Teaching is Learning
The Lord says, “Teach what you have learnt.” Teaching is learning. When you teach, you also learn. When you teach regularly, you learn regularly. Firstly, you learn that you cannot teach well, unless you have practised what is learnt by you and sought to be taught by you. Secondly, you learn how much you have learnt in order to teach and how much you are getting to learn. Thirdly, when you teach you receive fresh impulses of knowledge. Many times teaching helps inner revelations. Teaching is thus a way of learning. Such learning is threefold.
To repeat: when you teach, you learn if you have clarity of what you have learnt. Clarity comes from practice. Therefore teaching gives you the impulse to practise. While you teach the listeners ask you questions. Your ability or inability to answer questions let you know the adequacy of your learning. Sometimes it adds further dimensions to what is learnt. It widens your understanding. This is the second way of learning from teaching. Thirdly, when you teach someone starts teaching you from the depths of your being. Thus while teaching you are taught. It is the most sublime part of teaching. You are teaching to the listeners before you and you yourself become a listener to the inner teacher. Then you get the true import of the saying ‘teaching is learning’.
The Veda says, “Swadhyaya pravachana bhyam na pramadhi tavyam” It means, do not deviate from self-study and teaching. Whatever you study of yourself, you keep teaching to others. Do not deviate from this habit. By doing so you establish more and more what you have studied by yourself. It remains more with you. It percolates into your personality. It causes impact on your mind. These impacts of wisdom on the mind are very helpful. When you study you are at the higher mental state of awareness. When you ideate, when you contemplate, when you study you are in that state of higher layers of mind, which are proximate to Buddhi. When you teach them out they percolate through all the layers of mind and express through the voice. Thus wisdom percolates even up to the throat and the tongue. Wisdom is magnetic, hence a part of your body receives the magnetic touch of wisdom. In this manner there would be consolidation of wisdom through teaching. It remains with you. It does not evaporate. It reminds you from time to time when it is with you. Such is the benefit of teaching.
Frequently people forget what they have studied. More often whatever they studied would not be available to them when needed in an occasion. What is the purpose of wisdom? If study of wisdom does not help you to act better, to speak better, to organise your life better – of what use is it? Wisdom is the book of life. Wisdom is not just a nice paper book, well bound and well placed in a costly book-rack. Well prepared and well bound books with golden titles occupy costly book-racks in the houses of rich men. Neither the book-rack nor the men who own them have the benefit of the wisdom contained. In due course the bookworms eat them away. What a hard work to feed the bookworms.
Even among men there are bookworms. They eat away book after book in great speed. They read book after book. They form groups to read books, but they don’t practise what is read. They don’t remember that wisdom is for practice. They feel great having read some books. They know nothing, though they claim to have read the books. They speak names from the books and also juggle with the terms given in the books. They beat around and around and around. They are neither with the normal life nor with the divine life. They are with the books. Such bookworms cannot help themselves. They cannot help the society. They land in hopelessness and in despair having spent late nights with the books.
Wisdom is for Practice
Wisdom is for practice. The books give hints and instructions to practise. Practice has to be carried out in life. Then the truth of the wisdom is tested and is known. The experience one has with wisdom when spoken out becomes a live-teaching. It appeals to the souls, to the conscience of the listeners. If not, it does not. Some teachers are very dry in their teaching. People run away for fear of their teaching. Few teachers are magnetic. Their listeners would like to listen again and again and again, even for decades. The difference between the two categories is: the former studied books, but did not carry out the related practices. The latter studied and lived it in every aspect of life. Such ones are the teachers. They learn, they practise, they demonstrate and they teach wisdom. Many times their demonstration is teaching. Through demonstration they teach much better than through vocal teaching. Living with demonstrating teachers shows the way better.
Teach to Those Who Seek from You
To whom do you teach? Teach to those who seek from you. Do not teach without being sought. Do not teach those who do not wish to listen from you. Don’t carry the urge to teach. You should have willingness to speak when someone sincerely seeks from you. Many childishly assume the position of a teacher and start teaching, least realising that the listeners have no inclination to listen from them. Such teachers are imposters. There are many such teachers moving around. To them teaching is a profession, teaching is a means to live. They charge for the teaching. They live by the teaching. They indulge into propaganda. They market their name and their form. Wisdom cannot be sold. It is not a marketing product. It cannot be sold in bazaars. It has to be transmitted with utmost loving care and responsibility. It needs to be shared only with those who ardently seek. The true teachers do not fix themselves to teaching. They live. They demonstrate. They teach those who seek for self-transformation. They are at comfort with or without teaching. They are at comfort with themselves at all times.
The Lord informs the students to teach what is learnt from books and from practice. It can be initially by sharing what is studied and what is practised within a small group consisting of members of the family, friends and relatives who are like-minded. Only the like-minded have to be considered for such sharing of the experience of study and practice. If you don’t have any to listen to, which is a remote chance, speak to the tree, to the mountain and to the river. Just practise to teach. It is helpful, because it percolates through all the layers of mind and subtle layers of the senses and the body. It is helpful. It is helpful to retain what is studied and practiced. It is helpful to consolidate. It prevents evaporation.
Please ensure harmlessness through your teaching!
… to be continued