Darshan On The Art Of Teaching
July 16, 1977 pm
[Bapuji chants a Ram dhun.]
BAPUJI: My today’s subject is teacher the art of teaching and the student.
Its beginning is from the student because student becomes the teacher in that he cultivates his art of teaching.
So we can say that one who is a good teacher is also a good student.
One who is not a good student can never become a good teacher.
Normally, wherever there are educational organizations there is a test for every education that you go through.
I have huge words in my treasure, too.
Every place these examinations are conducted.
And in that, every subject has certain marks that are fixed as a passing mark.
So in order to pass the test, the student has to attain certain percentage of marks.
After attaining to the level that is described as minimum for passing, he is considered passed.
Suppose in one subject there are a hundred marks for one subject.
The subject is ordinary, so suppose the student gets thirty-three of the marks he is considered passed.
Everyone cannot pass with the same number of marks.
So they keep the three stages the minimum, middle and the highest.
And one of those students wouldn’t pass the test.
Then he went to one saint, spiritual teacher.
He bowed down at the feet of the spiritual teacher and told him, “I have come to declare some good news today.”
The student was a young child and the saint was old.
Then the saint asked, “What are the news of joy?”
He said, “Guruji, by your grace I have passed the test.”
Guruji said, “That’s wonderful.
What percentage of marks did you get to pass?”
He said, “Thirty three percent.”
Gurudev said, “That’s OK, but can I ask you one question?”
The child said, “Yes.”
Guru said, “Suppose you are a big businessman and you need one cook.
You advertise in the newspaper that you need one cook.
So three cooks apply for that.
Then you invite each one for interview.”
“I know from your details that you know all different things.
You know how to make the roti (Indian style flat bread)?”
He said, “Yes, I know.”
He said, “Out of hundred that I make, I make thirty three good and sixty seven burned.”
Then Guru asked, “Would you keep such a cook?
That one who will burn sixty-seven rotis out of a hundred?
Would you consider him to pass in your test?”
At that time, the question gets confused.
If such a cook who burns sixty-seven out of a hundred, if he becomes a cook and teaches someone how to cook, then what?
Then his students will get only thirty-three percent of his success.
Now the cooks who have passed the test under such a test, how many can be hired?
Those who just do the work of burning the breads, that’s all they do.
So in order to become good teacher it is necessary that you become good students.
What should one do to become good students?
In order to become the student one should dwell deeply on the subject that one is studying.
If you want to see your reflection in the mirror, then you’ll have to keep the mirror steady.
But if you just keep moving the mirror like this and see your face, how would it look?
So if you want to truly and properly see any subject, you’ll have to make it steady or see it with steady mind.
When a teacher is teaching, a good student becomes very one pointed and absorbs the teachings.
The student listens to the teacher with one pointed attention and wholeheartedly tries to absorb the subject, while the other students can’t focus their attention.
Sometimes they look there, sometimes they look on the side, look up, sometimes think something else, and that’s how they remain distracted.
Under such circumstances, how can he attain the knowledge?
Suppose you want to pour milk from one bowl into the other bowl?
If you pour the milk here and keep the empty cup here, what will happen?
Don’t do like that.
When the teacher is teaching, you must give full attention.
I’m also doing the same thing right now.
If we do not pay attention, what happens to the knowledge that is given to us?
That I will tell you.
That Amrit just reminded me.
This is the story of ancient India.
In those days, the rishis, means the yogis, the sages of India, they were giving the knowledge, or teaching to the disciples.
And there is something that might surprise you.
There might be one very large school or college, educational institution, and there will be only one teacher.
And the rest of them are all students.
How do you think such an educational institution is possible?
This is really worth noticing and a miraculous incident, worth keeping in your heart.
In there, the students were doing the work of teaching.
Those students who passed in the higher class, they will teach the students of the lower class.
So the studying and teaching both were going on simultaneously, for each student.
So the result of it was that the student who had studied more incomplete was completed by his teaching to the student of the lower grade.
Thus, in every stage the students were teaching.
