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Prerequisite for Education: Purity of mind Education is nothing but the power to concentration. - Swami
Mind is an instrument to gather knowledge. Purity of mind is
the prerequisite to acquire knowledge. Once a Professor of
Science visited a laboratory. The Professor –incharge of that
department took that gentleman around the laboratory. When he
came to the place where the microscopes were kept that gentleman
tried to look through one of them. He found he could not see
clearly. So, he took the microscope lens, cleaned it with his
kerchief, replaced it and then was able to see clearly. The
microscope is the instrument with which we are able to see
things and gather knowledge about them. If it is not kept clean,
but left dirty, how can we get a clear idea about the object
which we are examining? The lens must be kept clean. Similarly,
it is only if the mind is kept pure and strong, by observing
certain ethical and moral principles, then it can easily grasp
the subtle truth of things.
In case of Swami Vivekananda the mind was so well equipped that
he could read volumes in no time. At the Swami's bidding,
Akhandananda used to bring books for him from the local library.
Once the Swami asked him to bring the works of Sir John Lubbock.
Accordingly Akhandananda brought them, one volume each day. The
Swami would finish a volume in a day and return it the next day,
saying that he had read it. The librarian argued with
Akhandananda that the Swami had surely returned the volume
without reading it, and remarked that the latter was only making
a show of reading. Hearing of this the Swami himself went to the
librarian and said, "Sir, I have mastered all those volumes: if
you have any doubt, you may put any question to me about them."
The librarian then examined the monk, and by doing so became
fully satisfied. Great was his astonishment. Later Akhandananda
asked Swamiji, how he could do it. The Swami replied, "I never
read a book word by word. I read sentence by sentence, sometimes
even paragraph by paragraph, in a sort of kaleidoscopic form."–
Ref : Life of Swami Vivekananda - Volume 1 [ Page :259- 260
] 14- WANDERINGS IN THE HIMALAYAS.
So, when the memory, the mind, is developed in a
particular way, it helps us to gather knowledge clearly.