This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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Teacher traits of ancient India are valid even today

Usha Ram — University of Pune, Pune.

Taitiriya Upanishad has elaborated on teacher behavior and its characteristics in the first chapter, Shikshavalli. Originally addressed to passing-out students, it emphasizes the code of conduct of these graduates as an exemplification and emulation of their own teachers’ behavior with special reference to discrimination and discretion. Importantly, the address emphasizes the significance of shraddha, which is faith and supreme love, which the teacher gives to the graduating student as inspiration for what (s)he will do in the world. The teacher always remembers thus that (s)he was also a student once, receiving what was given with faith and love (shraddha) from his teacher. These teachings of the ancients are equally (if not more) relevant to us today, if only we could find time and sincerity to reflect on their value and incorporate and imbibe them for the benefit of one’s profession in specific, and for all of humanity in general.

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