There was only one teacher and there were many, many students.
This teacher, he used to just observe the classes when such students were teaching to the other students of the lower grade.
So when the student teaching to the lower grade will finish his teaching work, the teacher will pick him up and love him.
“You taught really well.
There were little mistakes here and there, but if you try, in very short time, you will be able to remove those mistakes.
You really teach very well.”
Those words of inspiration the heart of the student was inspired.
You’re all students and you will be giving teaching when you go to other places.
That way the knowledge that you have received becomes more confirmed and goes deeper.
Today also in the spiritual school, the students pick up a lesson and they sit in a group and discuss with each other.
So as soon as the teacher finishes teaching, the students form small groups and discuss with each other what they have studied.
This way, the education becomes simpler.
So in one such ashram, there were many students who were studying.
In old times, only the spiritual education was given.
If some one of you really knew Sanskrit well and studied the scriptures of India, you cannot afford not to bow down to those shastras and scriptures of India, because they are so profound.
In those scriptures, the spiritual subject is so deeply and so profoundly thought of, that there is no way you cannot call it a spiritual science.
In order to understand such scriptures, even the highest spiritual teacher has to remain a student, or become a student.
The scriptures are so profound that there is no way to describe it.
I have told you before that in this world there are two types of religion that are famous, that are known.
The individual religion and the religion that could be practiced on the basis of groups.
The group religion can be applied towards all the large scale in the world, and individual path is for the great masters.
No ordinary student can go on this path.
Only some great master can walk on that path.
There is no history as to what caused the great masters to reach to the highest.
In Indian scriptures, it is explained in detail how one can become a great master and how one can attain to the Lord.
The great masters there they have made Lord himself stand there and examine what he is.
This is very unique.
Only very few individuals have ventured on that path.
Such this truth will be revealed here in about another hundred years or so.
Only when one of the individuals from here becomes such a great master, then only would he reveal what is the true knowledge.
To average society, give any religion and it will work.
For average society, any religion can be useful at this level, because in that there is only social religion.
But in other religions of the world, there is no individual religion at all.
The great masters of India, they have described through which path they reached to the highest.
So it has a great importance and a value.
So there were many students studying in the school of that great master.
This Guru was teaching a special scripture known as Darshan Shastra to the choice students.
Among those, there was one whom he loved very much.
He was not capable of studying those particular scriptures.
Because Guru loved him, he allowed him to sit with the other disciples.
But he didn’t pay much attention towards him.
This disciple he was young, but he really found out that his Guru wasn’t paying much attention to him.
So sometimes he was disappointed and he would leave the class.
So one day when Guru was in good mood and was loving him, he really took the opportunity.
“Why don’t you teach me Darshan Shastra??
He said, “My son, you are young.
The thoughts expressed are very difficult for you to express or understand.?
“No, no, you will have to teach me.”
So the Guru was happy and he says, “Go, get your books.?
He just said that so that he doesn’t get unhappy.
“Go bring your books,” he says.
Student was very happy.
He ran and brought the books.
He sat in front of his Guru, he opened his book.
Gurudev knew all his books by heart.
There was no need for him to open any book.
He could speak from anywhere.
This student was to be taught from the very beginning.
The scripture that he was studying, it had very basic sutras means very compact teachings, that are expressed in small [inaudible].
Very small sentences which are very compact and tells a lot in a few words is called sutra.
Like the first sentence of Patanjali Yoga Sutra is, “Atha yoga anushasanam.”
There are two words, “yoga,” and “anushasanam.”
In the front, there is a word called “Atha.”
There are only three words in this sutra.
In that everything that is worth saying has been said.
Only a true yogi can teach such scriptures, because it is the book of moksha, of liberation.
It is for the highest path.
One who has not done sadhana cannot understand it; neither could he teach it.
The Guru started with the first sutra, started explaining it to him.
Guru was old, and when he was teaching he would become very one pointed.
So he would just teach very slowly, keep his eyes closed, and slowly and slowly he will speak to the student.
The student was listening very carefully.
