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Saturday, 17 May 2014 18:43

Time to bring back Guru-Shishya tradition

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If the cultural practices of Ancient India are considered, we'll find a period up till which the ‘Guru Shishya’ tradition existed in a glorious form.

It is considered a very sacred relation where the Vedic teachings, Scientific or Spiritual, were disseminated from a Guru (master) to Shishya (disciple). This was considered the best method to convey the advanced knowledge and created the greatest of pioneers during those Ancient Indian times. The Guru’s knowledge that was transferred forth to shishyas was so influential in shaping the society for ages that those great sages are remembered till date.

In the early tradition of Verbal education of the Upanishads, the guru-shishya relationship evolved into a fundamental component of Sanatan Dharma. The term "Upanishad" derives from the Sanskrit words "upa" (near), "ni" (down) and "sad" (to sit) - literally meaning "sitting down near" a spiritual teacher to receive the teachings. Here I am referring to the early pioneers in
Science (for example, in Aviation -Maharishi Bhardwaj (around 1500 – 500 BC), in Mathematics - Aryabatta, Surgery - Sushruta Maharshi – father of Surgery dated 6th century,  and the like. Indeed the list goes on and on.  The fact that should be considered is, the knowledge was acquired initially through a Guru, and then later through ‘Pure Meditation and Imagination’ under Guru's guidance or teachings.
The technology they had built was very advanced back then; some of it is undecipherable even today perhaps. For instance, Sushruta Maharshi was able to scan one’s body without using an X-Ray, he even performed plastic surgeries without using any of the equipments that the modern science is dependent upon today. How could that be possible? we can't know until a deep research is done to understand their advanced knowledge. Sadly, we never bothered educating our fellow Indians about the jewels that we have had.

A majority of people don’t even know about Sushruta Maharshi but they can be seen talking with alacrity about Leonardo Da Vince, over his contributions to science,  for his paintings etc.
If the study of foreseeing the foetus is considered by both the pioneers – (Leonardo Da Vinci - A study of fetus in the womb - 1452 -1519 and Sushruta Maharshi’s, somewhere around 1200BC – 600BC), Sushruta was centuries before Da Vinci. But how many even know about Sushruta Maharshi? I guess, barely anyone.

Considering all the above facts, a Guru (who is said to be a Guru only when he is well versed in the Vedas and later its derivatives) played a very prominent role until before the foreign
invasions in Bharatvarsha; especially the Colonial Exploitation by British. Before this invasion, India's GDP was 40% from the 1st century till the 17th century, the resources, the culture was destroyed - first by the Islamic invaders and robbers and then by the British. This made us lose our self esteem by destroying our culture. It is time for our nation to bring back that Glory of our mother land. This is possible only by bringing back those values of our ancient times which made our society so great. First of all, we must bring back the sacred tradition of Guru-Shishya parampara.

I do accept to the fact that the technology that we are using today – youtube, online courses etc. give us a wide scope in learning, but one barely finds anyone using them actually pursuing that field interest until the end of discourse.  One should be influenced such that the change starts to come from within them, and that influential power has to come from a Guru through her teachings. This is the reason why I say there can be no substitute for that bridge between the Guru and Shisya , even by today's advanced technology for that matter.

Today our economy has become too fragile because we have lost those traditions, and sacred bonds such as Guru-Shishya parampara. The British and their education system alienated us from our roots and those roots are nothing but this sacred bond. The British had succeeded in making us lose our self esteem by destroying our very own culture, our way of life. Today people do not love to live; they are trying to survive by any means possible - hook or crook, they have lost their self esteem.  In good old days people loved to live and not merely survive like animals; but now it is the other way around. We've forgotten the very real fact that – ‘If anything that has to come as an invention or a discovery then it has to come from the Vedas, from the Pure Imagination’ and a Guru is said to be a Guru only when she is well versed in the Vedas’.

A majority of people of India have forgotten our ancient jewels. Barely any of us know what is written in Bhagavad Gita while the west is wholeheartedly embracing the voice of Shri Krishna.  The sacred bond like that between Krishna and Arjuna or between Rama and Hanuma are said to be a guru-shishya bond. However, we in India are busy celebrating the western culture which has no special value or meaning behind whatever they observe as special.  
 I see people celebrating Christmas in schools, colleges and companies through decorations, which is alright but its sad to see us ignoring our own values and our own sacred occasions.  It is time to pass few amendments that must be followed by the schools, colleges, companies and the like so as to bring that value system and traditions back. Necessary measures should be taken by the Government and by every Individual. Because not just the Government, but we as an individual have an equal duty to develop our Nation.

Research indicates that our mother tongue Sanskrit is considered to be the Mother of all the languages. The education system syllabus should be changed and Sanskrit should be made a
compulsory language rather than an optional one.  It is also the responsibility of parents to provide their child the knowledge the Vedas, Gita and Upanishads. Only then the child will grow
up with utmost intelligence and can lead a meaningful life ahead. The parents these days are running behind money and careers with huge monetary numbers, but have seemingly forgotten about the mindset of a growing kid. The parents themselves are thus ruing their kid’s life by letting them be addicted to a materialistic life. Before a Guru it the parent's responsibility to take care of a child, not the Day Care system which has evolved recently after borrowing from the west.

Regular meetings at the City, State levels among the Teachers should be convened and should be managed by the local and central Government. Learning Sanskrit should be mandated for
every Teacher. Teachers are the ones who create the Pioneers for the next generation.Sanskrit is the language that has the potential of re-uniting our nation and instil a value system that leads to overall development everywhere, including our country’s economy.  'Bharat ke hith mai hi thumara hith hoga'  we must think in terms of our Nation. If the nation is not on the right path, so will be our lives - going down the pit.  Let's strive to strengthen the nation. Make the habit of reading the Ancient Indian History to know more about our beautiful country and its values. 


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