One of my vice-chancellors said in his convocation address, that the respect for the teacher is disappearing from the world of students, and this is dangerous. Ordinarily nobody stands up in a convocation address, because that is not a place to discuss. But I stood up and I said, “Before you say anything more, let me correct you. You are right in your observation that respect is disappearing from the student community, but you are wrong in your conclusion. The responsibility is not of the students but of the teachers. Can you say with authority that the teachers are worthy of respect? And if you cannot say it with authority that the teachers are worthy of respect then why make the students responsible for this whole situation? If the teacher is worthy of respect, the question of respect from the students does not arise at all.”
I said to him, “I am saying this to you with my own experience.” For five years at that time I had been a teacher in the university and I had not come across a single student who was not respectful. “And if you come across students who are disrespectful to you, you should go home and think over it. Something must be wrong in you. Somewhere you have lost the worth.”
There was immense silence in the whole auditorium. The professors were shocked, the students were shocked, the chancellor was suddenly frozen like a statue, and the vice-chancellor could not think of what to say. I said, “You can see this silence – I have not told anybody to be silent, but most of them are my students or have been my students and they know what I mean.”
The vice-chancellor had to take his words back. He said, “I can understand it. The responsibility should always be on the stronger person, not on the weaker person. The student is weak, a learner, has no power. The teacher has all the powers, all the learning, all the authority…and if he cannot manage respect, then he is responsible. You are right.”
But he used the word manage. I didn’t say anything, but that was a wrong word. To manage means you are thinking about it, you are using certain tactics, strategies for it. A real master simply comes amongst his disciples and there is silence, and there is calm.
The same happens within you. You need not be worried about intensive living. If you can live this calmness, if this calmness can become your very life, where happiness and sadness contribute their essential beauty, then there is no need to think of people who talk of ecstasy. Their ecstasy will be gone in two days; your calmness will go with you beyond the grave.
Only in moments of love do I feel my body dancing with joyful sweetness, and only in moments of love do musicians create music which touches my heart. To feel the music moving my body and the dance moving the fingers of the musicians is for me the most beautiful experience. Can you please say something about it?
It is a beautiful moment and a beautiful experience – but there is much more in life. There is much more than music, because music is after all sound, and there is silence too. Music is beautiful but you should not forget silence. Dance is beautiful, but there is something beyond it: an absolute unmoving state of consciousness…no dance.