Now, Sri Aurobindo expands upon the three instruments of the teacher: instruction, example and influence. Since these are the three most important instruments of the teacher. “The example is more powerful than the instruction…” Once I told you that education is what remains after you have forgotten all that you have learned. What remains with you is the example of the teacher. You may have forgotten everything that he has taught you but what remains is his example. “… but it is not the example of the outward acts nor that of the personal character which is of most importance. These have their place and their utility; but what will most stimulate aspiration in others is the central fact of the divine realisation within him governing his whole life and inner state and all his activities. This is the universal and essential element…” When you say example of the teacher it is his own inner realisation and how much his realisation is reflected in his life, in his activities. It is that which is of central importance. “ … the rest belongs to individual person and circumstance. It is this dynamic realisation that the sadhaka must feel and reproduce in himself according to his own nature; he need not strive after an imitation from outside which may well be sterilising rather than productive of right and natural fruits.” You may imitate the teacher outwardly and for sometimes you may feel happy but afterwards it becomes sterile. The real imitation has to be the realisation of the teacher and if you can reproduce his realisation that is a real imitation.
“Influence is more important than example.” Last time I told you the meaning of influence. Influence is a radiation of the inner contact, of the intimacy of the soul of the teacher with the soul of the student because it is the only thing that is intimate. Everything else is outward. The touch of the soul with the soul, there is nothing more intimate that the soul. What you are is your soul, what the teacher is, is his soul. His soul touching your soul is influence, radiation of that touch that is influence. “Influence is not the outward authority of the Teacher over his disciple…” It is not the position that you occupy with your students. Very often most of the teachers exercise influence because they sit on a platform, a higher position and therefore influence the pupils but that is not a real influence. “Influence is not the outward authority of the Teacher over his disciple, but the power of his contact, of his presence, of the nearness of his soul to the soul of another, infusing into it, even though in silence, that which he himself is and possesses.” These words are so important and so beautiful that one would like to read again and again. “This is the supreme sign of the Master. For the greatest Master is much less a Teacher than a Presence pouring the divine consciousness and its constituting light and power and purity and bliss into all who are receptive around him. And it shall also be a sign of the teacher of the integral Yoga that he does not arrogate to himself Guruhood in a humanly vain and self-exalting spirit.” The unripe men when they want to be teachers, they want to have the authority of the teacher, they want to exercise influence upon people by arrogating to themselves guruhood. “I am a guru, you are my disciples, you must follow me.” They impose themselves upon the pupils. That is the sign that they are not teachers. A true teacher is extremely humble. “His work, if he has one, is a trust from above, he himself a channel, a vessel or a representative. He is a man helping his brothers, a child leading children, a Light kindling other lights, an awakened Soul awakening souls, at highest a Power or Presence of the Divine calling to him other powers of the Divine.” In every experience he finds that his pupil is a living god. He deals with every pupil as god. And if he is himself is a god, he is calling all other gods. This is the highest condition of a good teacher. He does not deal with a child as if he is ignorant; this is only the outward experience of the child but inwardly he is himself a living god. Therefore he deals with every one as if he is god himself. We have come to the culmination of the experience of a good teacher.
Now what remains is very little. We have done three greats aids: the shastra, utsaha and the guru. Now we shall come to kala.
“The sadhaka who has all these aids is sure of his goal. Even a fall will be for him only a means of rising and death a passage towards fulfilment. For once on this path, birth and death become only processes in the development of his being and the stages of his journey. Time is the remaining aid needed for the effectivity of the process. Time presents itself to human effort as an enemy or a friend, as a resistance, a medium or an instrument. But always it is really the instrument of the soul.” Every dramatist knows that no drama can be successful unless he knows the secret of time. He knows that everything has a movement. No event can occur without a preceding development within a certain time frame. It is the same for a musician, a good musician is one who knows the time to be taken to organise different tunes. You cannot come to crescendo unless you have developed a certain movement of musical process. You cannot have mango fruit immediately after planting a seed of mango into the soil. There is a time element. The whole world is nothing but a series of processes in which time is the ripener. Without time nothing ripens and therefore all wise people are very patient because they all know the value of time. They do not say that they have taken one year and nothing has happened. Every process has its own rhythm and you may have all the aids but if you do not honour time then you may feel great frustrations, disappointments and it weakens your processes therefore you must know what is time and how time has to be utilised. That is the reason why everyone has to be careful about making a timetable; every student should make a good timetable, it is a very good art. At what time what you have natural tendency to do, depending you have to organise your timetable. What you have to do, according to Sri Aurobindo, is the human effort which is impatient, ignorant to make it wise. When a human being becomes wise he treats time as an instrument. Otherwise the more egoistic you are, the more you feel that time is your enemy. There is one very nice sentence in Hamlet: “Time is out of joint” Whenever he goes to do something he is always too late. He does not do things at the right moment and this is our experience constantly. When you are very egoistic you find time is out of joint. When you need something exactly at that moment that thing is not found, it may be all the time with you but at the exact moment you need it, it is not there. That means that you have not organised your time properly. Time is found to be an enemy.