The Concept of Guru

When contemplating the spiritual development path (Margah) it is worth remembering the fact that Guru’s (Spiritual Guide’s) consciousness leads to greater and greater liberation and freedom of mind, and further, to greater and greater dissolution of all structures of material ego whose nature is to contradict the needs arising from the depths of soul, which is divine in its essence. Masters of Pure, Formless Planes, such as Vaidurya or Vaikuntha are absolutely free and independent in everything they do and teach. In particular, they are free from any shadow of pride or jealousy. When we say the word „material” we mean the entirety of Prakrit, which includes the physical, astral and mental world. Guru always leads us towards Heaven (Devachan) along the path of self-liberation, and further through Heaven, along the path of enlightenment, so that we can reach the Formless Planes and enter the path of eternal life. In the light of Himavanti Sampradaya there is only one path, only one way, although there are many methods and ways which help one cover its subsequent stages. This path is the path of the Return Song. 

Masters of Pure, Formless Planes do not feel jealousy or pride. They perform their work with great dignity and humility. Ascended Master are not jealous either of their disciples or their path. They also don’t forbid them any contact with other schools of practice and instructions, although they do impose the stamp of secrecy and the oath to remain silent with regard to the sort of practices carried out by their disciples. They constantly indicate that there is only one way of return as far as the direction and the goal that we all want to accomplish are concerned, although there are many ways of practising. There is only one way and there is only one religion: divine truth (daiva satya).

However, unenlightened, fake teachers and prophets, who often came from the material Planes of Demons in either astral or mental worlds, teach that their way solely is the only one and the right one, they are also very jealous of their disciples and often forbid them the right to try so called other paths (other than „ours”). The favourite teaching of these demons is to condemn all other schools or religions. They jealously guard their disciples, they want to possess them, not to liberate them. They are afraid of competition and they assume an attitude full of animosity towards followers of other religious or spiritual paths. They are too proud to admit that their path represents simply one of many particular methods, and, even more, they are afraid to acknowledge the fact that their path might possibly lead nowhere!

The schools of Ravana Demon even claim that all religions and spiritual schools are evil, including their own. This nihilism indicates the hellish nature of the material world and has nothing in common with the teachings of liberated Masters, Saints and Prophets representing the Spiritual Hierarchy. Moreover, demonic teachings of hellish nihilism also contradict the need to have a Guru, or a Spiritual Guide. The journey along the ”spiritual” path without a guide always leads to blind and overconfident egoism. Lord Shiva, a leading Master and Teacher, Founder and Owner of all yoga systems, clearly stated that souls which maintain that there is no Lord (Guru) above them and nobody has the right to tell them what they are to do on their path, as they themselves know it better- these are merely souls that have been chased into the darkest of blind alleys and led astray off spiritual development by demonic ego forces! 

Śri Lalita Mohan Ji
Shree Lalitamohan Guru Kripa (Master Blessing)

Guru, Gurudeva, Rishi – Spiritual Yoga Master

A guru, guruh, in Sanskrit: गुरु: is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom, and authority in a certain spiritual area, and who uses it to guide others as a teacher. Other forms of manifestation of this principle can include parents, school teachers, non-human objects (books) and even one’s own intellectual discipline, if the aforementioned are in a guidance role. In the religious sense the term is commonly used in Hinduism, as well as in other Indian religions and new religious movements. Finding a true guru is often held to be a prerequisite for attaining self-realization, enlightment, samadhi. In contemporary India, the word guru is widely used with the general meaning of spiritual „teacher” and „guide„. In Western usage, the meaning of guru has been extended to cover anyone who acquires followers, though not necessarily in an established school of philosophy or religion, what is false use of this word. In a further Western extension, guru is used, or even misused from the original religious meaning, to refer to a person who has authority because of his or her perceived knowledge or skills, such as in business. 

Gurudeva is a generic address to a guru in Hinduism. There is a vast difference between an ordinary teacher and a spiritual master or guru. That which dispels the darkness of ignorance is called guru. In the West the word guru is often misused. In India this word is used with reverence and is always associated with holiness and the highest wisdom. It is a very sacred word. It is seldom used by itself, but always with its suffix, –deva. Deva means „bright being”, 'enlightment being”. An enlightened master or guru is called gurudeva. When a student goes to a guru, he takes a bundle of dry sticks. With reverence and love he bows and says, „Here, I offer this.” That indicates that he is surrendering himself with all his mind, action, and speech with a single desire to attain the highest wisdom. The guru burns those sticks and says, „Now I will guide you and protect you in the future.” Then he initiates the student on various levels and gives him the disciplines to practice. The guru imparts a word and says, „This will be an eternal friend to you. Remember this word. It will help you.” Then he explains how to use the mantra. That is called mantra initiation. 

