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Swamiji’s prospect on mass education: A bird’s eye view

Multiple times Swamiji mentioned about the development of India. Progress of villages and upliftment of common masses is must towards the success of this mission.

Swamiji said that a nation is advanced in proportion as education and intelligence spread among the masses. For India to raise, the masses have to be educated. How can education improve their condition? Swamiji says that through education faith in oneself develops and due to this self–belief, the inherent Brahman wakes up and when that happens they can solve all their problems.

The only service to be done for our masses is to give them education to develop their lost individuality.

So, education for the common masses is the first priority. He pleaded for technical education. That will make people stand on their own feet and earn their own bread. Secular education with the notion of man making and character building, which is axis of our Indian tradition, must be taught.

We need technical education and all else that may develop industries so that men, instead of seeking for service may earn enough to provide for themselves”.

He wanted special privileges more help and more resources to be deployed for their betterment Greater help should be provided to him, who has not been endowed by nature and held down by design, was his argument.
For the present scenario concord of all religious opinion is inexorable. Swamiji persisted with intensity that the common mass should be given ideas; their eyes are to be opened to what is going on in the world around them; and then they will work out their own salvation. Help them to help themselves- that should be the motto.
All the wealth of the world cannot help one little Indian village if the people are not taught to help themselves”, Swamiji observed insightfully.
Ever practical Swamiji knew that even if a free school is opened in every village, still it do no good, for the poverty in India would not allow the children to go to school, they would rather be forced to help their parents in the fields of earn a living by doing odd jobs. So He adds, “If a ploughman’s son cannot come to education, why not meet him at the plough, at the factory, just wherever he is ? Go along with him, like his shadow.”
Swamiji wanted to teach everybody and for what He himself explained If you teach Vedanta to the fisherman he will say, I am as good a man as you as you I am a fisherman, you are a philosopher, but I have the same God in me as you have in you. And that is what we want equal chances for all let everyone be taught that the divine is within and every one will work out his own salvation.
Finally Swamiji boldly told: With no strength in the body, no enthusiasm at heart, and no originality in the brain, what will they do – these lumps of dead matter | By stimulating them. I want to bring life into them – to this I have dedicated my life. I will rouse them through the infallible power of Vedic Mantras. I am born to proclaim to them that fearless message -- “Arise | Awake |”

Written by,
Swami Ishtakamananda

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