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Swami Vivekananda’s Philosophy of Education | Meaning & Principles

Swami Vivekananda’s Philosophy of Education | Meaning & Principles

Vivekananda’s Philosophy of Education

Vivekananda’s philosophy of education is a reflection of his general philosophy of life. His main contention is that education is the manifestation of divinity already existing in man. He believes that knowledge resides within the individual himself. He simply discovers or realizes it. In fact, his educational philosophy is built upon the bed rocks of Vedanta. Vivekananda also criticized the existing system of education.

Meaning of Education

He considers education as something which is a part of human life. On one side he interprets education as the manifestation of the perfection and on the other side the essence of education as he contends, is concentration of mind, not the collection of facts. His greatest concern was the masses and he wanted them to equip for struggle for life. He observes, “The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for life, which does not bring out strength of character, a spirit is that which enables on to stand on his own legs”.

Main features or Principles of Education

Following are the basic philosophy or principles of education of Swami Vivekananda-

  1. The Child does his own Growing Self Education- He thinks that each one of us is naturally growing. This means that growth is a natural process. He says, “Men must themselves. The child teaches himself. Your duty is to afford opportunities and to remove obstacles.” He compares the child with a plant. Here he sounds a warning against the traditional harsh system of education.
  2. Education should be according to the tendencies of the Child- The teaching should be adjusted according to the needs of children. These needs should be determined in terms of the tendencies inherent in children and not according to what the parents or teachers think. Vivekananda advised the teachers to come down to the level of students, their mental abilities and so on.
  3. Concentration as the essence of Education- Vivekananda observed “To me the very essence of education is concentration of mind, not the collecting of facts. If I has 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.” Concentration is the only valid method to attain knowledge and education.
  4. Brahmacharya- Vivekananda recommends Brahmacharya (continence) and Saraddha (external faith) to be the best techniques and tools of concentration. He believes that by observing strict Brahmacharya all learning can be mastered within a very short time.”
  5. Universal Education- Vivekananda was a champion of universal education i.e., education for all. He observes, “No amount of policies would be of any avail until the masses in India are once more well educated, well fed and well cared for.” He further says, “India lives in cottage, education must reach there”.
  6. National System of Education- Vivekananda was an ardent advocate of a national system of education. In this ‘Rousing call to the Nation’, he emphasized a system of education which must be based on our national needs, problems, aspiration and general role of the country in the World perspective. His nationalism is connected with the general upliftment of the people. In a way, he laid the foundations of education for the masses.
  7. Women education- Vivekananda was an ardent advocate of women education. He believes that the uplift of the women must come first and then the real good come about the country. There can be hope of well-being of the country unless the condition of women is improved. He wanted to give a type of education that may make women selfless, fearless and brave. Not only it, he also wanted to give woman an education which may form character and may increase the strength of mind. Women should be taught history, housekeeping, art and duties of home life and principles which develop an ideal character. These subjects should be taught with the help of modern science.
  8. Religious Education- Vivekananda himself was a saint. He believed that religion is the innermost core of education and education is also incomplete without religious training. Therefore, religion must be a living experience with oneself and true religious education should be imparted to children.


From these, Swami Vivekananda expressed education is the manifestation of the perfection already present in man. In every individual, these are certain dormant power which is inborn. By education, it can develop these powers. So that education is the process of self-development and book learning is no education.

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