Guru had supreme position in the society

By: Er. Prabhat Kishore
Guru Govind Dou Khade, Kake Lagoo Paay;
Balihari Guru Aap Ne, Govind Diyo Batay.
Yah Tan Vish Ki Bel Ri, Guru Amrit Ki Khan;
Shish Diyo Jo Guru Mile, To Bhi Sasta Jaan.
Sab Dharati Kagaj Karu, Lekhani Sab Vanray;
Saat Samudra Masi Karu, Guru Gun Likha Na Jaay.
This Doha (verse) of Sadguru Kabir describes greatness of a Guru, who is necessary in the life of a human being and the important pillars of society. They are friends, philosophers and guides who teach, philosophise and enrich students. From academic knowledge to moral ethical or social, the Gurus are treasure trove. A Guru’s contribution to the world is priceless and irreplaceable. Gurus are known to form the minds of the youth, they bestow good qualities on their students and make them responsible citizens. It is a profession and mission taught by saint.
The Vedic Mantra “Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshvarah; Guruah Sakshat Param Brahma, Tasmai Guruve Namah” explains that Guru himself is the Tridev i.e. Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh and is verily the supreme Power or Absolute truth. It signifies the unchallenged position of Guru, who helps us in solving all troubles that we encounter in the path of learning & wisdom in our life.
Guru is composed of two Sanskrit words “Gu”, meaning darkness and “Ru”, meaning light. Thus Guru means the one who brings from darkness to light. The word Guru itself resembles the message “Asto Maa Sadgamay, Tamso Maa Jyotirgamay, Mrityor Maa Amritgamay” (i.e. lead us from ignorance to truth, from darkness to light and from death to deathlessness). A guru is one, who has immenence knowledge, wisdom and command over a subject and makes use of it to guide his disciples. Guru are the building block of society, who help to become a person better human being. Actually, the word “Guru” is untranslatable and ‘Teacher’, ‘Master’, ‘tutor’ or other equivalents give only a partial meaning. Parents as well as all those persons, who are responsible for the career building of the disciples, are their “Guru”.
In Indian culture and civilization, the concept of Guru is found in the earliest Vedic texts. The Guru and Gurukul were the established tradition in ancient Bharatvarsha. Guru had highest position in King’s Rajdarbar and society. Archeological and epigraphical evidence certify the existence of numerous Gurukuls, where Shishyas were equipped not only with bookish knowledge but also had an all-round development. Philosophy, grammer, farmimg, animal husbandry, farming, weapon training, music, painting and other essential life skills in human life were part of the study.
The Guru-Shishya Parampara were also part & parcel in other sects like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, which originated from Sanatan Dharma. Sikh is the transformed form of Sanskrit word Shishya and Shikhism is completely based on Guru tradition. Thus Guru tradition based learning were the backbone of enriched Indian society and India was the hub of knowledge and culture. Nalanda Vishwavidyalaya, Vikramshila Vishwavidyalaya, Udantpuri Vishwavidyala, Takshshila Vishwavidyalaya, Kashi Vidyapith etc. are some such evidences, where learners from all over the world illuminated their mind and body.
Undoubtedly, Guru is the one who shapes the nation inside his/her classroom. After cessation of Guru-Shishya Parampara (system) and adoption of Macaulay education system, the goal and meaning of education has completely transformed. The teacher/tutor’s duty has narrowed down to just teach the students certain subjects in classroom and now they have nothing to do with their all-round development. Gradually the teachers lost their dignity in the society.
After governmentisation of schools, the teacher no longer remain a Guru, but became a salaried employee. The government used them in various jobs, other than teaching. They are the soft targets for engagement in various non-teaching works like elections, human census, animal census, pulse polio works, ration card verification & many more. The entry of politics and unionism among teachers has also badly hampered the education system. Several factions of teachers’ organization have evolved only to establish leadership, which time & again organise strikes for their demands. The ultimate sufferers are the learners, for whom the schools have been established and teachers have been appointed.
The two-fold system of education i.e. Government and Private, has bifurcated the education cenario in two distinct identity. Policy makers, themselves do not accept the government schools and send their wards to private schools. Even teachers, working in government school, have no faith on their own school and they prefer to admit their wards in private schools. Generally, government schools are now meant for poor and downtrodden classes, who have no better option. Even after 75 years of independence, the education system has not been transformed as job-oriented and the graduates find themselves empty handed after passing out. The mindset of teachers has totally been transformed. Due to downgrading from “Guru” to “teacher”, the country’s foundation is at stake.
It is heartbreaking that the major section of present-day teachers is apathetic towards the high-valued job of learner’s career building through teaching. Education has become a profitable business, and teachers have become its marketing managers. Although the enriched growth of science and education has made us capable to reach on moon and mars, but unfortunately the human values have been lost.
The need of the hour is to relook prevailing education system in India. We must shift our strategy from present education system, which are producing graduates having only bookish knowledge, to Gurukul system, where all-round development of the dispel was the main objective. By adopting the Guru Parampara, the country will once again become a Vishwa Guru.
(The author is a technocrat & academician.)

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