Er. Prabhat Kishore

India Should Adopt Guru Parampara

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Guru GovindDou Khade, KakeLagooPaay;

Balihari Guru Aap Ne, GovindDiyoBatay.

Yah Tan Vish Ki BelRi, Guru Amrit Ki Khan;

Shish DiyoJo Guru Mile, To BhiSastaJaan.

Sab DharatiKagajKaru, Lekhani Sab Vanray;

SaatSamudraMasiKaru, Guru Gun Likha Na Jaay.

This Doha (verse) of SadguruKabir describes the greatness of a Guru, who is an important pillar of a society. They are friends, philosophers and guides who teach, philosophise and enrich students. From academic knowledge to moral-ethical or social, the Gurus are a 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 the saint.

The Vedic Mantra “Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu, GururDevoMaheshvarah; GuruahSakshatParam Brahma, TasmaiGuruveNamah”   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 the Guru, who helps us in solving all troubles that we encounter in the path of learning & wisdom in our life.

The word ‘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 “AstoMaaSadgamay, TamsoMaaJyotirgamay, MrityorMaaAmritgamay” (i.e. lead us from ignorance to truth, from darkness to light and from death to deathlessness).  A guru is one, who has knowledge, wisdom and command over a subject and makes use of it to guide his disciples. Guru is the building block of society, who helps to become a person better human being.

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 the 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, weapon training, music, painting and other essential life skills in human life were part of   the study.

The Guru-ShishyaParampara    were also part & parcel of other sects like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, which originated from Sanatan Dharma. Sikh is the transformed form of the Sanskrit word Shishya and Shikhism is completely based on Guru tradition. Thus Guru tradition-based learning was the backbone of enriched Indian society and India was the hub of knowledge and culture. NalandaVishwavidyalaya, VikramshilaVishwavidyalaya, UdantpuriVishwavidyalaya, TakshshilaVishwavidyalaya, KashiVidyapith 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 the Guru-ShishyaParampara (system) and the adoption of the 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 society.

After the governmentisationof  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 sector has bifurcated the education scenario   in two distinct identities. 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 in their school and they prefer to admit their wards to 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 mind-set 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 the moon and mars, but unfortunately the human values   have been lost.

The need of the hour is to relook the prevailing education system in India. We must shift our strategy from the present education system, which is producing graduates having only bookish knowledge, to Gurukul system, where the all-round development of the disciple was the main objective. By adopting the Guru Parampara, the country will once again become a Vishwa Guru.

(The Author is a technocrat and educationist)

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