THE ROLE OF TEACHERS AS NATION BUILDERS
Nation building requires unity among the young men minus self ego. It is not an inborn instinct. Someone has to inspire the young blood to consider the nation as supreme. A good citizen would lay his life for the nation. According to the ancient Indian concept a good citizen is one who.
Tyajeddeham Kulasyarthe gramasyarthe Kulam tyajet,
Gramam janpadsyarthe atmarthe prithvion tyajet.
One should give up oneself for the sake of one’s family, one’s family for the sake of one’s village, one’s village for the sake of one’s nation and the world for the sake of one’s soul.
This is the ideal that a good teacher would imbibe in him and pass it on to his students. Soul is immortal. One need not worry about the soul that is the part of Paramatma i.e. God. But till this soul lives in this body it has to look after the Karma i.e. the function of the body towards the nation.
A teacher has to imbibe the spirit of selfless Karma (duty) towards the nation in his students. In this pursuit he has to remain unprejudiced towards all the students. There have been examples when very good teachers had bias against some. Dronacharya did not give training in archery to Eklavya because he did not want to have a competitor for his dear student Arjun. He demanded the thumb of his right hand so that he may not compete with the son of a royal family. This very Dronacharya remained a dumb spectator of all the misdeeds of Kauravas. He couldn’t guide the Kauravas to consolidate the nation by cooperating with the Pandavas.
Aristotle of course taught all the skills to his student Alexander. He inspired him to build his nation strong-Alas not for the sake of the nation but for conquering the world. He filled his student’s heart with false ego and violence. The result was the king could not consolidate his empire and only his dead body returned to Macedonia.
There have been superb teachers like Vishwamitra and many others who lived in Ashrams that were meant for students-not day scholars. They imbibed nationalism and patriotism among their students. They inspired the students with their own simplicity and knowledge. They taught them high principles of the life of a patriot and a Karma yogi. Unlike the madarsas of today where Islamic fanatics are created the great scholars in the Ashramas taught them the ten universal principles of dharma.
Dhritihi kshma damosteyam shauchamindriya nigrab
Dhirvidya satyamkrodhah dashkam dharma lakshnam.
In the later centuries too we had great teachers like Adi Shankaracharya who had a great following of patriots who decided the four boundaries of the country. Then there was Swami Ram Krishna Paramhans who gave the nation a great man. Swami Vivekananda who gave a new life to the young men. Then there was Guru Ram Das who created Shivaji who did his best to make the country free from the bondage of Muslim aggressors. Swami Virja Nand instructed Swami Dayanand who made best of his efforts to remove social and religious decay in the society. Rabindranath Tagore established Vishwa Bharati a unique experiment in nation building. Dr. Radhakrishnan was a great scholar who inspired the students later on he became the President of India an Ideal President.
There was no dearth of teachers who inspired their students by their own example. Corruption and insincerity has gripped the whole society. Teachers are exception to it. Still one will find a good teacher who inspires his students to follow the path of nation building with his own example.