Guruh (guruH) in Sanskrit, in Hindi and other Indian languages is „guru”. „The syllable „gu” means shadows; The syllable „ruh„, he who disperses them, Because of the power to disperse darkness; the guru is thus named.” — — Advayataraka Upanishad 14—18, verse 5 

The word guruh, a noun, means „teacher” or „guide” in Sanskrit and in other languages derived from or borrowing words from Sanskrit, such as Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati and Nepali. The malayalam term Acharyan or Asan are derivered from the sanskrit word Acharya. It is transliterated in different ways such as Asaan, Ashan, Aasaan etc. As a noun the word means the imparter of knowledge (jñāna; Also Persian: Dāna). As an adjective, it means 'heavy,’ or 'weighty,’ in the sense of „heavy with knowledge,” heavy with spiritual wisdom, „heavy with spiritual weight,” „heavy with the good qualities of scriptures and realization,” or „heavy with a wealth of knowledge.” The word has its roots in the Sanskrit gri (to invoke, or to praise), and may have a connection to the word gur, meaning 'to raise, lift up, or to make an effort’. Sanskrit guru is cognate with Latin gravis 'heavy; grave, weighty, serious’ and Greek barus 'heavy’. All three derive from the Proto-Indo-European root *gʷerə-, specifically from the zero-grade form *gʷr̥ə-. 

A traditional etymology of the term „guruh” is based on the interplay between darkness and light. The guru is seen as the one who „dispels the darkness of ignorance.” In some texts it is described that the syllables gu (गु) and ruh (रु:) stand for darkness and light, respectively. Reender Kranenborg disagrees, stating that darkness and light have nothing to do with the word guru. He describes this as a folk etymology, but he is not in right. Another etymology of the word „guru” found in the Guru Gita, includes gu as „beyond the qualities” and ru as „devoid of form”, stating that „He who bestows that nature which transcend the qualities is said to be guru”. The meanings of „gu” and „ruh” can also be traced to the Sutras indicating concealment and its annulment. In Western Esotericism and the Science of Religion, Pierre Riffard makes a distinction between „occult” and „scientific” etymologies, citing as an example of the former the etymology of ’guruh’ in which the derivation is presented as gu („darkness” or 'spiritualisation of the matter’) and ruh (’to push away’, 'fired up’); the latter he exemplifies by „guruh” with the meaning of 'heavy’. 

Guru, gurudeva is a Stream of Knowledge. A genuine spiritual teacher, one who is assigned to teach according to tradition, searches out good students. Guruh looks for certain signs and symptoms; he wants to know who is prepared. Guruh wants nothing, for what he is doing is his duty, the purpose of his life. If he guides you, he is not obliging you; he is doing his work. Guruh cannot live without doing his duty. Genuine gurus cannot live without selflessness, for selfless love is the very basis of their enlightenment. They radiate life and light from the unknown corners of the world. The world does not know them, and many times they do not want recognition. Such people are called gurus, special kind gurus, called an Inner Guru, Inner Guide or the Hidden Guru, Gupta-Guruh. They guide humanity. As the sun shines and lives far above, the guru gives spiritual love and remains unattached. Guru is not a physical being. Those who think of the guru as a body or as a man do not understand this pious word. If a guru comes to think that his power is his own, then he is a guide no more. The guru is tradition, he is a stream of knowledge. 

Rishi – True Vedic Guru

Rishi in Sanskrit: ṛṣi, Devanagari: ऋषि – denotes the spiritual masters composers of Vedic hymns. However, according to post-Vedic tradition, the rishi is a „seer” to whom the Vedas were „originally revealed” through states of higher consciousness. The rishis were prominent when Vedic Hinduism took shape, as far back as some three thousand years ago. Many ancient rishis were in fact women, rishikas in Sanskrit. According to the late Vedic Sarvanukramani text, there were as many as 20 women among the authors of the Rig Veda, known as rishika. According to modern teachers Deepak Chopra and Swamini Mayatitananda, this number could be as high as 35. Notable are several rishikas, female contributors to the composition of the Vedic scriptures. The Rig Veda mentions Romasha, Lopamudra, Apala, Kadru, Visvavara, Ghosha, Juhu, Vagambhrini, Paulomi, Yami, Indrani, Savitri, and Devajami. The Sama Veda adds Nodha, Akrishtabhasha, Sikatanivavari and Gaupayana.

One of the foundational qualities of a ṛṣi is satyavāc (one who speaks truth) when composing Vedic hymns. According to tradition, other sages might falter, but a ṛṣi was believed to speak truth only, because he existed in the Higher World (the unified field of consciousness). Ṛṣis provided knowledge to the world which included the knowledge of Vedas. The upper Ganges area of Rishikesh in the Himalaya is regarded by tradition as the abode of Vedic rishis means Himalayan Gurus. In Hindu astronomy, the Saptarṣi (seven rishis) form the constellation of Ursa Major, which are distinct from Dhruva (Polaris). 

In Indian tradition, the word Rishi has been derived from the two roots 'rsh’. Sanskrit grammarians derive this word from the second root which means (1) 'to go, to move’ (- Dhātupāṭha of Pānini, xxviii). V.S. Apte gives this particular meaning and derivation, and Monier-Williams also gives the same, with some qualification. Another form of this root means (2) 'to flow, to move near by flowing’. All the meanings and derivations cited above are based upon Sanskrit English Dictionary of Monier-Williams. Monier-Williams also quotes Tārānātha who compiled the great (Sanskrit-to-Sanskrit) dictionary named „ṛṣati jñānena saṃsāra-pāram” (i.e., one who reaches beyond this mundane world by means of spiritual knowledge). 

