation to society Swamiji had
mentioned a lot of ideas. He defined religion as the
greatest cohesive force in society. The basic idea of
restraint was present in whole social fabric. According to
50

him the goodness of man is the basis of society. Swamiji


was concerned about the development of individual for
the holistic growth of society.
Swamiji thought that religion and social necessity
were two attempts in the world to make proper social
life. Actually one of these two aspects was related with
spirituality and the other was linked to materialism.
These two features simultaneously played important role
in society in general. Swamiji excellently wrote a
comparative analysis of different societies with major
emphasis on East and Western part of the world. In his
words, The European civilization may be likened to a
piece of cloth. Various materials were used in the whole
process. Its loom is a vast temperate hilly country on
the sea shore; its cotton, a strong warlike mongrel race
formed by the intermixture of various races; its wrap is
warfare in defense of ones self and ones religion. Its
woof is commerce. The means to this civilization is the
sword; its auxiliary- courage and strength; its aim
enjoyment here and hereafter. The features of East i.e.
Aryan civilization were comprised of opposite aspects.
The loom of the fabric of Aryan civilization is vast,
warm, level country, interspersed with broad, navigable
51

rivers. The cotton of this civilization cloth is composed


of highly civilized, semi- civilized, and barbarian tribes,
mostly Aryan. Its wrap is Varnashramachara and its
woof, the conquest of strife and competition in nature.
[State, society and socialismSwami Vivekananda]
Vivekananda had pointed out the functional
difference of each nation in the process of work. For
some nation the method of operation had depended on
politics, some on social reforms and so on. Swamiji
knew that religion was the basic ground on which
everything of Indian society was established. The
Englishman can understand even religion through
politics. Perhaps the American can understand even
religion through social reforms. But the Hindu can
understand even politics when it is given through
religion. [State,
Society and socialism Swami Vivekananda] On the
basis of Swamijis opinion three aspects were important
for the greatness of the nation. These qualities were
conviction of power of goodness, absence of jealousy
and suspicion and helping all who are trying to be and
do good. Swamiji had put forward an interconnection of
development between different societies. Asia laid the
52

germs of civilization, Europe developed man, and


America is developing the woman and the masses.
[Same as above]
Swamiji made it clear that colonial dominance was
the root cause of national oppression in India. This kind
of domination was recognized as main obstacle for
overall material and cultural development of the country.
He was in favour of fighting against the colonial rule to
attain freedom from all kinds of domination. He realized
the real essence of unity amongst all varieties. Swamiji
recognized that conflict and violence had played
important role in formation of society.

Swamiji defined the diversified geographical resource


of India as unique aspect. Presence of several races was
another related factor of Indian society. In his language,
We catch a glimpse of different races Dravidians,
Tartars and Aboriginals pouring in their quota of blood,
of speech, of manners and religions. And at last a great
nation emerges to our view still keeping the type of the
Aryan stronger, broader and more organized by the
assimilation. [Same as above] Interestingly, as a force
53

of unification, assimilation can be recognized as very


significant to the social scientists. Swamiji was well
aware of this social force from his first hand experience
of interacting with people at large.
Swami Vivekananda was against all kinds of social
discrimination. Yet he had seen caste system as a social
practice based on mutual interaction. On his view the
origin of caste system was based on the rule that the son
follows the business i.e. occupation of the father.
Problems started with this system in course of time. This
system became a basis of division with rigid boundary of
each and every caste. The system had a positive side also
because it should play a role of unification within
society. All the members should help others in their
need. Thus a person can rise out of his / her caste
specific identity. But people forgot this function of caste
system.
Human society is governed by four castes in turn.
Each type of rule has a corresponding form of state.
Priest rule was based on tremendous exclusiveness of
hereditary grounds. They enjoyed only the right to
impart knowledge. Foundation of sciences was the most
54

glorious component during this phase. This was related


to cultivation of mind. Military [Kshatriya] rule was
tyrannical in nature. Art and social culture had
undergone through a developmental phase in this stage.
Commercial [vaishya] rule is represented by power
game. Traders are disseminator of acquired practical
knowledge. Culture begins to decaying phase then. The
final stage will be ruled by labourers [Shudras]. In the
words of Swamiji, Its advantages will be the
distribution of physical comforts its disadvantage,
(perhaps) the lowering of culture. There will be a great
distribution of ordinary education, but extraordinary
geniuses will be less and less.[Same as above] Swamiji
knew that each stage has merit as well as demerits.
In

general

Vivekananda

considered

the

most

important role of education as a mechanism of uplifting


common mass. Eradication of all evil practices will be
easily possible with the help of education. Swamiji
pointed out that several developmental goals can be
achieved by holistic social emancipation with special
emphasis on emancipation of women, their economic
independence,

and

economic

development

with

application of modernization and industrialization.


55

REFERENCES
1. Swami

Vivekananda,

State,

society

and

socialism, Advaita Ashrama, 1989.


2. Dasgupta Santwana, Social Philosophy of
Swami Vivekananda, The Ramkrishna Mission
Institute of Culture, 1991.

*************************

56

4
HARMONY AND PEACE :
A MESSAGE BY
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA
SHYAMASREE SUR
RESEARCH SCHOLAR, DEPT. OF EDUCATION,
UNIVERSITY OF KALYANI
Contact No.9051355451/9231676014

E-Mail ID : shyama.sur@gmail.com
Abstract
Today mankind is in a great danger. They are suffering
from the crucial crisis of unity and disharmony.
Lawlessness pervades both of our hemispheres. Human
civilization is about to abolish in this turmoil of
trustlessness, jealousy disharmony and peacelessness .
But , we the intellectual human beings cannot be finished
by all these absurdities. To avoid this fatal catastrophe
we have to go back to history again . We are fortunate
57

enough to have life-giving messages by Swami


Vivekananda with us. Swami Vivekananda made advent
and delivered hid unique message of concord and
harmony just at the time when they were most needed . It
is true that that there are critical issues and severe
threats in the way of realizing peace and harmony in the
world like the co-existence of extremes of wealth and
poverty, racism, oppression, cries for justice, communal
and political intolerance and rivalry. But we have to
remove rivalry by using rivalry only . To save our
mankind we have to follow Vivekananda . The message
of Vivekananda this message of unity , of harmony will
save man , save our soul , save our civilization and
create the better world of tomorrow.
Key Words : Harmony , Peace , Civilization
INTRODUCTION
Today mankind at large are confronted with this crucial
crisis of unity, the crisis of harmony.Unless we are able
to overcome this crisis, there is no hope for the
fulfillment of human excellence anywhere in the world.
Since this crisis is not just a local phenomena but a
global one, the fate of everyone of us is involved in it.
58

Today the alternative before us is either we survive with


all in amity and harmony, or we allow the conditions to
continue and all get doomed and destroyed. Standing as
it were face to face with the threat of the total
annihilation of the human civilization, we will have to
consider as to how we can avoid this fatal catastrophe.
We are fortunate that we have with us the life giving
message of Swami Vivekananda. We are fortunate that
Swami Vivekananda made his advent and delivered his
unique message of concord and harmony just at the time
when they were most needed. Who could have been
more competent to deliver this message other than
Swami Vivekananda whose mental, intellectual and
spiritual

formation

was

accomplished

by

Sri

Ramkrishna, the wonderful prophet of harmony- who


was himself a Parliament of Religion in his own life and
message?
Swami Vivekananda addressed the Parliament of
Religion at Chicago on 11th September 1893 in the Hall
of Columbus. He stood there on the platform of the
Parliament as the living embodiment of universality and
harmony, the two key needs of the modern age. What he
taught in subsequent years was only a commentary on
59

his addresses at the Parliament. Swamiji stood there as


the coordinator of the different sects and religions,
urging everyone to give up the frog-in-the-well
mentality and become universal. What would this
universal religion be like ? Swamiji explained in the
Parliament..... if there is even to be a universal religion,
it must be one which will have no location in place or
time; which will be infinite like the God it will preach,
and whose sun will shine upon the followers of Krishna
and of Christ, on saints and sinners alike; which will not
be Brahminic or Buddhistic, Christian or Mohammedan,
but the sum total of all these and still have infinite space
for development; which in its catholicity will embrace in
its infinite arms, and find a place for, every human
being, from the lowest grovelling savage not far
removed from the brute, to the highest man towering by
the virtues of his head and heart almost above humanity,
making society stand in awe of him and doubt his human
nature. It will be a religion which will have no place for
prosecution or intolerance in its policy, which will
recognize divinity in every man and woman, and whose
whole scope, whose whole force, will be created in
aiding humanity to realize its own true divine nature.
This was the religion Vivekananda represented at the
60

Parliament. It was in fact the Religion beyond all


religions. The importance of the Parliament of Religions
can never be overestimated. The Parliament in 1893 had
delegates from all corners of the world who represented
a wide spectrum of religious faiths around the globe. The
sheer magnitude of its size and the immensity of the
public response and media coverage, it received make
the parliament a unique event in the religious history of
the world.
In a letter to his brother disciples, Swamiji wrote :
Everything must be sacrificed, if necessary, for that one
sentiment universality. Vivekananda religion taught him
to search through multiplicity and duality for the
ultimate unity which is the unchanging base of an ever
changing world. To reach the Universal Religion,
recognition of the necessity of variation is as important
as that of underlying unity. If one religion is true, all
others must be true. He proclaimed at Parliament of
Religion, "We believe not only in Religious Harmony
and Swami Vivekananda universal toleration, but we
accept all religions as true."
Religion had generated both intense love and diabolical
hatred, but accepting all religions meant worshipping
61

god with each of them. "I shall go to the Mosque of the


Mohammedan; I shall ... kneel before the crucifix ... I
shall take refuse in Buddha ... I shall sit down in
medication, with the Hindu." In the present situation in
the world, the significance of such a religious approach
cannot be overestimated. When the unitary outlook that
science today hints at and that Swami taught and made
available to everyone becomes pervasive among
mankind, most of the problems that plague our human
species will simply disappear. Human life will take on a
new meaning : traditional human assumptions and
attitudes will become transformed. "Then alone a man
loves, Swamiji said in a New York lecture. ..... when he
finds that the object of his love is not a clad of earth, but
it is the veritable God himself; that man will love his
greatest enemy who knows that very enemy is God
Himself ...Such a man becomes a world mover for whom
his little self is dead and God stands in its place ...If all
mankind today realize only a bit of that great truth, the
aspect of the whole world will be changed, and, in place
of fighting and quarrelling, there would be a reign of
peace."

62

This outlook - the spiritual outlook is absolutely


essential to the present age. There will be no place in a
world of untold power and knowledge for anything but
the broadest acceptance of all human cultures of all
individuals, of all the varied ways in which human being
search for truth. The future world will brook no barriers
between persons, genders, creeds, races, cultures, and
nations; for in the truth in the vast ocean of life there are
no barriers, and truth alone will be able to survive in a
world where no knowledge will be withheld from any
person."Vedanta says this separation does not exist, said
Swami Vivekananda. .It is not real. It is merely
apparent, on the surface. In the heart of things there is
unity still. If you go below the surface, you find that
unity between man and man, between races and races,
high and low, rich and poor, gods and men, and men and
animals. If you go deep enough, all will be seen as only
variations of the one.'
We have seen a growing indifference to all spiritual
values and the complete irrelevance of religious thought
in the political life of all advanced nations, and also the
menacing growth of religious fundamentalism in the
different parts of the world, threatening freedom of
63

expression and alternative view points. We have also


seen the phenomenal growth of popular religions
promising false hopes and legitimizing superstitions; and
politicians, in connivance with theologians and priests,
using religion to muzzle all voices of dissent. The
quality of life of man will depend upon the relationship
between different religions as well as on the extent of
space that each religion can create to ensure and
encourage freedom to question.
Vivekananda cautioned against the hope for exclusive
survival of one religion and destruction of others. But
can pluralism solve the problems of religious hostilities
and resist the tendency of destroying one by another ?
Some believe in pluralism from the conviction that it
provides a wider range of alternatives, a greater freedom
of choice and consequently by greater opportunities of
self expression and self realization. Some believe in it as
a

convenient

and

respectable

strategy

for

the

maintenance of social harmony and communal peace,


particularly in a multi-religious society like India.
Whether one learns to accept the validity of religions out
of faith and conviction, as Gandhi did, or whether one
learns to treat another person's religion with tolerance
64

out of an understanding of the historical bonds between


the community and that religion, as Nehru did the
present and the future of human society has hardly any
other option.
The worst problem that stand in the way of establishing
harmony are the attitudes of intolerance, of selfishness,
of

sectarianism

and

dogmatism.

These

attitudes

sentiments are the products of our inability to discover


the golden thread of unity between man and man.
Superstitions are great enemies of man and the greatest
superstition is to harbour the feelings of intolerance and
dogmatism. Today we are all concerned over the
problem of pollution of the environment , of the
atmospheric pollution. But the most horrible pollution is
not in the environment or in atmosphere within us. It is
the human pollution the root of all pollution, of all
evils in our mind, in our hearts. The forces of
disharmony first take roots in our minds and gradually
lead to an outbreak or outburst of the worse kind.
Therefore we must take every care to identify those
forces and uproot them from our minds. What is vital is
that we must be sincere in our efforts, not just
superficial. It was Swami Vivekananda who first drew
65

the attention of the nations in the Parliament of


Religions of Chicago to the problem of human pollution
and its remedy.
The unique contribution of Swami Vivekananda lies in
the formulation of unity when he said that ... 'Each must
assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his
individuality and grow according to his own law of
growth.' The importance of the Chicago address was
there to rouse this unique sense of all-inclusive unity, in
which nothing is to be left out or shunned as not
belonging to the one. We have to plump deep in all
writings of the Swami in order to have a clear idea of
this unity, for which he lived and died and of which the
seed was laid in his historic Chicago address. The
drawing of this sense of unity is the only panacea for all
the ills of the world, which is today torn by division,
discord and diffusion, and the concluding words of
Swami Vivekananda Chicago addresses will then alone
be a reality; "Harmony and Peace and not Dissensions."
Several thousand years ago our Vedic seers dreamt of a
world of which would be harmonized into one single
family : Yatravishwambhabatiekaniram. Yes, our Vedic
seers dreamt of this great dream. Buddha, Christ,
66

Mohammed, Chaitanya, Nanak and Ramakrishna all


had this dream. And Vivekananda proclaimed : It will
remain no more a dream. It must be made a reality. In all
his address in the Parliament of Religions in Chicago
Swamiji presented in most clear terms his theory of
assimilation and integration, which will vanquish all
resistance and establish harmony in the world. For
example , he declared at his very appearance at the
Parliament of Religions in Chicago on 11th September
1893

Sectarianism,

Bigotry

and

its

horrible

descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this


beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence,
drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed
civilization sent whole nations to despair. Had it not
been for these horrible demons, human society would be
far more advanced than it is now. He also added on the
final session of the Parliament on 27th September 1893 :
If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to
the world it is this : It has proved to the world that
holiness , purity and charity are not the exclusive
possessions of any church in the world, and that every
system has produced men and women of the most
exalted character. In the face of this evidence , if
anybody dreams heart, and point out to him that upon
67

the banner of every religion will soon be written , in


spite of resistance : Help and not Fight,Assimilation
and not Destruction,Harmony and Peace and not
Dissension,
According to Swamiji problems are only the lower truths
leading to the prospects which are actually the higher
truths of mans experience. It is true that there are
critical issues and severe threats in the way of realizing
peace and harmony in the world like the co-existence of
extremes of wealth and poverty, racism, oppression,
cries for justice, communal and political intolerance and
rivalry. It is true that rivalry is a human instinct which is
difficult to escape. But if we cannot escape rivalry
altogether , let there be rivalry for tolerance, for
acceptance, for peace and harmony. Let there be rivalry
to end the rivalry. Let there be rivalry for making
ourselves better human excellence in everyone of us
irrespective of country or creed, man or woman, weak or
strong.
Vivekananda says : The glory of man is not in being a
creature of history, but in becoming the creator of
history. What he said , he exemplified by his own
instance. When he entered the Parliament of Religions in
68

Chicago , he was a creature of history , but when he


delivered his historical address, a new history of
mankind created, which assured man of his fantastic
prospect, of the new horizon of his survival, of the
advent of a new dawn of his civilization, of the goal
which he will reach tomorrow. Swamiji spells out that
grand prospect in most clear terms. He says : We want
to lead mankind to the place where there is neither the
Vedas, nor the Bible, nor the Koran; yet this has to be
done by harmonizing the Vedas,the Bible and the Koran.
Mankind ought to be taught that religions are but the
varied expressions of THE RELIGION-which is
Oneness, so that each may choose the path that suits him
best.
And the message of Swami Vivekananda this message
of unity, of harmony will save man, save our civilization
and create the better world of tomorrow. Romain
Rolland wrote in his Jean Christof : The West is
burning but I see other lights rising from the depths of
the Orient. And this light of the Orient is the light of
Vivekananda his message of Unity and Harmony.
*********************
69

References
1. Swami Vivekananda in India : A Corrective
Biography by Rajagopal
Chattopadhayay
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers
2. Swami Vivekananda in the West : New
Discoveries Marie Louise Burke
3. Vivekananda A Comprehensive Study,
International Edition,1993,Madras by Swami
Jyotirmayananda
4. Chintanayak Vivekananda, Edited Volume,
Edited by Swami Lokeswarananda, First Edition
1977 from R.K.Mission Institute of Culture
5. Mahima Taba Udbhasito, Edited Volume,
Edited by Pravrajika Vedantaprana, Published
from Sri Sarada Math on December, 1994.

