Vivekanand- Method or Procedure of teaching

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari Principal D.I.M.S. Meerut INDIA pallavi singh Lecturer D.I.M.S.Meerut INDIA Dr.Saroj Agarwal Sr Lecturer D.I.M.S.Meerut INDIA

Whatever you are doing, put your whole mind on it. If you are shooting, your mind should be only on the target. Then you will never miss. If you are learning your lessons, think only of the lesson. In India boys and girls are taught to do this.
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Amongst the contemporary Indian philosophers of education, Swami Vivekananda is one of those who revolted against the imposition of British system of education in India. He criticised the pattern of education introduced by the British in India. He pointed out that the current system of education only brings about an external change without any reflective inner force Having analyzed the goal or objective of education, the next question that naturally arises is about the method of imparting education. Here again, we note the Vedantic foundation of Swamiji¶s theory. According to him, knowledge is inherent in every man¶s soul. What we mean when we say that a man µknows¶ is only what he µdiscovers¶ by taking the cover off his own soul. Consequently, he draws our attention to the fact that the task of the teacher is only to help the child to manifest its knowledge by removing the obstacles in its way. In his words: µThus Vedanta says that within man is all knowledge even in a boy it is so and it requires only an awakening

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and that much is the work of a teacher.¶ To drive his point home, he refers to the growth of a plant. Just as in the case of a plant, one cannot do anything more than supplying it with water, air and manure while it grows from within its own nature, so is the case with a human child. Vivekananda¶s method of education resembles the heuristic method of the modern 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 lays 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 (living with the preceptor) and similar systems for the purpose. In such systems, the students can have the ideal character of the teacher constantly before them, which serves as the role model to follow. Although Swamiji 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 one into the depths of our vast store of classics. The implication is that if language does not remain the privilege of a small class of people, social unity will march forward unhampered. In the Neo-vedanta humanistic tradition of contemporary Indian thought, Vivekananda presented a philosophy of education for man making. The chief objection raised by 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. 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. Vivekananda also criticised the contemporary system of education from the humanistic view point

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Vivekananda 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 student¶s highest priority, and not simply the accumulation ,the memorizing and the repeating of facts. In the long run, stuffing one¶s mind with information, technical skills and useless trivia only creates more problems if one¶s mind is not nourished and strengthened and made healthy. Yet training of the mind in all its aspects is conspicuously absent in today s education

Vivekananda 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 student¶s highest priority, and not simply the accumulation, the memorizing and the repeating of facts. In the long run, stuffing one¶s mind with information, technical skills and useless trivia only creates more problems if one¶s mind is not nourished and strengthened and made healthy. Yet training of the mind in all its aspects is conspicuously absent in today¶s education. Learning to concentrate the mind was the focus in the Swami¶s scheme. He said: µTo 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 Bhands, 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. There is only one method by which to attain knowledge, that which is called concentration. The very essence of education is Concentration, concentration of mind. From the lowest man to the highest yogi, all have to use the same method to attain knowledge. The chemist who works in his laboratory concentrates all the powers of his mind, brings them into one focus, and throws them on the elements ; the elements stand analyzed, and thus his knowledge comes. The astronomer concentrates the powers of his mind and brings them into one focus; and he throws them on to objects through his telescope ;and stars and systems roll forward and give up their secrets to him. So it is in every case : with the professor in his chair, the student with his book ,with every man who is working to know.3The more the power of concentration, the greater the knowledge that is acquired. Even the lowest shoeblack, if he gives more Its power .concentration, will black shoes better. The cook with concentration will cook a meal all the better. In making money, or in worshipping God, or in doing anything, the
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stronger the power of concentration, the better will that thing be done. This is the one call, the one knock, which opens the gates of Nature, and lets out floods of light. Ninety percent of thought-force is wasted by the ordinary human being and therefore he is constantly committing blunders. The trained man or mind never makes a mistake. The main difference between men and the animals is the difference in their power of concentration. An animal has very little power of concentration. Those who have trained animals find much difficulty in the fact that the animal is constantly forgetting what is told him. He cannot concentrate his mind upon anything for a long time. Here in is the difference between man and the animals. This difference in their power of concentration also constitutes the difference between man and man. Compare the lowest with the highest man. The difference is in the degree of concentration. All success in .any line of work is the result of this. High achievements in arts, music, etc., are the Results result of concentration. When the mind is concentrated and turned back on itself, all within us will be our servants, not our masters. The Greeks applied their concentration to the external world and the result is perfection in art, literature etc. The Hindu concentrated on the internal world, upon the unseen realms in the self and developed the science of yoga. The world is ready to give up its secrets if we only know how to knock, how to give necessary blow. The strength and force in the blow comes through concentration. The power of concentration is the only key to the treasure-house of knowledge. Training the mind to concentrate on a specific subject has several stages, the primary one being learning how to collect the mind and preventing it from running hither and thither. The student trains his mind to be more attentive and more µmindful¶. In the present state of our body we are much distracted, and the mind is frittering away its energies upon a hundred things. As soon as we try to call on our thoughts and concentrate our mind upon any one object of knowledge, thousands of undesired impulses rush into the brain , thousands of thoughts rush into the mind and disturb it. How to check it and bring the mind under control is the whole subject of study in Rajayog.