More than a century ago, Monier-Williams tentatively suggested derivation from drś „to see”.  Monier-Wiliamss also quotes Hibernian (Irish) form 'arsan’ (a sage, a man old in wisdom) and 'arrach’ (old, ancient, aged) as related to rishi. In Sanskrit, forms of the root 'rish’ become 'arsh-’ in many words, e.g., arsh. Monier-Williams also conjectures that the root 'drish’ (to see) might have given rise to an obsolete root 'rish’ meaning 'to see’. However, the root has a close Avestan cognate ərəšiš „an ecstatic” (see also Yurodivy, Vates). Yet, the Indo-European dictionary of Julius Pokorny connects the word to a PIE root *h3er-s meaning „rise, protrude”, in the sense of „excellent, egregious”. Modern etymological explanations such as by Manfred Mayrhofer in his Etymological Dictionary leaves the case open, does not prefer a connection to ṛṣ „pour, flow” (PIE *h1ers), rather one with German 'rasen’ „to be ecstatic, be in a different state of mind” (and perhaps Lithuanian 'aršus’). 

In the Vedas, the word denotes an inspired poet of Ṛgvedic hymns, who alone or with others invokes the deities with poetry. In particular, Ṛṣi refers to the authors of the hymns of the Rigveda. Post-Vedic tradition regards the Rishis as „sages” or saints, constituting a peculiar class of divine human beings in the early mythical system, as distinct from Asuras, Devas and mortal men.The main rishis recorded in the Brahmanas and the Rigveda-Anukramanis include Gritsamada, Vishvamitra, Vamadeva, Atri, Bharadvaja, Vasishta, Angiras, Kaṇva.

Seven Rishis (the Saptarshi) are often mentioned in the Brahmanas and later works as typical representatives of the pre-historic or mythical period; in Shatapatha Brahmana (Brhad Aranyaka Upanisad), their names are Uddālaka Āruni (also called Gautama), Bharadvaja, Vishvamitra, Jamadagni, Vasishtha, Kashyapa, and Atri. Daksha, Bhrigu and Nārada were also added to the saptarshis riṣis in Āshvalāyana-Shrauta-Sutra, where these ten principals were created by the first Manu (Svāyambhuva Manu) for producing everyone else.

In Mahabharata 12, on the other hand, there is the post-Vedic list of Marici, Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya and Vasishtha. The Mahābhārata list explicitly refers to the saptarshis of the first manvantara and not to those of the present manvantara. Each manvantara had a unique set of saptarshi. In Harivamsha (417ff), the names of the Rishis of each manvantara are enumerated.In addition to the Saptarṣi, there are other classifications of sages. In descending order of precedence, they are Brahmarshi, Maharshi, Rajarshi. Devarṣi, Paramrṣi, Shrutarṣi and Kāndarṣi are added in Manusmriti iv.94 and xi.236 and in two dramas of Kālidasa. 

The Chaturvarga-Chintāmani of Hemādri puts 'riṣi’ at the seventh place in the eightfold division of Brāhmanas. Amarakosha (the famous Sanskrit synonym lexicon compiled by Amarasimha) mentions seven types of riṣis: Shrutarshi, Kāndarshi, Paramarshi, Maharshi, Rājarshi, Brahmarshi and Devarshi. Amarakosha strictly distinguishes Rishi from other types of sages, such as sanyāsi, bhikṣu, parivrājaka, tapasvi, muni, brahmachāri, yati, etc. 

Jupiter as Guru and Priest 

Jupiter known as Guru, Devaguru, Cura, Brahmanaspati or Brihaspati in his Vedic and Hindu astronomy name is believed to be a bestower of successes. It is generally believed that one who is graced by Jupiter, commands respect from others. Cleanliness is a virtue preferred by Jupiter. Jupiter in astrology is named as ’Guru’, meaning, biggest and heaviest of all planets. The persons with grace of favour of Jupiter enjoy elderly quality, towering respect and business. If it is powerful, it can counter the ill effects of other planets comfortably. Jupiter is the teacher of the science of light, that is, astrology and astronomy. He is the ruler of the Sun and the Moon and controls the movement of the planets. It is possible to recognised if some one is really true Guru and exluded false and self-proclamed one. 

Favourite Colour: Yellow, Favourite

Day: Thursday, Favourite God, Deity,

Deva: Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, Indra, Goddess Parvati; 

Gemstone for this Planet: Yellow Sapphire

Jupiter, Guru Mantra to Chant

– 'Aum Brim Brahaspataye Namah Aum!’

– ‘Om Graam Greem Graum Sah Gurave Namah!’

– ‘Om Graam Greem Graum Sah Brihasptaye Namah!’

– ‘Om Vrim Brihaspataye Namah!’

