World’s Teachers day! 8 Greatest Teachers of India | Varthana

World’s Teachers day! 8 Greatest Teachers of India of All Times

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“A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others”
– Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Teaching is among the most noble professions. Beyond the realms of academic subjects, it empowers students to identify their strengths and shortcomings, guiding them to mature as individuals. India boasts a rich educational heritage, spotlighting exceptional educators whose commitment and insight have profoundly influenced generations. From ancient sages to modern educators, India has gifted the world educators whose indomitable spirit, wisdom, and innovation have left a lasting legacy. In this piece, we explore the life and works of some of the most iconic Indian teachers.

List of 8 Greatest Teachers of India

1) Gautam Budhha (480 BCE)

Initially a prince, Gautam Buddha renounced his royal comforts in pursuit of enlightenment. Attaining wisdom under the Bodhi tree, he subsequently founded Buddhism, advocating for the Eightfold Path as a guide for humanity.

His teachings encompass the right view, right intention, right speech, right livelihood, right conduct, right mindfulness, right effort, and right meditation. He believed that adherence to this path could liberate one from suffering.

2) Chanakya (350-283 BCE)

Also known as Kautilya, Chanakya was a distinguished philosopher, Takshila professor, and royal advisor. His seminal work, “Arthashastra,” delves into statecraft, economics, and military strategy. Chanakya’s insights on governance and ethical conduct resonate even today, influencing modern management and leadership paradigms.

3) Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

A dedicated disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Swami Vivekananda was a spiritual luminary and visionary. He introduced the West to Hindu philosophy and Vedanta, underscoring the significance of self-awareness, benevolence, and spiritual unity. His historic speech at the 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago continues to be a cornerstone for interfaith dialogues.

Read More: NEP 2020: Why Indian School Systems Must Prioritize Curriculum and Pedagogical Restructuring

4) Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975)

A prominent philosopher, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan held esteemed positions as India’s first vice president and second president. He merged Eastern and Western philosophies, highlighting the importance of embracing diverse perspectives while deeply understanding one’s cultural roots. His advocacy in education championed the promotion of Indian thoughts and values.

5) Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

The multifaceted poet, philosopher, and educator Rabindranath Tagore profoundly impacted Indian literature and education. He founded Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, endorsing a holistic education intertwined with art, nature, and culture. Tagore’s teachings accentuated creativity, individuality, and nature-aligned learning.

6) Savitribai Phule (1831-1897)

A visionary, Savitribai Phule stands as a beacon in Indian history. Recognized as India’s first female teacher, she pioneered the inaugural women’s school and modern Marathi poetry. During times when women’s abilities were often sidelined, Savitribai committed herself to uplift and educate them. Along with her husband, she instituted a school for untouchable girls. This daring step drew ridicule and even physical assaults, with many hurling stones and dung at her.

Read More: 5 Strategies to Ensure Equal Success for Girls and Boys in Science and Mathematics in India

7) Madan Mohan Malviya (1861-1946)

Emphasizing moral integrity in students, Mr. Malaviya’s unique educational philosophy showcased his close mentorship. He cherished Indian culture and seamlessly blended traditional Indian pedagogy with contemporary techniques. He was instrumental in co-founding Banaras Hindu University, one of India’s premier educational institutions.


8) Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (1931-2015)

Revered as the “Missile Man of India,” Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, an eminent scientist, also served as India’s 11th President. A beacon of inspiration for numerous students, he fostered a spirit of innovation, scientific exploration, and perseverance. His educational philosophy underscored practical and application-oriented learning that responded to societal needs.


Throughout India’s rich history, these eight educators have epitomized the essence of teaching, each leaving a unique imprint on the nation’s educational landscape. Their teachings, ranging from ancient wisdom to modern pedagogy, have transcended time, influencing and inspiring countless individuals. While their backgrounds and eras may differ, a common thread binds them all: an unwavering commitment to upliftment through education. Their legacies remind us of the transformative power of dedicated educators, and the lasting impact they can have on society. As we honor their invaluable contributions, it becomes evident that the foundation of a progressive nation lies in the hands of its educators. These iconic Indian teachers stand as shining beacons, illuminating the path for generations to come and affirming the timeless adage that teaching, indeed, is the noblest of professions.

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