___________________________________

70

5
VIVEKANANDAS SCIENTIFIC IDEA
OF A REJUVENATED INDIA
_________________________________________
PRADIP GIRI, Research Scholar

&
Asst. Professor, J. H. B.Ed. College
UNIVERSITY OF KALYANI
Miapur, Murshidabad, 742235,
WEST BENGAL
Mobile No. 09475207224

Email ID- pradip.giri2011@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
Swami Vivekananda envisioned a rejuvenated India:
' a wonderful, glorious, future India will come.
Swamiji identified certain distinctive characteristics of
Indian scientific thought that enabled the Indian mind to
investigate into the inner sciences; he was convinced that
these selfsame scientific principles, when applied to the
outer sciences, could unravel many a mystery of the
universe - both in the microscopic realm of the atom and

the nucleus as well as in the macroscopic domain of the


outer space, massive planets and so on. Swamiji
envisaged a rejuvenated application of these principles hitherto used by Indian spiritual scientists (rishis) only in
the inner scientific realm

to investigations in the

physical sciences also. Since the passing away of


Swamiji, these principles have indeed been successfully
applied in the physical sciences.
Keywords : rejuvenation, science, spiritual scientists
_____________________________________________

INTRODUCTION
We must be aware that value conflicts are more acute
among the school children and youth today. They are
confronted with a large number of choices, more so than
in earlier times. The alternatives presented to them as
well as confusing and extremely bewildering. The
hardest tusk for many children is learning good manners
without

having

any

example

to

emulate.

The

sophistication of modern society makes it more difficult


for them to make the choices because of the complexity
of contemporary life. According to Swami Vivekananda
Education means that process by which character is
72

formed, strength of mind is increased, and intellect is


sharpened, as a result of which

one

can

stand on

ones own feet Swami Vivekananda always believed


that the development of a nation is not possible without
real education. According to him, development of good
personality in every human being is very essential in
case of nation buildings.
So, Swami Vivekananda emphasized on value education
by which we can made a good citizen for our national
development.

VALUE INCULCATION IN STUDENT MIND


We shall now discuss some of these principles and in
fact show specifically how the physical sciences 'new
physics', in particular - have, in fact, made breathtaking
discoveries through the application of these principles.
All of them, however, are subsumed in the principle of
unity, that there is an underlying unity in the midst of the
apparent diversity, which may be considered as nothing
but manifestations of the fundamental Unity. Further,
Swamiji understood and felt that the Indian mind was
rich in scientific temper and outlook. If only this temper
73

was brought to bear upon the physical sciences, India


would make a profound advance in these outer sciences
too, as much as in the inner sciences of mind and the
spirit. Indian minds leading the computer software
development technology all the world over is a case in
point.

THE GENERALIZATION PRINCIPLE


Swamiji discovered a remarkable characteristic of the
Indian mind in its capacity to generalize - that is, to draw
generalized conclusions from particulars. Swamiji in fact
called such a mind 'courageous and wonderfully bold'; in
being able to make an intuitive leap from the particular
to the general, definitely and boldly. Elaborating his
thesis, Swamiji said in his 'Jnana Yoga' lectures:
Coming to the principles, we find these Vedic
thinkers very courageous and wonderfully bold in
propounding large and generalized theories. Their
solution of the mystery of the universe, from the external
world, was as satisfactory as it could be. The detailed
workings of modern science do not bring the question
one step nearer to solution, because the principles have
74

failed. If the theory of ether failed in ancient times to


give a solution of the mystery of the universe, working
out the details of that ether theory would not bring us
much nearer to the truth. If the theory of all-pervading
life failed as a theory of this universe, it would not mean
anything more if worked out in detail, for the details do
not change the principle of the universe. What I mean is
that in their inquiry into the principle, the Hindu thinkers
were as bold, and in some cases, much bolder than the
moderns.

They

made

some

of

the

grandest

generalizations that have yet been reached, and some


still remain as theories, which modern science has yet to
get even as theories. For instance, they not only arrived
at the ether theory, but went beyond and classified mind
also as a still more rarefied ether. Beyond that again,
they found a still more rarefied ether. Yet that was no
solution, it did not solve the problem. No amount of
knowledge of the external world could solve the
problem. 'But,' says the scientist, 'we are just beginning
to know a little: wait a few thousand years and we shall
get the solution.' 'No,' says the Vedantist, for he has
proved beyond all doubt that the mind is limited, that it
cannot go beyond certain limits - beyond time, space,
and causation.
75

Einstein successfully applied the Equality Principle to


discover the now famous principle of special relativity
theory that there is no preferential frame in nature so that
all laws of physical phenomena must be invariant when
referred to different frames of reference. This Equality
Principle is a particular application of a more general
principle, namely the Symmetry Principle. There is an
underlying symmetry in nature, which gives rise to the
following

string

of

characteristics:

symmetry

impartiality a impersonality a equality (samatva). In its


application to investigation into the nature of matter, the
Symmetry

Principle

has

led

to

some

startling

discoveries, which we will discuss presently. It is


worthwhile to note here that the Generalization Principle
and the Symmetry Principle are related to another
important principle, namely the Unification Principle.

THE UNIFICATION PRINCIPLE


A nucleon, then, can exist in two charge states: in its
positive charge state, it is called a proton and in its
neutral state, the same particle is a neutron. Two is thus
reduced to one - rather, the two particles are unified into
76

one. This can be viewed in terms of the Symmetry


Principle as follows: there is an underlying symmetry
into which these two particles could be subsumed and
the manifestation as two particles is simply that the same
nucleon exists in two different charge states. We could
then enlarge this concept to accommodate more particles
(with a common key, like mass in the case of the proton
and the neutron) and subsume them into a larger
symmetry. Since this symmetry is quite different from
the kind of symmetry we ordinarily see in space, we
could call it some kind of internal symmetry. Such
symmetric schemes are well known in elementary
particle classification. Larger and larger unifications
have been attempted over the years by developing supersymmetric schemes. The hope is that ultimately all
particles

could

perhaps

be

considered

as

the

manifestation of one particle.


A similar attempt has been made in regard to forces
or interactions found in nature. We now know that
nature admits of four types of interactions: weak,
electromagnetic, strong and gravitational. While the first
three have applications in the micro-world, gravitational
force is felt predominantly only in the macro-world.
77

Now,

the

human

mind

seeks

generalization,

unification, by asking the following question: Is it


possible to subsume all these forces into a single force
and consider these different forces as manifestations of
that one force? Encouragingly, we have come a fairly
long way: we have been able to unify the first threeweak, electromagnetic and strong. These are called the
Grand Unified Theories (GUTs). Unfortunately, there is
this loner: the gravitational force, which still eludes our
unification attempt. As we said earlier, whereas the first
three are quantum mechanics - dependent, owing
allegiance to the Uncertainty Principle, gravity is a
'classical' theory - a different species altogether!
Supergravity theories that came up were at one time
believed to be the right answer to the unification of
gravity with other forces, but they have not proved
satisfactory. Attempts at quantum gravity theories are
under way, but the problem appears very complex. But
for nearly two decades, the so-called String Theory has
held sway, in which the basic objects are not particles,
but strings that have length but no other dimension.
Defining the goal of science, Swamiji said more than
a hundred years ago: 'The end and aim of all science is to
78

find the unity, the One out of which the manifold is


being manufactured, that one existing as many.'

THE SYMMETRY PRINCIPLE


The Symmetry Principle, based once again on the
principle of unity, has contributed considerably to the
revolution of our concept of matter at the beginning of
the twentieth century. Quantum mechanics owes its
origin to this principle. The relativity theory and
quantum mechanics

together

wrought

thought

revolution unmatched in its profundity and power.


We would consider two remarkable applications of
this principle: 1. wave-matter symmetry, leading to the
development of quantum mechanics or wave mechanics.
2. microcosm-macrocosm unity, which is the basis of
many a discovery-for example, the discovery of the
Rutherford atom model (with planetary electrons) and
the General Theory of Relativity as the theory of
gravitation based on Mach's principle, leading to radical
changes in our concepts of space and matter and their
interrelation.
79

Wave-particle

Dualism

and

Development

/Quantum Mechanics
The dawn of the twentieth century saw the birth of a
remarkable theory that revolutionized our concept of
matter and radiation. Max Planck propounded the
Quantum Theory of Radiation, according to which
radiation occurs not as waves, but in discrete energy
packets (which are like particles) called 'quanta'. The
energy

content

of

each

quantum,

however,

is

proportional to the frequency of the radiation - the


particle concept is thus wedded to the wave concept. The
quantum theory was applied with remarkable success to
a large number of phenomena like photoelectric effect,
Compton effect and Bohr atom model. Thus quantum
theory came to be established on a firm footing as the
theory of radiation. Now, these two, namely matter and
radiation, being the two fundamental manifestations of
nature, the Symmetry Principle (and the concepts arising
therefrom (symmetry a impartiality a impersonality a
equality) immediately forces us to the following
conclusion: If radiation has a particle aspect as a
quantum, it should naturally follow that matter should
have a wave aspect.
80

Arguing from this principle, de Broglie enunciated


his startling theory of 'matter-waves', which says that a
moving particle behaves as a wave, with a definite
wavelength derivable from the particle momentum once again wedding the wave concept (wavelength) with
the particle concept (momentum).
Several questions immediately came up: What is the
nature of this wave? How is this wave to be interpreted?
What is its physical significance? Two great physicists,
Schrodinger and Heisenberg, started from two points of
view and then formulated a mechanics of these waves,
called wave mechanics and quantum mechanics,
respectively. These two were found to be identical
except for the language. It is now well established that
all physical phenomena in the micro-world (of the atom,
nucleus, sub-nuclear particles and so on) are governed
by quantum mechanics. Soon, Dirac and others made
successful attempts to wed this to relativity; relativistic
quantum mechanics was thus born.
This threw us back to the fundamental question:
What then is a particle? In place of talking about a
particle, one then talked about fields. These fields were
81

then quantized to find the particle - a recovery, as it


were. Very recently, physicists started talking about
strings rather than particles. Thus the excitement about
what a particle is in the first place, continues unabated in
all its fury! On the application level, these matter-waves
were found to undergo diffraction and so on like any
other physical waves, leading to the invention of
electron microscopes with staggeringly high enlarging
capabilities. Medical science could progress by leaps and
bounds thanks to these instruments. The guiding
principle of all this exercise, however, is the Symmetry
Principle.

The Microcosm-Macrocosm Unity


One of the earliest principles of the ancient Indian

rishis in their attempt to probe nature's mystery was the


microcosm-macrocosm unity. By applying the projection
principle, projecting microcosm on macrocosm, they
were able to formulate their theories about the cosmic
phenomena. This, once again, is the well-known
psychological principle of projecting from the known to
the unknown: the microcosm is within our grasp, and
since microcosm and macrocosm are built on the same
82

plan, projecting the former on the latter could unravel


the secrets of the macrocosm. Several examples could be
cited.
Swamiji had a vision of this micro-macro identity when
he was meditating under a peepul tree in Almora.
Arising from this profound meditative awareness, he
recorded his experience in his diary. An English
rendering of what he noted down in Bengali runs as
follows:
This scientific principle of micro-macro projection
that Swamiji actually saw in an intuitive vision, he was
boldly applying even in the socio-politic realm. We refer
to his statement quoted at the very beginning: 'Thus,
everyone born into this world has a bent, a direction
towards which he must go, through which he must live,
and what is true of the individual is equally true of the
race.' Swamiji was here relying upon this scientific
principle of projection, which has been responsible for
many a path-breaking discovery in physical science. We
see here two more examples.
The answer to the question of what the nuclear
83

structure was like came once again from an analogy:


from the known to the unknown. Two models of the
nucleus are well known: the liquid drop model and the
shell model. The liquid drop model came from drawing
the analogy of the liquid drop to the nucleus - each force
in the liquid drop was correspondingly projected. From
this, Weiszacker arrived at a formula called the 'semiempirical mass formula'. Interestingly, it was this
formula that gave the precise reasoning and information
about nuclear fission and the consequent release of
enormous amounts of nuclear energy. This phenomenon
of nuclear fission was used to manufacture atomic and
nuclear bombs for destructive purposes on the one hand,
and to make nuclear reactors for constructive purposes
on the other. It is interesting how this simple principle of
projection (analogy) could become responsible for the
release of astounding amounts of nuclear energy due to
fission. Such is the power of thought!
It is interesting to note that this projection principle
was known to and used by the ancient Indian rishis ages
ago. And Swamiji was keen to revive the scientific
temper of our ancients and bring about a rejuvenated
application of this temper.
84

Symmetry and Conservation Principles


We could briefly mention here the crucial role played

by what is known as the principle of conservation and


discuss its relation to symmetry. Conservation of certain
well-known physical quantities is the bedrock of
science; conservation of mass-energy and conservation
of linear and angular momentum are too well known.
Now, there exists an intimate connection between
symmetry and conservation (invariance) laws. This
connection is embodied in what is known as Noether's
Theorem. In the micro-world-the sub-atomic realm of
elementary particles - the charge (C) conservation, leftright (parity) symmetry (P) and time-reversal symmetry
(T) have played a vital role in our understanding, leading
to what is called the CPT theorem.
Swamiji has tried to apply the principle of
conservation to socio-political situations and tried to
derive some remarkable conclusions. The intimate
connection between symmetry and conservation could
be invoked to reinforce his theses and enunciate
generalized theorems in the socio-political sphere. While
85

a detailed discussion of this topic is beyond the scope of


this paper, we mention this just to show how Swamiji
wanted scientific principles to be applied to society as
well: for all human existence forms one coherent whole.