– ‘Aum Hreem Kleem Hoom Brihaspataye Namah!’  

The ill effects of Jupiter, Devaguru can be minimized and the good effects can be increased according to Indian mythology by doing the following tasks. Any or all of these, one can select as per one’s convenience.  

– Fasting on Thursdays and keep vow of silence. Avoid Salt and Banana in food. 

– Wearing 5 mukhi and eleven faced Rudraksha Beads.

– Donating in charity a piece of pale yellow cloth on any Thursday keeps Jupiter pleased. 

– Donate yellow cloths, gold, turmeric, yellow sweets, yellow gems, books, honey etc on Thursday morning to Brahmans and vedic teachers. Serving Teachers. 

– Feed an Ox with Gud (Raw Sugar) and gram pulse on Thursdays.

– Wearing Pukhraj (Topaz) on the Index finger on any Thursday is considered to bring in pleasing results. The ring should be continuously worn for a long period starting from any Thursday.

– Distributing sweets and donating Gold or Copper on Thursdays, if the budget allows. 

– Chant the Mantras of Brihaspati starting from Thursday. Wear yellow cloths. 

– Worshipping Lord Shiva by pouring some Butter oil on Shiva Linga daily is another way to seek the blessings of Jupiter. Do it for a week.

– Worshipping Lord Brahma, Indra and goddess Parvati with yellow flowers will also increase benefits and mitigate sufferings of the people under Jupiter’s influence.

– Distributing religious books in charity, and also yellow fruits is likely to bring magical results.

– Offerings made to Banana tree on Thursdays in the form of worship can also influence Jupiter (Guru) to bring more pleasures.

– Mounavrat (Total Silence) on Thursday is also very effective.

– Using turmeric beaded garland in reciting Jupiter’s Vedic Mantra.

– Chanting of Jupiters Beeja (Seed) Mantra using turmeric beaded garland. 

Jupiter is a benefic planet, signifier of luck and fortune, and he rules religion (priests, Brahmans), philosophy, spirituality (yoga and tantra), wealth, and progeny. He is noble, buoyant, dignified, fruitful, optimistic, jovial, and masculine. If favorable, this planet gives name, fame, success, honor, wealth, progeny and good relationship with progeny, and it brings benefits to whatever planets or house it is associated with. 

Guru, Cura or Devaguru rules over the signs Dhanu (Sagittarius) and Meena (Pisces), he is exalted in Karka (Cancer) and in his fall in Makara (Capricorn). Guru in Vedic astrology is considered to be of the element ether (space) or Akasha Tattva (i.e. Akasha = Space/Sky/Aether; Tattva = Essence/Category/Truth). This indicates vastness, growth and expansion in a person’s horoscope and life. Bṛhaspati also represents the balance of past karma, religion, philosophy, knowledge and issues relating to offspring. He is concerned with education, teaching and the dispensation of knowledge. Humans with Jupiter dominating in their horoscope could grow fat as life progresses and their empire and prosperity increases; and diabetes is an ailment directly related to Jupiter.  

The color of Jupiter is yellow. Thursday is his day, and north-east is his direction. He is big, old looking, and has a pot belly. He is all-illuminating and this is said also in Western astronomy. One of his names is Guru, which means “heavy’ (in weight) and also “teacher” or „master”. Sun, Mars, and the Moon are its friends. Mercury and Venus are its enemies. Rahu, Ketu, and Saturn are neutral in friendship. Its signs of detriment are Gemini and Virgo. In the Uttra Phalguni, Uttrakshad, Punarvasu, Purva Bhadrapad, and Vishakha nakshatras it gives benefits. 

Jupiter is very important for a female, because it determines her marriage and her relationship with her husband. Jupiter rules over the liver, thighs, circulation of blood in arteries, and fat in the human organism. Afflictions to Guru or Brihaspathi can mean bad luck, loss in litigation, skin problems, arthritis, heart troubles, impurity of the blood, liver malfunction, diabetes etc. It rules over gold and bronze in metals, wheat and barley in grains, yellow flowers, fruits of yellow color, onions, and garlic. Jupiter influences people during the fifteenth, sixteenth, twenty-second, and fortieth year of age. Diseases connected with an afflicted or wrongly posited Jupiter are liver ailments, jaundice, arthritis, swelling, and tuberculosis. All Jupiter diseases are from bad or negative karma in connection with any guru in previous life.  

Jupiter is a planet that governs the vital power of the body and brings luxuries, fame and peaceful life. Jupiter is also considered the King and Priest of planets and as such, the ill effects of other planets shun down automatically when Jupiter is powerful. Jupiter as a God Brihaspathi is a handsome youth with a big-bellied body and a broad chest. Brihaspati is a Brahman by birth and son of Sage Angirasa (and grandson of Brahma) and Surupa. He is the teacher of Gods and knows the Vedas and is an expert in all forms of knowledge. Brihaspathi is four armed and wears yellow cloths and is very fond of sweets. He sits on a lotus and his chariot is pulled by eight yellow horses.

