Written by Mrs. I.P. Bhatia

Teacher and pupil are the two pillars on which the whole building of education has been constructed. According to Hindu religion, the place of a teacher or guru who makes a man’s life meaningful is even more respectable and adorable than a father or a mother. Guru was adored and worshipped like gods-like Brahma and vishnu – and it is not astonishing. In fact, a person who leads the ignorant from darkness to light, who opens the inner eye_ if he is not a God who else he is? Teaching work was considered to be the most important social work and that is why a character of very high order _almost a perfect character was expected of a teacher.

In ancient times, the child at the age of getting education used to go to guru’s Ashram and live with guru leaving all types of worries. He was totally dependent on his guru-guru was his father and guru was his mother. Even the princes of Raj Mahal were sent to the Guru’s Ashram to live with guru who took the whole responsibility of his pupils whether it was physical development, moral development or economic independence. So the products were the pupils like Arjuna, Karna and Yudhishtra_ self-reliant, self-confident_ hard enough to face the wildness of jungles in most ferocious forms and above all, the pupils were men of character brought up very affectionately by their gurus who had also the equal rights to love and to punish their pupils.

But sorry to say, in the polluted society of today, things have totally (rather badly) changed. That respect, that bond of affection and love have become things of the past. There is total degradation and deterioration in teacher pupil relationship and I think,it is not surprising. Today the teacher does not teach his pupils because it is social obligation. He only teaches them because he gets salary for his livelihood. And on the other hand, the pupil also does not respect his teacher because he has to pay fee rather heavy fee to the teacher for it- he may or may not afford it. The materialistic society of today has brought down the teacher from the high pedestal of guru and has made him stand in the category of business men. Consequently, the whole structure of society has  fractured and crumbled and there is total disharmony and imbalance.

In the olden days, if the teachers were adored and revered, it was because their own lives were the best examples of sacrifice, renunciation, selflessness and truthfulness. But today’s teachers have adopted teaching merely as a source of income. Today’s teacher is just one among all others hankering after money and running in the race of materialism. In these circumstances _in this scenario, we can’t compare the present day teachers to the ancient Gurus.

Today, there is an explosion of knowledge and technology. In the race of progress, we have forgotten that if the construction of roads, bridges, buildings and industries is important, equally important (rather more important) is to make ‘Men of character.’ And the Educator- the teacher is the only and only tool to make ‘Men of character.’ The education devoid of values, which the modern educator is providing is capable to produce more and more Ravanas and Duryodhanas and then how can we expect more Gandhis or vivekanandas.

No miracle is going to happen. So the poor pupil today is wandering aimlessly and helplessly like a ship which has lost its direction and there is no lighthouse – no guru to show him the right direction-the Guru who can lead him to the Light- the light in which he can learn to behave, in which his inner eye opens and enables him to distinguish between the right and the wrong and makes him a strong man of character.

So, the need of the hour is for the teachers to introspect themselves and ask themselves ‘Are they the gurus about whom it was written.

            “Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwara

            Guru Sakshatkar Parambrahm, Tasmai Shri Gurve namahe”

Here is a beautiful mantra on Teacher-pupil relationship.

 About the Author : Mrs. I.P. Bhatia is a School leader and educator having an experience of more than 30 years in school education and leadership.  She has been writing articles on Children Education, their Behavioral patterns in various age groups and role of parents, school and teachers in bringing up children.