CONCLUSION
Swamiji has identified some of these fundamental
principles, like the ones mentioned above, the most
fundamental, according him, being the solidarity or
oneness of the universe. He called these 'life-giving
principles'. It behoves us, then, to: (1) discover what
these principles are (apart from the ones Swamiji himself
mentions specifically);
(2) reverentially contemplate them to find out how they
could be applied to every department of human activity
and to every sphere of human endeavour, for the welfare
of the entire humankind; and (3) Test their effectiveness
by actual application, individually and collectively.
Swamiji's prophetic utterance in this context should fill
us with fresh zeal and redoubled energy to accomplish
this task:

86

For a complete civilization the world is waiting,


waiting for the treasures to come out of India, waiting
for the marvellous spiritual inheritance of the race,
which, through decades of degradation and misery, the
nation has still clutched to her breast. The world is
waiting for that treasure; little do you know how much
of hunger and of thirst there is outside of India for these
wonderful treasures of our forefathers. We talk here, we
quarrel with each other, we laugh at and we ridicule
everything sacred, till it has become almost a national
vice to ridicule everything holy. Little do we understand
the heart-pangs of millions waiting outside the walls,
stretching forth their hands for a little sip of that nectar
which our forefathers have preserved in this land of
India.

May we endeavour tirelessly to actualize Swamiji's


dream of a rejuvenated India; and may the entire world
be deluged with the waves of love, peace and
benediction flowing out from this rejuvenated, glorious
India, as from an eternal spring.

**************
87

References
1. Bhagavadgita, 13.2.
2. CW, 2.20-2./ 3.108-9.
3. CW, 1.8.
4.

BHAJANANANDA

.SWAMI

Swami

Vivekanandas Contributions to Hinduism, Bulletin


of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture,
Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.
PP. 355-362
5.

His

Eastern

and

Western

Admirers,

Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda (Calcutta:


Advaita Ashrama,1999), 151.Swami Vivekananda
and Science, online paper
6. Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time,
online paper (London: Bantam, 1989), 10.
88

7.

Atmapriyananda.

Swami,

India's

:Swami

Vivekananda's Vision, (Calcutta: cultural institute,


2010)
8. The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 9
vols. (Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1-8, 1989; 9,
1997), 3.154.
****************

89

6
JUXTAPOSING SWAMI
VIVEKANANDA'S THOUGHTS ON
EDUCATION AND WOMEN
EMPOWERMENT :
VOICES FROM BHILWARA
DISTRICT
__________________________________________
Dr. Mikiko Cars
&
Khaleda Gani Dutt
Stockholm University
Institute of International Education
Department of Education
--------------------------------------------------------------In India there are two great evils. Trampling on
the women, and grinding the poor through caste
restrictions.(Swami Vivekananda, 1895).
90

INTRODUCTION
One way of charting the emergence of women in the
development discourse is to monitor their changing
significance

within

the

policy

declarations

and

institutional structures of the major development


agencies (Kabeer, 2003, p.1). Amartya Sen views
development as a process of expanding freedom equally
for all people which means fewer gaps in the well-being
between males and females. This viewpoint is explicitly
embodied in Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 3
and 5 which reflects the belief of the international
community

that

gender

equality

and

womens

empowerment are not only development objectives in


their own rights but critical channels for achieving the
other MDGs (World Bank, 2012). Four years ago, the
World Bank upgraded India from a "poor" country to a
middle-income

one.

The

Government

of

United

Kingdom announced that it would end aid to India from


2015, since the country has a space programme, 48
billionaires and its own aid budget. Under its Right to
Education (RTE) Act, passed in 2009, a free and
compulsory education is guaranteed for all children aged
between six and 14, and the most recent figures for
91

primary school enrolment stand at an impressivesounding 98% (The Guardian, 2013). The 2013 Human
Development Report underpinned a profound shift in
global

dynamics

where

India

along with other

developing countries are becoming leading actors on the


world stage.
Despite the progress India seems to be trapped
in a paradox. Although the democratic polity has laid
down laws, rules, plans and programmes aimed at
women advancement with no distinction being made
related to education between boys and girls, there is still
a great divergence between the constitutional position
and stark reality of deprivation and degradation. The
whiff of emancipation blown into Indian society, has
been inhaled and enjoyed by the urban women, their
population belonging to the rural areas are still totally
untouched by the winds of change (Bhuyan, 2006).
To evoke Swami Vivekanandas philosophy in
this context would be to reflect, assimilate

and

implement his teachings on the equality of men and


women of all nations, his views on untouchability, his
thought about the synthesis of the East and the West in
92

Indian society and above all the intrinsic role of


education for the advancement of a nation when
intelligence is spread among the masses. He believed
that women must be educated for it is them that would
mould the next generation and hence the destiny of the
country. In his educational scheme for India the
upliftment of women and the downtrodden received the
highest priority (Kamat, 2013) .
This qualitative study carried out in Bhilwara
district, Rajasthan aspires to convey the spirit of Swami
Vivekanandas teachings on the importance of educating
girls because the welfare of the world is dependent on
the improvement of the condition of women.

THE THEORETICAL UNDERPINNING


Educate and raise the masses, and thus alone a
nation is possible.. If the poor cannot come to education,
education must reach them at the plough, in the factory,
everywhere (Swami Vivekananda, 1894).
To

combat

social

exclusion

the

Indian

Parliament passes the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled


93

Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act in 1989. It was a


bold attempt to guarantee basic human rights to the most
vulnerable in Indian society. The challenges seemingly
insurmountable are gradually being addressed through
legislations, community involvement and an important
way of charting the emergence of women as distinctive
category in development discourse is to monitor their
changing significance within the policy declarations and
institutional structures of the major development
agencies

(Kabeer,

1994).

To

make

gender

mainstreaming policies successful the state has to


increase the accountability of governance institutions to
women by building womens voice and representation,
particularly marginalized women.
Over a hundred and fifty one years ago,
Vivekananda blamed the neglect of the masses and the
subjugation of women for Indias downfall. He also
visualised education as imparting character strength to
man enabling one to handle the world of nature around
him or her. In this paper, women empowerment and
development has been envisaged as forces working in
unision with each other and not as isolated units. We
94

should not think that we are men and women, but only
that we are human beings, born to cherish and to help
one another encapsulates eloquently his thoughts on the
importance of women development intrinsic for the
progress of a nation. The theories illustrated below
elucidate

the

essence

of

Swami

Vivekanadas

philosophy and visions to achieve total human


development in India in the new millennium.

THE CONCEPT OF DEVELOPMENT


The concept of development implies (re-)
creation of underlying tensions concerning sociocultural, political and economic power and authority at
multiple dimensions and levels. Development as
intervention would cause, intentionally or not, cultural,
political, social, economic and ecological changes,
possibly leading to transformation within a society.
Although it embodies benevolence in the whole
mechanism of national development, the asymmetrical
relations of power and authority (re-) created through
development discourses and practices cannot be denied

95

not only at the international level (Cars, 2006) but also at


the national level suggested by the case of India.
Although hindered by culture and tradition, the efforts of
attaining the ultimate consensus is important in order to
make

the

societal

development/transformation

sustainable. Acknowledging the problematic nature of


the development mechanism or the tension and dilemma
between its normative ideology and the actual practices
within

the

given

structure,

the

epistemological

perspective on development of this paper is what Hettne


(1990) has termed universal development, which
consists of a synthesis of both macro and micro
perspectives that are highly embedded in specific
contexts.
One of the key elements to make the
development or transformation sustainable is the
capability of people to make conscious efforts toward
the common goal. Re-visiting and re-emphasizing
humanistic tradition of education with values such as
equity, tolerance, cooperation etc. may increasingly be
important in todays interconnected and interdependent
world. Education is an integrated part of the social
sector,

and

in

order

to

foster

sound

social

development/transformation, other social sectors and


96

issues e.g. health, infrastructure, agriculture, industry,


demography, human right, environment, have to be
tackled holistically together with good governance.

WITNESSING WOMEN EMPOWERMENT:


STORIES

FROM

BHILWARA

DISTRICT

RAJASTHAN
There is no chance for the welfare of the world
unless the condition of woman is improved. It is not
possible for a bird to fly on only one wing. (Swami
Vivekanada, 1895).
In 2011, Rajasthans literacy rate was reported at
approximately 66.11%, however among women the rate
was considerably lower at around 52.1%. In Rajasthan,
high levels of seasonal migration have compounded the
gender issues that are prevalent across India women
relegated to secondary status with little financial or
political presence. The problems are complex, but the
Rajasthan State Government has been giving strong
support to programmes aimed at tackling illiteracy and
gender disparities (India-EU skills, 2013). In order to
97

make education accessible to the masses the Government


of Rajasthan has initiated a number of schemes to
improve the status of education in the Bhilwara district
such as Shiksh Apke Dwar (Education at your door),
District

Primary

Education

Programme

(DPEP),

Ghummakad Vidyalaya Shiksha Mitra Yojna along with


Rajiv Gandhi Pathshala (School) Scheme to provide
primary education to the rural children.
The qualitative study used for this paper was
conducted in Bhilwara District, Rajasthan and consists
of individual interviews of twenty girls studying in the
Secondary School (V-X) and four educators. Their
personal details have been kept anonymous to protect
their rights. Rajasthan is among the six states that
account for the majority of Indias illiterate population.
Since, the study is gender focused and centers on
marginalized girls belonging to the rural community the
interview guide is designed to cover three aspects:- A.
Gender Relations: ( structure, resources within the
personal sphere) ; B. Education / Learning (formal
education); C. Transformation (freedom of expression,
freedom of choice). The narratives drawn from the
interviews portray the feelings, emotions, experiences
and a sense of pride among the girls that was possible
98

due to the transformative role of education. The three


key aspects of the interview guide are integrated with
Swami Vivekanadas thoughts on women empowerment.

EMANCIPATING MINDS
Education was perceived as the vehicle for
transformation among the research participants instilling
in them a sense of pride. It was not only the gateway to
improved livelihoods but a path of climbing up the
social ladder. It was a powerful weapon with which they
could persuade their parents and family members to
follow their dreams to carve out a different future. The
enabling environment in the school encouraged parents
to continue support their daughters education When I
see her doing well in school, I forget about my
hardships: working at the construction site to earn
money so that she gets food to eat. I want her to have a
better future. Some of us (mothers) have a support group
so that we can help one another in times of
trouble(Mother,43 years old). All the girls candidly
discussed their financial constraints and its bearing on
their educational aspirations:
99

Sometimes I wonder if I will be able to


continue schooling because there is no money at home
and they need me to work as well. But then my parents
especially my mother is anxious that it does not disturb
my studies. At times I help my mother by stitching
clothes to get some extra money. She is a widow and so
am I but no matter what I will study and get out this
poverty to give my mother a better life (Rani, 14 years
old) .

WORKING OUT THEIR DESTINIES


The confidence demonstrated by the research
participants embodied the essence of the power of
education. The educators were further added that
Majority of the girls in the school complete their
education and do get a job as a primary teacher. We try
and keep in touch with our students and support them
whenever needed. A testimony to this statement is
Rani:
My mother is a vegetable seller and has
suffered at the hands of an abusive husband (my father)
to make me study. I have finished school two years ago
and I am continuing with my education so that I get a
100

good job. My mother asks for my advice and so do


neighbours and I encourage to send their daughters to
school. If we want to change our lives economic
independence is necessary (20 years old).

LIBERTY IS THE FIRST CONDITION OF


GROWTH
In this study liberty is synonymous with
transformation-a laudable achievement by the educators
in creating a space for the girls to overcome their
apprehensions, doubts and embrace the future. It is the
motto of our school to show both students and parents
the transformative power of education not just by talking
about it but through examples. We ask our old students
(girls) to come to some parent-teacher meetings and talk
about their achievements. It helps everyone to see what
one can achieve through education. (Educator,38 years
old). The students shared a deep bond with their teachers
borne out of trust and compassion. When asked about
their conception of transformation the unhesitant
response was :

101

The ability to reach for my dreams and turning


it into a reality! Contributing to society, helping girls
like ourselves by giving them a chance to improve their
lives, preventing them from early marriage. By making a
difference in the lives of others.

ARE WE THERE YET?


Development
process.

As

this

is

continuous

qualitative

study

and

dynamic

demonstrates,

education is one of the key catalysts to enable people to


acquire their freedom strengthening their senses of
human dignity. Empowerment is equally difficult to
measure. Gender issues has been one of the critical areas
of

concern

in

the

international

discourse

on

development. To achieve gender equality in an effective


and sustainable manner the intervention of the state is
imperative especially in India where the forces of sociocultural traditions work against the realization of equity
and liberty.

***************
References

102

Bhuyan, D (2006). Empowerment of Indian Women: A


Challenge of 21st Century Retrieved from
http://orissa.gov.in/emagazine/Orissareview/jan2006/engpdf/Empow
erment_of_India. pdf
Cars, M. (2006). Project Evaluation in Development
Cooperation A Meta-Evaluative Case Study in
Tanzania.

Studies

in

International

and

Comparative Education 71, Doctoral Thesis in


International
University,

Education
Sweden

at

Stockholm

2006.

Stockholm:

Stockholm University
Combers, B. (2009). The United Nations Decade of
Education for Sustainable Development (20052014): Learning to Live Together Sustainably.
In B. Chalkley, et al. (eds.) Education for
Sustainable Development Papers in Honour of
the United Nations Decade of Education for
Sustainable Development (2005-2014). London:
Routledge.
Indiatimezone (2008). Bhilwara District, Rajasthan
103

Retrieved

from

http://www.indianetzone.com/45/bhilwara_distri
ct.htm
Jms,

T.

(2006).

Philosophy,

Perception

and

Interpretation of Concepts- The Concept of


Sustainable Education. In A. Pipere (ed.)
Education & Sustainable Development, First
Steps Toward Changes. Volume 1, 2006.
Daugavpils, Latvia: Saule.

Kabeer,

(1994).

Reversed

Realities:

Gender

Hiearchies in Development Verso


Kabeer, N (2003). The Emergence of Women as a
Constituency in Development In Reversed
Realities Gender Hierarchies in Development
Thought p. 1-10 Verso London New York
Kamat, V (2013). Swami Vivekananda Thoughts on
Womens
University

Education
Mumbai

SNDTWU

Women

Retrieved

from

http://www.slideshare.net/vasudhak2000/v104

kamat-on-swami-vivekanands-thoughts-onwomens-education-27913
Kendall,

N.

(2009).

International

Development

Education. In R. Cowen and A. M. Kazamias


(eds.), International Handbook of Comparative
Education, Chap. 27. London: Springer.
Ranganathananda, S (1985). Based on the video-taped
record of the lecture of Swami Rangathananda
organized by the Harvard University and
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Vedanta
Societies in the Emerson Hall of the Harvard
University on 28 May 1985 Retrieved from
http://www.vivekanandaarchive.org/admin/articl
e_image/_file_2c9263b01748058a875c80b968b
77390693fae92.pdf
Samoff, J. (1999). Education Sector Analysis in Africa:
Limited National Control and even less National
Ownership.

International

Journal

of

Educational Development, 19, 249-272.


Sen, A (2001). Development as Freedom Oxford
105

University Press
Simon, D. (1999). Development Revisited Thinking
about, practicing and teaching
development after the Cold War. In D.
Simon & A. Nrman (Eds.), Development
as

Theory

and

Practice,

Perspectives

on

Development

Cooperation,

Current

Development

and

pp.17-54.

DARG Regional Development Series No.


