‘The ideal of all education, all training, ‘said Swami Vivekananda, ‘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. This book attempts to discuss this ‘inside’ of education which is man-making. A collection of 52writings on various aspects of education in its widest sense’ this book presents the Indian worldview of divinity of man and unity of existence. Compiled from the archives of The Vedanta Kesari, these writings deal with various aspects of education, particularlythe key ideas of Yoga and Vedanta which are of great value to all educationists and students.
‘As long as I live, so long do I learn,’ said Sri Ramakrishna. This handy volume on education draws our attention of this fact through articles, stories and personal accounts of monks, teachers, students, scholars, and commoners.
This is not a book on formal education per se. Nor is it an academic treatise on education; it is a collection of writings by eminent contributors on various aspects of 'education' in its broadest and widest sense—especially with reference to Indian world-view and the teachings of Swami Vivekananda.
Education is a continuing process, beginning with our birth and unending till we reach the highest goal of life which is Self-knowledge. Rightly did Sri Ramakrishna say, 'As long as I live, so long do I learn. Hence, learning or education is not just a formal period but a journey in discovering new vistas of our personality, the ambience we live in and the lessons we learn. In its comprehensive meaning, education includes not only acquisition of facts and figures or learning skills and techniques but also becoming a better human being. It is good to have a sharp intellect but it is surely far more important to have a feeling heart in order to be really educated. A combination of both is the best. Indeed, until we imbibe and practice human values such as unselfishness, purity, self-control, compassion and a spirit of service, our education remains incomplete.
Swami Vivekananda said (CW, 1.412): 'It is one of the evils of your Western civilisation that you are after intellectual education alone, and take no care of the heart. It only makes men ten times more selfish, and that will be your destruction.' Real education is that which helps a man build his character based on unselfishness and love. This alone makes education complete.
The following pages give a birds eye-view of education as a means of complete self-development. Divided into three sections, the book is an anthology on education, character-building and allied subjects from the pages of the Vedanta Kesari, the cultural and spiritual monthly of the Ramakrishna Order since 1914. The source is mentioned the end of the article. Different facets of education are taken up for discussion by eminent thinkers and writers. Sanskrit verses with English meaning, taken from various issues of the Vedanta Kesari, from its India's Timeless Wisdom column and other sources, along with suitable pictures, have been thoughtfully added in between various articles.
Swami Atmashraddhananda, the compiler and editor of this volume, is the present editor of the Vedanta Kesari. The purpose of the publication is two-fold-to commemorate the Centenary of the Vedanta Kesari and to bring together what many thinkers who contributed to the magazine have shared with its readers on various aspects of holistic education. We are hopeful that the book will help the students and teachers to understand and put into practice the higher values of life which alone makes education meaningful.
It will go a long way in meeting all the goals of those who are involved in what is called 'parallel education' which tries to fill in the lacuna in the current educational system.
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