Jupiter called Guru, Devaguru or Brihaspati is the most auspicious and beneficent planet. Wealthy and influential individuals generally possess a strong Jupiter in their horoscopes, and this reflects the rich rewards of positive karma accumulated in previous lives. Jupiter governs religious activity, financial affairs, personal happiness, and teaching. Jupiter also determines one’s spiritual orientation, avatara-hood and priesthood. It is associated with the color yellow, the bodily fluids, education, pilgrimage places, and transcendental wisdom (daiva-jnana0. The Sanskrit name for Jupiter is „guru,” indicating a source of divine knowledge and spiritual insight.

If Jupiter is exalted one will be a leader of men, powerful, respected, although susceptible to anger. But if the position of Jupiter in a person’s horoscope is debilitated Jupiter can cause personal unhappiness, egotism, sloth, and legal problems. LIGHT BLUE is the cosmic color transmitted by yellow sapphires and other yellow gems. Light blue color waves, being very cold, relate to the ethereal nature and are helpful in curing diseases of the glands, the fat system and bodily cavities. Jupiter astral (heanely) talismans are known to enhance spiritual understanding, facilitate pregnancy and childbirth, improve marital relations, increase one’s fortune, and help balance the endocrine system. Jupiter or Guru jewels are known to be especially favorable to women by enhancing their happiness and contentment. 

Gemstones Jupiter’s energy is transmitted by natural yellow sapphires, topaz, citrine, heliodor, and other flawless (eye-clean) yellow gems. Jupiter Astral Talismans should first be worn on Thursday one hour before sunset after reciting the following mantra 19 times:

Aum brim brihaspataye namah!

Jupiter or Brihaspathi rules over the sidereal signs of Sagittarius and Pisces. Jupiter is debilitated in the sign of Capricorn and the sign of exaltation of Jupiter is Cancer. His mahadasha lasts 16 years. Jupiter or Brihaspati is most comfortable in the first house. Jupiter is a benefice planet and considered to be the most auspicious, helpful and generous among all Planets. A prominent Brihaspati in one’s horoscope can indicate a subtle and keen intellect and a disciplined mind and senses. 

Gayatri Mantras of Guru / Brihaspathi

‘Aum Guru Devaya Vidmahe, Parabrahmane Dheemahi; Tanno Guruh Prachodayat!’

‘Om Suraachaarya Vidmahe, Surasreshtaya dheemahi; Tanno Guruh prachodayat!’

‘Vrusha Dhwajaaya Vidhmahe, Gruni Hasthaaya Dheemahi, Thanno Guruh Prachodayat!’
Brihaspati (Guru) Navagraha Mantra

‘Devaanaam Cha Risheenaam Cha Gurum Kaanchana Sannibham; Buddhibhootam Trilokesham Tam Namaami Brihaspateem!’

Meaning: I bow down to Brihaspathi who is the teacher of Gods ans sages, who is resplendent and lustrous like burnished gold and who is endowed with a lot of wisdom and who is the lord of the three worlds. 

The mantras of Guru can be chanted using 108 Rudraksha Beads Rosary. For best effects start recitation on a Thursday during the bright half of the Moon. The Mantras should be chanted 125.000 times and Puja should be performed with yellow flowers. The presence of 'Ganesh yantra’ at the place of recitation helps in achieving faster results. 

Conjunction Jupiter with Pleiades starts each new planetary year, means period circau 12 years, called guru period, till the next conjuncjons. It is very important spiritual fact according to old vedic astrolology and astronomy. Authentic guru always is very learned in Vedic astrology (jyotish), gematry, palmistry and another spiritual old vedic sciences, not only in philosophy or sanscrit recitations. Devaguru means the lord of light, angel’s master or master of divine light! 

Guru in Vedadharma and Hinduism

The importance of finding a guruh who can impart transcendental knowledge (vidyā) is emphasised in Hinduism. One of the main Hindu texts, the Bhagavad Gita, is a dialogue between Godly man in the form of Krishna and his friend and disciple Arjuna, a Kshatriya prince who accepts Krishna as his guruh on the battlefield, prior to a large battle. Not only does this dialogue outline many of the ideals of Hinduism, but their relationship is considered an ideal one of Guru-Shishya. In the Gita, Krishna speaks to Arjuna of the importance of finding a guru: „Acquire the transcendental knowledge from a Self-realized master by humble reverence, by sincere inquiry, and by service. The wise ones who have realized the Truth will impart the Knowledge to you.” 

In the sentence mentioned above, guru is used more or less interchangeably with satguru (literally: true teacher) and satpurusha. Compare also Swami, Swamin. The disciple of a guru is called a śiṣya or chela (ćela). Often a guru lives in an ashram (aśram) or in a gurukula (the guru’s household), together with his disciples. The lineage of a guru, spread by disciples who carry on the guru’s message, is known as the guru parampara, or disciplic succession. Some Hindu denominations like BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha hold that a personal relationship with a living guru, revered as the embodiment of God, is essential in seeking moksha. The guru is the one who guides his or her disciple to become jivanmukta, the liberated soul able to achieve salvation in his or her lifetime.The role of the guru continues in the original sense of the word in such Hindu traditions as the Vedānta, yoga, tantra and bhakti schools. Indeed, it is now a standard part of Hinduism that a guru is one’s spiritual guide on earth. In some more mystical traditions it is believed that the guru could awaken dormant spiritual knowledge within the pupil. The act of doing this is known as shaktipat (śaktipaat, zaktipAt). 

