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  • 11 Aug 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions

    Day 32: “Lack of knowledge confuses the intellect, while education provides the knowledge to the true soul- Rabindranath Tagore”. Explain this remark in the current situation. (150 Words)



    • Explain the meaning of the given quote.
    • Elaborate the quote in detail.
    • Highlight the relevance of the given quote in the present context.


    The given statement implies that lack of knowledge (avidya) is detrimental to intellect and wisdom. Self-realization is the aim of education for Tagore. It means the realization of the universal soul in oneself. The aim of life is to achieve this status. It is a process which cannot be realized without education.

    Tagore was dissatisfied with the regular system of education and called the schools as the factories of rote learning. He advocated the principle of freedom for an effective education.

    • He said that the children should be given freedom so that they are able to grow and develop as per their own wishes. A man through the process of education should be able to come out as a harmonious individual in time with his social set-up of life.
    • In Tagore’ philosophy of education, the aesthetic development of the senses was as important as the intellectual; and music; literature; art, and dance were given great prominence in the daily life of the school.
    • For Tagore, the highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all its existence. The ultimate goal is to improve the conditions of people who are marginalized.

    Relevance in Present Context

    At present the education system is concentrated more towards surfeiting pupils with knowledge and skills that could make them earn good livelihood, inculcation of moral wisdom and spiritual self-understanding isn’t being given adequate leverage. Thus, the following aspects of Tagore's ideas on education need to be included in the existing education system:

    • Self-Realization: Spiritualism is the essence of humanism; this concept has been reflected in Tagore's educational philosophy. Self-realization is an important aim of education. Manifestation of personality depends upon the self-realization and spiritual knowledge of an individual.
    • Intellectual Development: Tagore also greatly emphasized the intellectual development of the child. By intellectual development he means development of imagination, creative free thinking, constant curiosity and alertness of the mind. Child should be free to adopt his own way of learning which will lead to all round development.
    • Physical Development: Tagore's educational philosophy also aims at the physical development of the child. He gave much importance to a sound and healthy physique. There were different kinds of exercises. Yoga, games & sports prescribed in Santiniketan as an integral part of the education system.
    • Love for humanity: Tagore held that the entire universe is one family. Education can teach people to realize the oneness of the globe. Education for international understanding and universal brotherhood is another important aim of his educational philosophy. The feeling of oneness can be developed through the concepts like fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man all creatures are equal on this earth.
    • Establishment of relationship between man & God: Man bears the diverse qualities and potentialities offered by God. These qualities are inborn and innate. The relationship between man and God is strong and permanent. However, the dedication to spiritualism and sacredness will lead to the harmonious relationship with man, nature and God.
    • Freedom: Freedom is considered as an integral aspect of human development. Education is a man-making process, it explores the innate power that exists within the man. It is not an imposition rather a liberal process that provides utmost freedom to the individual for his all-round development.
    • Correlation of Objects: Correlation exists with God, man and nature. A peaceful world is only possible when correlation between man and nature will be established.
    • Moral and Spiritual Development: Tagore emphasized moral and spiritual training in his educational thought. Moral and spiritual education is more important than bookish knowledge for an integral development of human personality. There must be an adequate provision for the development of selfless activities, co-operation and love for fellow feelings and sharing among the students in educational institutions.
    • Social Development: According to Tagore, "Brahma" the supreme soul manifests himself through men and other creatures. Since He is the source of all human-beings and creatures, so all are equal. Rabindranath Tagore therefore said, "service to man is service to God". All should develop social relationships and fellow-feelings from the beginnings of one's life.

    Thus, Tagore envisioned a holistic education that was deeply rooted in one’s culture and surroundings but also connected to the wider world. His ideas on education would be valued in every age because they are based on inculcation of morality and spiritual understanding, intercultural understanding and peace, respect and intimacy with nature, social engagement and artistic abilities and creativity.

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