Teachers and Students – Close Connection Required – 8 Oct 08


Today I had a lecture again with the yoga students and I mainly talked about the third chakra but also about their Yoga teacher training, about their wish to be teachers. I am very happy about their decision to accept Yoga in their lives and to give this also to others. They will be teachers so I also talked about my idea of how a teacher should be and what kind of connection teachers and students should have.

You know in older times it was called gurukul here. ‘Guru’ you know, a teacher. ‘Kul’ means family. So gurukul is the guru’s family, it is the place where students and the guru live together. Kings sent their sons to a gurukul at a certain age so that they also learn there. So there the students are learning and living, like in our Ashram and they feel like a family and consider the guru and his wife as their parents. Even the princes are in that time just together with the other students. The teacher sees them as their sons. They feel like the students are their own family. In this way they make the connection.

I told already about how I see the situation of teachers in the western world. There are so many teachers who do not like their job anymore because their students do not respect them. The students think they pay the teacher so he has to be there and teach them. On the other hand there are also teachers who do not teach with love at all. I have a great respect for my teachers. If I met the teacher of my primary school here on the street I could not pass without greeting him. There is so much respect and also thankfulness. The relation between a teacher and his student is a lifelong connection.

We say vidyadan, which means ‘the one who donates knowledge’. It is such a great donation: knowledge. People can give you food or money, but knowledge? Not everybody can give that. That is why the students are thankful. But when there is no feeling, when the connection is only a matter of calculation of money and hours, then what kind of relation is that?

I hope that these Yoga students, who want to become teachers and want to teach this wonderful science of live and spirituality, will make a close connection with their students. A connection of love and respect, as it should be when you are helping someone to integrate Yoga in their lives. In my opinion teachers and students should make a connection like a family. They have to come close together.

3 Replies to “Teachers and Students – Close Connection Required – 8 Oct 08”

  1. When I was in school I had to make friends with my professors, which is unusual to some extent, but with for some reason I couldn’t learn the subjects unless the teacher was someone who I could at least have a conversation with outside of class. In classes where the teacher was removed and methodical I got very low grades and didn’t understand.

  2. Douglas, this same thing happened a lot to me in lower level classes because (as I’m sure you know) in the US when getting undergrad degree students are forced to take about two years worth of classes in subjects they don’t enjoy, and most of the professors teaching those classes were forced to teach them on top of the classes that they were actually interested in (higher level courses) so for at least two years worth of classes many people are miserable.