1. Harlow: Longman.
Stromquist, N. (1995). Romancing the State: Gender and
Power in Education, in Comparative Education
Review, Volume 39, No.4, pp. 423-454
The Guardian (2013). Why girls in India are still missing
out on the education they need? Retrieved from
http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/ma
r/11/indian-children-education-opportunities
The World Bank (2012). Gender Equality and
Development World Development Report 2012
106

Vivekanada, S (1895) The Complete Works of Swami


Vivekananda/Volume 6/Epistles-Second
Series/LXXV Shashi Translated from Bengali
Retrieved from https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_
Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_6/Epis
tles_-_Second_Series/LXXV_Shashi
UNDP (2013) The Rise of the South: Human Progress in
a Diverse World 2013 Human Development
Report United Nations Development Programme

****************

107

7
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA AND HIS
VISION ABOUT SCIENTIFIC
REJUVENATION OF INDIA
SRIKANTA NANDI
Research Scholar, Dept. of Education,
The University of Burdwan, Burdwan,
West Bengal, India
Mobile 9126323438
E-mail: srikanta4174@rediffmail.com

ABSTRACT
The great Indian philosopher and social reformer Swami
Vivekananda belonged to that branch of Vedanta that
held that no one can be truly free until all of us are free.
We may endeavour tireless work for the salvation of
others is the true mark of the enlightenment. Swamiji
108

founded Sri Ramakrishna Mission on the principle of


Atmano Mokshartham Jogad-hitaya chah

(for ones

own salvation and for the welfare of the world) for the
upliftment of the downtrodden masses of the country.
According to Swamiji, if we may rediscover the
scientific principles and ideas which are more competent
in the contemporary era, from our seared Vedanta and
may apply for the rejuvenation of our country, the nation
will raise with profound flow of love and peace. Unity
in diversity is not only our cultural heritage but this
principle is also equally applicable to explain the
oneness of universe. Nothing can be produced from
zero this valuable concept coming from Vedanta is
giving such cosmological pattern which is responsible to
explain so many astronomical events. A critical aspect of
Darwinism is found when Swamiji gave this idea that
The highest evolution of man is effected through
sacrifice alone. A man is great among his fellows in
proportion as he can sacrifice for the sake of others,
while in the lower strata of the animal kingdom, that
animal is the strongest which can kill the greatest
number of animals.

109

Key words: Salvation, enlightenment, downtrodden,


rejuvenation, oneness, cosmological pattern, Darwinism.
_____________________________________________

INTRODUCTION
Swami Vivekananda was a great and influential
Indian philosopher in 19th century. He was a son of blue
blood family. Normally, the son of such family was
driven by their own interest or the interest of their family
but Swamiji thought about the downtrodden people of
his motherland with immense spiritual intuition. He had
believed that the Indian minds were full of spiritual
energy and if they were satisfied with their bare needs,
they got back self- confidence and worked hard. Swamiji
called for the Indian Youth to pick up those
downtrodden masses, endowed with the principle Siva
gyane jibaseva.
According to him, the nation will raise if we
should rediscover

the scientific ideas which are very

useful to the present days from our profound spiritual


and culture background and should apply for the
rejuvenation India. In the words of Swamiji, India will
be raised, not with the power of the flesh, but with the
110

power of the spirit; not with the flag of destruction but


with the flag of peace and love, the grab of the
Sannayasin; not but the power of wealth, but by the
power of the begging bowl
The

present

paper

attempts

to

discuss

comprehensively covering the life history of Swamiji


and his contribution to the nation including scientific
principle of Indian thought and then rejuvenated
application. The whole paper is divided into major three
parts.

Excluding the

introductory portion, Part-I

describes the objectives and materials as well as methods


of the study. Analysis and discussion appear in Part-II,
where as conclusion comes into view in Part III of the
study.
Part-I
1.1 Objectives
The following objectives are laid down to validate
the present discussion:
To

discuss

the

life

history

of

Swami

Vivekananda.

111

To assess the Swamijis contribution to his


motherland, India.
To analyze and rediscover the scientific
principles

of

Indian

thought

and

their

rejuvenation application.
To explore the idea of the generalization
principle, the unification principle and the
symmetry principle.
To analyze the concept of cosmology.
To criticize the Darwinism from a different
angle.

1.2 MATERIAL AND METHODS


The study is mainly analytical in nature. The discussion
is prepared based on the collected review of literature
and studies undertaken by various researchers as well as
selected books. The whole discussion is divided into the
following two parts:1. Swami Vivekanandas life and contributions
to India.

112

2. Scientific rejuvenation: Swamijis vision.

Part - II
2. ANALYSIS
2.1

AND DISCUSSION

Swami

Vivekanandas

life

and

contribution to India: Swami Vivekanandas premonastic name was Sri Narendranath Datta. He was
born in an educated and rich family of Kolkata on 12th
January, 1863. His father Vishwanath Datta, was a
successful attorney with immense interests in various
subjects and his mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, was
endowed with deep devotion and love. Narendranath, in
his early childhood was good in music, gymnastics and
studies. He was very interested in western philosophical
view

and

history and

graduated

from Calcutta

University. He had yogic temperament and used to


nurture meditation even from his boyhood.
2.1.1 With his spiritual master Sri Ramakrishna
When Narendranath passed through a spiritual
crisis at the beginning stage of his youth, he heard about
Sri Ramakrishna. One day in November 1881, he met
with Sri Ramakrishan at The Kali Temple of
113

Dakshineshwar. He asked straightly, Sir, have you seen


god? Without any hesitation Sri Ramakrishna replied,
Yes, I have. I see him as clearly as I see you, only in a
much intenser sense. Narendranath was surprised to see
the confidence of Sri Ramakrishna and he removed all
doubts form his mind about Sri Ramakrishna. After
words, he became a great follower of Sri Ramakrishna.
After the death of his father, Vishwanath Datta a
successful, rich attorney who lavishly spent money for
the help-seeking people, Narendra got frustrated to bear
the burden of penniless family.
Two consecutive events One was the death of
his father in 1884 and the second was the illness of his
guru Sri Ramkrishna which was diagnosed to be cancer
of the throat, had changed Nrandranath considerably. In
September, 1885, Ramakrishna was moved to a rented
villa at cossipore. In these two places Sri Ramkrishna
was nursed with devoted care by his young disciples
leading Narendranath. After the passing of Sri
Ramkrishna, at 16 aug,1886 fifteen young disciples
leading Narendranath. After the passing of Sri
Ramakrishna at 16th Aug,1886, fifteen young disciples
began to live at Baranager in Narth Kolkata under the
114

leadership of Narandranath. In 1887, they took formal


vows of sannyasa and formed a new monastic
brotherhood. After taking sannyasa, Narandranath
became Swami Vivekananda, our Swamiji.
2.1.2 Establishing a new monistic order and
discovery of real India
When swamiji felt the inner call for a greater
mission to the motherland India in his life, he thought
that he must know about her in a true sense. Swamiji
started a long journey to explore India and he was deeply
moved to see the appalling poverty and backwardness of
the masses. He firmly declared that the real cause of
downfall of the motherland was to neglect the
downtrodden masses who were deprived to get bare
necessities of life. Such deprivation snatched their selfconfidence. Swamiji felt that if was first of all necessary
to infuse into their minds faith in themselves by giving
inspiring

message.

According

to

Swamiji,

the

downtrodden masses needed two kinds of knowledge


through proper education, one was secular knowledge
which was responsible for the increase of their economic
condition and other was spiritual knowledge which
helped them to get back their self- confidence.
115

2.1.3 Swamijis intension to preach the message of Sri


Ramakrishna to all our the world
When Swamiji thought about that, he heard
about the worlds parliament of Religions to be held in
Chicago, in 1893. His friends, colleagues and admirers
in India wanted him to attend the parliament. He also left
that the parliament would provide the right platform to
preach Sri Ramakrishnas massage endowed with
believe and love to all over world. So, he decided to go
to Chicago, Swamiji left for America form Mumbai on
31st may, 1893 and the funds associated for his journey
were parlty collected by his Chennai disciples and partly
provided by the Raja of khetri.
2.1.4 Swamiji at the parliament of Religions
At the parliament of religions in Chicago,
Swamiji established himself as a Messenger of Indian
wisdom to the western world and to preach his masters
message to the western countries. .In the west many
peoples were influenced by Swami Vivekanandas life
and message .Some of them became his devoted
disciples. Among of them, Margaret Nobel (later known
116

as sister Nivedita), captain and Mrs. Sevier, Josephine


Mcleod and Sare ole Bull were (important) deserve
special reference.
2.1.5 Return back to his motherland and founding of
Ramakrishna Mission
Swamiji returned to India in January1897, and
he felt that to fulfill the basic needs and to infuse the
self-confidence to his downtrodden countrymen, he
needed a devoted organization which will carry out his
plans for the spread of education and for the uplift of the
poor countrymen. A few years later Swamiji founded on
1st may, 1897, the Nobel organization Ramakrishna
Mission.
In early 1898, Swami Vivekanda acquired a
suitable plot of land on the western bank of the river
Ganga at a place called Belur to have a permanent
address for the monastery. He always thought for the
betterment of his countrymen. Swamijis health was
deteriorated and was attacked by diabetes incipidas due
to hard work and the end came quietly on the might of
4th July, 1902. A few days before his Mahasamadhi ,
Swamiji had written to his follower .It may be that I
117

shall find it good to get outside my body , to cast it


off like a worn out garment . But I shall not cease to
work. I shall inspire men everywhere until the whole
world shall know that it is one with god.
2.2 Scientific Rejuvenation: Swamijis vision
Swamiji was well acquainted with the thought
process and consequent

development in the field of

science. Such acquaintance helped him to draw exact


conclusion from various scientific theories as well as to
interpret the unusual aspect of many established theories.
For the rejuvenation of India, Swamiji beleived that we
should find and recall our ancestral history regarding
social, cultural, political and scientifically aspect.
According to him, Out of the past is built the future --our ancestors were great. We must first recall thatwe
must build an Indian yet greater than what she has
been. Swamiji has a dream that India will rise and
become great with the advancement in science and
technology.
2.2.1 Rediscovering our enriched scientific ideas
We should rediscover the scientific ideas which are
very surprising today, from the principles of Vedanta
118

and we should cultivate the new aspects in relation to the


contemporary era. Swamiji said, There is no end to the
power a man can obtain. This is the peculiarity of the
Indian mind, that when anything interests it, it gets
absorbed in it and other things are neglected you know
how many sciences had their origin in India.
Mathematics

began

there.

You are

even

today

counting1,2,3, etc. to zero after Sanskrit figures, and you


all know that algebra also originated in India, and that
gravitation was known to the Indian thousands of years
before Newton was born.
2.2.2 Scientific principles of Indian thought and their
Rejuvenated application
Swamiji

identified

certain

distinctive

characteristics of Indian scientific thought which enabled


the Indian mind to investigate into the inner science of
mind and Spirit. swamiji felt that Indian mind was fill in
immense scientific knowledge and outlook and if only
this scientific knowledge and principles was brought to
bear upon the physical science after recalling and
rejuvenating application of these principles from our
sacred spiritual scientists (rishis) whom were the
Pioneer of inner sciences of mind and spirit, India
119

would make a profound advance in the outer sciences. In


computer software development technology Indian
minds lead the world now a days and this is the example
of rejuvenated application of scientific principles
acquiring form inner sciences of mind and spirit to outer
physical sciences.
In Twentieth and twenty first century so many
surprising discoveries of science make our life easier.
Such discoveries through the application of established
scientific principles, however are subsumed in the
principle of unity, that there is an underlying unity in the
midst of the apparent diversity, which may be
considered as nothing but manifestations of the
fundamental unity.
2.2.3 The generalization Principle
The generalization principle is about trying to see the
particular as a special case of the general. Now, all we
know that, the constituent particles of the nucleus of an
atom are neutron and proton. Neutrons are neutral in
charge and protons are positively charged, as their name
implies but they have almost same mass. Taking this
sameness as the key to generalization, we could say, that
120

these two particles are just two manifestation- two


different charge states of a single particle called
nucleon, Now, two particles ie, the positively charged
protons and the neutral neutrons are particular cases as
the nucleon is the generalized one.
2.2.4 The unification principle
Swamiji believed that Indian culture - unity in
diversity was the model of unification principle.
Scientific principles which are apparently different but
they all are united into one. Swamiji has told about unity
in his many lectures Science is nothing but the
finding of unity. As soon as science would reach perfect
unity, it would stop from further progress, because it
would reach the goal .Thus chemistry could not progress
further when it would discover one element out of which
all other could be made. Physics would stop when it
would be able to fulfill its services in discovering one
energy of which all others are but manifestation,..Thus
is it, through multiplicity and duality, the ultimate unity
is reached.This is the goal of all science. All science
is bound to come to this conclusion in the long run.
Manifestation and not creation, is the word of science
today, and the Hindu is only glad that what he has been
121

cherishing in his bosom for ages is going to be taught in


more forcible, language, and with further light form the
latest conclusion of science.
(Source: Ref from Paper on Hinduism, Read at the
Parliament of Religious on 19th Sept, 1893 and complete
work of Swami Vivekananda : vol-1.)
Now, we consider the forces or interaction found
in nature. Nature admits four types of interaction i.e.
weak,

electromagnetic

strong

and

gravitation

interactions. The first three have applications in the


micro world but the fourth one is predominant in the
macro world. Presently human mind searches a
generalization, a unification by asking the following
question: Is it possible to unify all these forces into a
single force? Now we know about the Grand UnifiedTheories i.e. GUTs which are included the so called
three natural micro forces i.e. week, electromagnetic and
strong forces. But unfortunately gravitational force
(macro force) still creates the problem to our unification
attempt. Now, attempts at quantum gravity theories are
under way and String Theory tries to explain that
unification where it is assumed that the basic objects are
122

not particles, but strings having length without


maintaining any other dimension.
About the ultimate goal of science, the great
philosopher Swami Vivekananda felt that a unified
theory might developed which could explain all the
natural events occur in the universe. The similar thinking
is found in the words of eminent scientist Stephen
Hawking, The eventual goal of science is to provide a
single theory that describes the whole universe..And
our goal is nothing less than a complete description of
the universe we live in.
2.2.5 The Symmetry Principle
The Symmetry principle is also based upon the
principle of unity. Quantum mechanics owes its origin to
this principle. The two remarkable application of this
principle are 1. Wave -

matter symmetry, leading to the

development of quantum mechanics or wave


mechanics
2. Microcosm - Macrocosm unity which is the
basis of many a discovery for example, the
discovery of the Rutherford atomic model (with
123

planetary electrons) leading to radical changes,


in our concepts of space and matter and their
interrelation.
2.2.6 Swamijis idea on cosmology
His exposition about cosmology is
The next thing to consider is whence all these things
come. The answer is: what is meant by coming? If it
means that something can be produced out of nothing, it
is impossible. All this creation, manifestation, cannot be
produced out of zero. Nothing can be produced without a
cause and the effect is but the cause reproducedThe
whole universe is going on in this way. There comes a
time when this whole universe melts down and becomes
finer and at last disappears entirely, as it were, but
remains as superfine matter.Thus we find that there is
no creation in the sense that something is created out of
nothing. To use a better word, there is manifestation
(Source : Ref.Complete works of Swami Vivekanda :
Vol-2 Lecture o soul, Nature and God).

124

2.2.7 Swamijis View on Darwinism


Swamiji believed that the theory of evolution
proposed by Charles Darwin is applicable only in limited
sphere of life ie. in animal kingdom. According to
Swamiji, the theory of evolution was clearly explained
by the ancient Indian philosophers in relation to
Samkhya philosophy. In this account Swamiji said, In
the animal kingdom we really see such laws as struggle
for existence, survival of the fittest, etc, evidently at
work. Therefore Darwins theory seems true to a certain
extent. But in the human kingdom, where there is the
manifestation of rationality, we find just the reverse of
those laws. For instance, in those whom we consider
really great men or ideal characters, we scarcely observe
any external struggle. In the animal kingdom instinct
prevails; but the more a man advances, the more he
manifests rationality. For this reason, progress in the
rational human kingdom cannot be achieved, like that in
the animal kingdom, by the destruction of others! The
highest evolution of man is affected through sacrifice
alone. A man is great among his fellows in proportion as
he can sacrifice for the sake of others; while in the lower
strata of the animal kingdom, that animal is the strongest
125

which can kill the greatest number of animals. Hence the


struggle theory is not equally applicable to both
kingdoms. Mans struggle is in the mental sphere. A
man is grater in proportion as he can control his mind.
When the minds activities are perfectly at rest, the
Atman manifests itself.

