I have been studying some verses from the Taittiriya Upanishad with my teacher, Marcia Solomon. Each week we chant a few lines, call response, to verify pronunciation, and then look at the meaning. I was struck when we came to I.17 at the repetition of svādhyāyapravacane ca: it is repeated no less than 13 times!
This must be important.
Svādhyāya translates as “self-study” and might be interpreted as “independent study” or “a study of the self” – or both. Pravacane is “instructing / teaching”. (Ca = “and”)
In my retirement from the profession of teaching in the secondary school system I find myself with time to pursue independent study of topics related to the path of yoga: āsana, Sanskrit, vedic chanting, anatomy… and I have noted a tendency to become quite involved in these pursuits, to the point that I find myself sometimes in danger of forgetting to share the fruits of my investigations with others.
Teaching is the perfect complement to independent study. Teaching is not just an option – it is a responsibility. Teaching connects us with the world. We all play the roles of both student and teacher as the context in which we find ourselves shifts.
The sacred connection fostered in the exchange between teacher and student is what allows us to evolve and connect with our higher nature.