He heard very carefully for two or three minutes.
He couldn’t understand what the Guru was saying.
He looked here, he looked there, he looked up, and the words of Guru started spilling all over.
His lecture started spilling into the entire room, except him.
The Guru continued teaching.
He tried very hard, two or three times, but his mind could not concentrate on what Guru was saying.
All of a sudden, he saw a little hole in the wall.
There was little mouse going in, another was coming out, and they both were playing with each other.
He really had a lot of interest in that.
Guru just continued teaching with his eyes closed, and this student was absorbed in the play of these two little mice.
Guru continued to teach for about fifteen minutes, and then asked one question.”
“Did this story get into your mind?”
He says, “No, the tail is out.”
The Guru was surprised.
“What is he talking about, the tail?”
He opened his eyes.
Then he saw that his student was looking at the little mouse.
In that hole, one mouse had gone in and the tail was sticking out.
When Guru was talking about his teaching, whether it went into his mind, he was talking about the mouse, whether it had gone in the hole or not.
Then Guru himself laughed.
He felt that he was being foolish in teaching him.
He felt that to give such a hard lesson to such a child is foolish.
He already knew that he could not digest this lesson.
He has spoken just to please the child.
Then he felt that he was happy, but he wasted his fifteen minutes.
So the student who is not fit for specific knowledge, he cannot truly take it in.
The Guru once told his dull student, he says, “My son, there is a heavy rain outside.
Go take the pot out, and go get the water of the rain.”
He stood there for almost an hour and when he came, he came with an empty pot.
Guru inquired, he said, “I sent you to get the water.
Why did you come empty?”
He says, “I was holding the pot in the rain, but it was upside down.”
He was holding it upside down.
Then it was all raining over it.
And it was empty when he came, naturally.
When you are studying, if you keep your mind upside down, the same thing will happen.
The rain will fall, and there could be no water in a pan that is upside down.
How could the knowledge come, if your mind is distracted?
So to become good students, one must pay full attention in this study.
That way the knowledge comes to us.
In Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna has said, “Yoga karma shokoshlam,” means, “Yoga means perfection in action, or know how of action.”
The perfect artistic ability of performance in action, is that called yoga?
The proper know how of performance of actions is art, and it is also yoga.
Even when ordinary subjects are tactfully grasped and expressed tactfully, it can be called art.
So here, the one who is very quite expert in the performance of action that leads to the Lord is the yogi.
So, first lesson is that the student must become a good student.
Then he should be among the other students, those who are studying the similar subject, and exchange their learning.
Amrit had come to me many years ago.
I think at that time he had started his yoga classes in Philadelphia.
Then he had requested me to show him something that could be more useful to him.
At that time, I had taught him the Kriya of “chitta” and “prana,” means, the slow motion exercises.
In showing that, I took about fifteen to twenty minutes.
I explained the principles behind it to him.
I explained what is “chitta,” means mind, and what is “prana,” and what is its use in this exercise.
He understood that well.
And after coming here, he started teaching Kripalu Yoga.
I had shown him only two postures, but he arranged that through all the postures.
He found the entire secret behind it.
He was a good student, so he could become a good teacher.
What he learned in fifteen to twenty minutes, he has taught in America for many years.
Only twenty minutes, I taught him.
So you are studying under the same Amrit.
So if my son is that bright, then how about his children?
If lion’s child is lion, can that lion give really birth to goats?
You will have to work hard.
You will have to understand.
He has taught many students.
He has prepared many teachers, also.
And me, I have taught only two, three or four students but they have taught thousands.
I have only prepared captains.
I haven’t trained armies.
It’s their work to prepare the army.
Only mother can take care of young children.
You are receiving this knowledge like under the care of motherly love.
Then this knowledge must become fruitful for you.
Now you study with great care.
First, make your personal life very beautiful and pure.
Imagine that there are thousands of candles arranged in front of you in a circle.
So even when it gets night, you will have to bear with the darkness because these candles are not lit.
There should be one candle burning.
That one candle will start all other candles.
