The Bhagavad Gita is not simply a religious text, or an epic of proportions, it is a simple and elaborate philosophy on the way of leading a useful and virtuous life, taught by the Divine teacher to a knowledgeable pupil Arjuna. Taught in a simple, illustrative manner it served as a lesson for the Pandavas and the Code of Conduct for all to follow since then.
The question that could arise in your mind is – what has this great moral teaching to do with what teachers have to practice in their daily lives in their professional capacity?
Plenty, if I may say so!
Make it Simple
The Gita says that all that is true is simple. People may have their ideas and perceptions about the thing that is being taught but the basic facts remain the same. Ideas and perceptions can be different based upon background and upbringing of the one who teaches but when the task of imparting something that is prescribed for the learner to learn and display what he has learnt when it is called for, it becomes imperative that the thing in question be understood properly. That is why just as the Lord explained the facts of life in a simple and lucid manner to his pupil Arjuna, that banished the doubts that rose in his mind, so too would the teacher of today be needed to make the subject at hand simple and easy for his learners to understand. The aim of the teacher is to educate. The topic may be simple or difficult, it is the good teacher that simplifies in a manner that is easily understood and imbibed by those learning.
Make it Interesting
As Arjuna asked his questions, the Lord patiently explained with illustrative examples and in a manner that aroused the curiosity of Arjuna to further probe on what was being said. This not only cleared his doubts on various pertinent points that he raised but subsequently interested him in asking a lot more related issues that boosted his morale.
The current-day teacher teaches in a manner that is interesting to the taught through relevant examples from day-to-day life and at times illustrated through imagery, it would be interesting and refreshing to the student. The interest created thereby would make him or her explore further on the subject and a better understanding would most likely follow.
Helpful Hints not the solution directly
Did the Lord elaborate on all the issues raised by Arjuna? No! In fact he touched upon the essence of the matter in carefully chosen words to give direction to further thoughts through his replies. This invoked in Arjuna the passion to probe deeper and deeper upon the philosophy of Karma and all its manifestations till he got a deep understanding about the secrets of birth, death and the after-life that we read of today in the Gita.
The worldly teacher coukld emulate similarly by “Helpful Hints” guiding the student towards the solution and not providing the solution directly. This would enable the aroused curiosity of him or her to explore on one’s own and arrive at the solution. Of course in the end it would be provided by the teacher to those that failed to arrive at the correct solution or needed to confirm, but the delving would keep the eager mind vibrant and active for future exercises.
After all the satisfaction of self-discovery is immense!
The Bhagavad Gita is a Truth that cannot be falsified since the teaching is from the Lord himself. Hence Arjuna and since then every other have taken the Gita as one Truth that can be sworn upon.
The worldly teacher may be limited by his or her own upbringing and experiences but is not limited in his disbursing of facts to one’s protégés. There are libraries, magazines, TV, the internet and other forms of media that can help him or her upto date or upgraded in facts. It only requires that slight effort, and discernment in sifting within the information available before disseminating it further.
When the learner or student gets assured on verification of what is taught finding it to be true, it builds a trust; an unshakable faith in the learner that is a bonding for life. This further earns the respect for the teacher over a period of time that makes him or her, the guiding light or ‘impeccable’ source for information. The student if he or she remains in touch with the teacher gets a backing for his or her own efforts - that pays off any time in the future.
Remembrance – a great reward
The Kurukshetra war ended, Arjuna and all others like him were indebted to the Lord Krishna for his guidance that brought them victory. This is a huge lesson in the realization of the worth of a teacher in one’s life. Efforts are made by each and every one to better one’s situation in life. It is that base of knowledge and values imparted by our teachers that give the impetus to learn further and seek to better our lives in whatever we do since.
It is the gratitude of the learner or the taught that if conveyed at reasonable intervals of time, that keep the teacher’s morale high – a just reward for shaping the many lives like one’s own to do better and better at every station in life.
Happy Teacher’s Day to All!