In Hinduism and Brahmanism and in all Vedadharma traditions, the guru/h is considered a respected person with saintly qualities who enlightens the mind of his or her disciple, an educator from whom one receives the initiatory mantra, and one who instructs in rituals and religious ceremonies. The Vishnu Smriti and Manu Smriti regard the teacher and the mother and father as the most venerable influences on an individual. 

Some influential gurus in the Hindu tradition were:

Shree Shiva Yogeshvara, 

Shree Maharshi Veda Vyasa, 

Shree Agastya Rishi, 

Shree Dattatreya, Shree Bhoganatar (Bogar, Lao Tse) (d. II/III CE), 

Shree Kannappa Nayanar, 

Shree Adi Shankara, Mahashankara (788-820 CE), 

Shree Pir Tahir Pak Subuh (d.943), 

Shree Ramanuja Acharya, Ethirajar (1017 – 1137), 

Shree Gorakshanath (Gorakh, Gorakhnath) (11th to 12th century), 

Shree Ramananda, Kabir’s Master, (1400 – 1476 CE), 

Shree Kabir or Kabīra (1440 – 1518), 

Shree Vallabha Acharya (1479 – 1531 CE), Shree Tulsidas (1497/1532 – 1623), 

Shree Meerabai, Mother Meera (c. 1498 – c. 1547 AD), SHree Keenaramjee Baba (1601 – 1770), 

Shree Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya (September 30, 1828 – September 26, 1895), 

Shree Shirdi Sainatha (1833 – October 15, 1918), 

Shree Ramakrishna Paramahansa (18 February 1836 – 16 August 1886), 

Shree Yukteshwar Giri (10 May 1855 – 9 March 1936), 

Shree Mahavatar Babaji (1861 – 1935), 

Shree Swami Vivekananda (12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), 

Shree Swami Sivananda (September 8, 1887 – July 14, 1963), 

Shree Brahmananda Saraswati (21 December 1871 – 20 May 1953), 

Shree Aurobindo Ghosh (15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950), 

Shree Ramana Maharshi (January 9, 1879 – April 14, 1950), 

Shree Paramahansa Yogananda (January 5, 1893 – March 7, 1952), 

Shree Meher Baba, Merwan Sheriar Irani (February 25, 1894 – January 31, 1969), 

Shree Nisargadatta Maharaj (April 17, 1897 – September 8, 1981), 

Shree Swami Muktananda (16 May 1908 – 2 October 1982), 

Shree Swami Chinmayananda (8 May 1916 – 3 August 1993), 

Shree Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Prasad Varma (12 January 1917 – 5 February 2008),  

Shree Anandamurti, Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar (21 May 1921 – 21 October 1990), 

Shree Sathya Sai Baba (23 November 1926 – 24 April 2011), 

Shree Premananda Maharaj (17 November 1951 – 21 February 2011). 

In modern Hinduism the best known representatives include Maha MahaRishi Paranjothiar (Kundalini Yoga), A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Balyogeshwar (also known as „Guru Maharaj Ji”, „Maharaji”, and „Prem Rawat”) (Divine Light Mission), and Rajneesh (Sannyasis)…  

In Indian culture, a person without a guru or a teacher (acharya) was once looked down on as an orphan or unfortunate one or mentally damage. The word anatha in Sanskrit means „the one without a teacher.” An acharya is the giver of jnana (knowledge) in the form of shiksha (instruction). A guru also gives diksha initiation which is the spiritual awakening of the disciple by the grace of the guru. Diksha is also considered to be the procedure of bestowing the divine powers of a guru upon the disciple, through which the disciple progresses continuously along the path to divinity. The concept of the „guru” can be traced as far back as the early Upanishads, where the idea of the Divine Teacher (Gurudeva) on earth first manifested from its early Brahmin associations. Gurus do not appeal to scriptures for their authority, nor are they prophets who declare the will of God. Indeed, there is an understanding in some forms of Vedadharma, Brahmanism or Hinduism that if the devotee were presented with the guru and God, first he would pay respect to the guru, since the guru had been instrumental in leading him to God. Some traditions claim „Guru, God and Self” (Self meaning soul, Atman, not personality) are one and the same. Saints and poets in India have expressed the following views about the relationship between Guru and God:

Kabira: „Guru and God both appear before me. To whom should I prostrate? I bow before Guru who introduced God to me.” 

Brahmananda: „It is my great fortune that I found Satguru, all my doubts are removed. I bow before Guru. Guru’s glory is greater than God’s.” 

Brahmanda Purana: „Guru is Shiva without his three eyes,Vishnu without his four armsBrahma without his four heads.He is Parama Shiva himself in human form!’ 