Part-III

CONCLUSION
Today after nearly a generation of changes, the
philosophical thoughts, cultural ideas and idea about
scientific principles of Swami Vivekananda remain
absolutely acceptable. At present severe crisis of peace,
social values and attitude have devised to paralyze the
regular life process of the society, the nation and the
world. Swamijis spiritual thoughts and scientific ideas
are still now significant for the development of socio
economic standard, political and cultural aspirations in
the 21st centurys Indian society. Now it is concluded
that, we may work hard to realize Swamijis dream of a
rejuvenated India, then our nation will raise with love
and peace. In the words of Swamiji, let us all work
hard, my brethren; this is no time for sleep. Do not
126

figure out big plans at first, but begin slowly, feel the
ground, and proceed, up, up, the long night is passing,
the day is approaching, the wave has risen, nothing will
be able to resist its tidal fury.
*********************

References
Atmapriyananda.
Rejuvenation:

S (January-2005):

Swami

Vivekananda

Indias
vision,

www.vedanta.ru
Hawking.S.W (London; Bantam, 1989): A brief
history of time.
Kommana.V, Sil.M and others (2013): Swami
Vivekananda: His role to rejuvenate women
power, Blog Archive.
Mahanti.S (2012): Swami Vivekananda And
Science: Vigyan Prasar, Science Portal.
Modi.N(Jan-12,2012): Swami Vivekanandas
call to the nation.

127

Pal.A (Oct, 2013) Relevance of Vivekanandas


ideas in developing India: Bulletin of the
Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture.
Ranade.E (Compiled by): Full text of Swami
Vivekanandas Rousing Call To Hindu Nation,
archive.org /../
Retrieved

from:

practical

philosophy.in/2013/10/03/call_to_the_youth_of
_india/ (Jan-Mar,2014): Vedanta Kesari, the
monthly magazine of Ramakrishna Math.
Retrieved

from:

www.sv150.info

Swami

Vivekananda: Life and Teachings (2012);


Ramakrishna Math And Ramakrishna Mission
www.greenmesg.org/swami_vivekananda_sayin
gs_quotes/India_on_india.php.(June,2014):
Swami Vivekananda On India.
****************

128

8
SWAMI VIVEKANANDAS IDEA OF A
REJUVENATED INDIA WITH SPECIAL
REFERENCE TO EMPOWERMENT OF
WOMEN
PRARTHITA BISWAS, Asst. Prof.,
PAILAN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
(Affiliated to the UNIVERSITY OF
CALCUTTA),Joka,Kolkata &
Research Scholar, Dept.of
Education,UNIVERSITY OF
KALYANI,Nadia,West Bengal
Mobile No.09831447164
Email:prarthitab@yahoo.com /
prarthitab@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
Women occupy the central place in human
society. She has played different characteristics of the
roles in the society; it proves that the world has created
129

by her. She is the hub of the wheel. The wheel of the


society has functioned according to the strength,
stability, quality of the hub or the women. The present
day status of the women succeeded in lot of field and
reaching the top positions but their number is less. The
ultra modern women are seen as there are independent
but still they are unprotected and control over by their
home or outside. She stands the threat of all kind of
violence and cruel action of physical, sexual as well as
emotional.

So

she

was

continuously

kept

in

dependence and subservience throughout her life. More


than hundred years ago, Swami Vivekanada observed
the status of the women and said, In India, there are two
great evils - trampling on the women and grinding the
poor According to that the recent researches,
seminars, books and various blogs picturize of the
women enslaved and suffered by someone. Therefore the
women need the liberation. Now a days the womens
struggle

for

freedom

is

misdirected

like

commodification, premarital sex etc., and it needs the


right direction. This paper is going to put forth the
lacking in the present day struggle of women to become
free , the types of education does she need towards
130

building the nation and views of Swami Vivekanandas


views in this regard which are clinching and seminal .

__________________________________________

INTRODUCTION
The idea of perfect womanhood is perfect
independence.
The best process to the progress of a nation is its
treatment of its women. As Vivekananda wrote it is
very difficult to understand why in this country so much
difference is made between men and women, whereas
the Vedanta declares that one and the same conscious
self is present in all beings.

Swami Vivekananda

explained regarding men and women that each is


equally good in his or her own way. What man can bring
up a child with such patience, endurance and love as the
woman can? The one has developed the power of doing:
the other the power of suffering. If woman cannot act,
neither can man suffer.
131

According to Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902),


the women are playing different roles in our society. She
has provided a healthy society because they start from
healthy family. Moreover the mother is the first teacher
and school of the child. Over the last few decades the
status of the women in the society, their attitudes , role
everything has been changed. As a result they are
playing a multiple role beyond the wife, mother,
daughter, and care taker. They are actively participating
in the economic and social development of the nation.

THE VEDIC SCHEME OF WOMEN LIFE


The scheme of life as chalked out according to
Vedas are spiritual liberation of the individual as its
supreme goal. During the Vedic period it was this
supreme power that governed all the stages of mans and
womans life. In short it had a clear view of life and life
for self realization by developing renunciation. In this
period no differentiation was made between man and
woman. In fact during the Vedic period there were many
knowledgeable persons who were women. Even during
the Upanishads and Epics period also woman was raised
132

to the excellent status of spiritual glory. During the


Vedic period, the unmarried girls were not constrained
in the mobility and also on the interaction with male
members. As marriages were arranged by their parents,
even the brides enjoyed the privilege of choosing their
own bridegroom. There was no purdha system and
widows were permitted to marry again. In Atharva Veda
they believed that there was a life after marriage which
has been called punarbu means rebirth.
During Bhakti movement in order to protect the
Hindu religion, male developed more rigid rules relating
to chastity of women. Education was not the right of
women, the women were considered as a slave to serve
to their husband and the only place of right was their
kitchen room. Moreover, widow remarriage was
completely dropped, sati was in practice and in Muslim
culture purdha was encouraged for the women.
Bhakti movement uplifted the status of women
Manu saints become religious leaders, namely Meerabai,
Jana Bai, and Makta Bai. The unattractive culture was
still in existence as women were imprisoned inside the
four walls of the house.
133

During the British period, the status of women


was enhanced and various rigid bonds were loosened. In
this period many remarkable personalities like Rajaram
Mohan Rai, Dayanand Saraswathi, Swami Vivekananda
and many social reformers started the social reform
movements. During the period of Lord William Bentinck
and Dalhousie the period the women education bloomed.
The Christian Missionaries also established many
educational institutions for women. Education was given
to women and they had the opportunities of earning
money. Due to industrialization, urbanization and
modernization, they changed the family structure, the
family system were broken and thee nuclear families
emerged which gave rise to status of women.

PRESENT DAY CONCERN


During the early period women enjoyed a high
social status and allowed to be the religious preacher
during Buddhist and Jainism period. Followed by that
period due to the sex discrimination they were
considered as second citizens. In modern Indian society,
the women are playing vital role and reaching high
position in our society. Today woman have rights to get
equal share in paternal property but in reality they got a
134

raw deal and the benefit is accrued by the male members


of the family. They continue to survive in the households
with either choice or voice. Moreover still they are
victims of rape, molestation, dowry deaths, polygamy,
and exploited the media as commodification purpose.
Commodification of Women
It is also one of the causes for women enslaved
through the media. The media reveals that women are
most of the time shown in subordinate, subservient,
male-pleasing roles. The commodification indirectly
emphasizes that woman is meant for the pleasure of
men. Their struggle for freedom thus gets misdirected.
Vivekananda foresaw that such educated women
alone would be the pillars of the true development of
human society. His concern for the plight of the Indian
women is evident from a letter he wrote to Haripada
Mitra from Chicago on December 28, 1893, oh how
free they (the American women) are! It is they who
control social and civic duties....and in our country,
women cannot be safely allowed to walk in the streets!
Here men treat their women as well as can be desired,
and hence they are so prosperous, so learned, so
135

energetic, but why is it that we are slavish , miserable


and dead? the answer is obvious.

LIBERATION/ FREEDOM
India is a male dominated country. Women have
been identified by their father or husbands name and
they have been symbolized as an understanding and
sacrificing figure. Even nowadays, despite witnessing
urbanization and modernization, women in India
continue to face violence. Rape, acid throwing, dowry
killings, forced prostitution are some of the brutalities
are faced by women. During the Stone Age, men would
hunt and women would be responsible to maintain fire in
caves and in bringing up children, thus the role
distribution took place. During the Medieval Era or the
Mughal and British period, women faced immense
discrimination. Liberation in its true sense means to free
someone from rigid social conventions. Women
continued to languish under some stranger and may be in
the relationship of father, brother, husband. The first
Liberation movements were started from 1960 in
America. In India 20th century only got the strong
136

response to women enslaved. Liberation movements


emphasis and its aims to replace the traditional gender
based role of women with that of women freely
participating in every area of social activity. When we
speak about the women liberation it implies mens
liberation too.
Mens Liberation a new view
Here we have to remember that, womens
problems do not exist in isolation. Without the men
liberation, the womens liberation is not possible. Mens
liberation means they have to change their mind set and
accept the womens liberation .Vivekananda strongly
coded that out with the differences between men and
women all is Atman. So we need to inculcate the
same for the both genders. When they look upon each
other not in the view of commodities and domination. As
per the view of Swami Vivekananda we look and think
that all are human beings are helping each other to lead
successful and happy life.

WOMEN LIBERATION MISDIRECTED


The current scenario shows that, women
wrongly understood the word of freedom and liberation.
137

The present socio economic, development pushes the


Women Movement in wrong direction. Latest innovative
technology like internet, media are projecting the women
in commodification way, and it further lowered the
women status. In this Digital world, women are shining
in all the fields as equal as men, it is good for society
and for building our nation too. At the same time by the
name of modernization they wore some awkward
dresses, its creating the problem for themselves (rape,
sexual violence, etc.).
At present also women are not able to
understand the word freedom, equality in proper sense of
the term

and they raised many questions. Value of

chastity, purity began to replace by the new values of


easy going, pleasure oriented permissiveness, profane.
She outward appears and portrays her views that are very
modern and express freedom from patriarchal harmony.

THE NEED TO RAISE WOMEN


Women is the centre place in the society that
quality, stability and strength of the hub (women) only
direct our society. Vivekananda believed that there is no
hope for the rise of that family or nation where there is
138

no

estimation

of

women,

where

they

live

in

sadness.Never forgets! , he would say the word is


woman and the people. If the society or family wants
to rise, the women of the family or society want to raise
first. For this reason Vivekananda repeatedly insist that
they have to be raised first.
He quoted in Manusmriti (III, 56) to show that
gods blessed those families where women were happy
and well-treated. Can you better the condition of your
women? Then there will be hope for your wellbeing.
Otherwise, you will remain as backward as now.
In Vivekananda point of view, women proper
upbringing means, the women of India must grow and
develop in the foot prints of Sita and thats only way.
The ideal of Sita represents purity, chastity, personified,
spirit of service, affection, compassion, contentment, and
reverence. Vivekananda emphasis that to make the
modern women as like the same ideal characteristic of
Sita. He often recalled that women, during the early
period, enjoyed a high social status, and had access to
the Holy Scriptures. Why shall not the women have the
same privileges now? He asked. What was happened
once can happen again. History repeats itself. He
139

emphasized about the liberty as the first condition of


their growth, he did not claim that he could solve the
problems of women at his own level. Swami wanted
that the women must think about their problem and
diagnosis it and find the solution from there. Women
need not depend and adjust with men and use him as her
crutch and suffer from the inferiority complex.
Castigating the role of contemporary social reformers he
observed: who are you to solve womens problem?. Are
you the lord or god that you should rule over every
woman? Hand off! You cant only help anyone, you can
only serve...
Swami Vivekananda in New York said I should
very much like our women to have intellectuality, but
not if it must be at the cost of purity. And added our
women are not so learned, but they are more pure. His
views on women have been of religious revolutionary
kind. The stress he laid upon was on recapturing of the
Sita ideal, or the Vedic ideal of womanhood, in the
modern setting.

140

VIVEKANANDA VIEWS ON WOMEN


Women occupy the central place in the society.
She has taken important and major roles in our society.
In Brooklyn lectures, Swami Vivekananda said In
India, the mother is the centre of the family and our
highest ideal, she is to us the representative of god, as
god is the mother of the universe. Our god is both
personal and absolute: the absolute is male, the personal
is female. For that we now say: the first manifestation
of god is the hand that rocks the cradle. The word
woman calls up to the mind of the Hindu, motherhood:
and God is called mother . Swami said the soul is
sexless, and woman representing the energy aspect of the
lord, cannot be viewed in an insular way, in her physical
dimension alone.
In

Vedic

period,

we

hadnt

seen

any

differentiation between men and women. In fact in the


Vedas and Upanishads there were many strong women.
During Medieval India and during the Bhakti movement
due to the rigid conventional and familial instructions
imposed by the society and female became came under
the purview of rigid rules.
141

During the Vivekananda period, the women was


in deep degeneration and the status of the women is
society in, child marriage, polygamy, sati, no right for a
widow to remarry, no rights to education, patriarchy
society, from her birth to death and she always
depending on a male in every stage, Vivekananda once
expressed his anguish ,you alone are responsible for the
miserable condition of the women and at rests with you
also to raise them again. You could understand if only
you visited the western countries.
Vivekananda strongly believed that raised of the
nation

is

based

on

the

estimation

of

women

development. So that he would say the word is women


and the people for this reason Swami Vivekananda
repeatedly

said

they

have

to

be

raised

first

Vivekananda instructed that the children must learn at


his first schooling and first lesson is man who looks
upon all women as his mother. Sri Ramakrishnas view
about the women is divine motherhood in every woman
of whatever caste and religion she might be. In 1898
Vivekananda wrote a letter to women in Calcutta, it is
our natural right to all the members of society to be
allowed to use our body, intelligence or worth according
142

to our will without doing any harm to others. The idea


of prefect womenhood is prefect independence and also
said liberty is the first condition of growth.

EQUALITY BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN


Man considers woman as weak by nature when
compared to the man. But men forgets to thinks that, the
kind and soft nature of a mother, a man cannot play. In
intelligence both are equal. Men are aggressive, and
emotional whereas women are very calm, receptive, and
they able to bare the pain and more tolerance when
compare to the men. Yet women all over the world are
playing a secondary role only.
Vivekananda thrust about the equalization, he
wants to bring back the Vedic spiritual women system
and also said there is no sex distinction between man and
woman. As per the view of Vivekananda ,women have
the same privilege knowledge like Maitriyi, Gagi or they
can attain the same knowledge. He strongly believed that
give the opportunities, they can prove that they are more
able that the man.
When he spoke about the women problem, he
put forth his view that they can solve their own problem
143

and they have the capacity to solve their own problem.


Moreover he added that none of them have rights to rule
over each and every woman.
Finally he thought about equalization , he
forwarded the steps to attain this, to all the women have
the duties to save her husband , son and the men have
the duties to save his own wife, mother.
UNICEF and UN Women will jointly facilitate
the Gender Community of Practice of Solution
Exchange to support improved learning on issues and
strategies to address gender inequalities in India. A key
outcome

is United Nations Development Assistance

Framework (UNDAF)

to ensure that governance

systems are more inclusive, accountable, decentralized


and programme implementation are more effective for
the realization of rights of marginalized groups,
especially women and children.