One candle is one teacher.
He can light thousands and millions of candles.
Would you like to be such a candle? [S 1] You must grow that way.
After becoming a good student, you gradually find out the art in it.
In Indian classical music, first, you have to practice heavily the tunes.
The music that you see in the other parts of the world is very simple, compared to the classical, of India.
One has to really do tapas, means, continuous practice, in order to study this music.
So the beginning students of vocal music in India, they practice the tunes, for fourteen, fifteen hours a day.
They are just perspiring all over.
And the practice is going on.
And the teacher is sitting with a stick.
He won’t allow him to finish, until he completes.
Even when he goes to bathroom, he would keep supervising.
Then he has to come back right there.
So after studying so laboriously, wherever he goes, he becomes enchanting to everyone.
Music truly entertains, and also gives the liberation, and freedom.
So first become students, and then become artists.
There are some who are just artists, but they can’t teach it.
So if they have taken a violin, and they keep playing on it for many years, they do become good artist.
But when the time comes to teach somebody, then?
Then, such artists are not as much useful, sometimes.
Such work has to be done by some teacher.
So, one must remember that to whatever stage the artist has reached, the teachers have also reached to that stage.
All artists cannot become teacher.
And all teachers are not necessarily artists.
One has the art of teaching, while the other has the art of music, playing instruments, or vocal singing.
You can be a good artist, or a good teacher, but when you become the good artist, and the good teacher both, then, it is like a fragrance in the gold.
It’s just a saying, like that.
But, love your students.
As long as you do not understand the difficulties of your students, you cannot become good teachers.
Do not believe that just because you showed them, they would understand everything, and learn it right away.
After teaching, observe, who has been able to understand it in a best way, a medium way, or a poor way.
One who receives it in the best way, give him encouragement.
Those who were medium students, draw their attention towards the bright students.
And speak the inspiring words to those who did not do so well, so they may continue to grow.
We believe that we know what potentials we have hidden within us.
But that is a faulty notion.
You may believe that you can run.
And when there is nobody, you can also run, and test yourself.
You can also decide as to how fast you can run, and how much time, too.
But the test that you have gone through yourself, is not really true.
Then examine the results, when you run with somebody.
There will be competition.
So at that time, the sleeping energy, you would have to awaken.
So you will decide to be better than your friend.
So you will try your best, to use as much energy that is available to you, to come first.
So, if you compare the two, you will find that you could run better and faster, when you were in competition.
Then you’ll have to change your belief, about your own ability to run.
Suppose you are returning home from movie, on a dark night, and some enemy is running after you, to kill you.
And, see how much you run, at that time.
You will be able to run fastest, than ever before, whether competition, or whatever.
Where did you receive this energy?
That energy comes from the root source.
So one must learn to get to that source.
So continue to put your efforts forward, and continue to grow.
By presenting your knowledge to your students, you will be able to see your own knowledge.
And, you would be able to see how far you have grown, through your teaching.
The students must also remember that there is nothing difficult to the practice.
When you continuously practice, all the difficulties will be removed.
The works that we haven’t ever done before, they naturally seem to be difficult to us.
And as we progress in the practice of it, it continues to grow easier, for us.
One eighteen years old man had a cow.
That cow gave birth to a calf.
The calf was very beautiful.
This young man liked that calf very much.
So he used to carry the calf on the second story.
He used to carry the calf nine steps, every day.
This continued, for a long time.
When that calf became a cow, almost, he carried that cow all the way to the second floor.
That was his every day practice.
If the one calf could become a cow, couldn’t the one practice, continuously practiced, become a big one?
And a most effective one?
So continue to study, and continue to teach.
Continue to change, and correct your own mistakes.
At the same time, your student’s mistakes will be also corrected.
That’s all I have to say.
Bapuji: You sing after the tune.
After the tune starts, you join it.
[Bapuji leads series of OMs]
About the mantra Bapuji says: Done with great concentration of mind then you will derive so much joy from it.
It is such a powerful mantra that it will change every cell of your body and every cell of your mind.