“Guru Brahma Gurur Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwaraha
Guru Saakshat Para Brahma
Tasmai Shree Gurave Namaha.”
This is a Sanskrit shlok which means that “Guru is the representative of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He creates, sustains knowledge and destroys the weeds of ignorance. I salute such a Guru.”
The guru shishya parampara has been an integral part of Hindu mythology. The Bhagvad Gita, which forms the crux of Hinduism, is a book that is written by a guru to guide his shishya during the great battle of Mahabharata. Lord Krishna became the guru of Arjun and The Gita was created which is acting as guide even today to all of us to understand karma and dharma. Gurukuls existed since the time of ancient civilisations. Families would send their children to the ashrams of gurus so as to learn all the fine arts and important lessons of life. The bond, thus, formed between the guru and his young pupil would be as sacred as a bond with immediate family or sometimes even stronger.
In India we celebrate Guru Purnima on a full moon night, during the months of July-August to celebrate the teachings and presence of a guru in our lives. Just as the moon shines by reflecting the light of the sun, and glorifies it, all disciples can dazzle like the moon by gaining teachings from their Gurus. The word guru is derived from two words ‘gu’ and ‘ru’. The first meaning darkness or ignorance and the latter meaning remover of darkness. So, the word guru literally means someone who can enlighten you with their teachings and remove the darkness of ignorance from your lives. It is therefore not without reason that India, year after year, age after age, commemorates anew this ancient concept of the Guru, adores it and pays homage to it again and again, and thereby re-affirms its belief and allegiance to it.
Over time the relationship between a teacher and his pupil has evolved and changed with time but the value hasn’t diminished. In our country we still place our guru’s on the same pedestal as God, the importance of teachers is impossible to overlook. Even today when Sachin Tendulkar scores a century you find media channels hounding not his family and peers but his coach Mr Ramakant Achrekar for interviews and media bytes. The bond between a teacher and a student is one that is completely different from any other relationship in the world. A teacher could be anyone who shapes your mind, teaches life lessons and pushes you towards becoming not just a good professional but also a good person.
Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions. Being a teacher automatically commands great amounts of respect and appreciation from everyone. Teaching is considered one of the most noble and respected profession in the world since time immemorial. Almost every day in the calendar year is flagged to celebrate something or someone. There is a slim chance of there not being a day dedicated to teachers. International teacher’s day is celebrated on 5th October across most parts of the world. However, in India we celebrate teacher’s day on the 5th of September every year, it being the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Doctor Radhakrishnan was the second president of free India, a scholar, philosopher and a teacher par excellence. Doctor Radhakrishnan believed that “teachers should be the best minds in a country” and why not because being a teacher gives you the opportunity to shape several minds. Be it kindergarten kids, college students or even grown professionals – when you are a teacher you have the chance to share the knowledge you have with an audience that is willing to listen and learn. A teacher is someone who to imbibe in them, qualities and knowledge to the best of their abilities.
A teacher’s job is not limited to teaching the students their syllabus and curriculum. It is to inculcate in them a deeper sense of being and inspire them to think and achieve. Good teachers are not someone who just teach you, but are the ones who create and sustain the interest and ability to learn and absorb. Good teachers don’t give you an answer for every question you put forth to them, but instead they guide you so that you can answer all those questions on your own. It is about shaping and influencing a person to make him a better human being and not just academically advanced.
Happy Teachers Day!!!