Commemorate 150thbirth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda
birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda
The youth icon of India
By Justice Dr M Rama Jois
Incorporate ‘DHARMA’ supplemented by best of the teachings of all religions including Bhagvadgita in school and college curriculum in implementation of the advice of Swami Vivekananda that man making, character building education should be provided for the purpose of National reconstruction. This exactly has been the recommendation of HRD Committee presided over by Sri SB Chavan, quoted with approval by the Supreme Court in Aruna Roy’s case, [2002 (7) SCC 368, at para 29, page 388]:
“Our educational system aims at only information based knowledge and the holistic views turning the student into a perfect human being and a useful member of society has been completely set aside”, Swami Vivekananda aptly said:
‘Education is not the amount of information that is put in your brain and runs riot there, undigested, all your life. We must have life building, man-making, character-making, assimilation of ideas. If education is identical with information, libraries are the greatest sages of the world and encyclopaedias are rishis’.
Truth (Satya), righteous conduct (dharma), peace (shant), love (prem) and non-violence (ahimsa) are the core universal values which can be identified as the foundation stone on which the value based education programme can be built up. These five are indeed universal values and respectively represent the five domains of human personality – intellectual, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. They also are correspondingly correlated with the five major objectives of education, namely, knowledge, skill, balance, vision and identity’ (para-7 and 8)
Primary school stage is the period in a child’s life when the seed of value education can be implanted in his/her impressionable mind in a very subtle way. If this seed is nurtured by the capable hands of dedicated teachers in school, if they insert values at appropriate intervals during a child’s school life, it can be easily said that half the battle in building up national character has been won. (para – 9)
The panacea for corruption, abuse of power and immoral conduct which are rampant and eating into the vitals of the Nation lies in making instructions in Dharma or moral code compulsory in the school/college curriculum. There is no word which is equivalent to the Samskrit word ‘Dharma’ in any other language of the world. Dr Radha Krishnan has stated ‘virtue is ‘Dharma’ and ‘vice is adharma’. To put in one sentence, Dharma is moral code of conduct common to all whereas religion is mode of worship of God by believers in God by giving Him different names. Religions are many and personal but Dharma is one and Universal. This would fulfill the advice of Swami Vivekananda to provide man-making, character-building education.
It is paradoxical that comprehensive word Dharma is being translated into religion and vice-versa, though there is a vast different between Dharma and Religion. The basic aspect of Dharma have been specified in Mahabharata and Manu Smriti thus:
Truthfulness, to be free from anger, sharing wealth with others, (samvibhaga) forgiveness, procreation of children from one’s wife alone (sexual morality), purity, absence of enmity, straightforwardness and maintaining persons dependent on oneself are the nine rules of the Dharma of persons belonging to all the varnas. (MB Shantiparva 6-7-8).
Manu Smriti is more concise and brought ‘Dharma’ under five heads.
Ahimsa(non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (not acquiring illegitimate wealth), Shoucham (purity), and Indriyanigraha (control of senses) are, in brief, the common Dharma for all the varnas (Manu Smriti X-163).
Purpose of Dharma has also been clearly explained by the Supreme Court in the case of Narayana Dixitalu Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh [1996 (9) SCC 548 at paragraph 78]
“The word ‘dharma’ denotes upholding, supporting, nourishing that which upholds, nourishes or supports the stability of the society, maintaining social order and general well-being and progress of mankind; whatever conduces to the fulfillment of these objects is dharma”.
Incorporating ‘Dharma’ in the school/college curriculum is the best way to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda in a befitting manner, simultaneous with the enacting of strong Lokpal Act.
(The writer is Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), and former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court and former Governor of Jharkhand and Bihar.)