VIVEKANANDAS VIEWS ON WOMENS


EDUCATION
According to ancient scriptures, Manu said
,where women are respected, there the gods delight and
144

where they are not respected, there all work and efforts
come to naught. By education, he did not mean the
stuffing of mind with information or pedantic ideas, but
a system by which character is formed, strength of mind
is increased, the intellect is expanded, and which helps
one to stand on ones own feet.
Swami Vivekananda insists that educate the
women first and leave them to themselves. Then they
will tell you what reforms are necessary for them. There
is no hope for rising the family or country where there is
no education of women, where they live in sadness, so
they have to be raised first. He wanted the education to
be made by the women would be fearless, brave, a
character which enables them to face the real life. So he
exhorted his disciples to educate, educate and there is
no other way.
He told them to inspire girl students by narrating
the stories of Sita, Savitri, Lilavati and others and
inculcated in them the virtue of selfishness. He further
suggested that they must be taught the rudiments of
science, arts, housekeeping, cooking, serving etc.
Besides, they ought to learn drawing, mudding, painting
and other fine, arts, fruit, modeling with hardened milk,
145

painting, photography, the cutting of designer on paper,


gold and silver filigree and embroidery. So that she can
earn to live easily in case of need.

REVOLUTIONARY INSTITUTION
Swami Vivekananda didnt regard women as
mere flesh and born with biotic potential, but a
representative of Shakti the female principle of
creation.

Two

things

are

more

occupied

in

Vivekanandas soul all the time, thats the problem of


the women and the masses. They believed that women
could excel in all field of human actual, if treated as
equal as a men and given proper education and training
,they have to solve their own problem themselves and
should stand on their own feet. No one can or ought to
do this for them. Our Indian women are as capable of
doing it as any in the world. Vivekananda aim was, the
women should be absolutely free from the men and
should be independent and train their life of perfect
renunciation. They must be given education and lift to
themselves. After that they will act as they think best he
said. If they wished to remain unmarried, he wanted
them to dedicate their lives for the purpose of self146

realization and service to humankind. Even after


marriage, the girl educated as above will inspire their
husbands with noble ideals and be the mothers of heroic
sons.
The dream of Vivekananda was to, start the
institution exclusively for the women and inculcate the
qualities of Sri Saradadevi. By that he wanted that
women should grow in the footprints of Sita of the past
and like Gargi, Maitriyi, Radha, Mirabai, Andal.
Vivekananda heart was on fire with the idea of
funding an institution for the women in the name of
Saradadevi . He described Sri Saradevi as mother, Shakti
(power) and with the power there is no regeneration for
the world mother has been born to revive that
wonderful shakti in India. Hence it is her moth(a holy
place meant for meditation as well as education) I want
first and we must first build a math for mother. He
wished to establish a math for mother and mothers
daughter first and he mentioned that establishment of a
monastic order of women, run by woman, and for
women. Through this institution he wanted to change the
status of the women all over the world. Previous period
also we saw the Sanga for womens during Buddhist
147

period and Christian missionaries also, but the women


freedom was very less and managed by men. But
Vivekanandas dream was an independent monastic
order of women to be managed fully by them with
absolutely no interference from men.
The institution of his dream was meant for every
woman who was devoted and dedicated to the ideal life
as seen in the life of Sarada devi and Vivekanandas
vision about their moth was the holy mother will be
their central figure and the wives and daughter of the
devotees of Sri Ramakrisha will be its first inmates.
Unmarried woman, widow, devout married woman will
also be allowed to stay. There shall be a girls school
attached to this womens moth which religious
scriptures, literature, Sanskrit, grammar and even some
amount of English should be taught. Other matters such
as sewing, culinary art, rules of domestic work and
upbringing of children, will also be taught while
worship, mediation etc. and its indispensable part of the
teaching. Those who wants to be live permanently ,
renouncing home and family ties, will be provided with
food and clothing from the moth ,day scholars also
attended to study here. The aim of the moth is to
148

spread female education to nearby villages and towns


and to attain self realization. These two institution, the
Ramakrisha, Sarada devi moth were to reflect the ideal
man and woman of the future society and exist between
a man and a woman where both are equal , are helpmates
in the attainment of the supreme goal of freedom in
human life,
His words of prophecy were, who on seeing
the tiny sprout of the banyan can imagine that in course
of time it will develop into a gigantic banyan tree? At
present I shall start the moth in this way. Later on you
will see that after a generation or two people of this
country will appreciate the worth of this math. My
women disciples will lay down their lives for it. Casting
off fear and cowardice, you also be helpers in this noble
mission and hold this high ideal before all. You will see,
it will shed its luster over the whole country in time.
The

dream

of

Vivekananda

was

finally

actualized on 2 December 1954 and 69 years have


crossed. It today stand as a monument of womens
ultimate independence and glory , par with and in some
respect , even superior to, the attainments by men. A few
years ago a Vivekananda University was started.
149

WOMEN ARE BUILDING OUR NATION


In India, Swami Vivekananda exhorted women
to be bold, active and self- sufficient and acquire the
ability to take initiative like their western counter
parts.They were to develop a strong character, so as to
become the catalysts of social change. Although Swami
Vivekananda once wrote to sister Nivedita that India
cannot yet produce great women and that she must
borrow then from other nations. He was sure that
women could be improved through education and by
giving them equal opportunities in different walks of
life.
We can now see the women employed in all the
fields not only in clerical job but also in Chief Minister,
planning committee, IAS, IPS, space and aircraft also.
Women are yet to come out through their bondage
particularly in rural areas. . To enable the rural women
too to take part in politics the central government has
introduced Bill in Parliament reserving one third of the
seats in parliament and other elected bodies for women.

150

The year 1995, was declared as the International


Year for Women throughout the world. Women were
made aware of their status and place in society. There
have been many movements in our country as well as in
other countries for the advancement of women. Recently
there was a world meet of women at Beijing, the capital
of China. As far as India is concerned, it has already
agreed to treat women as equal with men in all respects
of differences. It is sure that coming decades when
women also got equal educated and liberatde themselves
as men.
In the current scenario shows that, the women
are in all the fields and shaping the nation. Women have
a right to choose their education and profession
according to their ambition.
The first step was the creation of the World
Banks Women in Development programs. They pay
very close attention to womens issues with focus on
increasing womens productivity in agriculture, opening
labor markets to women, and improving womens access
to health care and education As a result of these
programs, girls enrolment at schools visibly increased.
Many international organizations have been paying
151

particular attention to women due to their crucial role in


subsistence agriculture and family life, and therefore to
overall development planning.
The challenges and opportunities provided to the
women of digital era are growing rapidly that the job
seekers of yesterday are turning into job creators. The
inspirational efforts of the Self-Employed Womens
Association, and other successful self-help groups, have
sowed the spirit of entrepreneurship in hundreds of
women.
A man and a woman are like two wheels of a
cart. The cart can move fast and safely too, when both of
them pull it in the same direction and with equal
strength. Hence no developing country or society can
afford to ignore the role of women, if they are to
progress.

CONCLUSION
In the 21st century women are in high position in
our society but still they are enslaved by the name of
sex, violence behavior and commodification. Still there
152

are certain diabolical belief that, the women are


subordinate to men, that they have to depend on them,
that they are meant for their pleasure, etc
The new self image of women has to be of
independence, or purity and strength, holiness and
heroism. Such women will be the building block of a
healthy family and society of the future. True modernity
lies in the way of men and women look upon each and
treat each other with dignity.
In this paper we discussed the status of the
women in past, present and future. Swami Vivekananda
concern of the women liberation means to free
someone/something from rigid social conventions. When
we speak about the women liberation, without the mens
liberation it is not possible to get womens liberation and
the men should understand the value of motherhood and
treat them as equal. Vivekananda strongly coded that
out with the differences between men and women all
is Atman.
Now days women did not understand the word
freedom and misuse their liberation in the name of
153

modernization. Its also one of the reasons for still they


are enslaved and suffered by

men.

Vivekananda

repeatedly insisted that they have to be raised first.


And raise means the women of India must grow and
develop in the foot prints of Sita (purity, chastity,
personified, affection, compassion and reverence).
Vivekananda wanted to go back to Vedic period and
treat women as equal with men and he foresaw that such
educated women alone would be the pillars of the true
development of human society. They would be a blend
of mothers soft heart, and a heros will strong and
fearless to the core and the embodiments of true kind of
independence comes from purity.
The concern of the womens education, Swami
Vivekananda exhorted his disciple is, Educate, Educate
, Than this there is no other way and he wanted the
knowledge of modern physical sciences to be added.
Todays women have to be educated in the empirical
sciences, and they have to be economically independent.
After Independence the Constitution of India
gave equal rights to men and women in all walks of life.
But even today one cannot say that all women in India
enjoy equal rights with men in all matters. When
154

Vivekananda thought about womens status, the two


things that occupied his mind was the problem of the
women and the masses. And in order to reflect the ideal
man and woman, Vivekananda left behind two
institutions the famous Sarada Moth and Ramakrishna
Mission.
Today womens are awake and moving fast. But
the awakened power needs a right direction. This right
direction for womens struggle towards freedom is found
in Vivekananda teachings. According to him, true
character is the foundation for self development. The
aim of education as self-development, therefore, leads to
the aim of education for character. The aim of education
is character building. This depends upon the ideals
cherished by the individual. The educator should present
high ideals before the students. The best way to develop
a character is the personal example of high character set
by the teacher. In ancient Indian system of education, the
teachers used to present high ideals before the pupils,
who in their turn imitated these ideals according to their
capacities. If we observe and follow those teachings
women have to develop a strong character so as to
become the catalysts of social change. Education for him
155

means that process by which character is formed,


strength of mind is increased, and intellect is sharpened,
as a result of which men and women can stand on ones
own feet.

******************
REFERENCES
Balakrishnan, V. (2103). Education the vision of
Swami Vivekanada. University News, 51(23), June 1016.
Gangopadhyay, Anjana. (2013). The way to Womens
freedom. According to Vivekananda. Kolkata : Advaita
Asharma.
Kapoor, satish. K.(2013). Swami Vivekananda and
women emopowerment :Traditional paradigm in a
changing milieu. University News, 51(12), March 25-31.
Vivekananda, Swami, Women of India. Chennai : Sri
Ramakrishna Math.
Wilson,

X.L.

X.(2013).

Swami

Vivekanandas

message on education for Modern India. University


News, 51(3), January 21-27.
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Agrawal,S.P. (2001). Women's Education in India,


1995-98: Present Status, Perspective Plan, Statistical
Indicators with a Global View. Concept Publishing
Company,(PP.335-337).
Badrinath,chaturvedi.( 2006). Swami Vivekananda,
the Living VedantaPenguin Books India. (PP.327).
Chandra,S,S., & Sharma, Kumar, Rajendra. (1996).
Principles of education . atlantice Publishers& Dist.
PP.214.
Chaube, saraya,Prasad.(2005). Recent philosophies of
education in india . concept publishing company.
Pp.260.
Kashyap,Shivendra.etal.(n.d).
Swami

vivekananda

Saving

Perspective

Humanity:
Viveknanda

Swadhyay Mandal.PP.6-8.
Pandya, Rameshwar. (2011). Spectrum of life long
education. Conept publication. Pp. 232.
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157

9
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA AND
WOMEN EDUCATION
M.K.GIRILAL
Research Scholar
Department of Philosophy
University of Kerala

Email : girilalmk@gmail.com
__________________________________________

ABSTRACT
Swami Vivekanandas Philosophical thinking arises
from the deepest influence of Vedanta. Swami
Vivekananda always emphasized the need of reinterpreting Vedanta in accordance with the demands
and need of our society. He was widely influenced by
the rich spiritual heritage and cultural hereditary of
Indian women. To him man is an organized unity of
the physical and the spiritual. Vedanta teaches that
when we speak of a man or woman as the image of
158

God, we do not mean his or her physical form, but


we mean the individual ego or the soul. Vivekananda
was a firm believer in education as an instrument of
human betterment. For him the aim of female
education is to make women strong, fear-less and
conscious of their chastity and dignity. Swami
Vivekananda believed that regeneration of Indian
women depends on their proper education. He felt
that unless Indian women secure a respectable place
in this country, the nation can never march forward.
With this end in view, he presented a comprehensive,
curriculum for women. Swamis vision of womens
education mainly centred on spirituality and the
qualities of sacrifice and self control of women.
Swami Vivekananda asked men to recognize women
as the symbol of Divine Mother, and the service of
women as the service of God. His educational
ideology tries to materialize the moral and spiritual
welfare and upliftment of humanity, irrespective of
caste, creed, nationality or time. According to him,
women have many problems which are grave but
none of them are so great that cannot be solved by
education.
159

_______________________________________
INTRODUCTION
Swami Vivekananda was an epitome of virtuous
personality that the world has ever seen. The main
body of his thoughts was derived from the Hindu
scriptures, Upanishads and especially the Vedanta.
His social and political ideas not only have profound
theoretical basis but also bear great practical value for
the development of the modern political theory. To
him man is an organized unity of the physical and the
spiritual. Swami Vivekananda described the true
nature of man as the social force of Atman.
Vivekananda in his Vedanta philosophy recognizes
the greatness of each individual soul and stresses the
need for the development of mans individuality.
The aim Swami Vivekanandas philosophy mainly
emphasises the Vedantic identification of man. To
him action leads the human society towards its
perfection and enlightenment; and action is the
supreme achievement that man can have in this
world. His humanism is based on the philosophy of
the

Upanisads

and

the

teachings

of

Sri
160

Ramakrishanaparamhansa. His conception of religion


is based on love and universal brotherhood. He
attempts to make a bridge between the East and West
on the basis of practical Vedanta. After the death of
Sri Ramakrishnaparamhansa in 1886, he organized
the Ramakrishna mission.i
He devoted most of the last fifteen years of his
serious life to communicate his universal message of
unity and tolerance. He travelled to all corners of
India and experienced the anguish of the countrys
impoverished multitude. He visited much of eastern
Asia, Europe and the United States. Swami
Vivekananda realized that mankind is passing
through a crisis, and the tremendous emphasis on the
scientific and mechanical way of life is causing
degeneration in the status of man- he is being reduced
to a machine. Swami Vivekananda, the greatest
modern ambassador of Vedanta, sought the solutions
of all the social and global evils through Education.

EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY OF
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA
The aim of education is to manifest in our lives the
161

perfection, which is the very essence of our inner self.


