5 most unlikely Gurus

5th september marks Teachers day in India. It is celebrated on birthday of the great second President of India, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. well we all know why we celebrate Teachers day across the world. There is a shloka in sanskrit which says that Guru is the almighty himself.

Gurur Brahmaa Gurur Vishnu
Gurur Devo Maheshwara
Guru Saakshaat Parabrahma
Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah

Right from my birth to the day , my gurus, taught me great things from the very basics to complex, they all have helped me accomplish what I am today and what I will be. And for that I am grateful to them forever. guruToday, I am going to tell you about 5 most unlikely Gurus. These unlikely Gurus have transformed, inspired and have impacted positively, their students lives.

Ekalavya and Dronacharya

The first story is the most inspirational story of a student. So the story is that once there used to be a young prince who went to Guru Dronacharya and asked him to teach him. Dronacharya did not agree. So hurt Eklavya made a statue of Dronacharya, his guru and then started practicing archery on his own in front of Dronas statue. years passed and Eklavya became an accomplished archer.


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One day, when Drona and his students were passing through the forest, (source : wiki )Arjuna saw a dog that was unable to bark due to an amazing construction of arrows in and all around his mouth. This construction was harmless to the dog, but prevented the dog from barking. Drona was amazed, but also distressed: he had promised Arjuna that he would make him the greatest archer in the world.Drona and his students investigated, and came upon Ekalaivan. Upon seeing Drona,Ekalavya came and bowed to him. 


Drona asked Ekalaivan where he had learnt archery. Ekalavya replied “under you, Guruji”, and showed Drona his statue while explaining what he had done. Drona then reminded Ekalaivan that for Ekalaivan to truly be Drona’s pupil, Ekalaivan would have to pay guru dakshina. Readily, Ekalaivan offers to do anything for Drona. Drona stoically asks for the thumb from Ekla Ivan’s right hand. Hesitant at first, Ekalaivan asks for Drona to confirm the command; Drona harshly does so. Smiling, Ekalaivan cuts off the thumb and presents it to Drona.

Dalai Lama and Heinrich Harrer

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They were not likely a Guru and student but Heinrich Harrer definitely taught Dalai Lama a lot about western World and fulfilled his curiosity. (source : wiki Harrer first met the 14th Dalai Lama when he was summoned to the Potala Palace and asked to make a film about ice skating, which Harrer had introduced to Tibet.Harrer built a cinema for him, with a projector run off a Jeep engine. Harrer soon became the Dalai Lama’s tutor in English, geography, and some science, and Harrer was astonished at how fast his pupil absorbed the Western world’s knowledge. A strong friendship developed between the two that would last the rest of their lives.


Angulimal and Gautam Buddha

Angulimala was a ruthless serial killer, robber  who used to make garland of fingers of his dead victims and wore them around his neck to keep a count. Henceforth he got his name as Angulimala. His real name was Ahinsaka. The story of Buddha and Angulimala is one such unlikely Guru disciple story which changed life of Angulimala.

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Villagers petitioned the king of Kosala, who vowed to hunt down Angulimala. Fearing for her son’s (source: wiki) life, Angulimala mother set out to find him and warn him of the king’s intent. The Buddha perceived with his “divine eye” (faculty of clairvoyance) that Angulimala had slain 999 victims, and was desperately seeking a thousandth. If the Buddha encountered Angulimala that day, he would become a monk and subsequently attain Nirvana. If Angulimala encountered his mother instead, he would slay her as his thousandth victim and fall into hell for millennia as a matricide. 


The Buddha set off to intercept Angulimala, despite being warned by the people of the village in which he was staying. On the road through the forest of Kosala, Angulimala first saw his mother who came to warn him of the impending arrival of the kings’ army. Angulimala, after some deliberation, decided to make her his 1000th victim. But then when Buddha also arrived, he chose to kill him instead. He drew his sword, and started running towards the Buddha.

But although Angulimala was running as fast as he could, he couldn’t catch up with the Buddha who was walking calmly. “The Blessed One willed a feat of psychic power such that Angulimala, though running with all his might, could not catch up with the Blessed One walking at normal pace” (MN 86, translation from Thanissaro Bhikkhu). This bewildered Angulimala so much that he called to the Buddha to stop. The Buddha said that he himself had already stopped, and that it was Angulimala who should stop. Angulimala asked for further explanation, after which the Buddha said that he had stopped of being what he is trying to be so called Nirvana.

After this meeting with Buddha, Angulimala no longer stayed the same and converted himself into a follower of Buddha.

Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller

This is a story of a great, strong woman and teacher, Anne Sullivan. Anne sullivan suffered from Trachoma which left her visually impaired. (Source : here )

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Sullivan, age 20, arrived at Ivy Green, the Keller family estate, in 1887 and began working to socialize her wild,stubborn student and teach her by spelling out words in Keller’s hand. Initially, the finger spelling meant nothing to Keller. However, a breakthrough occurred one day when Sullivan held one of Keller’s hands under water from a pump and spelled out “w-a-t-e-r” in Keller’s palm. Keller went on to learn how to read, write and speak. With Sullivan’s assistance, Keller attended Radcliffe College and graduated with honors in 1904.
Despite her sickness, Anne sullivan could transform a life of blind Helen Keller and thus she is most unlikely but truly Inspirational Guru of all time. To keller, (source :wiki) Sullivan evolved from teacher to governess and finally to companion and friend.

Gandhi and Tolstoy

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They were not student teacher but Gandhiji considered himself as disciple of Tolstoy. (source : wiki ) Along with the book mentioned above, in 1908 Leo Tolstoy wrote A Letter to a Hindu, which said that only by using love as a weapon through passive resistance could the Indian people overthrow colonial rule. In 1909, Gandhi wrote to Tolstoy seeking advice and permission to republish A Letter to a Hindu in Gujarati. Tolstoy responded and the two continued a correspondence until Tolstoy’s death in 1910 (Tolstoy’s last letter was to Gandhi). The letters concern practical and theological applications of nonviolence.Gandhi saw himself a disciple of Tolstoy, for they agreed regarding opposition to state authority and colonialism; both hated violence and preached non-resistance. However, they differed sharply on political strategy. Gandhi called for political involvement; he was a nationalist and was prepared to use nonviolent force. He was also willing to compromise.It was at Tolstoy Farm where Gandhi and Hermann Kallenbach systematically trained their disciples in the philosophy of nonviolence.

Hmm, so this is it. Introducing The finest Fives category to Joie de vivre and this was the first post in this category. I hope you like this category and Wish you all A very Happy Teachers day. 🙂

Thank you !!

Much Loves,

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