guru purnima


Teachers make a difference. Chief amongst all the blessings I have have had is having good teachers in life. Kind giants, if you will, who lend their broad shoulders for me to clamber on.

Many have been teaching me formally. That is their task. They get me to understand concepts and ideas. But where they stand much taller, is that they have made me a seeker long after they have moved on to other students.

There are others who didn’t / don’t have a formal role of being a teacher. Yet, by their way of being, humble and curious, they stay profound. They shape me.

Teachers take other forms. Friends. Team mates. Help. Mentors. Teachers. Coaches. Partners. Clients. Colleagues. Managers. Professors. Family. Kids. Etc.

As I toggle my memory today, I realise that the teachers who have been getting me interested in whatever I learn have been the ones that are primarily interested in me. They have prodded and nudged. Sometimes pushed and shoved.

Always helping me stretch far beyond where a point that I would have stopped without them doing so! Most others times, my teachers have made it interesting for me to take one more step. Without judging me on the outcomes I had to show for it.

My father, sat me down one day, decades ago and spoke of Gibran. I remember a setting Sun and strong filter coffee as we discussed these lines

No man can reveal to you aught but that
which already lies half asleep in the dawn-
ing of your knowledge.    

The teacher who walks in the shadow of
the temple, among his followers, gives not
of his wisdom but rather of his faith and
his lovingness.    

If he is indeed wise he does not bid you
enter the house of his wisdom, but rather
leads you to the threshold of your own

The astronomer may speak to you of his
understanding of space, but he cannot give
you his understanding.
For the vision of one man lends not its
wings to another man.

And as we sat with those last lines, I remember him talking about the need to be ready to receive. But to stay present to the responsibility of building my own wings.

That is exactly what every teacher who has been part of my life has nudged me to do. In their own ways.

On a rained out day like today, I sit and ponder how many lifetimes it would take to repay the generosity of my teachers.