The Sanskrit word “Guru” means dispeller of darkness. Therefore, a guru or a teacher is someone who banishes the spiritual ignorance of the disciple and bestows spiritual knowledge. I didn’t find my guru in mandatory adherence to a religious/spiritual denomination . I didn’t have to go through any initiation rituals either to be his disciple for life . I found him in the secular abode of education- my school.
Right from the first interactions in the orientation programme he had conducted for our class , we were convinced that he would stay , like a tree that gives shelter and shade to all who seek it, without discrimination . We were still adolescents , with a blurred idea of self and the world around us . In the true spirit of guru, he had unveiled the unfamiliar world of the powerful self with its rich reserves of hope , faith, courage , grace, preparing us for a smoother transition into the world outside .
Setting us onto the path to self-discovery has been his most precious gift to us. He was able to inspire us and influence our thoughts like no one else could, on account of of his selfless affection and unfaltering belief in the beauty of our dreams . The self-discovery as the foundation for self-love has helped us to stay hopeful and positive , through difficult times and to radiate that love to the people around us.
Our “guru “ transcended the traditional role of imparting lessons in Algebra and Geography to include valuable life lessons in our syllabus . He is still in touch with us , (his past pupils) , welcoming our questions and concerns with open arms , prioritising them ,despite his hectic schedule , putting our worries to rest with his patient and wise explanations and interpretations , never dismissing our issues as “trivial ” or “insignificant”. We can open up to him without fear , guilt or hesitation and confide in him like one would confess to a priest .
As I type, Abba’s “I have a dream “ plays as the background score in my mind,transporting me two decades back to the assembly hall of my school , with our revered teacher handing down the lyrics of the beautiful song and how it was the beginning of an exceptional life-long relationship , the genesis of a lasting , positive change!