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What is the duty of teachers? What is the duty of students? In the Vedic language, “shiksa” means “to make others understand”. You know something but you may or may not be in a position to make others understand what you know. The psychological interpretation is to assimilate objectivity by internal subjectivisation. Now, suppose there is a dialogue between a teacher and a student.
Student: “Sir, what is the meaning of nationality?”
Teacher: “Nat means ‘a collection within a geographical range, on a particular land.’ This collection in Latin is ‘nata’. What is the result of nata? When the suffix ‘ion’ is added it is ‘nation’. Nation is incorrectly pronounced as ‘nashon’ in English. In French it is ‘nation’.
“Now, the abstract form for nation is nationalism. Nationalism is not something material. You can see the nation, but not the sentimental unity known as nationalism.
“Do you know the difference between a material noun and an abstract noun? When an entity comes within the jurisdiction of the sensory and the motor organs it is a ‘material’ or ‘proper’ or ‘common noun’. But when it does not come within the range of the sensory or the motor organs but is a fact mentally, it is called ‘an abstract noun’. Thus physical presence is common, but the idea is abstract.”
Student: “Sir, another question. What is the meaning of mysticism?”
Teacher: “There are so many trifling entities and objects in this world. This is a pillow, this is a bolster. They are limited. They are units. They function within certain limitations. They are finite. You see, the universal entity is there, the vast cosmos is there. Do you follow?”
Student: “Yes sir.”
Teacher: “Try to find a link between this finite and that infinite. That endeavour of yours is known as ‘mysticism’.”
Student: “Sir, there is another question. What is the correct pronunciation of the term ‘education’ – ‘ejucation’ or ‘adukation’?”
Teacher: “You know, my boy, English is a blending of Latin and Scandinavian – Anglo-Saxon terms and the Norman tongue. The Norman tongue follows Latinic intonation and the Scandinavian tongues follow the Nordic or Anglo-Saxon style. As per Scandinavian intonation, the pronunciation is ‘ejucation’. The Latin pronunciation is ‘adukation’. The French pronunciation of education is ‘éducation’. ‘T’ is pronounced as ‘s’ in French.”
Now, education means assimilation, conversion or transmutation of external physicalities. Knowledge regarding this collection has been transformed into your mental realm. This transformation of the
external objectivity into internal subjectivity is education. So education is the transformation of external objectivity into internal subjectivity.
What is the duty of a student? The major tapasya of a student is to study. The duty of a student is to study, to go through, to assimilate, that imparted knowledge.
What is the duty of a teacher? The schedule of a teacher is, say, five hours a day, but teachers have other duties also. Do you go marketing? Do you do cleaning? When you are marketing you are not doing the job of a teacher. You cannot neglect your other duties. Society is in a catastrophe. Should you restrict your duties to teaching, or should you help the society? When a society, nation or human world is in catastrophe or calamity, you have to do your duty to the entire human world. Sometimes this duty becomes the major duty. Sometimes it happens that people do their major duty but neglect their social duty. If they neglect their social duty when the society is in a calamity, are they not committing a social crime? No, because sometimes the minor duties become the major duties and substitute as the major duties for the time being.
The proper knowledge of teachers will help much in removing dogma from the dogma-stricken human order. The social order is defective and is in a lopsided condition. It is to be brought in proper order first. Everything should be done accordingly.
3 January 1989, Anandanagar
Prout in a Nutshell Part 18 [a compilation]