The guru-shishya tradition, lineage, or parampara, denotes a succession of teachers and disciples in traditional Indian culture and Dharmic Traditions such as Sanatana Dharma, Sikha Dharma, Jaina Dharma and Buddha Dharma. Beginning with the early oral traditions of the Upanishads, the guru-shishya relationship has evolved into a fundamental component of Hinduism. The term “Upanishad” derived from the Sanskrit words “upa” (near), “ni” (down) and “şad” (to sit) —means “sitting down near” a spiritual teacher to receive instruction. With the changing times, the ‘Guru-Shishya Parampara’ has long been replaced by a major change in attitude of both teachers as well as students. The fact is that teachers are the guiding lights that provide direction to our lives. Teachers instill values which helps students reach their goals. In the present scenario, the tradition holds greater significance because it makes us reinforce the concept that the ‘teacher-taught’ relationship can never change.
The true education of ancient India was not given amid the paraphernalia of big school buildings and cumbersome furniture or costing fabulous sums of money, but in the natural schoolrooms of the forest ashrams underneath the shady trees and in the thatched mud cottages known as ‘Gurukula’. The enrichment of good ideas, virtues and values is possible only when there is a cordial relationship between the teacher and the taught. The Student-Teacher relationship is to be founded on mutual respect and understanding. Teachers play a vital role in the formation of a student’s potential. Kindergarten through secondary school teachers often provide the sole source of a child’s learning experience, therefore taking on the important responsibility of cultivating knowledge in the students.
The role of teachers in education changes according to the grade of the students. The role of the teacher during a child’s early years includes developing the child’s primary skills necessary for advancement. As the student progresses to middle school, the role of a teacher expands to pass on information specific to a particular subject area. The responsibility of shaping the student’s social development also changes as children grow up and become capable of making learned choices. As education becomes more and more commercialized, teachers are bound by targets that they must deliver and students see them more as service providers. Though such teachers who bribe or abuse their students can never be excused, it is time to do pick out these bad apples that give a bad name to education and contribute on how best to mend these relations.