21 June, 2021

Mind The Guru

Remember how Drona cut a sorry figure, acc­used of unsavoury behaviour by all sides?

Mind The Guru

Every country has its own date in the calendar to mark Teacher’s Day. India chose Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s birthday. Radhakrishnan was a rare breed—a profound, if not critical, scholar and professor of Hindu philosophy. But he’s not an archetype for teachers in India, simply because, being such a cracking good example, he won’t provide us with what we also need to keep in mind: the guru’s fallibilities. Because the guru plays such a crucial role, it warrants us to remain alert to his old follies too.

Our archetypal guru, the real contrary blend of supreme talent and glaring flaws, is Dronacharya. It was Drona’s partisanship—his blind fixation with making Arjuna the greatest archer—that fostered jealousy (in son Ashwat­thama and the Kauravas) and produced victimhood (Ekalavya). His paternal love then made him fight on the other side, even though he was with the Pandavas on principle. By the end of the war, Drona cut a sorry figure, acc­used of unsavoury behaviour by all sides. Even Krishna reproa­ched...

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