About the Book
The world’s noblest profession but the most undervalued,
thankless profession is that of teachers.
If you have ever reflected seriously on the
role of a teacher and his/her influence in shaping your life, you will find
this book both inspiring and enlightening. True, we have come a long way from our
ancient tradition which held the teacher as an exemplar, a role-model, guru and
mentor; but Dada J.P. Vaswani tells us how the teacher can still be a force to
reckon with today, in the spiritual, intellectual and emotional unfolding of
the students. Inspired by the insights of his Master, Sadhu Vaswani, who was
himself a great educationist aria vastly admired and revered Professor and
Principal, Dada J .P. Vaswani reveals new facets of the ideal teacher; a
lamp-lighter, a sculptor, a builder, a moulder and shaper of the Spirit, a
gardener who cultivates character, a torch-bearer and transmitter of values and
ideals, and above all- a friend!
Dada’s profound observations are all the more
valuable, coming as they do from an ideal, top-ranking, award-winning star
student who turned out to be a much loved and respected teacher and one of
India’s foremost spiritual leaders !
Turn the pages of this book and get a few
glimpses of Dada’s memorable portrait of an ideal teacher!
Dear friends and fellow-students-I hope you
won’t take it amiss that I am writing a book specially for teachers, and choose
to address you as fellow-students!
My beloved Master, Sadhu Vaswani, once said to
me: “Always remain a student.” I have kept this teaching close to my heart; and
the day on which I have not learnt something new, I regard as a lost day
Like all of you, I have passed through the
hands of many teachers, from the kindergarten class to postgraduation. In the
lower classes we had just one teacher - our class teacher - who taught us all
the subjects. As we grow up, subject experts take over, and we have Science
Teachers, Maths Teachers, History Teachers and English Teachers. In college,
there are Professors, Lecturers, Tutors and Demonstrators ...
Everyone has to have several teachers - but we
remember only a few, while others are forgotten. Even their names are
forgotten. Have you ever wondered why this is so?
If you have studied under a teacher whom you
still remember with love, affection and reverence, you are truly blessed!
And if you are a teacher who has had such an
impact on a student that he/she remembers you for years after his I her
education is completed, then you are truly blessed!
I recall a moving incident in the life of the great
American author, James Michener. He was once invited to be a guest at a banquet
hosted by President Dwight Eisenhower at the White-House - a great privilege
for any American.
James Michener declined the invitation with
regret. In his letter to the President, he explained, “A wonderful teacher who
taught me how to write is being honoured on the same day, at the same time ...
you will not miss me at your banquet, Mr. President, but she might, at hers.”
“Ike” (as Eisenhower was popularly known) was so
moved, that he wrote back:
Dear Mr. Michener,
In his lifetime a man lives under 15 or 16
presidents, but a truly fine teacher comes
in his lifetime far too rarely ...
Mark these words: in his lifetime, a man may live
under several presidents and prime ministers: but he rarely comes across a
truly fine teacher!
They tell me that the age of the ‘teacher- less
classroom’ is here! There is talk of e-learning in a virtual classroom. An
interactive computer, they say, can give you all that the teacher can - and
without a teacher’s strict discipline and eccentricities.
With the greatest respect to technological
advances, may I offer my humble opinion that this can never be ‘education’ in
the true sense! Instruction may be offered through the virtual classroom;
information may be made available through the computer. But teaching is much
more than this: teaching in its truest sense is communicating - a process in
which the personality ofthe teacher interacts with the personality of the
students. You can go to a library and read hundreds of books; you can collect
data from the Internet; you can listen to recorded lessons on CDs; but can any
of these compensate for the living, moving presence of a good teacher?
Let me share with you the words of Swami
He alone teaches, who has something to give,
for teaching is not talking, teaching is not imparting doctrines, it is
communicating ... All teaching implies giving and taking, the teacher gives and
the taught receives, but the one must have something to give, and the other
must be open to receive.
An average teacher instructs; a good teacher
guides; a great teacher inspires.
I am sure each one of you can be a great
teacher - a source of inspiration and enlightenment to your students!
Let me end this prefatory note - and begin this
book, dedicated to you, the ideal teacher, with the Shanti-path which occurs in
Sahanavavatu Sahanou bhunaktu
Sahaveeryam karavavahai tejaswina vaditamastu
Mavidvisha vahai -
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!
May He protect us both (the teacher and the
taught) together (by revealing the light of Knowledge). May He nourish us both
(by offering to us the fruits of knowledge). May we both acquire energy
(through this education): May we both become illumined (through this
education); may we no! quarrel with each other. Om Peace Peace Peace!
The Lamp Lighters Of Humanity
Soldiers of The Ideal
Seven Essential Virtues
Two Centres Of Character Building
Teaching Is Not Just Lecturing
The Pursuit Of Excellence
The Teacher Is A Friend
The Teacher Is A Builder
The Teacher Is A Sculptor
The Teacher Is An Artist
Teaching And Learning - The Current Scenario
Hold Your Head High
Believe And Achieve
Work Not For Wages!
What Our Students Must Be Taught
The Evolution Of The Spirit
The Art Of True Living
Art & Culture (700)
Emperor & Queen (477)
Mahatma Gandhi (264)
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