Swami Vivekananda : A true ideal for students

Much has been said and written about Swami Vivekananda. He is attributed to be the perfect gentleman and students are exhorted to be like him. His theories, philosophies of Vedanta have spread far and wide around the world and people rever him a lot. Its a proud feeling to know that he was born on Indian soil.


Swami Vivekananda was a man of strict self-discipline and had an unimaginable kind heart. He was a brilliant student and rose to fame when he went to represent India in a religious congregation held at Chicago. Below we present his views on education.

  1. Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.
  2. The true education is not yet conceived amongst us. I never define anything, still it may be described as a development of faculty, not an accumulation of words, or as a training of individuals to will rightly and efficiently.
  3. No one can teach anybody. The teacher spoils everything by thinking that he is teaching. Thus Vedanta says that within man is all knowledge- even in a boy it is so- and it requires only an awakening, and that much is the work of a teacher. We have to do only so much for the boys that they may learn to apply their own intellect to the proper use of their hands, legs, ears, eyes, etc., and finally everything will become easy.
  4. To me the very essence of education is concentration of mind, not the collecting of facts. If I had to do my education over again, and had 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. Side by side in the child should be developed the power of concentration and detachment.
  5. Well, you consider a man as educated if only he can pass some examinations and deliver good lectures. The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring out strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and the courage of a lion-is it worth the name? Real education is that which enables one to stand on his own legs. The education that you are receiving in schools and colleges is only making you a race of dyspeptics. You are working like machines merely, and living a jelly-fish existence.
  6. Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested all your life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making, assimilation of ideas. If you have assimilated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have more education than any man who had got by heart whole library. If education were identical with information, the libraries would be the greatest sages in the world and encyclopaedias the Rishis.
  7. Negative thoughts weaken men. Do you not find that where parents are constantly taxing their sons to read and write, telling them they will never learn anything, and calling them fools and so forth, the latter do actually turn out to be so in many cases. If you speak kind words to boys and encourage them, they are bound to improve in time. What holds good of children, also holds good of children in higher thoughts. If you can give them positive ideas, people will grow up to be men and learn to stand on their own legs.
  8. All knowledge, secular or spiritual, is in the human mind. In many cases it is not discovered, but remains covered, and when the covering is being slowly taken off we say “we are learning”, and the advance of knowledge is made by the advance of this process of uncovering. The man from whom this veil is being lifted is more knowing man; the man upon whom it lies thick is ignorant, and the man from whom it has entirely gone is all-knowing.
  9. No one was ever really taught by another; each of us has to teach himself. The external teacher offers only the suggestion which rouses the internal teacher to work to understand things.
  10. In language and literature, in poetry and in arts, in everything we must point out not the mistakes people are making in their thoughts and actions, but the way in which they will gradually be able to do these things better. Pointing out mistakes wounds a man’s feelings. We have seen how Sri Ramakrishna would encourage even those whom we considered as worthless, and change the very course of their lives thereby. His very method of teaching was a unique phenomenon.

2 thoughts on “Swami Vivekananda : A true ideal for students

  1. युद्धवीर सिंह लांबा “भारतीय” says:

    Swami Vivekananda: The forerunner of Indiana renaissance and youth icon of India”

    Swami Vivekananda, the great Indian philosopher, great patriotic, philanthropist and social reformer was born at 3 Gour Mohan Mukherjee Street, Kolkata on Monday, 12 January 1863, during the eve of Makara Sankranti festival. He was the eldest son of Vishwanath Datta and Bhuvaneshwari Devi. His father Vishwanath Dutta was an attorney of Calcutta High Court. His mother Bhuvaneshwari Devi was house wife.

    Shri Ajit Singh, Maharaja of Khetri in Rajasthan gave name of Swami Vivekananda, to Narendra. Vivek literally means “intelligence” or knowledge whereas Anand stands for bliss or joy.

    Swami Vivekananda, an inspiration to the youth is best known for his inspiring speech beginning with “sisters and brothers of America”, through which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World’s Religions at Chicago in 1893. No doubt Swami Vivekananda is an eternal source of Inspiration to the Modern Youth in India.

    American newspapers reported Vivekananda as “the greatest figure in the parliament of religions” and “the most popular and influential man in the parliament”.

    The New York Herald noted, “Vivekananda is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions. After hearing him we feel how foolish it is to send missionaries to this learned nation”. The New York Critique wrote, “He is an orator by divine right, and his strong, intelligent face in its picturesque setting of yellow and orange was hardly less interesting than those earnest words, and the rich, rhythmical utterance he gave them”. The Boston Evening Transcript reported that Vivekananda was “a great favourite at the parliament… if he merely crosses the platform, he is applauded”.

    Nobel Laureate in Literature for Gitajali in 1913, Rabindranath Tagore told Romain Rolland, “If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing negative.” Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, popularly known as “Rajaji, the first Indian Governor General of India said “Swami Vivekanand saved Hinduism, saved India. Subhash Chandra Bose, generally known as Netaji has wrote “Swami Vivekanand is the maker of modern India” The Indian nationalist extremist leader, poet, and philosopher Shri Aurobindo Ghose (1872-1950) regarded Vivekanand as his spiritual mentor.

    It is also a matter of immense pleasure that On November 11, 1995, the stretch of Michigan Avenue that passes in front of the Art Institute was formally conferred the honorary name “Swami Vivekananda Way”.

    He died at a very tender age of just 39 years on the 4th of July 1902. He lived young and died young — he lived for 39 years, five months and 24 days. Uttisthata Jagrata Prapya Barannibodhata a Sanskrit Sloka taken from Katha Upanishad meaning in English Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached. Swami Vivekananda used the Sanskrit sloka so widely in his speeches and lectures.

    Teachings of great philosopher Swami Vivekananda were more relevant today than when he had addressed the conference in 1893 in Chicago where he gave the call for universal brotherhood. The philosophy and teaching of Swami Vivekananda are remaining an inspiration for modern youth. Really Swami Vivekananda inspired many young people and his speech is an ideal inspiration for the youth.

    Yudhvir Singh Lamba Bharatiya working as an Administrative Officer at Haryana Institute of Technology, Bahadurgarh, Distt. Jhajjar 124507 (Haryana).

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