The National Teacher's Day is observed on September 5 on  the birth anniversary of a great teacher and scholar Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Dr Radhakrishnan served as President, Vice-President and an Ambassador after leading a fruitful life as a teacher and moulding many lives. It is a very good tradition to felicitate the teachers on the day as he wished that was the best way to commemorate his birth day.

We all aware about that the significant role of the teacher in a nation's growth. In the words of Dr Radhakrishnan, they are the best minds in the nation and their invaluable services would help it immensely. In Sanskrit "Guru" means teacher. "Gu" means darkness (ignorance) and "Ru" stands for light; a Guru is one who dispels darkness of ignorance with his light of knowledge. That is the reason for considering the teachers as torch-bearers to illuminate the humankind. Swami Vivekananda said that the manifestation of the perfection already in the man needs the right guru.

We are well aware of that in our Indian culture it has been said that "Apratyaksho mahadevah; sarveshamatma mayaya pratyaksho guru rupena vartate bhakthi sidhaye" (God originates as the teacher to save his people). The Bramhanda Purana says "Grunadi hitamasyethi guruh" (teacher always preaches well to his students).

In the 19th century, Rama Krishna Paramahamsa was indeed such a sadguru and termed by his disciples as "Karana rahita krupa nidhi"( one who is a store house of compassion for no reason at all ). For a query posed by his disciple Girish Chandra Ghosh, a great Bengali dramatist, ‘Who is a Guru? Paramahamsa said, "Guru is like the procurer. A procurer arranges for the union of the lover with his mistress.

In the same way, a Guru arrangers the meeting between the individual soul and beloved, the divine spirit" This view of guru from Ramakrishna Paramahamsa reveals that guru had a great responsibility rather than mere teaching. That is why the teacher has been considered as the sole path for extinguishing "Agnana andhakara"( ignorance).

In the words of People's Poet Vemana, it is said: "Guruni (Teacher) siksha  leka guruthetlu Kaluguno; Ajunikaina vadi abbakaina Talapu chevi leka talupettulooduno Vishwadabhi Rama Vinura Vema" This poem denotes that in a pragmatic way that teacher is the key to open the sphere of knowledge, and without the teacher it is impossible even for Ajudu (birthless god/ Bramha) and to his father (Vishnu).

So, today's teacher has to recognise the importance of his role in nation's building and dedicate himself to the well-being of his mother land. No teacher should forget the remark of Jiddu Krishna Murthy: "If a new social order is to be established, those who teach merely to earn salary have no place as teachers. To regard education as a means of livelihood is to exploit the children for one's own advantage.”

By E Gajendra Nath Reddy