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India-Gods's Abode

Teacher - a Living Example


1. Complete self-control not only to the extent of not showing any anger, but remaining absolutely quiet and undisturbed under all circumstances.

2. In the matter of self-confidence, must also have a sense of the relativity of his importance. Above all, must have the knowledge that the teacher himself must always progress if he wants his students to progress, must not remain satisfied either with what he is or with what he knows.

3. Must not have any sense of essential superiority over his students nor preference or attachment whatsoever for one or another.

4. Must know that all are equal spiritually and instead of mere tolerance must have a global comprehension or understanding.

5. "The business of both parent and teacher is to enable and to help the child to educate himself, to develop his own intellectual, moral, aesthetic and practical capacities and to grow freely as an organic being, not to be kneaded and pressured into form like an inert plastic material."


The interest of the students is proportionate to the true capacity of the teacher.


There is no better lesson than that of an example. To tell others: "Do not be selfish," is not much use, but if some body is free from all selfishness, he becomes a wonderful example to others; and someone who sincerely aspires to act in accordance with the Supreme Truth, creates a kind a contagion for the people around him. So the first duty of all those who are teachers or instructors is to give an example of the qualities they teach to others. And if, among these teachers and instructors, some an not worthy of their post, because by their character the give a bad example, their first duty is to become worthy bí changing their character and their action; there is no other way.

Example is the most powerful instructor. Never demand from a child an effort of discipline that you do not make yourself. Calm, equanimity, order, method, absence of useless words, ought to be constantly practised by the teacher if he wants to install them into his pupils. The teacher should always be punctual and come to the class a few minutes before it begins, always properly dressed. And above all, so that his students should never lie, he must never lie himself; so that his students should never lose their tempers, he should never lose his temper with them; and to have the right to say to them, "Rough play often ends in tears", he should never raise his hand against any of them. These are elementary and preliminary things which ought to be practised in all schools without exception.

(Ibid. Vol. 12, p. 168; p.389; p. 360; pp.194-95)

To Teach in the Right Way Every child is a lover of interesting narrative, a hero worshipper and a patriot. Appeal to these qualities in him and through them let him master without knowing it the living and human parts of his nationís history. Every child is an inquirer, an investigator, analyser, a merciless anatomist. Appeal to these qualities in him and let him acquire without knowing it the right temper and the necessary fundamental knowledge of the scientist. Every child has an insatiable intellectual curiosity and turn for metaphysical enquiry. Use it to draw him on slowly to an understanding of the world and himself. Every child has the gift of imitation and a touch of imaginative power; Use it to give him the ground-work of the faculty of the artist.

(Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, Vol.17, p.215)

There is one thing that I must emphasise. Donít try to follow what is done in the universities outside. Donít try to pump into the students mere data and information. Donít give them so much work that they may not get time for anything else. You are not in a great hurry to catch a train. Let the students understand what they learn. Let them assimilate it. Finishing the course should not be your goal. You should make the programme in such a way that the students may get time to attend the subjects they want to learn. They should have sufficient time for their physical exercises. I donít want them to be very good students, yet pale, thin, anaemic. Perhaps you will say that in this way they will not have sufficient time for their studies, but that can be made up by expanding the course over a longer period. Instead of finishing a course in four years, you can take six years. Rather it would be better for them; they will be able to assimilate more of the atmosphere here and their progress will not be just in one direction at the cost of everything else. It will be an all-round progress in all directions.

What you should do is to teach the children to take interest in what they are doing - that is not the same thing as interesting the students! You must arouse in them the desire for knowledge, for progress. One can take an interest in anything - in sweeping a room, for example - if one does it with concentration, in order to gain an experience, to make a progress, to become more conscious. I often say this to the students who complain of having a bad teacher. Even if they donít like the teacher, even if he tells them useless things or if he is not up to the mark, they can always derive some benefit from their period of class, learn something of great interest and progress in consciousness.

(Collected Works of the Mother, Vol.12, P.171)

It would be interesting to formulate or to elaborate a new method of teaching for children, to take them very young. It is easy when they are very young. We need people - oh! we would need remarkable teachers - who have, first, an ample enough documentation of what is known so as to be able to answer every question, and at the same time, at least the knowledge, if not the experience - the experience would be better - of the true intuitive intellectual attitude, and - naturally the capacity would be still more preferable at least the knowledge that the true way of knowing is mental silence, an attentive silence turned towards the truer Consciousness, and the capacity to receive what comes from there. The best would be to have this capacity; at least, it should be explained that it is the true thing - a sort of demonstration - and that it works not only from the point of view of what must be learned, of the whole domain of knowledge, but also of the whole domain of what should be done: the capacity to receive the exact indication of how to do it; and as you go on, it changes into a very cleaperception of what must be done, and a precise indication of when it must be done. At least the children, as soon a they have the capacity to think - it starts at the age of seven but at about fourteen or fifteen it is very clear-the children should be given little indications at the age of seven, complete explanation at fourteen, of how to do it, and tha it is the only way to be in relation with the deeper truth o things, and that all the rest is a more or less clumsy menta approximation to something that can be known directly.

(Ibid. Vol. 12, p. 170,p.171,pp406-07)

When you take the children very young, it is wonderful.

There is so little to do:

it is enough to be.

Never make a mistake.

Never lose your temper.

Always understand.

And to know and see clearly why there has been this movement, why there has been this impulse, what is the inner constitution of the child, what is the thing to be strengthened and brought forward - this is the only thing to do; and to leave them, to leave them free to blossom; simply to give them the opportunity to see many things, to touch many things, to do as many things as possible. It is great fun. And above all, not to try to impose on them what you think you know.

Never scold them. Always understand, and if the child is ready, explain; if he is not ready for an explanation - if you are ready yourself- replace the false vibration by a true one. But this... this is to demand from the teachers a perfection which they rarely have.

But it would be very interesting to make a programme for the teachers and the true programme of study, from the very bottom - which is so plastic and which receives impressions so deeply. If they were given a few drops of truth when they are very young, they would blossom quite naturally as the being grows. It would be beautiful work.

-The Mother