The Good Teacher and The Good Pupil

A Story of Initiation

Introduction

India has a great tradition of initiation. Initiation means a beginning, but in the context of education it means a marked beginning, and in the context of spiritual realization (which is also an educational process) it means a rebirth, a departure from the past and an entry into a series of austerities and liberations. The following story relates to spiritual initiation, but its message is relevant to our search for the qualities characteristic of the good teacher and the good pupil.

The story speaks of a certain teacher, Mahatma Junun, who was celebrated for his spiritual attainments. Its origin is not known, but it is supposed to be an old Gujarati story and was retold by the Mother to the children of the Ashram at Pondicherry in 1957. At the time of telling the story, Mother made the following remarks:

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