Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Dharma

My Education professor gave the class homework one evening, which was to answer the following question.

Why do you want to be a teacher?

In my culture and religion, the word "dharma" means "duty." But dharma also connotes a more subtle concept. If one has a certain nature, it is also one's duty to act within that nature.

My dharma is to teach. When I teach, I lose track of time. When I teach, nothing else matters but sharing knowledge. When I teach, I am the best I can be. No other profession compares to how I feel when I teach.

Actually, it's to an extreme - if I try to do any other kind of work, I struggle to wake up in the morning. Life drags. I look for excuses to escape.

But I have wanted to be a high school English teacher since I was twelve, in 7th grade. Sometimes I wish I had more flexibility for a possible profession, and I have even been berated before on my stubbornness to stick with teaching. After all, teachers don't get paid much. So one perspective is that I'm inflexible in career choice.

The other perspective is that I have discovered my irrefutable dharma, and I shall hold to that dharma through beauty and through pain.

I guess teachers get all poetic when we're asked this question - Why do you want to be a teacher? - because I think that teaching is one of the most natural dharmas of the soul. It is timeless. Regardless of whether one is a teacher by profession, I have come to this conclusion: learning is the nature of the soul, teaching is the duty of the soul, education is the dharma of every soul.

This is my life's devotion.

And that is why I want to be a teacher.


Radha-Krsna devi dasi said...

Nice, Bhakti! I wanted to teach HS english as well. It didn't work out and now I am working as a librarian. I find I am in the same position of education and most importantly, setting an example for teens. This is the age group I feel most strongly about educating and in this capacity I can have personal relationships with my patrons making them more open to education. It is very rewarding and I wish you all the best (and think your future students are a lucky bunch).
Hari Hari!

Unknown said...


Murari Gupta Das said...

harekrishna may be you can elaborate it a little for english btg india
murari gupta das

To write is to dare the soul. So write.