On the occasion of this Teachers Day, September 5th 2016, I want to begin by wishing all Teachers a very Happy Teachers Day. Over the last seven years in my journey with my Master as a disciple, I have realized how difficult it is to teach someone. Teaching is an art which is a gift bestowed by the Lord Almighty upon a special few and to be a teacher like Krsna is almost impossible in today’s day and age. The Lord being kind and compassionate towards his creation decides to manifest on this Earth, time and again, to teach a few chosen students the ‘Way of Life’ and to establish Dharma and Righteousness in this World.
Over time I have learnt what it is to be a good student and how to ‘learn to learn’ from one’s teacher, whosoever they may be. In this modern era of the 21st century, it is very difficult to find a teacher who can turn, as the character Professor Higgin’s famously says in ‘My Fair Lady”, “a guttersnipe into a Duchess”. This is because most modern-age teachers are materially motivated. They use the platform of knowledge to exploit a true seeker. One must be careful when looking for a teacher.
This True Teacher is usually quite tyrannical and demonstrates a tough exterior. He or she is not going to pander to your ego and is not concerned with whether you are wealthy or poor, or whether your parents are influential or not. To this teacher, everyone is equal. The only concern the teacher keeps is that of how he is going to brush off the dust and chisel the rock to make a priceless diamond. In the ‘Gentleman and the Officer’ this is demonstrated beautifully where the teacher puts his student through rigorous training and pushes him to perform to the best of his ability. The teacher will never praise you or say that you have done well and if he does let you know you are doing well, your fall after that is imminent because Ego always comes in the way. The teacher will tell you how you can perform better.
The teacher is not one who is easily pleased and is never going to accept mediocre performance from you. To become somebody great in your life you will need to undergo a prolonged process of learning under the tutelage of this harsh teacher, just like how Jackie Chan or Warren Buffet have learnt. Without a great teacher, which you will remain an ordinary human being and success will be difficult to attain. To be truly successful and somebody spectacular the only way is self-effort and hard work along with dedication and devotion. Knowledge can only be acquired with love and goodness at heart and most importantly with respect and reverence for your teacher.
If you chanced to find such a teacher in your life, it becomes extremely important to follow some of the basic rules of studying under them. The foremost rule is to leave your ego and arrogance of “I know” outside the door and then enter the teacher’s shrine with all humility, goodness of heart, and a keen desire and hunger for knowledge alone. These great Masters are unfathomable, inscrutable and indescribable. Do not go by how they look, behave and conduct themselves in this material world. You have no right to judge the merits or demits of your teacher and what they do in their personal lives.
These great teachers will teach you the ‘Art of War’, the finer nuances and the underlying secret about various subjects. The teachers have dedicated their entire life towards mastering the subjects and experimenting with them in their own life. It is extremely important to respect your teacher no matter how you feel about him or her. You have no right to tell your teacher how you should be taught and treated. If you have whole heartedly accepted this teacher in your world, you cannot go to learn from him with your mind, ego and arrogance or even money power. Knowledge cannot be acquired by throwing money at your teacher. You cannot buy them.
They will test whether you are deserving of the Knowledge they are imparting and then will grant you with various teachings based on your ability to demonstrate of listening and obeying every command of your master. The teacher will bestow upon you all the knowledge he has learnt the hard way and will shower upon you his grace when he sees your truthfulness and sincerity towards him/her and your own self.
Krsna for this very reason reveres those beings who have surrendered unto the feet of one’s teacher and does selfless service to them. Krsna has said that, these teachers are none other than His Own Self as Krsna is the one who is teaching through these beings and hence it is extremely important not to allow yourself to stoop down to the level of one possessing a demonic disposition. I hope now you understand why it is important to not to get angry, hate, criticize and talk ill about others even though he/she might be your worst enemy. God lives in everybody and we need to respect that Divine Lord and realize one’s True Self with love and goodness alone.
A real teacher is like the ‘Parasmani’ (Alchemist’s stone). The teacher’s only goal is to replicate themselves in their ideal student or the chosen ones. The teacher will put this student into his own shoes by giving him/her a protégé to teach. Through this process the teacher makes the disciple realize and overcome his/her misdemeanors by setting an example for the world to follow. Finally, the teacher ensures that this knowledge gets passed down to the ‘Right’ people so that righteousness, goodness, and glory can prevail in this world.