Episode # 101 – Who can be an excellent “Guru” (Teacher)??? Vidura’s mind-blowing explanation!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed ten important categories of people whom we should avoid in our lives. With this we complete one section of the Vidura Neeti wherein Vidura has explained some basic attributes, qualities and different categories of people whom we should follow and whom we should avoid. From today we’re going to commence an entirely different section wherein Vidura is going to explain key aspects of some people who are important role models for our day-to-day lives. As a first, Vidura is going to explain the important characteristics of a “Guru” or a “Teacher”. Now who is a real “Guru”? Vidura explains thus:

“Na vaiyram uddeepayathih prashaantham na dharpam aarohathi naasthvamethi!

Na durgathosmeeti karothyakaaryam tam aaryasheelam paramaahur aaryaaha!!”

Here Vidura beautifully explains the important characteristics of a “Guru” or a “Teacher” – The first and foremost quality of a “Guru” is Na vaiyram uddeepayathih prashaantham” that means, a “Guru” is a person who does not trigger a fight between his students unnecessarily or does not blow up a dormant issue within two people into something huge. Such a person is considered to be an excellent “Guru”. For instance if two people in the classroom or the “Gurukula” might be in loggerheads and would be on the verge of an open spat. If this issue is shrugged off, most probably it would automatically come to an end and a consensus between the two people would arise. However, on the pretext of “solving” the issue, if the teacher comes in between the two students and starts to “investigate” what went wrong, this might be the beginning of a huge fight! Thus indirectly, on the pretext of “investigating” into the matter, the teacher ends up blowing up a fight that was non-existent till now. If a person involves in such things, he is not considered to be a good teacher.

For instance, if we go for attending some concerts or “Satsangs”, we would see a blanket or a mat on the floor that is spread across for people to sit on the floor. Sometimes due to over usage of the blanket or the mat, some threads would start veering out from it. Here we can see two types of people – The first type of people is patient enough to reinstate the thread that has veered off, press the edge of the mat and fold it nicely, so that the thread doesn’t come out again. In this case, the mat has been given a fresh lease of life! There is a second category of people here wherein, just because one thread has veered off the mat, they start pulling out all the other threads as well! We should never get into that category of people. Whatever it might be, the mat is important for us and not that small thread that had veered off. Thus similarly, if there is a small fight or misunderstanding, we should never try to blow it out of proportion and make it a huge issue. Thus the important role of a “Guru” is that, if there is a small fight or an issue amongst his students, he/she should try and close the issue amicably, rather than blowing it like a huge balloon and making it burst.

The next quality – “Na dharpam”Here Vidura explains that a “Guru” should be completely devoid of self-pride or head-weight! He should not project to his students that he is a master of all subjects under the sun! Thus a person, who wants to prove himself in front of his students that he’s the most brilliant fellow in this whole world, can never be a good teacher!

Now Vidura is talking about an extremely important point – “Na durgathosmi”Even if a teacher is in a financially poor state, he should not show that out to his students and should not project himself as a “Daridhra” (Poor or downtrodden). This is because, if the teacher projects himself in this way, students will slowly start losing respect for him. Of course, not many teachers are in this poor state today, thanks to the upliftment of this noble profession in the modern day times.

Now the next quality – “Karothhyakaaryam” Even though the teacher is amidst innumerable problems and facing numerous challenges, he must not resort to getting into illicit ways of doing things to try and solve his issues. For instance, if the teacher is poor and struggling to meet even his three meals a day, he should not afford to resorting into wrong means and practices to obtain what he lacks. If such things happen, students would either disrespect the teacher or some students would even try and imitate the bad things that the teacher is doing. So what kind of role models are teachers setting up for the kids? Hence the teacher needs to be extremely cautious with his actions and words.

Thus, only a person who is an embodiment of these above characteristics are considered and appreciated to be an excellent “Guru” or a “Teacher”, by the world. For today, it is the time for all our beloved teachers to introspect the content of this episode. Of course I’m not competent enough to advise my own teachers who have held my hands and brought me to what I am today! But it is wise on the part of all of us, to take a moment and introspect within ourselves to check if we are on the right track. We shall continue this discussion with some more important points in the next episode. Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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