A Blog on Mythology and occasionally on Reality.

This is a Blog on Mythology, both Indian and World and especially the analysis of the myths.

In effect, the interpretation of the inherent Symbolism.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Teacher’s Day

Teacher’s Day is akin to what we also know as Guru Purnima, a day sacred to the memory of the great sage Vyasa, though on a different day. A Guru or a teacher in India is seen as someone who is on earth in place of god.

In earlier days, all knowledge was acquired at the feet of the Guru, and no amount of dakshina (fees) could cover up the education received.

According to the Upanishads – a guru is god, since he knew the Vedas and thus to acquire the knowledge, one had to submit oneself to the guru. Overtime, the guru’s syllabus increased from the Vedas to the vidyas and shastras (dhanurvidya, arthashastra, natyashastra, kaamshastra, and even chaurya shastra – the science of thievery as mentioned in Shudraka's celebrated play Mricchakatikam).

In earlier days, Guru’s used to teach in Gurukuls, which soon took the shape of universities and education moved into a larger domain in the well known universities of yesteryears – Nalanda, Takshashila and Vikramashila, to name a few.

In mythology, we come across some well known teachers; Parshuram and Dronacharya are two well known guru’s in Mahabharata. Prior to that there is mention of Shukracharya who was the guru of the asuras. His contribution was that he helped the asura’s avoid destruction in the hands of the deva’s.

To quote a verse from Brahmanda Purana -
"Guru is Shiva sans his three eyes,
Vishnu sans his four arms
Brahma sans his four heads.
He is parama Shiva himself in human form

However, in the modern times, it has become a tall order to maintain standards of the erstwhile guru’s. When education has moved from the jurisdiction of goddess Saraswati to goddess Lakshmi, it is not surprising that we do not come across gurus of yester-ages! But on this day, let us thank all teachers who deserve to be thanked, if not worshipped like the way Karna, Arjuna or Eklavya did.

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