In this article we'll make a collection of Swami Vivekananda's quotes and comments on Education. Related articles are listed at the bottom of the page.
What is education?
From Complete Works, Volume IV—[Source]
What is education? Is it book-learning? No. Is it diverse knowledge? Not even that. The training by which the current and expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful is called education. Now consider, is that education as a result of which the will, being continuously choked by force through generations, is well-nigh killed out; is that education under whose sway even the old ideas, let alone the new ones, are disappearing one by one; is that education which is slowly making man a machine? It is more blessed, in my opinion, even to go wrong, impelled by one's free will and intelligence than to be good as an automaton. Again, can that be called society which is formed by an aggregate of men who are like lumps of clay, like lifeless machines, like heaped up pebbles? How can such society fare well? Were good possible, then instead of being slaves for hundreds of years, we would have been the greatest nation on earth, and this soil of India, instead of being a mine of stupidity, would have been the eternal fountain-head of learning.
Swami Vivekananda's quotes and comments on education
Education is the manifestation
of the perfection already in man.
—Swami VivekanandaImage license: Wikimedia Commons
- Educate and raise the masses, and thus alone a nation is possible.[Source]
- Education, education, education alone! Travelling through many cities of Europe and observing in them the comforts and education of even the poor people, there was brought to my mind the state of our own poor people, and I used to shed tears. What made the difference? Education was the answer I got. Through education comes faith in one's own Self, and through faith in one's own Self the inherent Brahman is waking up in them.[Source]
- Education has yet to be in the world, and civilisation — civilisation has begun nowhere yet.[Source]
- Education is not filling the mind with a lot of facts. Perfecting the instrument and getting complete mastery of my own mind [is the ideal of education].[Source]
- Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.[Source]
- 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 has got by heart a whole library यथा खरश्चन्दनभारवाही भारस्य वेत्ता न तु चन्दनस्य। — "The ass carrying its load of sandalwood knows only the weight and not the value of the sandalwood."[Source]
- How can there be/any progress of the country without the spread of education, the dawning of knowledge?[Source]
- I look upon religion as the innermost core of education.[Source]
- If education is identical with information, the libraries are the greatest sages in the world, and encyclopaedias are the Rishis.[Source]
- If the mountain does not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain. If the poor cannot come to education, education must reach them at the plough, in the factory, everywhere.[Source]
- If the poor boy cannot come to education, education must go to him.[Source]
- It is man-making education all round that we want.[Source]
- . . . Life is a series of fights and disillusionments. . . . The secret of life is not enjoyment, but education through experience. But, alas, we are called off the moment we begin really to learn. That seems to be a potent argument for a future existence. . . . Everywhere it is better to have a whirlwind come over the work. That clears the atmosphere and gives us a true insight into the nature of things. It is begun anew, but on adamantine foundations. . . .[Source]
- My idea of education is personal contact with the teacher— Gurugriha-vasa. Without the personal life of a teacher there would be no education. Take your Universities. What have they done during the fifty years of their existence? They have no produced one original man. They are merely an examining body.
- Shri Ramakrishna used to say, "As long as I live, so long do I learn." That man or that society which has nothing to learn is already in the jaws of death. Yes, learn we must many things from the West: but there are fears as well.[Source]
- 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 of the name? Real education is that which enables one to stand on one's own legs.
- The first duty is to educate the people.[Source]
- The ideal of all education, all training, should be this man-making. 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. The man who influences, who throws his magic, as it were, upon his fellow-beings, is a dynamo of power, and when that man is ready, he can do anything and everything he likes; that personality put upon anything will make it work.[Source]
- There is only one purpose in the whole of life — education. Otherwise what is the use of men and women, land and wealth?[Source]
- 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.[Source]
- We have had a negative education all along from our boyhood. We have only learnt that we are nobodies. Seldom are we given to understand that great men were ever born in our country. Nothing positive has been taught to us. We do not even know how to use our hands and feet! [Source]
- 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 one's own feet.[Source]
- You cannot teach a child any more than you can grow a plant. All you can do is on the negative side—you can only help. It is a manifestation from within; it develops its own nature—you can only take away obstructions.[Source]
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