Leaving his guru after a long period of initiation, the shishya asked: "Where shall I find a worthy guru like you who can continue teaching me valuable lessons for life?" The guru replied, "There isn't a single moment when you are without one." Confused, the disciple asked, "How so?" Said the guru: "Simply watching your reaction to everything-a bird, a leaf, a river, a tear, a smile, a beggar-makes everything your teacher."
Today, Teachers Day, on the one hand, let's become aware of the innumerable gurus who've taught us many lessons, and, on the other, let's also realize that no matter who we are, where we go, or what we say or do, each one of us is both, a teacher and a learner.
I do not remember the many lessons I was taught, but I certainly cherish the few lessons I've learnt. Long after the words of my teachers have passed through my ears, erased with the passage of years, their works and the witness of their lives remain enshrined in my mind and heart. Many are those whom I'll never forget-not because they were brilliant teachers but simply because they were extraordinary human beings.
Google has more to offer today by way of information than the most accomplished of my teachers. However, I still salute my teachers, for, even when they lacked information, they were always keen on my formation, and often, their love led to transformation, trifle though it may seem to be.
True teachers not only train the mind but also touch the heart. It's wonderful to celebrate two great Indian teachers: Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, statesman and philosopher, on his birth anniversary, who epitomizes the best that the mind can accomplish; and St. Mother Teresa, on her death anniversary, supreme symbol of universal love. She said: "Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put into every action."
Our education began at home. At the embryonic stage we imbibed so much from the loving warmth of our mother's womb. Once born, there's mummy and daddy, brothers and sisters who taught us so much. Then, all through our student years there were principals, teachers, tutors and co-students from whom we learnt so much. Dharma gurus, arts-science-drama-music teachers also chipped in their mite. God bless them all!
Happy are the teachers who remember their days as students; and, blessed are the students who are aware that they are also teachers. Teachers' Day invites us all to be glad and grateful for teaching and for learning, for forming and being transformed. Let's never forget: everything and everyone is a teacher. An avid learner, too, must everyone be!