Meaning/Translation: This sloka tries to describe the qualities of a true Guru. A real Guru experiences the supreme Bliss of Brahmaananda (transcedental divine bliss). He enjoys and confers changeless supreme happiness. He is beyond space and time (there is nothing higher than him). He is the embodiment of wisdom which is the basis for all types of knowledge. He transcends the pair of opposites (such as happiness and sorrow, gain and loss). He is more Omnipresent than space itself. He is the very embodiment of the Divine principle, which is the inner meaning of the four great pronouncements Prajnaanam Brahma, Aham Brahmasmi, Thath Thvam Asi and Ayam Aathma Brahma. He is One without a second (ekam). He never changes under any circumstances (nithyam). He is without any type of impurity (vimalam). He is steady and motionless(achalam). He is the witness of everything. He transcends mental comprehension and verbal explanation. He is beyond the three gunas (sathva, rajas and thamas). I offer my humble salutations to such a Guru who possesses all these qualities.
Yesterday Vishwakarma Puja was celebrated in my Department of Electrical Engineering. Lord Vishwakarma is a Hindu deity known as the divine engineer and architect in Hinduism.
Hindu mythology is full of Vishwakarma’s many architectural wonders. Through the four ‘yugas’, he had built several towns and palaces for the gods. In “Satya yuga”, he built the Swarg Loke, or heaven, the abode of the gods and demigods where Lord Indra rules. Vishwakarma then built the ‘Sone ki Lanka’ in “Treta yuga”, the city of Dwarka in “Dwapar yuga”, and Hastinapur and Indraprastha in the “Kali yuga”.
Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated on Kanya Sankranti day which comes after Ganeshotsav. All engineering and architectural community celebrate this day and worship Him. Craftsmen worship their tools in His name. He is supposed to provide excellence and quality in work and blessing for proper working of machinery and tools. Though the festival is mainly celebrated in factories and industries with much grandeur, we have the tradition of celebrating it in our engineering college’s laboratories and workshop also. Here is a photo feature of the whole event. Place the mouse on the photos to read the captions.
Its been two months since I again became a student to do my second Master of Engineering in my core branch i.e. Electrical Engineering. The first day of M.E. (Power Systems Engineering) was a portent of what lay ahead. Getting up at an unholy time (6.45 am), bathing so early in morning, attending class from 8 to 11 and taking classes after that till evening are totally draining me out mentally and physically. For those who remember my earlier post on categories of students and those who were curious to know my classification, nowadays I can be classified as
# The First Bencher :- One of my Professors in M.E. writes on the board in such a small cursive handwriting that it is not resolvable or readable from the first bench even with a pair of binoculars. Though I admit I haven’t tried using a binoculars yet. Maybe I would one day. When I was the class monitor in school, then only I’d learnt that one has to write for the audience not for oneself on board. Another speaks in low voice and another’s subject is so boring that I have to sit there to avoid sleep. 😛
# The Yawner :- Just as the Professor turns his back to us, I yawn and stretch. 6.45 am is like dawn to me. 😦
# The Stimulator :- In all the 5 subjects, there are only two which really interest me and I’m active in that class. Whether I’m fun to teach or not , that only my professors can tell. 😀
Children emulate many people in their growing years, often those who leave a strong impression on their minds. I was quite impressed by my teachers and used to play teacher-student at home with my sister. Another profession I was impressed with was that of vegetable sellers (sabziwalis). After my Dad had brought weekly groceries, I used to pretend to be a vegetable seller and go to each family member to sell my vegetables. 😀 Thankfully after doing my B.E. I chose to be a teacher or rather a lecturer as they call in technical field. After more than 3 years, I’m still loving it!! I’ve seen lecturers shake head to toe before their first class ever. But since the day I stepped in to take the first class of my life and to teach a subject like Network Analysis which was one of the scariest subjects during my student life, I felt totally at ease. And after leading a dual life i.e. a student as well as a teacher for a while now, I have been able to observe both sides closely. I have already written about students from teachers’ point of view and the professional hazards of being a lecturer. Time to pass on some more pearls of my wisdom based on my experience. Now I have classified students of a class in some categories. I may have missed one or two categories. A student at a given time may belong to one or more category.
The duties and responsibilities of a technical lecturer comprises of teaching, instruction in laboratory, students assessment and evaluation, assisting in departmental administration and so on. Some may think teaching is a boring and dull profession but the truth is that the nearer one is to the youth, the more exciting life/job is. Now before I narrate an incident you must know that I work in a private college and many influential people’s sons & daughters study on management quota. Few days ago, over a girl; boys of two different streams (IT and Mech) had a fight which led to serious injury to one of the boys (Mech). Police came to arrest the main accused (IT) and our Jt.Director of college is said to have slapped him too. But the student turned out to be the nephew of a big politician and somehow construed the slap as politically motivated. So on 6th Aug around 100-150 boys (goons??) came to college and wrecked the administrative building. They even hit the Jt.Director with stick and manhandled the Chairman and Director. We all thought the repercussion had ended there.
In the coming college session 2008-09 of Engineering, around 10 new colleges will add to the existing 19 colleges in the state of Chattisgarh. Also the number of seats in the existing colleges will go up. That would mean around 10000 seats for engineering admissions. Similar conditions exist in other states too where day by day new colleges, technical or otherwise, are coming up. Education is the one of the biggest investment areas now in India. Big parties are pooling up their legal or illegal money and setting up colleges. Just by showing basic fulfillment of norms, they are getting approval from the AICTE too. Students getting absolutely any rank or even no rank in the state’s entrance exam can now get admission in Engineering easily. The fees of this state is more than Rs.50000 per year, not taking into account donation money for management quota seats.
The question that arises is whether this education boom is actually a boon or bane? Will it prove useful in the long run for India or will it spell out the doom of Indian technical workforce? These are the important points to be considered before deciding the answer to this question.
The sense of relief and happiness that all students feel after their exams are over, is indescribable in few words. The exaltation is more if the exam is the last one of whatever course the student had been studying for a long time. The sense of riddance from studying on exam’s eve, doing an “all-nighter”, the nervousness, the nausea induced due to tension, sleepiness in exam hall, sudden blankness shrouding the memory and the postmortem of the question paper; is nothing short of a pleasure comparable to the sensation caused by cocaine (as rumored by drug abusers). And after graduation, often we pledge not to fall again into the trap of education system and its encumbrances. But as I’ve expressed my philosophy earlier, one often meets his destiny in the road he takes to avoid it.