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Let Noble Thoughts Come to Us from All Directions

Teachers-day

Why Teacher’s Day? If there were no teachers in the world, all other professions would be extinct. It is similar to saying if there were no mothers, there would be no babies either.

UNESCO declared 5th October to be World Teachers’ Day in 1994. Different countries celebrate it on different days. For example, In India, Teacher’s Day is celebrated on 5th September and Argentina celebrates it on 11th Sept.

While the world anticipated and prepared for crises in environmental, economic, and political areas, something unexpected struck us – the COVID pandemic. All teachers and parents have undergone a lot of challenges and struggles in the past two years, as we are still not able to clearly see the schools reopen for our children, and the future remains uncertain in some ways.

The problems may be local or national, but solutions always have to be individual to be permanent and global. And that is the work of the human heart. Teaching and learning is hard work, unless and until we realize it is the heart’s work.

Most of us instinctively feel that the first teacher is the mother, and the first lesson is love. The first lesson of love is taught practically, by the mother giving her life and love to her baby. If we consciously feel this and are willing and open to enlarge it to the world, the problem is solved, not instantly but gradually. That needs patience and faith, so the role of teachers is crucial.

The first lesson is love

Teachers are the second parents, to further the work of mamas and papas. They nourish not the body but the mind, heart, and intellect. They teach life skills, professional skills, and most importantly, attitudes. They also do a ‘cleaning job’ of helping students to unlearn inappropriate concepts, attitudes, and behaviors. They teach the students to connect to the source of wisdom and creativity in their hearts and tap that essence.

We all remember words of wisdom and quotes from great teachers like Buddha, Lord Krishna, Jesus Christ, Swami Vivekananda, and also from the modern wise teachers like Dr. Abdul Kalam, Savitribai Phule (first woman teacher in modern India), not to forget, more recent and popular teachers like Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and so many more.

Unconventional and out-of-the-box approaches are often successful for teachers. Even historically, Lord Krishna, Jesus Christ, Lord Rama, Shri Ram Chandra of Fatehgarh (Lalaji), the adiguru of Heartfulness tradition, have all employed different tactics and techniques to train and nurture their students. We know how Lord Krishna had to teach on the go, on the battlefield, and that too in just a few minutes, and motivate the greatest warrior of his times, Arjuna – to fight evil, and do his duty to restore ethics and harmony in society. Lord Krishna had to remove the confusion of duty with attachment or repulsion to relatives in the family. He had to remove the depression and emotional upsurge by his own will and wisdom, reveal subsequently the wisdom and skills hidden within Arjuna already, and enable him to win the war.

Far away, much later, in Jerusalem, Lord Jesus taught great things to create a new dimension in feeling and thinking. But he too needed help from John the Baptist.

Much earlier, there was the tradition of Lord Rama, hailed for ages in South East Asia as the ideal King. He too learned much wisdom and clarity from his teachers, sages Vasishta and Atri, and weaponry skills from rishi Vishwamitra to win the epic war with the large army of Ravana.

In our everyday lives, the role of teaching is becoming more and more a work of the heart. It is not merely a cognitive process or communication of information and facts. While a teacher teaches all students alike, some pick up easily, quickly, some are distracted and unfocused. So, while teaching all of the students equally, the teacher also needs emotional support and stability to be successful in educating the children. If she cannot manage and regulate her emotions, if she loses her cool, gets angry, or upset, how will she help the students? Nowadays, the teaching medium is also not easy. Most of the complaints received are that the students do not switch on their cameras while attending online classes. So, the teacher cannot assess based on the students’ expression, nor does she know if the student is even present and attentive at the other end of the gadget or device. Now, what to say about examinations? And yet, today’s teachers have been creative in overcoming hurdles, like every dedicated peer prior to them in the previous generation, continuously excelled themselves, and continue doing their duty with a lot of love, and compassion, a lot of dedication, and sincerity, and I commend all of them, salute all of them, for the love in their hearts.

Much earlier, there was the tradition of Lord Rama, hailed for ages in South East Asia as the ideal King. He too learned much wisdom and clarity from his teachers, sages Vasishta and Atri, and weaponry skills from rishi Vishwamitra to win the epic war with the large army of Ravana.

The role of teaching is becoming more and more a work of the heart

Being a successful teacher means that you can not only complete and be successful in your task, but also that your heart is also generous, as you are still sticking on to this profession for the love of children, and duty towards them. There is great hope for humanity, and these few great souls make a great contribution towards the future of humanity.

If the human species is at the forefront of evolution and education today on this planet, it owes much to this mechanism of Guru-Shishya parampara (Teacher-Student tradition) – of transmission of knowledge and skills, love and compassion, the life energy of prana, and joy. There is also the gift of connection to the Source within because for everyone, the ultimate teacher is within.

So, let us celebrate the best of the best people today – THE TEACHERS!

As the ancient Rig Veda hymn says,

आनो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वत: | – ऋग्वेद – 1.89.1
āno bhadrāḥ kratavo yantu viśvato
Let noble thoughts come to us from all directions.
– Rig Veda 1.89.1

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