This perfection is the realization of the infinite power
which resides in everything through consciousness and
bliss. Education, according to Swami Vivekananda,
enables one to comprehend ones self within as the self
everywhere.
Swami Vivekananda was a firm believer in education as
an instrument of human betterment. He observed that we
want that education by which character is formed,
strength of mind is increased the intellect is expanded
and by which one can stand on ones own feet. For him,
education is the manifestation of the perfection already
in man. Swamiji attempts to establish through his words
and deeds, that the end of all education is man making.
He prepares the scheme of this man making education in
the light of his over- all philosophy of Vedanta.
According to Vedanta, the essence of man lies in his
soul, which he possesses in addition to his body and
mind. The essential unity of the entire university is
realized through education. We have to remember that
basis of his philosophy is advaita which preaches unity
in diversity. All knowledge, whether secular or spiritual,
is in the human mind. Knowledge is inherent in man.
162

Therefore man making, for him, means a harmonious


development of the body, mind and soul. According to
Swami Vivekananda, the mind of students has to be
controlled and trained through meditation, concentration
and practice of ethical purity. By his philosophy of
education, he, thus, brings it home that education is not a
mere accumulation of information but a comprehensive
training for life. He said, Education is not the amount of
information that is put into your brain and runs riot there
undigested all your life. According to him, knowledge
is inherent in every mans soul. What we mean when we
say that a man knows is only what he discovers by
taking the cover off his own soul. Swami Vivekanandas
methods of education resembles the heuristic methods of
the educationists. In this system, the teacher invokes the
spirit of inquiry in the pupil who is supposed to find out
things for himself under the bias- free guidance of the
teacher.
Swamiji laid a lot of emphasis on the environment at
home and school for the proper growth of the child. The
parents as well as the teachers should inspire the child
by the way they live their lives. Swamiji recommends
the old institution of gurukula and similar systems for
163

the purpose. In such system, the students can have the


ideal character of the teacher constantly before them,
which serves as the role model to follow.
Although he is of the opinion that mother tongue
is the right medium for social or mass education, he
prescribes the learning of English and Sanskrit also.
While English is necessary for mastering western
science and technology, Sanskrit leads on into the
depths of our vast store of classics.
Education, according to Swami Vivekananda,
remains incomplete without the teaching of aesthetics or
fine arts. He cites Japan as an example of how the
combination of art and utility can make a nation great. It
is

misinterpretation

of

Swami

Vivekanandas

philosophy of education to think that he has over


emphasized the role of spiritual development to the utter
neglect of the material side. He said that 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 themselves, and save
something against a rainy day.
He believed that for the development of a
balanced nation, we have to combine the dynamism and
164

scientific attitude of the west with the spirituality of our


country. In the neoVedanta humanistic tradition of
contemporary Indian thought, Swami Vivekananda
presented a philosophy of education for man making.
The chief objection raised by Swami Vivekananda
against the contemporary educational system was that it
turned men into slaves, capable of slavery and nothing
else. About the prevailing university education, he
remarked that it was not better than an efficient machine
for rapidly turning out clerks. It deprived people of their
faith and belief.
Swami Vivekananda was very critical about this
scheme of education. He compared it to the person who
wanted to turn his ass into a horse, was advised to thrash
the ass in order to achieve this transformation and killed
his ass in this process. Swami Vivekananda also
criticized the contemporary system of education from the
humanistic

view

point.

According

to

Swami

Vivekananda, there are several aims of education. They


are

as

follows:

Self-development,

Fulfilment

of

Swadharma, Freedom of Growth, and Character


formation. Education, according to most of the western
educationists, aims at mans adjustment with the
environment. According to the Indian philosophical
165

tradition, true knowledge does not come from outside, it


is discovered within the individual, in the uncovering of
the knowledge hidden in our mind. Swami Vivekananda
supported the ideal of swadharma in education.
Everyone has to grow like himself and no one has to
copy others. In an atmosphere of freedom, love and
sympathy alone the child will develop courage and self
reliance. He should be taught to stand on his own, to be
himself. Each child should be given opportunities to
develop according to his inner nature.
Freedom

is

first

requirement

for

self-

development. The child should be given freedom to


grow according to his own nature. The teachers should
not exert any type of pressure on the child. The child
should be helped in solving his problems himself. The
teachers should have an attitude of service and worship.
Education ultimately aims at realization. It is a means of
story of mankind.
Character formation is the foundation for self
development. The aim of education as self-development,
therefore leads to the aim of education for character. The
aim of education is character building. This depends
166

upon the ideals cherished by the individual. The best


way to develop a character is the personal example of
high character set by the teacher. In ancient Indian
system of education, the teachers used to present high
ideals before the pupils, who in their turn imitated these
ideals according to their capacities.

FOLLOWING
REQUIRED
FORMATION

THINGS
FOR

ARE

CHARACTER

OF

WOMENS

EDUCATION
Hard work - Character formation according Swami
Vivekananda requires hard work. This character by those
who have a wish for all types of enjoyment and struggle
is the best teacher in character building.
Morals and spiritual values- Besides hard work,
character formation requires traits such as purity, thirst
for

knowledge,

perseverance,

faith,

humanity,

submission and veneration. These qualities may be


developed by the example set by the teacher and the
pupils efforts.
Gurukula system- A strong relationship between the
167

teacher and the taught is possible only in a Gurukula


system of education. Therefore, Swami Vivekananda
favoured the ancient Indian Gurukula system of
education. In these Gurukulas, the pupils served the
teacher, who in his turn helped the pupils to achieve
knowledge.
Formation of good habit contributes to the formation of
a good character.
Learning through mistakes- A child should be allowed
to make mistakes in the process of character formation.
He will learn much from his mistakes. Errors are the
stepping stones to our progress in character. Strong
will,

is

the

sign

of

great

character.

Swami

Vivekanandas words worked like magic upon men and


women. Swami Vivekananda asked the people to build
up their character and manifest their real nature which
is effulgent, resplendent and ever pure.
To Swami Vivekananda, education is the
training by which the current and expression of will are
brought under control and becomes fruitful. According
to him, the very essence of education is the essence of
concentration of mind, not the collection of facts.
168

Swami Vivekananda says If I had to do my education


over again and have any voice in the matter, I would
not study facts at all. I would develop the power of
concentration and detachment and then with a perfect
instrument I could collect facts at will. Education is not
the amount of information that is put into your brain
and runs riot there undigested all your life.

GOALS OF EDUCATION
Swami Vivekananda enunciated the following
goals of Education such as self-reliance, development
of spiritual life, service for humanity, development of a
feeling of brotherhood, development of a spirit of
renunciation,

attainment

of

selfsufficiency

and

physical development. The Vedanta philosophy points


out that as each individual is divine by nature, the aim
of education should be the manifestation of this
inherent divine nature of man.

SWAMI
VIVEKANANDA
CONCEPT OF WOMEN

AND

Swami Vivekanadas concept of women is rooted in the


historical period of India. In India, mother is the centre
169

of the family and our highest ideal. She is the


representative of God, as God is the mother of the
universe. It was a female sage who first found the unity
of God and laid down this doctrine in one of the first
hymns of the Vedas. According to him our God is both
personal and absolute the absolute is male, the personal
is female. From the highest standpoint, there can be no
difference between men and women whereas the
Vedanta declares that one and the same conscious self is
present in all beings.ii In the highest reality of the
parabrahman, there is no distinction of sex. We only
notice this on the relative plane.iii
Swami Vivekananda accepts the difference between
men and women outwardly and says, in their real nature
there is none. Swami Vivekananda had absolutely no
hesitation in upholding the right of women to order their
own affairs, through the help of sympathetic men from
outside would be quite welcome. This followed naturally
from his belief in the Vedantic doctrine of the sameness
of the self everywhere. Socially speaking, it is disastrous
to

deny

Brahman

in

our

women.

To

Swami

Vivekananda, women must be put in a position to solve


their own problems in their own way. No one can or
170

ought to do this for them. And our Indian women are as


capable of doing it as any in the world. The first thing
that women needed was education on national lines- an
educator that would open their eyes to the secrets of the
soul, mind, and nature. His belief lay in education as the
remedy of all the present evils and the promise for future
progress of women. He could not foresee Hindu women
of the future entirely without the old power of mediation.
Women must learn modern science but not at the cost of
the ancient spirituality. To him the ideal Hindu wife was
still a trusted and devoted companion to her husband.
Swami Vivekananda was against the curbing of the
liberty of women by men , because it hampered the
growth of the nation. But the refrain of all his
philosophy was that men should not interfere in
womens affairs further than providing the right type of
education based on spirituality. In the present day it has
become necessary for them also to learn self-defence.
He says that the women of India must grow and develop
following the footprints of Sita. Swami Vivekananda
also wanted that proper respect must be paid to women
in the society. When Swami Vivekananda was travelling
around in India incognito, prior to his going to America,
171

he was deeply pained by the status of women in his


mother land.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF WOMEN


EDUCATION
Swami Vivekananda considered women to be the
incarnation of power. He rightly pointed out that unless
Indian women secure a respectable place in this country,
the nation can never move forward. He realizes that it if
the women of our country get right type of education,
they will be solve their own problems in their own way.
Swami

Vivekananda

suggested

the

following

programme for Education of women.

The female education should be spread with religions

centered. Religious training makes the formation of


character and observance of the views of celibacy.

Brahamacharinis

of

education

and

strong

character should take up the task of teaching. Through


such devout preachers of character, there will be the real
expansion of female education.

172

To understand History, purans, housekeeping

and the arts is the duty of home life and their principles
which make for the development of character must be
taught.

Japa, worship and meditation shall from an

indispensable part of the teaching


The main objective of his scheme of women
education is to make them strong, fearless and equally
competent in academic matters, yet women have a
special aptitude and competence for studies relating to
home

and

family.

Hence

he

recommends

the

introduction of subjects like sewing, nursing, domestic


science, culinary etc.
Swami Vivekananda was of the view that the
uplift of the women, the awakening of the masses, must
come first. In it lies the real good of the nation. If the
women are raised, then their children will by their noble
actions glorify the name of the country, Swami
Vivekananda

studied

the

problems

of

womens

education a little more in detail perhaps because this was


totally neglected in those days, and their upliftment
according to his belief, was the sine qua non for Indian
173

progress. The contrast with the educated women of the


west might also have urged him to think seriously about
their betterment. He was soon keen about the intellectual
advancement of Indian womanhood that he never
compromised on it. He was of the opinion that women
should be able to solve their own problems including
that of education, mans part being only to help them
from a distance. It is out of such a paramount
consideration that he brought sister Niveditaiv from the
west and trained her as a Hindu woman to organize
womens education in India. Later on sister Christine
another western disciple, devoted herself to precisely
this tasks.
In his scheme of womens education, the nuns
living in convents, were to play a dominant part; for in
their lives would be combined all that was best in the
ideal of Indian womanhood- selfsacrifice, modesty,
meditation, spirituality with all that is best in the westintellectual attainment practicality, boldness freedom
and self-confidence. The educational edifice for the girls,
more than that for the boys, had to be built around some
temple. Their curriculum had to provide ample scope for
worship, prayer, meditation, cultivation of arts science
174

and essential household duties. Religion, arts, science


housekeeping, cooking, sewing, hygiene the simple
essential points in these subjects ought to be taught to
our women. It is not good to let them touch novels and
fiction.vi He would not, however, be satisfied with mere
rituals. Their education must be an eye-opener in all
matters. Ideal character must aim at a devotion to lofty
principles of selflessness. In this connection, he wants
that the noble examples of Sita, Savitri, Damyanti ,
Lilavati,viiKhanaviii and Mira to be followed for the
development of character along the principles followed
by such exemplary women .
In the present day it has become necessary for
them also to learn self-defence. Swami Vivekananda
further insists that some of the women should be trained
in the ideal of renunciation, so that they can take up the
vow of lifelong virginity, fired with the strength of that
virtue of chastity which is innate in their life blood,
from hoary antiquity.
An education divorced from spirituality had no
attraction for him. To keep this prime need of spirituality
in the fore-front in all endeavours for the uplift of Indian
175

women, he conceived of the nunneries and the


institutions of sannyasa and Brahmachary for them.
These nunneries and convents would also be centres of
learning and the nuns and Brahmacharinis would be
teachers as well. Sister Nivedita organized womenss
education. Swami Vivekananda, also, intitiated her into
Brahmacharya to set an example for others. But in this
field, he was very careful not to dictate women. He only
drew the bare out-lines and inspired her to become an
Indian woman in the true sense of the term and then left
her free to develop her educational institution in her own
way. He remarked, My help is from a distance all the
mischief to women has come because men undertook to
shape the destiny of women.
Swami Vivekananda was an ardent champion of
education of women. His view was that it is only in the
home of educated and pious mothers that great men are
born. By raising the women, their children will, by their
noble actions, glorify the name of the country. Swami
Vivekananda while advocating the cause of women also
continued- Any attempt to modernize our women if it
tries to take our women away from the ideal of Sita, is
immediately a failure.
176

FUNCTIONS OF THE TEACHER


Swami Vivekananda laid great emphasis on the
personal contact of the pupil with the teacher- a learner
should live from his very boyhood with one whose
character is a blazing fire and should appear before him
as a living example of the highest teaching. The
questions are often asked why we should look into the
character and personality of the teacher. This is not right.
The sine qua non for acquiring truth for oneself, or for
imparting to others is purity of heart and soul.
A Teacher must be perfectly pure and then only
comes the value of his words and it is necessary for a
teacher to know the spirit of the scriptures. The whole
world reads the Bible, the Vedas and the Koran but they
are only words, syntax, etymology , philosophy- the dry
bones of religion . The teacher who deals too much in
words and allows the mind to be carried away by the
force of words loses the spirit. It is the knowledge of the
spirit of the scriptures that constitutes the true teacher.
A teacher should motivate and he must remember that
the only medium through which spiritual force can be
177

transited is love.

CONCLUSION
Swami Vivekanandas contribution towards women
education revived the spirit of humanism and advocated
character building and man making education. Swami
Vivekananda

recommended

free

and

compulsory

education regardless of caste, creed, wealth or poverty.


He placed emphasis on the inclusion of subjects related
to the cultural heritage of India in the school curriculum.
He insisted on the learning of western technology. True
education is learning and grasping the truth about
various things and then translating the truth about
various things into ones own life. His theory of
education strives to overcome the defects of the
empiricist and rationalistic theories. The empirical view
does not take into account the rational constitution of
mans mind and its innate tendencies which play a great
role in shaping objective knowledge to subjective
pattern, and therefore cannot help towards the expansion
of mans knowledge.
Thus Swami Vivekananda wanted to see the youth
of the country blossom physically, intellectually and

178

morally, by giving them a comprehensive education on the


individual and collective level. The real aim of women
education is spiritual emancipation and her freedom from
absolute bondage to the assertion of womanhood.

REFERENCES
I. Vivekananda (1964) The complete works vol.III:
In the four volumes (Now in nine volumes Ed.) of
the works of the Swami Vivekananda which are to
compose the present edition, we have what is not only a
gospel to the world at large, but also to its own
children, the Charter of the Hindu Faith. What
Hinduism needed, amidst the general disintegration of
the modern era, was a rock where she could lie at
anchor, an authoritative utterance in which she might
recogniseher self. And this was given to her, in these
words and writings of the Swami Vivekananda.
( p. 204)

II. Vivekananda ( 1964) the complete works vol.III:


Deals with swamis lectures and discourse of Bhakti
Yoga,para Bhakti or supreme devotion , lectures
from Colombo to Almora, report in American news
papers and Buddhistic India.

III. Vivekananda : on Indian and her problems


(1963)
179

This book comprises of a compilation from the Complete


Works of Swami Vivekananda enlightening the readers about
the great Swamis views on India and her problems. In
Swami Vivekananda India had a son who could feel the very
pulse of its life current, its vitality and power. This new
Prophet of India could see through the masquerading veil of
degeneration and decay, the obscured inherent power of his
motherland, in slumber as it were, only waiting to be
awakened to take the world by storm. In these pages, the
readers will find a penetrating diagnosis of the problems with
which India is confronted today, and also its solutions. - third
chapter of these book deals with the aim of education and
women education etc.

IV. Vivekananda, the complete works, vol,vi (1963)


BOOKS

RekhaJhanji

(2007).

The

Philosophy

of

Vivekananda. New Delhi.

Parameswaran, p. ( 1987) .Compartive study of


Marx and Vivekananda . New Delhi.

Mital.(2004). The Social political ideas of


Swami Vivekananda. New Delhi

Aggarwal, J.C. (2004) .Theory & Principles of


Education: Philosophical & Sociological Based of
Education .Mumbai.

