“Those who educate children well are more honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”
In Indian culture, “Acharya Devo Bhavah” translates “a teacher is like God“. We have always recognized teachers as myriad part of one’s life. Because generally, growing children spend more time with their teachers than with their parents. The idea of parents sending children to school (more anciently the Ashrams) was because someone else could be a better influence upon their children than themselves.
If you ask why, then teachers are people who nurture the best interests of a child, they are neutral. Mother might spoil a child and make him see life as a piece of cake. Father might be too harsh that could make him go astray. On the other hand, a teacher always knows to balance, and whether to elevate him by love or discipline him.
This Teacher’s Day, Wordhazard remembers and honours some Ancient Teachers from antiquity.
Dattatreya is revered as the Adi-Guru or the first teacher of the Adinath Sampradaya of the Nathas. His pursuit of simplicity, kindness, sharing of his knowledge and the meaning of life during his travels is reverentially mentioned in the poems by Tukaram, a saint-poet of the Bhakti movement. He had Twenty Four Gurus, which even included lifeless beings such as water and sky.
Several Upanishads are dedicated to him, as are the texts of Advaita Vedanta-Yoga tradition in Hinduism. One of the most important texts of Advaita Vedanta, namely Avadhuta Gita transcribes to the Song of the Free, and is attributed to Dattatreya.
A mythical creature Chiron was called as the “wisest and justest of all the centaurs”.
Chiron was the foremost teacher of Ancient Mythical Greece(Hellas).He was known for his youth-nurturing nature, expertise in medicine, music, archery, hunting, gymnastics and the art of prophecy. He was also blessed with skills in medicine and was credited with the discovery of botany and pharmacy.
Contrary to popular belief, Centaurs were notorious creatures. Yet, Chiron was said to be the first among centaurs and highly revered as a teacher and tutor. Among his pupils were many Greek Heroes such as Asclepius, Aristaeus, Ajax, Aeneas, Actaeon, Theseus, Achilles, Jason, Peleus, Perseus, Phoenix, and even the wine God Dionysus.
Dakshinamurthy is a form of Lord Shiva as ‘Teacher of all types of knowledge’. This aspect of Shiva is his personification as the supreme or the ultimate awareness, realisation, and knowledge. He is represented as a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom, and lecturer of scriptures.
As per scriptures, if a person doesn’t have a Guru, then they can consider and worship Lord Dakshinamurthy as their Guru. Dakshinamurthy is the ultimate Guru, the embodiment of supreme knowledge and the destroyer of ignorance.
“A teacher means, in that person’s presence, people should learn things that even the teacher doesn’t know.”