Education – THE ONLY METHOD OF EDUCATION

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CHAPTER II

THE ONLY METHOD OF EDUCATION

Concentration

There is only one method by which to attain knowledge, that which is called concentration.1

The very essence of education is Concentration concentration of mind.2 From the lowest man to the highest yogi, all have to use the same method to attain knowledge. The chemist who works in his laboratory concentrates all the powers of his mind, brings them into one focus, and throws them on the elements ; the elements stand analysed, and thus his knowledge comes. The astronomer concentrates the powers of his mind and brings them into one focus; and he throws them on to objects through his telescope; and stars and systems roll forward and give up their secrets to him. So it is in every case: with the professor in his chair, the student with his book, with every man who is working to know.3

Its power

The more the power of concentration, the greater the knowledge that is acquired. Even the lowest shoeblack, if he gives more concentration, will black shoes better. The cook with concentration will cook a meal all the better. In making money, or in
worshipping God, or in doing anything, the stronger the power of concentration, the better will that thing be done. This is the one call, the one knock, which opens the gates of Nature, and lets out floods of light
.4

Difference in degree

Ninety per cent of thought-force is wasted by the ordinary human being and therefore he is con-Difference in stantly committing blunders. The trained man or mind never makes a mistake.9 The main difference between men and the animals is the difference in their power of concentration. An animal has very little power of concentration. Those who have trained animals find much difficulty in the fact that the animal is constantly forgetting what is told him. He cannot concentrate his mind upon anything for a long time. Herein is the difference between man and the animals. This difference in their power of concentration also constitutes the difference between man and man. Compare the lowest with the highest man. The difference is in the degree of concentration.®

Results

All success in any line of work is the result of this. High achievements in arts, music, etc., are the result of concentration.7 When the
mind is concentrated and turned Backon itself, all within us will be our servants,
not our masters. The Greeks applied their concentration to the exernal world and the re perfection in art, literature etc. The Hindu concentrated on the internal world, upon the unseen realms in the self and developed the science of yoga.8 The world is ready to give up its secrets only if we only know how to knock, how to give the necessary blow. The strength and force of the blow comes through concentration.

Only key to knowledge

The power of concentration is the only key to the treasure-house of knowledge. In the present state of our body we are much distracted, and the mind is frittering
away its energies upon a hundred things. As soon as I try to call on my thoughts and concentrate my mind upon any one object of knowledge, thousands of undesired impulses rush into the brain, thousands of thoughts rush into the mind and disturb it. How to check it and bring the mind under control is the whole subject of study in Rajayoga.1J The practice of meditation leads to mental concentration.11

To me the very essence of education is concentration of mind, not the collection of facts. If I had to do my education once again, I would not study facts at all. I would develop the power of concentration and detachment, and then with
a perfect instrument, collect facts at will.1*

Brahmacharya necessary for concentration

Power comes to him who observes unbroken Brahmacharya for a period of twelve years.13
Complete continence gives great
Brahmacharya intellectual and spiritual power.14 concentration. Controlled desire leads to the highest results. Transform the sexual energy into spiritual energy. The stronger this force, the more can be done with it. Only a powerful current of water can do hydraulic mining.15 It is owing to want of continence that everything is on the brink of ruin in our country. By observance of strict Brahmacharya all learning can be mastered in a very short time ; one acquires an unfailing memory of what one hears or knows but once.16 The chaste brain has tremendous energy and gigantic will power. Without chastity there can be no spiritual strength. Continence gives wonderful control over mankind. The spiritual leaders of men have been very continent and this is what gave them power.17

Every boy should be trained to practise absolute Brahmacharya and then, and then alone faith and Shraddha will come.18 Chastity in thought, word and deed always and in all conditions is what is called Brahmacharya.1* Unchaste imagination is as bad as unchaste action.20 The Brahmacharin
must be pure in thought, word and deed.21

Shraddha,basis of all growth

The idea of true Shraddha must be brought Backonce more to us. The faith in our own selves must be reawakened and then only of problems which face our
country will gradually be solved by ourselves.22 What we want is this Shraddha. What makes the difference between man and man is the difference in the Shraddha and nothing else. What makes one man great and another weak and low is this Shraddha. My master used to say : he who thinks himself weak will become weak ; and that is true. This Shraddha must enter into you. Whatever of material power you see manifested by the western races, is the outcome of this Shraddha, because they believe in their muscles; and if you believe in the spirit how much more will it work !23

One becomes what one thinks

I beg you to understand this one fact, no good comes out of the man who day and night thinks he is nobody. If a man day and nigh) thinks that he is miserable, low and nothing, nothing he becomes. If you say ‘ I am, I am ‘, so shall you be. That is the great fact you ought to remember. We are children of the Almighty, we are sparks of the infinite, divine fire. How can we be nothings ? We are everything, ready to do everything; we can do
everything. This faith in themselves was in the heart of our ancestors; this faith in themselves was the motive power that pushed them forward in the march of civilization. If there has been degeneration, if there has been defect, you will find that degeneration to have started on the day our people lost this faith in themselves.24

To preach the doctrine of Shraddha or genuine faith is the mission of my life. Let me repeat to you that this faith is one of the most potent factors of humanity. First have faith in yourselves. Know that though one may be a little bubble and another may be a mountain-high wave, yet behind both the bubble and the wave there is the infinite ocean. 25 The infinite ocean is the background of me as well as you. Mine also is that infinite ocean of life, of power, of spirituality as well as yours. Therefore, my brethren, teach this life-saving, great, ennobling, grand doctrine to your children even from their very birth. 26

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