180

10
REJUVENATION OF EDUCATION IN INDIA
A DREAM DREAMT BY SWAMI
VIVEKANANDA
SAMINAH KHAN
ASST. PROFESSOR, HOPE INSTITUTE OF
BENGAL (B.ED SECTION), PANCHLA,
HOWRAH. & PH.D SCHOLAR,
DEPT.OF EDUCATION, RAVENSHAW
UNIVERSITY, CUTTACK
email-saminah.khan@yahoo.co.in
Mobile No. 09830911872
&
DR. SARAT. KR. ROUT
LECTURER, DEPT. OF EDUCATION,
RAVENSHAW UNIVERSITY, CUTTACK
Abstract
Swami Vivekananda is one of most admired spiritual
leaders of India. The world knows him as an inspiring
Hindu monk, his motherland regards him as the patriot
saint of modern India, and Hindus consider him as a
source of spiritual power, mental energy, strength-giving
and open-mindedness .He travelled throughout the world
181

in search of truth. He believed that education is the


manifestation of perfection already existent in man. He
did not believe in in he mere cramming up of ideas and
techniques, whereas he believed in education that would
help man to stand on his own feet. He believed that it is
only through education that the miseries of India can be
wiped away. Character building and spiritual awakening
of the soul are considered to be the key components of
the philosophy of education that Vivekananda beheld.
This paper makes a descriptive study of Swamijis vision
about an educated India. It tries to analyse the relevance
of his philosophy in the light of the twenty-first century
India. It explains education as dreamt by swami
Vivekananda. Finally, it is a humble attempt to bring
into focus Swamijis dream of a rejuvenated India.
Key words: Manifestation, Perfection, character
building, Man-making
*********************************************
Introduction:
Swami Vivekananda is one of the most admired spiritual
leaders of India. The world knows him as an inspiring
Hindu monk, his motherland regards him as the patriot
saint of modern India, and Hindus consider him as a
182

source of spiritual power, mental energy, strength-giving


and open-mindedness .He travelled throughout the world
in search of truth. Travelling throughout the length and
breadth of India, mostly on foot, Swamiji was trying to
work out a purpose for his life. While on the road, he
often faced starvation and frequently found himself with
nowhere to stay. To him, this was an opportunity to
study India and its needs at first hand. He observed that
his country possessed a priceless spiritual heritage, but
had failed to reap the benefit of it. The weak points were
poverty, caste, negligence of the masses, oppression of
women and a faulty system of education. After his quest
for truth throughout India, he realised how was India to
be regenerated . He came to the conclusion:
We have to give back to the nation its lost individuality
and raise the masses. [. . .] Again, the force to raise them
must come from inside (CW, vol. VI, p. 255).
At about the same time that Swamiji completed his tour
of India, he was asked to represent Hinduism at the
Worlds Parliament of Religions, to be held that year
(1893) in Chicago, USA. He also felt that this might give
him an opportunity to do something for his country, so
he agreed to go. When the Parliament of Religions
183

convened in September 1893, Swamiji created a


sensation. While other delegates spoke of their own
faiths and creeds, Swamiji spoke of the God of all, the
source and essence of every faith. His call for religious
harmony and acceptance of all religions brought him
great acclaim. When the Parliament was over, he went
on a lecture tour in the Midwest and the East coast of the
United States. People came in large numbers to hear him
speak wherever he went, particularly intellectuals, thus
fulfilling his Master, Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansas
prediction that he would someday become a world
teacher. Swamijis tour of the United States also had a
revitalizing effect on India. Previously, those who had
gone to the West from India were full of apologies for
the state of their country. He was not. He always spoke
about his country with pride and respect. Thus, his work
in the West instilled self-respect and self-confidence in
the Indian psyche and helped India in its search for
identity. It also helped to overcome the stereotype and
deep-rooted prejudices about India in the Western
minds.

184

Education as defined by Vivekananda:


In order to understand his thoughts, we should first
consider his oft-quoted definition of education
Education is the manifestation of the perfection already
in man (CW, vol. IV, p. 358). Swami Vivekanandas
definition of education is one of remarkable insight. First
of all, the word manifestation implies that something
already exists and is waiting to be expressed. The main
focus in learning is to manifest the latent abilities of a
learner. As Vivekananda said, what a man learns is
really what he discovers, by taking the cover off his
own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge (CW,
vol. I, p. 28). According to the Vedanta philosophy,
knowledge is inherent in a human being, like a spark in a
piece of flint, and all that is needed is the strike of
suggestion to bring it out.
Education, he said, must provide life-building, manmaking, character-making assimilation of ideas (CW,
vol. III, p. 302). The ideal of this type of education
would be to produce an integrated person one who has
learned how to improve his intellect, purify his
emotions, and stand firm on moral virtues and
unselfishness. Vidya, or learning, is a continuum,
185

leading one towards the ultimate goal which, according


to Vivekananda, was complete freedom of the soul.
Vivekananda also observed that, if education is to serve
the entire human being, in all his/her dimensions, the
pursuit of knowledge will be a lifelong process. Even Sri
Ramakrishna said, from his own experience, As long as
I live, so long do I learn. At the empirical level, todays
knowledge explosion can keep people engaged for their
entire lives. Therefore, education must be considered a
continuous and lifelong process.
We

can

probe

further

into

the

expressions

manifestation and already in man, bearing in mind


the situation in India in those days. In explaining the
term manifestation, the Swami quoted part of one of
the yoga aphorisms of Patanjali (author of an ancient
Indian scripture 4.3) Tatah kshetrikavat [Therefore
the obstructions] that is to say, just as a farmer breaks
the barriers to a course of water, which thereafter flows
by its own force to irrigate his fields, so also a persons
inherent power will spontaneously manifest itself when
external and internal obstacles, if any, are removed at the
proper time by the teachers or the education system.
Such obstacles are of various kinds. External obstacles
186

might be in the form of unfair distribution of educational


resources and opportunities, inequalities in economic
development and socio-political instability; whereas
internal obstacles might have to do with the dynamics of
the education system, such as the teacher/student
relationship, the students capacity to make personal
judgements or to adapt to changes, and the students
mental or physical capacities.
Aims of education according to Vivekananda:
In order to tackle the external and internal obstacles, the
education system according to Vivekananda should aim
on two responsibilities:
it should help a person build a healthy and
dynamic frame of mind to enable him to meet
the challenges of life; and
it should try to prevent, through proper training
of its present students, any future evils in people
and society which are likely to further
complicate the problems of human beings.
In Vivekanandas view, educational concerns related to a
persons interaction with society should receive due
187

attention. The purpose of society is to help secure the


well-being of human beings. In reality, however, human
beings frequently find themselves entrapped in a society
that threatens their freedom, a freedom essential for their
educational growth. An ideal society, according to
Vivekananda, should provide the resources as well as the
opportunity for each of its members to develop his or her
potential to the maximum. Education must embrace the
whole society, with special attention to those who are
most in need of it and who, for one reason or another,
are unable to avail themselves of the existing facilities.

Vivekanandas views on education:


Training the mindVivekananda said,Teach yourselves, teach everyone his
real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it
awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness
will come, purity will come, and everything that is
excellent will come when this sleeping soul is roused to
self-conscious activity.

188

He concurred with contemporary thinkers when he


asserted that the mind the chief instrument of learning
deserves more attention than it had earlier received.
Training the mind should be a students highest priority,
and not simply the accumulation, the memorizing and
the repeating of facts. In the long run, stuffing ones
mind with information, technical skills and useless trivia
only creates more problems if ones mind is not
nourished and strengthened and made healthy. Yet
training of the mind in all its aspects is conspicuously
absent in todays education. Learning to concentrate the
mind was the focus in the Swamis scheme. He said: To
me the very essence of education is concentration of
mind, not the collecting of facts (CW, vol. VI, p. 38). In
doing anything such as thinking, working with the
hands, etc. the better the power of concentration the
better the outcome will be. And this power of keeping
the mind on the task can be improved. When a mind
becomes concentrated, it acquires tremendous power and
is able to unlock the mysteries of the subject it is focused
upon. Similarly, the Swami also wanted students to
cultivate will-power. According to him, will-power is
developed when the current and expression of will are
brought under control and become fruitful (CW, vol.
189

IV, p. 490). Will-power is necessary not only to conduct


the learning process, but also to strengthen ones
character.
Culture and educationEvery society has its outer aspect called civilization,
and also its inner aspect called culture. In both of these
a child is moulded and educated so that the beliefs and
practices of his forefathers are carried on and not
forgotten. Nevertheless, as Vivekananda says:
It is culture that withstands shocks, not a simple mass of
knowledge. [. . .] Knowledge is only skin-deep, as
civilisation is, and a little scratch brings out the old
savage (CW, vol. III, p. 291).
Vivekananda observed that, through education, a child
learns a culture and his behaviour is moulded
accordingly, and he is thus guided towards his eventual
role in society. In this process, several agents such as
his parents, peers and teachers assist him. But
nowadays, as formal education has become more and
more institutionalized, teachers are expected to play a
more significant role. A teacher needs to help a student
learn how to think, what to think, how to discriminate
190

and how to appreciate things. This is not just a matter of


intellectual manipulation. This kind of teaching requires
moral conviction and the courage to continuously pursue
ones own course at all costs. The teacher must not only
possess the knowledge he is to transmit to the student,
but he must also know how to transmit it. And, in
addition to the content of the teaching, what the teacher
gives or transfers, to be truly effective, must possess
some other elements. For instance, the teacher should
share with the student the conviction that they are both
truly one in Spirit at the same time cultivating in the
student a feeling of dignity and self-respect. As
Vivekananda said:
The only true teacher is he who can immediately come
down to the level of the student, and transfer his soul to
the students soul and see through the students eyes and
hear through his ears and understand through his mind.
Such a teacher can really teach and none else (CW, vol.
IV, p. 183).
In a favourable ambience such as this the process of
uncovering the veil of ignorance works smoothly (CW,
vol. I, p. 28). On the students side, in order to facilitate
the manifestation of his innate strength and knowledge,
191

he should cultivate the spirit of shraddha that is, faith


in himself, humility, submission and veneration for the
teacher. This is also necessary to create a favourable
environment for learning.
Character education and inculcation of valuesVivekananda emphasized that the ideal of all education,
all training, should be man-making. Lamenting over the
prevailing system of education, he said: But, instead of
that, we are always trying to polish up the outside. What
use in polishing up the outside when there is no inside?
The end and aim of all training is to make the man grow
(CW, vol. II, p. 15).
In order to rectify the defects in the existing system,
mans limited view of himself, on which the existing
system of education is based, needs to be reconsidered.
A human being is not simply a composite of body and
mind. He is something more. According to the Vedanta
philosophy, a human being has five sheaths, or
coverings: the physical sheath, the vital sheath, the
mental sheath, the intellectual sheath, and the blissful
sheath. Todays education can at best touch the first four
sheaths, but not the last one. Secular knowledge, skills
192

and moral values may take care of the first four sheaths,
but spiritual knowledge is essential for the fifth.
Moreover, it should be noted that the fifth sheath is the
reservoir of bliss, knowledge and strength, and all the
other sheaths are activated by the fifth.
There is no doubt that todays education neglects
training of the mind in all its aspects, but it also neglects
the spiritual side of human beings. Peoples minds are
not directed to higher pursuits of life with the result that
their hidden potentials are not revealed. Only when
wisdom, peace, strength, unselfishness, loving concern
for others and other virtues become evident is a person
transformed from a sensuous being to a true human
being. A tremendous explosion of knowledge without
commensurate wisdom, plus immense power not
tempered with discrimination, have made education
today a potential source of danger. This is a serious
problem looming large on humanitys horizon.
In order to counterbalance this uneven development,
Vivekananda strongly recommended the adoption of a
spiritual and ethical culture, and he looked upon
religion as the innermost core of education (CW, vol.
III, p. 182; vol. V, p. 231). But by religion he did not
193

mean any particular religion. Religion to him meant the


true eternal principles that inspire every religion. This is
what touches the heart and has the potential to affect
desirable changes in ones motivation. It also gives
mental strength and broadness of outlook. Discussing the
practical implications of morality, Swami Vivekananda
once observed: What is meant by morality? Making the
subject strong by attuning it to the Absolute, so that
finite nature ceases to have control over us (CW, vol. II,
p. 137).
Thus, in order to be worthwhile and effective, education
must be rooted in religion or, to be precise, in the
science of spirituality, and evidently not in dogma.
Character-building was fundamental in Vivekanandas
educational scheme, as against career-orientation, which
occupies centre-stage in todays educationThat is why
one finds that the focus of the Swamis educational
thoughts was on assimilation of man-making, character
building ideas.
He desired that the teachers life and personality should
be like a blazing fire which could have a positive
influence on the pupils in his care. Exposure to
exemplary role models, particularly when they are
194

teachers, and also to wholesome curriculum materials


that impart culturally-approved values to the young, are
critical

to character education. Character-building

education might focus on teaching what is right and


wrong. But simultaneously, or alternatively, it should
teach how to decide what is right and wrong. It has been
rightly argued that participation in discussions of
morality is more instructive than simply hearing about it.
In any case, however, the teachers should be moral
exemplars if the classroom and the school are to serve as
arenas for the teaching of ethics. The students then have
the experience of being part of a group of people who
take moral values seriously, and this helps them imbibe
moral values spontaneously. The present education
system has overemphasized the cultivation of the
intellect at the cost of the general well-being of
humanity. To check this dangerous trend, Vivekananda
strongly recommended all-round development of human
beings. In one of his lectures he expressed the desire
that all men were so constituted that in their minds all
these elements of philosophy, mysticism, emotion, and
of work were equally present in full! That is the ideal,
my ideal of a perfect man (CW, vol. II, p. 388).
195

Conclusion:
There have been many changes in the field of education
since Swami Vivekananda passed away, but not as many
changes as in other areas of society. One such noticeable
change in education is that it is now engaged in
preparing human beings for a new type of society, and it
is trying to create a new type of human being for it.
Interestingly, Swami Vivekananda had envisioned a
society with a new type of human being in whom
knowledge, action, work and concentration were
harmoniously blended, and he proposed a new type of
education for achieving this. The right to education for
everyone, guaranteed by the Constitution of India, was
Vivekanandas dream, but it is still a far cry from its
goal. His idea of continual, or lifelong, education,
however, has been adopted in many countries already.
Moreover, because of the adoption of continuous
education in these countries, our idea of what constitutes
success and failure has altered, raising new hope for the
weak, underprivileged section of these societies these
very people who for various reasons cannot complete
their education when they are young. Vivekanandas cry
for the upliftment of the downtrodden masses,
196

particularly of the long-neglected women, has evoked a


favourable response from different corners of the world.
Unless radical changes are made in all societies the poor
will never be able to raise themselves. India will revive
in its glory, if the nation works upon the philosophy of
the Swami. It is definitely a remarkable step towards the
rejuvenation of India, as the philosophy of Vivekananda
which dates back to a century is the present concern of
the UNESCO.
*********************************************
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Ahluwalia, B. (1983). Vivekananda and the


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Burke, M.L. (1984). Swami Vivekananda in


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Letters of Swami Vivekananda, Advaita


Ashrama, Calcutta, 1989, p281
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**********************

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200

About the Author :


Smt. Prarthita Biswas, M.A. (Triple), M.Phil.,
M.Ed. is a Assistant Prof. Of Pailan College of
Education (Affiliated to the University of
Calcutta),
PAILAN GROUP,Joka, Kolkata.She
obtained M.A. and M.Phil. in Modern History from
Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She is also a Post Graduate
in Education and Political Science. She is at present
engaged in Ph.D. Programme in the Dept. of Education,
University of Kalyani. She has written in more than 10
educational Peer-Reviewed National and International
journals and in more than 05 articles in books. She also
presented a number of research papers both in National
and International Seminars and acted as a Resource Person
as well. Apart from that, she also participated in numerous
workshops organised by UGC and ICSSR . Her areas of
interest are - Womens Studies, History of Education,
Educational Technology, Educational Management and
Teacher Education. She is
the Editor In - Chief
of
SUNDARAM-Journal
For
All
Subjects(http://www.e-sundaramjournal.in),an
InterDisciplinary Peer-Reviewed Journal. She is also the
Editorial Board Member of International Education
Studies,Canadian
Centre
of
Science
and
Education,Canada
(http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ies).She
is
also the author of the book Swami Vivekananda and
Women Emancipation .

201