Relevance of Swami Vivekananda’s Thoughts in Management Education

Management education is a great beneficiary of Indian economic reform, where transformation from state controlled market to free market is imperative. In India, MBA degree has been perceived as a way of achieving assured careers and sound wages at early stage of life. The ambition of Indian youth today is to get a job in the business, industrial or service sectors and settle down well as early as possible. No doubt management education is needed an infusion of professional ability but the given value to society is equally important.
Unfortunately, Management education in India has been so distorted and diluted in its execution as to lose nearly all the social intent. In whole spectrum, the role of intuition, value and social recognition gets short shrift in the Management education. Emphasis is only on the knowledge content, on which examination is conducted. All other useful knowledge areas and skills are vastly neglected. Like spiritual knowledge does not find an appropriate place in the curriculum. Therefore students have no opportunity to know about their faith, culture and values.
The knowledge they gain is mainly bookish and is not backed by practical experience. About a century ago, Swami Vivekananda had envisioned a vision on education and had categorically pointed out that true education is not the amount of information that is put into one’s brain. The human mind is not a bottomless dry well, which has to be filled in with buckets of information by the teacher. He had said that education has more to do with assimilation of ideas and developing ‘a mind of the same material as that of which the thunderbolt is made’.

He suggested, was to be done with the help of ‘Western science coupled with Vedanta … and faith in one’s own Self’. What type of management education will provide this enlightenment? According to Swamiji, ‘The training by which the current and expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful is called education’. He wanted a man-making 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’.
Swamiji emphasized need of following points in education system. * Role of teacher * Spirituality * Accessibility of knowledge * Plural attitude Role of teacher Both the teacher and the student are active participants in the teaching-learning process. The teacher should look upon the student not as a mere physical being but as a living and dynamic mind that struggling to manifest the light of the infinite soul. The teacher should facilitate this process of self-discovery.
Teacher should not try to fill the mind with information and knowledge only. Instead he should attempt to unfold the creativity within by stimulating and strengthening the mind. The teacher has to carefully nurture the conviction and faith in the mind of the students. Needless to say, teacher requires faith, patience, perseverance and firm conviction. This ideal of faith in oneself, or Atmashraddha, would be greatest gift of a teacher to the student. Spirituality Swami Vivekananda brings this out very clearly in his immortal works. He said: If there is any land on this earth that can lay claim to be the blessed Punya Bhumi … the land where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness, above all, the land of introspection and of spirituality—it is India. … the Indian race never stood for wealth. Although they acquired immense wealth, perhaps more than any other nation ever acquired, yet the nation did not stand for wealth. It was a powerful race for ages, yet we find that that nation never stood for power, never went out of the country to conquer.
Quite content within their own boundaries, they never fought anybody. The Indian nation never stood for imperial glory. Wealth and power, then, were not the ideals of the race “. Swami Ji enlightened that human peace and happiness depends not on the wealth they possess, or the power they wield, or the scholarship they have acquired, but by living a life of renunciation and having the awareness that they are part of the entire universe and that all constitute one family, V asudhaiva Kutumbakam. Accessibility of Knowledge Swami Ji emphasized on accessibility of education . He said: 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. How? You have seen my brethren. Now I can get hundreds of such [all-renouncing sannyasins], all over India, unselfish, good, and educated. Let these men go from village to village bringing not only religion to the door of everyone but also education”. Students must also be educated about the social world—the nature of the society he lives in, the laws that guide it, and the culture it has evolved.
Plural Attitude In era of globalization people are coming closer than ever to each other. People of different languages, beliefs, religious faiths, political convictions and ways of life have come to live closely. Everyone has a right to his way of life. Dogmatism and bigotry have no place in globalized world. Therefore management education must instill these qualities in students. Thus, Swami Ji’s thoughts on education are like an ocean. The more we ponder the more we get. We have to pursue the ideas of Swami ji with a deep sense of commitment to achieve objectives of education.

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