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Similarly, the Swami also wanted students to cultivate will-power. According to him, will-power is developed when µthe current and expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful¶ (CW, vol. IV, p. 490). Will-power is necessary not only to conduct the learning process, but also to strengthen one¶s character One must understand this one fact, no good comes out of the man who day and night thinks he is nobody. If a man day and night thinks that he is miserable, low and nothing, nothing he becomes. If he say 'I am, I am ', so shall he be. That is the great fact one ought to remember. We are children of the Almighty, we are sparks of the infinite, divine fire. How can we be nothings? We are everything, ready to do everything; we can do everything. This faith in themselves was in the heart of our ancestors; this faith in themselves was the motive power that pushed them forward in the march of civilization. If there has been degeneration, if there has been defect, one will find that degeneration to have started on the day our people lost this faith in themselves. Next, the student must learn how to detach his mind from distractions that impose themselves in spite of himself. Then, simultaneously, he must direct the mind on to the desired subject and focus the full force of his mind on it. To give an example: a convex lens gathers sunlight and focuses it on one point to burn a piece of paper .Likewise, when a mind becomes concentrated, it acquires tremendous power and is able to unlock the mysteries of the subject it is focused upon. The practice of meditation leads to mental concentration. To me the very essence of education is concentration of mind, not the collection of facts. IfI had to do my education once again, I would not study facts at all. I would develop the power of concentration and detachment, and then with a perfect instrument, collect facts at will. Power comes to him who observes unbroken Brahmacharya for a period of twelve years. Complete continence gives great Brahmacharya intellectual and spiritual power necessary for __ .concentration. Controlled desire leads to the highest results. Transform the sexual energy into spiritual energy. The stronger this force, the more can be done with it. Only a powerful current of water can do hydraulic mining.

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It is owing to want of continence that everything is on the brink of ruin in our country. By observance of strict Brahmacharya all learning can be mastered in a very short time; one acquires an unfailing memory of what one hears or knows but once. The chaste brain has tremendous energy and gigantic will power. Without chastity there can be no spiritual strength. Continence gives wonderful control over mankind. The spiritual leaders of men have been very continent and this is what gave them power .Every boy should be trained to practice absolute Brahmacharya and then, and then alone faith and Shraddha will come. Chastity in thought ,word and deed always and in all conditions is what is called Brahmacharya. Unchaste imagination is as bad as unchaste action. The Brahmacharin must be pure in thought, word and deed. .The idea of true Shraddha must be brought back once more to us. The faith in our own selves must be awakened and then only the problems which face our country will gradually be solved by ourselves. What we want is this Shraddha. What makes the difference between man and man is the difference in the Shraddha and nothing else. What makes one man great and another weak and low is this Shraddha. Vivekanand had strongly believe in the power of Shraddh .he emphatically say my master used to say : he who thinks himself weak will become weak ; and that is true. This Shraddha must enter into you. Whatever of material power you see manifested by the western races, is the outcome of this Shraddha, because they believe in their muscles; and if you believe in the spirit how much more will it work! On the student¶s side, in order to facilitate the manifestation of his innate strengthand knowledge, 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 Swami Vivekananda 239 Prospects, vol. XXXIII, no. 2, June 2003 favourable environment for learning. The Taittiriya Upanishad (an ancient Indian scripture ± 1.11.2) gives the instruction: µAcharyadevo bhava ± Let the teacher be your deva¶ [i.e. a person fit to be worshipped or highly honored]. The teacher/pupil relationship ,based on respect and mutual trust, is the cornerstone of the edifice of Vivekananda¶s scheme of education. The Upanishads also advocated this. Before starting the lesson, the teacher and the pupils were to pray together so that they would mutually benefit and be strengthened by the teaching/learning process.
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Vivekanand emphasizing the importance of shradha openly declares-³To preach the doctrine of Shraddha or genuine faith is the mission of my life. Let me repeat to you that this faith is one of the most potent factors of humanity. First have faith in yourselves. Know that though one may be a little bubble and another may be a mountain-high wave, yet behind both the bubble and the wave there is the infinite ocean The infinite ocean is the background of me as well as you. Mine also is that infinite ocean of life, of power, of spirituality as well as yours. Therefore, my brethren, teach this life-saving, great, ennobling grand doctrine to your children even from their very birth´. Whatever you are doing, put your whole mind on it. If you are shooting, your mind should be only on the target. Then you will never miss. If you are learning your lessons, think only of the lesson. In India boys and girls are taught to do this.

References-

Ahluwalia, B. 1983. Vivekananda and theIndianRenaissance. New Delhi: Associated Publishing Co. Avinashalingam, T.S. 1974. Educational philosophy of Swami Vivekananda. 3rd ed. Coimbatore: Sri Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya. Burke, M.L. 1984. Swami Vivekananda in the West: new discoveries, 6 vols. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama . Dhar, S. 1975. A comprehensive biography of Swami Vivekananda. 2 vols. Madras: Vivekananda Prakashan Kendra.
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Gnatuk-Danil¶chuk, A.P. 1986. Tolstoy and Vivekananda. Calcutta: The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture. His Eastern and Western Admirers. 1983. Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda. 3rd ed. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama. His Eastern and Western Disciples. 1989. The life of Swami Vivekananda. 2 vols. 6th ed. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama. Hossain, M. 1980. Swami Vivekananda¶s philosophy of education. Calcutta: Ratna Prakashan Nivedita, Sister. 1999. The Master as I saw him. 9th ed., 12th printing. Calcutta: Udbodhan Office. Raychaudhuri, T. 1988. Europe reconsidered: perceptions of the West in nineteenth century Bengal. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Sengupta, S.C. 1984. Swami Vivekananda and Indian nationalism. Calcutta: Shishu Sahitya Samsad. Singh, S.K. 1983. Religious and moral philosophy of Swami Vivekananda. Patna: Janaki Prakashan . Toyne, M. 1983. Involved in mankind: the life and message of Vivekananda. Bourne End, United
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Kingdom: Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre. Williams, G. 1974. The quest for meaning of Swami Vivekananda: a study of religious change. California: New Horizons Press

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