A Letter to a student by Swami Sukhabodanada is an ode to the teacher-student relationship. When a distressed class 10 student writes to him about his worries, Swami addresses his concerns in a letter filled with tips. Originally written in Kannada, it became very popular amongst students who requested that the letter be converted to a book.
In the book, Swamiji starts by addressing the divide between village and city life. While the boy, Somashekhar spoke of problems faced by the infrastructure-deprived village school. Swamiji motivated him to look over on the brighter side- tranquil and distraction-free environment in the villages.
Further he spoke about how students must inculcate within themselves the habit of drawing up timetables. At length, he described the importance of including physical activity in one’s routine. Having a balance between studies and was the best way to ensure no burnouts. He spoke of a attitude that resembled a bouncing ball and not a long, drawn face like soaked flattened rice was the best way to make friends and bring along company.
In other paragraphs he denotes the importance of collective learning and active listening. Recommends looking up to every teacher as ‘Sadchidananda Guru’-The eternal teacher. Somashekar was advised to sit in one of the front benches to avoid the noisy and naughty back-benchers to focus better on his studies. Studies were described as a penance. Mugging up was highly discouraged. Guruji emphasized on the practice of reading and re-reading to assimilate portions thoroughly through the power produced by practice that relates to memory.
In conclusion, a few tips about personal hygiene and the importance of having a daily routine. Swamiji summed up the experience in the form having to use the book as a guide-book for student life. He recommends coming back to the book to read and re-read what has been taught to become a better student!