We have this opening prayer in the Bhakti Yoga tradition that starts with the glorification of our teachers:
Om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
It translates to: "I am blinded by the darkness of ignorance but the guru has mercifully opened up by eyes, anointing them with the salve of divine knowledge. I offer my respects and gratitude to that sri gurudeva."
We recite this invocation in the mornings, before lectures or chanting because it is an important practice to remember all of our teachers that have come before us. It is because of them that we are where we are in our lives. Our teachers have opened us up to some knowledge that we would not have had without them. All of those people in our lives who have shown us the way, lifted our consciousness by changing our way of thinking, helped us in times of struggle with their wisdom, put up with our shortcomings, saw the potential in us before we did, then helped to develop that potential in some meaningful way.
I am humbled by and grateful for my spiritual teachers: Radhanath Swami, Dhanurdhara Swami, and Raghunath. I am equally grateful for my everyday teachers: My mom, who teaches me how to do all the big and little things in life. My boyfriend, Handerson, who teaches me about love in every encounter I have with him. My clients at the clinic, who teach me about how to cultivate hope and resilience through hardships. I truly believe we are all teachers for one another in some way. We are teaching something everyday, with our words and actions.