Adi Shankara begins his Gurustotram or Verses to the Guru with the following Sanskrit Sloka, that has become a widely sung Bhajan: „Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwara. Guru Sakshath Parambrahma, Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha.” In translation is: „Guru is the creator Brahma, Guru is the preserver Vishnu, Guru is the destroyer Siva. Guru is directly the supreme spirit — I offer my salutations to this Guru.” 

Swami Tripurari states: „At first we shall see Sri Guru as saksad-hari, representing Krsna [Godly Man, Avatara] in general and in this sense non-different from him. Only after some time as we advance will we begin to see him as representing a particular potency of Krsna, and this will be relative to one’s developing innate serving tendency. Different disciples may see the same guru as representing different potencies.” 

Meher Baba states: „There is a great difference between a yogi’s meditation and sincere meditation on Infinite, Impersonal God or the Guru, Infinite God in person. A yogi’s meditation ends in samadhi, while meditation done out of love ends in union. A yogi’s meditation ends where love’s activity begins.” 

The Inner Guru – Gurutattva

There is a subtle principle (tattva) that resides within all of us, which is unborn and undying. It is a repository of infinite strength, wisdom, abundance and auspiciousness. It is bliss infinite and the giver of supreme happiness. It is the supportless, infinite sky of supreme wisdom. It is the silent witness of everything. It is neither male, nor female. It exists beyond all dualities help to all to find true living guru. It is not bounded by time, space or conditions. This witnessing presence is pure and clear like the sky, luminous like the morning Sun. It is our inner guru when awaken immidiatly lead us toward true living guruh (Ishvara-Pranin) in this Earth. This is gurutattva (guiding principle) and it is in guru chakram on the top of the head. Inner guru means longing for true surender before true living spiritual master! 

The Guru-shishya tradition

The guru-shishya tradition is the transmission of teachings from a guru (teacher, गुरू) to a 'śiṣya’ (disciple, िशष्य). In this relationship, subtle and advanced knowledge is conveyed and received through the student’s respect, commitment, devotion and obedience. The student eventually masters the knowledge that the guru embodies. The dialogue between guru and disciple is a fundamental component of Vedadharma, Brahmanism and Hinduism, established in the oral traditions of the Upanishads (c. 2000 BC). The term Upanishad derives from the Sanskrit words upa (near), ni (down) and şad (to sit) — „sitting down near” a spiritual teacher to receive instruction. Examples include the relationship between Krishna and Arjuna in the Mahabharata (Bhagavad Gita), and between Rama and Hanuman in the Ramayana. In the Upanishads, the guru-disciple relationship appears in many settings (a husband answers a wife’s questions about immortality; a teenage boy is taught by Yama, who is Death personified, etc.) Sometimes the sages are female, and sometimes the instruction is sought by kings. In the Vedas, the brahmavidya or knowledge of Brahman is communicated from guru to shishya orally. The word Sikh is derived from the Sanskrit shishya. 

Darshana – meeting with guruh

Darshana, Darśana in Devanagari: दर्शन is a Sanskrit term meaning „sight” (in the sense of an instance of seeing or beholding; from a root dṛś „to see”, vision, apparition, or glimpse. It is most commonly used for „visions of the divine” in Hindu worship, e.g. of a deity (especially in image form), or a very holy person or artifact. One could „receive” darshana or blessing of the deity in the temple, or from a great saintly person, such as a great guru. In the sense „to see with reverence and devotion,” the term translates to hierophany, and could refer either to a vision of the divine or to being in the presence of a highly revered person. In this sense it may assume a meaning closer to audience. „By doing darshan properly a devotee develops affection for God, and God develops affection for that devotee.” Darshan is ultimately difficult to define since it is an event in consciousness – an interaction in presence between devotee and guru; or between devotee and image or sculpture, which focuses and calls out the consciousness of the devotee. In either event, a heightening of consciousness or spirituality is the intended effect. 

In Indian culture, the touching of the feet (pranāma or charaṇa-sparśa) is a show of respect and it is often an integral part of darshana with shree guruh. Children touch the feet of their family elders while people of all ages will bend to touch the feet of a great guru, murti or icon of a Deva (God) (such as Rama and Krishna). There is a special link between worshiper and guru during pujas, in which people may touch the guru’s feet in respect, or remove the dust from a guru’s feet before touching their own head. 

In chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna is granted a vision of God (trans. Telang 1882), Hari, the great lord of the possessors of mystic power, then showed to the son of Prithâ his supreme divine form, having many mouths and eyes, having (within it) many wonderful sights, having many celestial ornaments, having many celestial weapons held erect, wearing celestial flowers and vestments, having an anointment of celestial perfumes, full of every wonder, the infinite deity with faces in all directions. If in the heavens, the lustre of a thousand suns burst forth all at once, that would be like the lustre of that mighty one. There the son of Pându then observed in the body of the god of gods the whole universe (all) in one, and divided into numerous (divisions). Then Dhanañgaya filled with amazement, and with hair standing on end, bowed his head before the god, and spoke with joined hands. [Arjuna said:] O god! I see within your body the gods, as also all the groups of various beings; and the lord Brahman seated on (his) lotus seat, and all the sages and celestial snakes. I see you, who are of countless forms, possessed of many arms, stomachs, mouths, and eyes on all sides. And, O lord of the universe! O you of all forms! I do not see your end or middle or beginning. I see you bearing a coronet and a mace and a discus—a mass of glory, brilliant on all sides, difficult to look at, having on all sides the effulgence of a blazing fire or sun, and indefinable. You are indestructible, the supreme one to be known. You are the highest support of this universe. You are the inexhaustible protector of everlasting piety.

