Literary Herald Swami Vivekananda's Education-Manifestation of Perfection
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Swami Vivekananda has provided an all-inclusive, comprehensive definition of education in a single pithy sentence. In a letter written from Chicago on 3 March 1894 to one of his very close disciples Singaravelu Mudaliar, Assistant Professor of Science, Christian College, Madras, who was also fondly called by Swamiji, Vivekananda writes: "Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man." The word "manifestation" obviously implies that something is pre-existent. Therefore, Swamiji
... refore, Swamiji says that knowledge does not come from outside, it is already existing, it is inherent. The human soul is an infinite storehouse of knowledge and Swamiji was of the opinion that what a man learns is actually what he/she discovers or unveils by taking off the cover from his/her own soul. "Manifestation" means removing the obstacles and impediments to facilitate spontaneous growth or development. The phrase "already in man" refers to the potentiality, the abilities, and talents with which a man is born. These abilities may be known or unknown, hidden or revealed, but the goal of education is to discover and nurture the abilities. So potentiality means to discover the already existing qualities which might be in a dormant position. The word "perfection" is of equal importance. Perfect suggests a sense of completion and the idea of attaining a goal. So perfection means the goal of reaching the highest human potential. Education is the path to reach the highest potential. Education helps in the all round development of body, mind, and soul and Swami Vivekananda emphasized on man-making education. He stressed on "life-building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas." The purpose of education should be to serve the entire humanity at large and hence learning should be a lifelong and continuous process. Swamiji had got this idea from his Master who said "As long as I live, so long do I learn." Not only India but even many developed countries of the world are now emphasizing on Continuing Education which Swamiji had dreamt more than hundred years back.