I would like repost the Champa Srinivas words.
We may think of names like Drona, Arjun, Ekalavya, Karna, Parasuram, Duryodhan, Balram —- there are endless examples of teacher student relationships in the Mahabharat. But none came close to that between two unassuming friends – Arjun and Krishna.
When Arjun crashed with confusion at Krishna’s feet, he was in no mood for a lecture. He simply wanted a straight answer.
He did not want eighteen chapters – he wanted one word. He wanted to be told exactly what to do – directly and decisively.
But – Krishna will be Krishna. Rarely would he give anyone a straight answer.
In fact, Arjun came to him to clear his confusion. But two chapters of the Gita down the line– Arjun was only more confused.
And yet this pair is a most celebrated Master – Disciple duo.
Why was the confused man the perfect student, and why was the confusing man the perfect teacher?
Krishna was a perfect teacher, because he did not preach.
A preacher gives advice. A preacher gives immediate answers. A preacher gives a list of rules and commandments. A preacher tells you the values that must live by.
All you have to do is follow instructions. You need not understand, you need not even think.
But a teacher transforms you. He gives no direct answer but indirect wisdom. He gives no list of commandments, but abstract knowledge. He does not order you to follow a value, but teaches you to value the value.
The student will transcend the need for instructions, and will be capable of making his own decisions, through his own inner transformation.
Preaching does not need a connection. Teaching does.
Preaching does not need thinking. Teaching does.
Preaching gives immediate external clarity. Teaching brings long term inner change.
Preaching gives you decisions. Teaching shows you how to decide.
This is why Krishna gave eighteen chapters and yet told Arjun in the end, “Now you decide”
Arjun on the other hand, was a perfect student, because he listened. Even though he wanted one word, he avidly listened to the eighteen chapters – much of its length due to his own questioning.
Arjun was the perfect student because he was capable of confusion. You cannot confuse a rock – you can only confuse someone who thinks.
Arjun was the perfect student not because he was the brightest of them all – but because he was relentless in his quest to really understand- no matter how long it took.
Arjun was the perfect student who neither followed blindly, nor rejected something he did not understand. He persevered.
Arjuna was the perfect student, because he accepted with humility that his confusions were because of his improper understanding, and not because of a flaw in Krishna’s logic. He showed immense respect for the teacher in Krishna.
Krishna too showed immense respect for Arjun. He treated each of Arjun’s doubts, many times on the same matter, as fresh and intelligent. Not once did he show exasperation, not once did he make Arjun feel stupid.
Such a combination of a perfect, ego-less, mutually respecting minds, one who wanted to give with love endlessly and the other who wanted to absorb with love endlessly, is indeed rare.
And hence, the most unlikely pair, two friends, became the perfect student- teacher pair.