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Swami Vivekananda on Teaching



You see, no one can teach anybody. The teacher spoils everything by thinking that he is teaching. Thus Vedanta says that within man is all knowledge – even in a boy it is so and it requires only an awakening, and that much is the work of a teacher. We have to do only so much for the boys that they may learn to apply their own intellect to the proper use of their hands, legs, ears, eyes, etc., and finally everything will become easy.

As the master wrestler proceeds with great caution and restraint with the beginner, now overpowering him in the struggle with great difficulty as it were, again allowing himself to be defeated to strengthen the pupil’s self confidence – in exactly the same manner did Sri Ramakrishna handle us . . . He would keep us under control by carefully observing even the minute details of our life. All this was done silently and unobtrusively. That was the secret of his training of the disciples and of his moulding of their lives.

His (Sri Ramakrishna’s) very method of teaching was a unique phenomenon…. He never destroyed a single man’s special inclinations. He gave words of hope and encouragement even to the most degraded of persons and lifted them up.
Swami Vivekananda