Baba says, ‘A teacher studies and then teaches others. It is a teacher’s duty to make others the same as herself.’
Just as in the world, on this spiritual path too, there are teachers and then there are ‘teachers’. I am not as interested in the quantity of teachers as I am in the quality of teachers, says Baba, because it is quality that becomes instrumental for everyone’s benefit.
A quality teacher first of all is someone who is an embodiment of the teachings of the Father, explains Baba. In fact, to study well is to imbibe the teachings. So in order to become a true teacher, first of all, imbibe the teachings yourself and then tell others, He says. For example, I might teach many classes or give many lectures on the ‘power of tolerance’ and yet if I am not tolerant myself, then, Baba says, I cannot be called a teacher. A teacher means one who teaches. I cannot really teach that which I don’t know myself.
Sure, I know all the formulas and the definitions, I have my PowerPoint perfected. That, however, doesn’t make me a teacher. Why? because I cannot give anyone the experience of that which I am teaching. When I have experienced something myself, tried and tested it out, then when I relate it to others, they feel what I am speaking. Then, lives are changed. But when I speak without having made the effort myself, the words simply reach their head. I might be complimented on a ‘great lecture’ but nothing more happened. Baba says, ‘The very specialty of a teacher is to be an embodiment of experience.‘ To simply relate the knowledge is not a big thing- many renowned people have been doing it since the copper age. But the difference here, Baba points out, is that along with relating knowledge, I also give an experience at the same time. That is when souls will say: ‘yes, this is the true knowledge, this is God’s knowledge’, otherwise, they say: ‘this too is good knowledge’ and move on.
A teacher is someone who pays special attention to creating and maintaining a very pure atmosphere and pure vibrations, says Baba. Even a physical fragrance can change the atmosphere so much and attract people to it, then how much more can the fragrance of a spiritual atmosphere attract souls, asks Baba. Teachers can only create this when they have the dharna of divine virtues and the fragrance of powers themselves. They can never say: ‘so-and-so’s vibrations or this atmosphere slackened my effort’ because they are the ones who transform the atmosphere, not become influenced by it themselves. As a teacher I become powerful myself by imbibing the powers and thereby, become an instrument of the Father to help others with the co-operation of my powers – be it tolerance, accommodation, whatever is needed. I have the ability to adopt the form needed at that moment, with that soul. I become someone who increases the zeal and enthusiasm of those who have become disheartened. This, Baba says, is the task and duty of teachers. For this, first you should be so completely full yourselves, He points out, that you can then make others full.
The greatest teacher of all, is God and the greatest ‘title’ He gives Himself is that of World Servant. As is the Father’s title, the title of you children is the same, He says. When you consider yourself a server, you automatically become easy and therefore free from obstacles because a server is by definition a renunciate and a tapaswi soul. But the moment you consider yourself a ‘teacher’, Baba points out, there is a subtle desire of being given the ‘gaddi’ or a position or a ‘title’. I want a seat, respect and honor. This is the carry over from the world of Ravan where titles refer to the chair, not as much to what the soul actually does. This is a great obstacle of Maya, says Baba. Servers are those who give, not take. Only when you consider yourself as an instrument will others do the same. Else if you consider yourself a ‘teacher’, then even new students who come and make even a little progress would begin to think of themselves as teachers!, He points out. Another obstacle of Maya when I consider myself a ‘teacher’ is that there is comparison and competition, but when I consider myself a server, I become the same as everyone else- equal, everyone is number one.
But not just any ‘server’, He adds, teachers are all-round servers. Sometimes, some teachers feel that it is their duty to conduct class and do all the internal (spiritual) work and that it is the duty of others to do the physical work. This is not right!, He teaches. Even physical work is a subject and is part of the internal work, so don’t consider it trivial, He says. To be a teacher doesn’t just mean to be a speaker, or someone who just gives classes or courses. Instead, a true teacher is an all-rounder who becomes an example by carrying out whatever service is needed, in whatever subject that comes up in front of her.
Knowledge is easy, points out the Father, even a five year old can relate it to others. But now, become an embodiment of the teachings and give others the experience through your form. Enable them to experience the fragrance of the atmosphere, of spiritual love and belonging created through your own powerful stage. And never forget, He says, that you are sevadharis, not ‘teachers’. Now become such an accurate teacher, equal to the Father.