In those days students went to their teacher’s hermitage and stayed with him along with other students and behave as though they are one of his household members. They serve their teacher as a devoted son would do. In fact they treat their teacher and his spouse as their own parents! The word Guru means one who dispels darkness! Where they study is called Gurukula, that means it is a place where the ignorance is driven away and the student inherits the rich linage of Guru. This linage is also called Parampara! You would be surprised to know the words like Kula guru, Guru parampara refer to this linage! The students were taught Vedas, life sciences, skills, science, literature and arts, and were also taught how to conduct rituals effectively and are given extensive training in Yoga and meditation practices. When he comes out he would be a complete individual. They were taught to respect nature, fellow human beings, other beings. They were also tested for their sincerity, perseverance, grasp, and one pointed attention. There was a great sage called Gauthama Haridrumata, who finds mention in Sama Veda, one of the four Vedas. In his hermitage there were many students, one day in the forest surrounding the hermitage there was a women with her child, her occupation was helping the nearby households in the small hamlet. Every day the child used observe the students in the hermitage going out with their teacher and returning to their dwelling. This kindled the interest to study in the young boy and soon he approached his mother and asked her whether he could also study like others in the hermitage. Unsure of his admission into the school, she said that it would be proper for him to go there and request the sage and get to know. The determined boy soon approached the hermitage and was patiently waiting near the gate. Some of the students there observed the young boy and informed their teacher, then he was called in, the sage asked him who he was. He told him that he stays nearby in the fringes of the forest and also expressed his eagerness to learn like other students and he is called Sathyakama. Then the teacher asked who his father was? This question was out of the blue, as he did not know anything about his father. Teacher told him to go and ask his mother and come again next day. He hurriedly returned and asked his mother who his father was, to this his mother told that she herself does not know and that she was in a state of a destitute from her very young age! So instructed him to tell the truth and say his name to be Satyakama Jabala, the name of his mother. The next day he went back to the hermitage and met the sage and told him all about that conversation he had with his mother and added that his name is Satyakama Jabalan. His straightforward reply and openness and his keen interest in furthering his knowledge impressed the sage and soon the sage replied that he would admit him and perform the sacred thread ceremony an initiation into Brahmanhood himself and then induct him. Happily the boy went back to his mother told her about his admission. Later the teacher told the other students that he appreciated the frankness and truth of his being and that is the reason for his granting admission. He also explained how important it is to be truthful while seeking knowledge! The teacher Sage Gauthama performed the sacred thread ceremony upon the young Satyakama and admitted him into his asrama and began initial lessons. Soon the sage understood the capability of the disciple and summoned him and gave four hundred lean and weak cows and ordained him to take them to the nearby forest and tend to them and bring them back when their number becomes one thousand and they should also be healthy. Satyakama never raised a doubt at this assignment, dutifully took all of them to the nearby forest and erected a hut for himself and also a shed for the bovines. He dutifully took them for grassing and returned to the shed every day. Days, months and years passed like this. There was never a doubt in his mind about his teacher’s intensions. In the meanwhile the number of these animals too grew. One day a bull among the animals that he was tending to spoke to Satyakama! It addressed him as Hey Sathyakama! Do you remember what your teacher has told you? Have you counted our number? We are thousand now, and it is time for you to return to Asrama! You have been taking care of us like your own siblings and I am going to teach you the highest knowledge that would constitute one fourth of the total knowledge! Thus speaking to Satyakama the bull said that the directions north south east west the sky upwards and what is down below all are the God principle only. This explained that the environment around us is nothing but divinity, and we are all closely interconnected with our own environment. Satyakama deeply impressed by what the bull told him contemplated upon the message, and later decided to go back to the asrama and gathered his belongings and set out on the return journey. On his way back when it was night he camped in a clearing and fed all his animals and started a fire to stay warm! When he was relaxing, suddenly he heard a strange voice addressing him Hey Satyakama! He looked around and found no one. He thought that it was perhaps some kind of hallucination and ignored it and was about to relax, it was then he heard it again. Now he observed that someone spoke from the fire that he has lit! The voice said that He is Agni the fire god! And for having completed his task assigned by his teacher Satyakama deserves to be taught the highest truth, and He would teach him that. Fire said the earth, sky, the heavens (Stars and other celestial bodies), and the oceans are part of Brahman or the God principle. This statement further reinforces what was told by the bull with more clarity. By now he understood all the earthly creation and the celestial bodies as well as the space in between is indeed God! He continued his journey and came to a river front where he decided to camp for the night. He saw a Swan swimming in his direction, and it came up on the banks and started speaking to Sathyakama, it said that further clarity on the subject of God would come from her. She said fire, the sun and the moon and the lightening are nothing but God! This explained the constant emission of energy that these celestial bodies give out is indeed God ! By now Sathyakama had started contemplating on these messages through meditation, in order to have a practical feeling of what was being passed on to him. Then the last day before he reached the precincts of his destination he had similarly heard a diver bird called “Madgu”. It said his breath, the eyes, the ears, and his mind are also the God principle. The bird meant the act of breathing, seeing, hearing and thinking are all done by the God principle within every one. Effectively concluding that we are all divine within! Thus all these beings have taught about God to Sathyakama. His own contemplation strengthened his knowledge and since he was knowledgeable he shone like a resplendent Sun! Upon reaching the Ashram, the teacher Sage Gauthama welcomed him and was pleased with his determination and perseverance and also observed the unique glow around him due to the newly acquired knowledge. He asked him who has instructed him while he was in the forest. To this he said beings other than humans. He continued to narrate what happened and concluded the he would cherish the knowledge that comes directly from his teacher more than these. Pleased with his humility, the sage praised him and began to teach him in detail about what he had acquired from these beings and eventually Satyakama became a highly learned Guru himself. Moral :"Be truthful to the teacher" , " Pursue your goal earnestly" " Learn from all beings around us" "Respect your environment" "Be humble always" "Love fellow beings".