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Teachers Everywhere

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

Festivals come once in a year but festivities are round the year.

Teachers Day comes once a year but teachers are with you, throughout the year.

Is learning the essence of life?

Not to everyone.

There are some who believe, and rightly so, that action is all that matters. Learning is the fuel, action is what puts it into motion.

There are others who have a cordial relationship with learning. They open their doors to learning once in a while- to let in some guests who are otherwise unwelcome generally.

And there are others who consider learning as an intruder and keep their senses on full alert to thwart any attempts from this unwanted intrusion in their zone of comfort.

To each his own. And we can rarely find fault with the different approaches. After all each of us has a right to decide how we wish to lead our lives, our priorities, our interests, grow, or evolve.

Gautam Buddha too was living in a blissful state of ignorance, in the lap of luxury, till he decided to explore and discover himself. This reveals two things – one, you can change course in life at any time, and two, it’s never too late.

Is learning self-realisation? Is it education? Is it discovery?

Does learning happen, or is it delivered by a teacher?

Can one learn without a teacher?

What role does a teacher have?

Teachers are not labelled. They may not necessarily be human. They may not be physically present. You can learn from a story, an anecdote, an observation, a thought.

You can stay untouched though surrounded by teachers, and you can learn despite the absence of teachers. The essence of learning is not what is being taught, but what is being learnt. And for that it is not the teacher in front of you, but the learner in you that seeks the teacher.

For those who seek teachers, they keep looking. For those who seek learning – teachers are everywhere.

Posted in: Celebrations, Festival, Festivals, India, Motivational, Work Culture

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True Guru

Are you wandering in search of your Guru, or are they wandering in search of you.

The word “Guru” means one who dispels darkness or enlightens. “Gu” means darkness or lack of knowledge and “ru” means one who throws light and dispels the darkness. In simple words, a guru is a teacher; someone who guides an individual to learn something. The learning could be about music, painting, writing or simple values of life. Therefore, an individual would have many gurus during the course of a lifetime and the gurus themselves may come in many forms.

The English word, teacher is not adequate to define a guru. It is important for us to note the distinction between a guru and a teacher. Anyone with adequate training (e.g. in music or painting) can be a teacher. A guru, on the contrary, goes beyond the subject knowledge and becomes a mentor and a spiritual guide, leading the shishya (disciple). To lead and to be led, both the guru and the shishya need sincerity and a dedication to each other. Because you pay someone Rs.1000 per hour to give you piano lessons for one hour does not make for guru-shishya relationship. In a guru-shishya relationship, a disciple (the word originated from discipline) dedicates himself to the guru because of an inner desire to be led. The guru, in turn, takes the shishya as a sesha (an integral person in his life) and considers the mentoring of the shishya as his sacred duty. Only such mutual dedication and attachment makes for a guru-shishya relationship.

The guru and shishya relationship is unique to India and has been cultivated over 2,500 years of Indian heritage. Upanishads form a sacred part of our heritage. The word Upanishad comes from two words – upa and nishad. Upa means sitting nearby and nishad means to listen and learn; literally translated, Upanishad then refers to a dedicated shishya sitting near a guru and listening and learning from the spiritual experiences of a great master. In this relationship, the shishya considers the guru to be God himself and has absolute faith in the teachings and guidance of the guru. For his part, the guru dedicates himself to the guidance of the shishya. There is no competition in this relationship – just mutual respect. Nothing in this world is more satisfying to the guru than the accomplishments of his shishya. Such is the greatness of this relationship. However, for both the guru and the shishya, finding this relationship is as much about chance as it is about one’s own willingness to find knowledge wherever it may reside.

A King was passing through a forest followed by his entourage of soldiers carrying arms and his servants carrying jewelry and other ornaments. Suddenly they came upon an old man lying in the middle of the forest, clad only in a loincloth, laughing merrily and appearing enormously happy. The old man had no possessions and yet seemed quite content with life. The King, despite all his possessions, had never been this happy and was curious to learn the secret of the old man’s happiness.

The King got out of his chariot and approached the old man lying on the forest floor. The old man took no notice of the King or his entourage. The King, however, did not take the elder man ignoring his presence as an insult. Instead, the king approached the elderly man with respect and asked him, “Why are you so happy? You have no possessions or a comfortable place to live and yet, you seem to be content and satisfied. What is the secret of your happiness? Revered Sir! Would you let me know who your guru is so that I can also receive guidance from him on the secret to happiness.”

The old man turned to the King and said, “Oh King! I have had 20 gurus. My gurus include this body, this earth, the birds, the animals, and the trees. Everything in the world has taught me something. The good things of the world taught me what to see and how to be good and the bad things taught me what I must avoid.” The King saw the wisdom in the old man’s words, bowed to him and continued with his journey.

True Gurus are everywhere. They are waiting for their shishyas. Dedicate yourself as a true shishya, look around, and you will find one.

Posted in: Festival, Festivals

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Take It or Get It

Can you get something without wanting it? If you do manage to get it, what will you do with it? Will it mean anything to you or will you start looking at it differently once you get it.

Knowledge, learning, mentoring, direction, and development are some things that people expect to get from a Master or a Guru. The question however remains, ‘Do you have to take it?’ or ‘Do you have to get it?’

Knowledge is ubiquitous. People looking for it have found it from the most unsuspecting sources. Some have sought it and some have stumbled upon it. The key has been the desire, the hunger or the absolute need that has driven people. Yes, many people have become what they are all by themselves.

Self-suggestion makes you master of yourself. – W. Clement Stone

The essence of self-development lies in the two words that define it. Self and Development. You take it upon yourself to develop yourself and do everything you can towards that purpose.

However, a lifetime may not be enough to achieve what lies inside you if you were to work all by yourself. So in the journey you discover many people who help you discover more of yourself and achieve more.

A slave has but one master. An ambition man has as many, as there are people who helped him get his fortune. – Wilson Mizner

As the journey progresses one realizes that life is all about learning from others. And while there’s a lot to learn you do need someone to guide you, show you the path and bring light in the areas of darkness.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. – Buddha

So, we are back to the same question. Do you take it? or Do you get it?

Liberation is not anywhere outside you. It is only within. If a man is anxious for deliverance, the internal Guru (Master) pulls him in and the external Guru pushes him into the Self. This is the grace of the Guru. – Ramana Maharshi

A true master can at the most only inspire you to live your being…live in your light – Swami Rajneesh

We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master. – Maria Montessori

The guru cannot awaken you; all that he can do is to point out what is. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

I hope all these words of the masters are a testimony that you have to take it. I hope we get it.

Posted in: Motivational, Work Culture

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