'Remembering guru on Teachers' Day.'
A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.
Today being the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second President of India, the first Vice-President of India, statesman, philosopher and a teacher of philosophy, entire nation is observing the day as Teachers' Day and paying tributes to teachers - at schools and colleges. Although Teacher's Day had been observed on the birth anniversary of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the importance of a guru (teacher) was depicted in Upanishads and other holy scripts ages ago. Let us briefly observe the significance of guru in Indian mythology.
No education was said to be achieved in the ancient days without getting trained under a guru, who occupied next place to God. And so came the verse, Guru Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gururdevo Maheshwara, Gurur sakshath Para Brahma, Tasmaisree Gurave Namah - which said the teacher was equal to the creator, the protector, the destroyer and the eternal and lets bow to him.
If we look into the Indian mythology, the Gods and demons too had their own respective gurus and was said to have mastered several mystic skills from their gurus.
Bruhaspati is considered as deva guru (the teacher of Gods). He's been considered as a personification of virtues. Also, God of wisdom, Bruhaspati is the supreme teacher who got a place among nava grahas (the nine planets). The holy scripts state that Bruhaspati attained this position after he did penance for ages together.
The epics stress that Shukracharya is daitya guru (the teacher of demons). It was believed that only Shukracharya had the power to make the dead alive (Mrithasanjeevini vidhya). The legend has it that Shukracharya gained this Mrithasanjeevani vidhya from Lord Shiva. He was said to have used to make demons alive with this eternal and exclusive power he had. In order to ensure that Gods too get this Mrithasanjeevani vidhya, Kacha (the son of Brihaspati) goes in disguise of a normal Brahmin and attains this vidhya. Thus Gods came to know about this vidhya, state ancient scripts. Mahabharata and Devi Bhagavatham trace the origin of Shukracharya.
One of the sages of Saptarishis (seven sages who were elevated to Nakshatramandalam and became states(world of stars), was the guru of Lord Sri Rama (the avatar of Sri Maha Vishnu). Some of the slokas by Vashishta Maharshi were mentioned in the vedas too.
He was said to be another guru of Lord Sri Rama and Lakshmana. The legend has it that Sage Vishwamitra taught how to use celestial weapons in the war to Lord Sri Rama. He also takes Rama to Seeta Swayamvaram. It's on the order of Vishwamitra, Sri Rama lifts Shivadhanussu (bow of Lord Shiva) to appease Goddess Sita's father.
While gurus used to teach many skills to the students (who were mostly Kshatriyas (kings) ), they used to get some gifts in return as guru dakshina. Since guru was considered as next to supreme, it was said that students used to give whatever gurus demand. There's a legend that Ekalavya (during Dwaparayugam) masters archery by treating Dronacharya as his guru although he was never accepted as a student by the latter. But, just due to mere respect he had on guru, he was said to have attained supreme skills in mastery. In order to ensure that his real students should have an upper hand over Ekalavya, Dronachartya demands the thumb finger of Ekalavya, who gives away the same with much pleasure and becomes unfit for archery.
Apart from these gurus, there were many gurus, whose importance was stated many a time in several ancient scripts. So, India is a country wherein Guru got the next place to the supreme power. Therefore, respect the teachers because education would be of no use if you don't give special place to guru (the teacher) in your heart.
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