A country which is getting lost in the global competition, the idea of being the global teacher looks far away. Yet , this is the same country towards which people from all around the world seek answers for the questions that are unanswerable or beyond the human consciousness. The great philosophers , the sixties’ counterculture , medical researchers , politicians , artists and many other intellectuals from all over the world took inspiration from the Indian teachings and practices.
In the contemporary world, with a lot of pomp and show knowledge is degraded and the power of wealth is considered superior but wealth can turn it’s face anytime. To reemerge from this lost world and be whatever we want, we have to gain more knowledge and preserve the teachings of our teachers who have already paved the path for us.
On this National Teacher’s Day remembering some of the Indian teachers who were unique as were their teachings, which gave India the glory of being a global teacher.
As distant as one can look in the Indian history Chanakya was the first remarkable teacher . His book ‘Arthshastra’ which deeply analyzes the administration of a state is considered as the basis of modern economics . After being disrespected by the king he along with his student Chandragupta coup d’etat the throne and established a new empire which is the foundation of modern India . He is the prime example that if knowledge is acquired purely then it can defeat any power of the world.
The writings of ‘Arthshastra’ should be used in practical sense in businesses and every other form of administration. He is a teacher at its best and he showed us what difference can a teacher make in the world .
Although Kabir das was not a teacher by profession rather he was more of a saint but his speakings among public cannot be considered lesser than teachings from a teacher. Saint Kabir was a bhakti movement poet but he never actually written anything . He used to sing couplets in public which were later written by his listeners . As he was not formally educated so his thinking was more liberated from the society around him . His couplets criticize the malpractices and illogical rituals of the society and religion . Kabir’s teachings are collected in a book called ‘Kabir granthawali’ . His thinking and teachings are also very relevant today .
“Sisters and brothers of America” were the opening words of Swami vivekanand’s famous speech at Parliament of world’s religions at Chicago which gained him widespread popularity and established him as the most influential man at Parliament .
Born as Narendranath datta in West Bengal , he was highly educated and well read in philosophies of the world . He was also interested in spirituality and practiced meditation from childhood . When Narendranath was in college he became highly influenced with Pandit Ramakrishna and became his disciple and after Ramakrishna’s demise he travelled all over the world and popularized his thoughts .
He never tried to convert anyone’s religion rather he wanted everyone to be better at what they are . Swami vivekanand’s birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day . He was the first Indian who truly showed the world the path to be a better human being .
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore was a bengali polymath . He was the first non European to win the prestigious Nobel prize in literature . He is the most influential poet and writer in modern Indian literature . Born into a rich and artistic family Rabindranath Tagore was very poor at studies not because he didn’t want to study but because he thought that learning cannot be done while being caged in a classroom . Later he established Shantiniketan and Vishva Bharati two educational institutions which teaches it’s students by unconventional methods . He used to say that teaching is not only for learning but for instigating curiosity in the mind of the students.
He was more of a humanist than a nationalist . His works inspired many other artist’s work and even the national anthems of India , Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were taken from his compositions. Rabindranath Tagore was the teacher in the real sense as he explored new ways of teaching. He compared classroom schooling to ‘the parrot’s training’ and today we all are giving our children ‘the parrot’s training’.
Almost all of us know the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi . He was a saint and also a teacher of struggle , non violence to the whole world . Many other global leaders , artists and even scientists consider him an inspiration . Albert Einstein called Gandhi “A role model for the generations to come”. He was taught us the power of non violence and simplicity . Among other Indian teachings he also supported equality among men wanted to make a nation with cultural diversity. Apart from freedom struggle he also wrote many books and established Sabarmati ashram .
Mahatma Gandhi is considered to be the teacher of many other global leaders in peace and politics . His influence and teachings are the one by which India is recognized in the whole world .
Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan
A great intellectual , scholar and professor at some of the most prestigious colleges in the world . Almost all his life he was involved in the profession of teaching . He was also a great philosopher . His work on comparative religion and philosophy of vedanta is considered highly influential . He also extended the philosophy of Swami vivekanand and simplified the philosophy of vedanta so that it can be read by contemporary public . Dr. Radhakrishnan is considered to have shaped the image of Hinduism in the west . He also bridged the gap between Indian philosophies and western thinkings . He was awarded several awards in his lifetime including a Knighthood in 1931 , Bharat Ratna , he also became first Vice President and second President of India. His birthday is celebrated as Teacher’s day on 5th September .
Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
He was an aerospace engineer and scientist who developed ballistic missiles and launch vehicle technology . Dr. Kalam also had a significant role in Pokhran 2 nuclear tests . He became 11th President of India and was called ‘Peoples President’ . But he is truly remembered by his admirers through his books , speeches and his simple lifestyle . Apart from the scientific works which made India powerful and it stands with the world , Abdul Kalam had also written some excellent books . After his presidency , Abdul Kalam travelled all over India and delivered some of the most powerful speeches . In his speeches, his love for knowledge, students and India can always be observed. He has given India a vision for the year 2020 to be developed in all aspects which we haven’t achieved and more worse we are forgetting about it.
The true remembrance of all our teachers will be to remember their teachings. Chankya’s ‘Arthshastra’ , Kabir’s rational thinking , Vivekanand’s philosophies , Rabindranath Tagore’s literature , Mahatma Gandhi’s truth , Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan’s thoughts on religion and Abdul Kalam’s vision of India .
~ Abhishek Singh for Youth Icon of India ~