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Yogi Bhajan Lecture: The Caliber of a Teacher

Excerpts from a lecture given on 7/31/96

Caliber is the total capacity of an individual to communicate and to project one's identity. It is a combination of the total personality.

Caliber. The main power of a male and a female is caliber—caliber with endurance, courage, patience, manners, and communication—with a rhythm. Caliber is not an idealistic situation. Caliber is a combination of the total personality.

The concept of caliber is very well known. Unfortunately, we do not develop caliber in ourselves. Instead, we develop personality, we develop identity, we develop knowledge, we have certifications. You may be certified as a Teacher, but you may not have the caliber of a Teacher. You can be a full-fledged, charming male, but you may not have the caliber of a male. You may be a very wonderful woman, but if your caliber is not that of a woman, then you are not a woman at all.

Every male and female are absolutely afraid to identify themselves, because they don't have caliber. They have organization, they have sense, they have knowledge. They are very intelligent people, very clear. But they don't have caliber. And sometimes you'll find men and women who will rise rapidly like a star, and then they come tumbling down. They fall apart, because they don't have the caliber to maintain their dignity, integrity, and their reality.

You know, it's not a question of who you are, and what you are, and how you are. There has to be a caliber to even have a day.

Caliber is the total capacity of an individual to project one's identity. You do not miss, you do not fail, you do not go wrong, you do not go under. Your caliber does not fail you. Caliber is a basic, consistent power in which a person can project, communicate, and lodge oneself, like a bullet. You fire; the bullet goes into the person, it sits there. Human caliber is all that comes into the memory of every person whom you meet.

A Teacher has a caliber. How do you define the Teacher's caliber? The Teacher is not a god, but he is a God-giver. Can you believe this definition? And you have come here to become Teachers. A Teacher is not a god, the Teacher is a God-giver.

If God and the Teacher are standing together, and the question is to whom to pay respect first, pay respect to the Teacher, because he gave you God and he can give you God again. That is the faculty of a Teacher.

Caliber is a unique capacity. When a person deals with a person of caliber, and he takes the hit of the caliber. When the caliber lodges in that person, the identity of the person—it is forever. But you forget people, you use people, you abuse people, you manipulate people. You can do everything to anybody, but when you meet a person of caliber, you will automatically fall apart.

It doesn't matter who you are, if your caliber is not standardized with grace, dignity, and it doesn't have the character of a sage, even with all the money and all the other privileges, for the rest of your life you shall be empty and in pain. There's no way out.

When does your caliber start developing? The 120th day in the womb of the mother. Whatever she goes through is imprinted. Then, throughout your life, whatever you go through is imprinted, and it becomes your body language.

You cannot sustain your character, you cannot sustain yourself, you cannot sustain your relationship, if you do not have a normal character and the caliber of being you. Your love is false, your relationship is false, everything about you is false. The tragedy of you is that when you are a Teacher and people trust you and come to you, open their heart to you, and open themselves to you, you'll end up exploiting them because you don't have the caliber of a Teacher.

You are not impersonal. A Teacher is impersonal, like Infinity, and has integrity, self-awareness, and personality with absolute grace. It doesn't matter what you give him, what you say to him, or how you deal with him. His faculty is only one. He or she must have the caliber to make another person the best within the time and space, and happy within life's race, and continue to uplift.

You need that caliber with that tolerance and that daring intelligence, because a Teacher is not interested in the person. A Teacher always knows what he can do to a person to make the best out of it. It is not the wood, it is what you carve out of it. Sometimes you have to give it time, sometimes you have tolerance, sometimes you yell and scream, sometimes you chisel it out, sometimes this, sometimes that. But in the end you have to polish it to be something.

A Teacher has the infinite capacity of sacrifice. The Teacher has to bear the burden of bringing the student into reality. Sometimes it takes many, many lifetimes. The Teacher-student relationship is not every day, every month, every year, or one lifetime. The Teacher-student relationship is from Infinity to Infinity. It is the consistency of caliber.

 ©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

This lecture is published is The Master's Touch, available through KRI.