IHS BLOG

Sadhguru’s Words: The Significance of Teacher’s Day

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Questioner: Sadhguru, can you please speak on the significance of Teacher’s Day and the role of teachers?

Sadhguru: Today happens to be ‘Teacher’s Day’. Do you know why it is called Teacher’s Day? Dr. Radhakrishnan, the first vice president of India and the second president of India, happened to be a schoolteacher and his birthday is ‘Teacher’s Day.’ It’s a wonderful compliment to the teachers of the nation that our president was actually a schoolteacher.

In the Indian culture, we have always recognized a teacher as a very important part of one’s life to the extent we said: ‘Acharya Devo Bhava’ which means a teacher is like god. Generally, children spend more time with their teachers than with their parents. The idea of parents sending children to school is that somewhere they know that somebody else could be a better influence upon their children than themselves. Blinded with emotion as to what is mine and what is not mine, most people are not able to create an atmosphere of love and joy. They usually start off with a little bit of love and then become heavily entangled with the whole process and create an atmosphere of anxiety. Anxiety is not a good atmosphere to grow in.

In the making of an individual human being, or in the making of a society, or a nation or even in the making of a world at large, a teacher has a significant role. In the process of enhancing abilities and developing interest in a particular subject – definitely a teacher has a big role. For many children, which teacher is teaching what subject determines whether they love that subject or hate it. The subject gets identified with that person. If the teacher is inspiring enough then the subject suddenly becomes interesting.

In today’s generation people think the significance of a teacher has gone, because everything that a teacher can say, the internet can say too. No, I think the significance of a teacher has gone up manifold. Now that the burden of delivering information is taken away, a teacher’s job becomes mainly to inspire and enhance a student as a human being – which has always been the main task.

In my student days, I met many teachers too. Largely what I learnt was what a teacher should not be and it has been a very valuable lesson for me.

In the first fifteen years of a child’s life, the influences he falls under determine many things about his life. The highest caliber of people should go into school teaching in any nation, if we want to build that country into something worthwhile. But today, we have set up an economic situation and a social situation, where if people cannot get anywhere, then they become school teachers. This has to change. If this doesn’t change, we will not build a society of any substance. We will build very low quality human beings, a low quality society, and a low quality nation. This is already happening. Inspired teachers are few in most schools, if there are any at all. Teaching has become only a profession. That’s all. Nobody is willing to walk an extra step to do what’s needed.

When you work with children who are that part of humanity which is still in the making, what you make of them is in your hands. It is one of the greatest responsibilities and privileges that a human being can have: to actually shape another life is a tremendous privilege. So, when such a privilege is being vested in somebody’s hands, it’s very important that the highest caliber of minds, the highest integrity and inspiration goes into that.

Taken from Sadhguru’s talk on 5 September 2012 where he addressed the students and teachers of Isha Home School.