Two Tales of Value-Based Education to Empower Learners.

1. The test of Swami Vivekananda

Before leaving for abroad for the first time to preach Hinduism, Vivekanand’s mother wanted to know whether he is all perfect for this mission or not and invited him for dinner. Vivekananda enjoyed the food that had the additional flavor of his mother’s special love and affection.

After the delicious dinner, Vivekanand’s mother offered Vivekananda a dish of fruits and a knife. Vivekananda cut the fruit, ate it and after that his mother said, “Son, can you please give me the knife, I need it.” Vivekananda immediately responded by giving the knife.

Vivekanand’s mother calmly said, “Son, you have passed my test and I heartily bless you for going abroad.” Vivekananda surprisingly asked, “Mother, how did you test me? I did not understand.”

Mother replied, “Son, when I asked for the knife, I saw how you handed it to me, you gave the knife by holding its sharp edge and kept the wooden handle of knife towards me. This way, I would not get hurt when I take it and this means you took care of me. And this was your test in which you passed.

The person who thinks of others welfare rather than thinking about self has got the right of preaching to the world and you have got that right. You have all my blessings.”

The whole cherishes the ideals of altruism, patriotism, man-making promoted by him throughout his life.

2. Frog in the Well: Why we fail to live at peace with one another

In a well a little away from the sea, there lived a big black frog. He had been born there and not for a single day been out . He knew nothing of world outside the well. He grew fat on the worms that lived in well and also the insects that chanced to fall in.

He was enjoying a nap one day, when a frog from sea fell in with a big splash of high tide. He woke up thinking a big insect had fallen in.

Great was his surprise when he looked again “‘O God!’ our frog said to himself, ‘it looks like a frog …though it isn’t black like me “ Without showing that he is afraid, he asked in grave voice, “Hello there, Who are you?”

“I am a stranger”, replied the frog from the sea.

“I Know you don’t belong here… tell me your business of being here?”

“Well, friend, I’d no intention of coming here. I fell in by chance. But of course, I am happy to meet you.”

Our frog wasn’t satisfied and wanted to know more, “tell me, where are you from?”

“I ‘m from the sea.”

“The Sea? What’s that ….How big is it? Is it this big? he asked as he took leap from one side to other of the well.

“My friend’, said the other smiling, ‘how do you compare the sea with your little well?”

Then our frog took another leap and asked “Is your sea this big?”

“What nonsense! to compare the sea with your well! It’s thousands and thousands of times bigger than your well”,

“No, there can be nothing bigger than my well. You’re a liar, I don’t believe you.”

“That’s because you’ve never seen the sea. Come with me. I’ll show you the sea and then you’ll know the Truth.”

“Indeed, I won’t go with you. You can’t be honest, you go off my well”

The frog from the sea saw there was no use arguing so he left quietly.

Our frog laughed to himself and said “Hahaha! He thought I am a fool”…. he leaped once more from one side of well to other…”Nothing can be bigger than my well”

That has been the difficulty all the while.

I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Mohammedan sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world.

The morals propagated by these stories play significant role in developing students’ characters and ethics. Moreover, these stories are intrinsic part of our culture and tradition and these stories promote value based education among the students.

Inspiration drawn from such stories encourages students to practice ideals and ethics in their lives and help them become ideal citizens of the nation.

Value based education must be made compulsory across schools and colleges, which, in turn, will ensure that the values, which form an essential part of social fabric of our nation, remain intact.

6 Responses

  1. Education is not the filling of a pail,
    but the lighting of a fire.
    -William Butler Yeats

    The very first domicile where a child begins his learning is home. the values she/he inculcates is what he reflects in his habits and demeanor. At second place comes the school. From joining our hands for prayer to touching our elders’ feet, these all values are built up from home and primary school. these customs are drawn along till adulthood and are difficult to alter at its most advance stage. Therefore, the need of the hour is to educate parents and primary schoolteachers about what to teach. Their unbiased teaching may turn out to be the area of improvement.

  2. The thoughts expressed through the stories are invaluable…Sir !!! Thanks for sharing. I always believe it to be a very simple source to create an everlasting impact.

    Swami Vivekananda also expressed once:

    “The new religion says that he is the atheist who does not believe in himself”

    As the ideal of faith in ourselves is one of the greatest help to us !!! So the higher your faith and vision, the higher you attain.

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