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Speech of Swamini Vimalananda
Director, Chinmaya Vision Programme

Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu,
Gurur Devo Maheshwara
Guru Sakshat Para Brahma
Tasmay Shri Guruve Namah

As I went through this entire ceremony, a lot of emotions, lot of thoughts have been passing through my mind. In fact I almost had tears in my eyes. I must make a confession that when I was in school and collage, I never had respect for my teachers. In fact I was one of those most mischievous students in the class and I always felt I knew something more than the teachers. In your school you remember two types of teachers one who is very good and one who is very bad 

It is only when I met my Guru, Parampujaya Gurudev Swami Chinmaynanda, that I learnt to respect my Gurus. And when I say Guru, the first Guru of course, is your mother -  Matru Devo Bhava. The first Guru of your life is your mother, the second of course is your Father and thereafter your brothers and sisters, your relatives, your uncles and aunts and the first teacher who taught you ABC…. I tell you one of the most difficult periods is this primary, nursery age. If I had my way I would give a primary and a nursery school teacher five times the pay of a secondary teacher, but I would choose my primary teacher with hundred times more care !

It is said that till seven years of your life the first seven years, your entire ‘swabhava’  more or less is decided. After that it is only little make-up changes that you can make. Can you imagine how important it is – these formative years of your life? And that is why the onus of the character development of a person, of what a person is going to be, depends on the parents and the teacher of the juniors.

They made a research in the US of some of the top scientists, Nobel prize winner and such, of who were the great influencers of their life, in deciding the course of their profession etc and most of them, 50% said parents (understand the important of parents), 40% said teachers, and the rest of the influencers were only 10%. Can you imagine the great role the parent and the teachers and the teachers play in the life of great men.

Especially in our country, it is not important who you are, it is not important who I am. So in my introduction they don’t first take my name, they will take my Guru’s name and that is what is what gives me pride. In our culture they will ask you tu kono chhe?, kono chokro chhe? Itn’t it true? Tu kon chhe, nahi, tu kono chokro chhe, kaya ghar no chokro chhe? Because that is what will make you what you are. Similarly you take any field, the musician, when introduced, how is he introduced? Yeh gharane ka hai and aur yeh Guru ka shishya hai. So in our country. We are staying in a country where the teacher is a guru.

The etymology of the word Guru is gukara andhakarashcha tannvivartaka and gu ignorance of ru the one who destroys your ignorance with the light of knowledge. And what is the place that we have for our Guru I our tradition? Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu

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