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna describes several visions of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836 – 1886), describes including Kali, Sita, Krishna, Jesus, Mohammed, as does Mother Reveals Herself, an account of the early life of saint Anandamayi Ma (1896 – 1982). In Nepalese culture Darshan stands for „Namaste”, reverence to older or superior person, as well. Receiving darśan („a sight of”, a blessing) from the guru is seen as of utmost importance in Sikhism. The other common use of the term 'darshan’ is its application to the six systems of thought, dealt with under Hindu philosophy. It can also mean radiation or radiance, in the sense of a radio signal being radiated from the transmitter aerial. 

Guru Pranāma

Pranāma or charaṇa-sparśa, the touching of the feet in Indian culture, is a show of respect and it is often an integral part of darshan. When greeting, children touch the feet of their family elders while people of all ages will bend to touch the feet of a great guru, murti or icon of a Deva (God) (such as Rama and Krishna). It is customary that, out of respect, when a person’s foot accidentally touches a book or any written material (which are considered as a manifestation of the goddess of knowledge Saraswati) or another person’s leg or another body part, it will be followed by an apology in the form of a single hand gesture with the right hand, where the offending person first touches the object with the finger tips and then the forehead and/or chest. This also applies to money, which is considered as a manifestation of the goddess of wealth Lakshmi. 

There are six types of Pranam in Vedadharma spiritual culture: 

Ashtangana (touching the ground with knees, belly, chest, hands, elbows, chin, nose, temple).

Shastanga (touching the ground with toes, knees, hands, chin, nose).

Panchanga (touching the ground with knees, chest, chin, temple, forehead).

Dandavata (bowing forehead down and touching the ground).

Namaskaram (folded hands touching the forehead).

Abhinandan (bending forward with folded hands touching the chest). 

Guru Pādodaka

Pādodaka (pāda-feet and udaka-water) is holy water. Its prepared from ritual bathing the Linga or guru’s feet (Abisheka, Linga Puja, Guru Puja). It is one of the Ashtavarana or the 'eight protections’ of Lingayati and other Shaiva Yoga traditions. This holy water is used in many sacred occasions to call upon good fortune and celestial blessing. It is sprinkled across while entering into a new house, on the newly bought vehicle etc. 

Shree Guru Gita 

Gurugita is the most holy scripture for all Vedadharma and tantra spiritual tradition from India, Tibet, Nepal, Himalaya, Lanka and Bengal. The Guru Gita is a Hindu scripture authored by the sage, Rishi Vyasa. It is a part of the larger Skanda Purana. It describes a conversation between the Hindu God, Lord Shiva Yogeshvara and his wife, the Hindu Goddess Parvati (Uma, Haimavati), in which she asks him to teach her about the Guru. Shiva answers her by describing the Guru principle, the proper ways of worshiping the Guru and the methods and benefits of repeating the Guru Gita. It is the heart of Skanada Purana in form of a dialogue between Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. The direct experience of Suta is brilliantly expressed through each and every couplet in it. The couplets of this Guru Gita is the great remedy for the longlasting disease of birth and death. It is the sweetest nectar for Sadhakas. The merit is diminished by drinking the nectar of heaven. By drinking the nectar of this Gita sin is destroyed which leads to Absolute Peace and Knowledge of one’s real nature. 

Sri Guru Gita is a Hindu scripture of 216 with additions 273 verses, authored by the sage, Vyasa. It is a retelling of a conversation between Lord Shiva and his wife, the Goddess Parvati, in which she asks him to teach her about the Guru. Shiva answers her by describing to her the Guru principle, the proper practice of Guru bahkti and the methods and benefits of repeating Guru Gita. A Satguru is one who embodies the Guru principle, which is the light that dispels the darkness enabling a disciple to discover his or her True Self. The chanting of Sri Guru Gita, along with other devotional practices of Guru Bhakti Yoga, lie at the heart of the ancient Vedic tradition. We have compiled various guru gita teachings, practices, chants and scriptures, as well as other inspiring stories and videos of the great Satgurus. We hope these will inspire you on your path toward spiritual liberation. 

Assessing the Shankara Order disciple 

At the beginning of the Upadeshasahasri Shamkara provides a list of criteria by which the guru assesses prospective disciples. It is clear that Shamkara did not regard the examination of candidates as a mere formality. The guru assesses the applicant using the following criteria: the candidate is not attached to anything impermanent; he has renounced the desire for a son; he has no desire for wealth; he is at peace with himself, master of his senses and compassionate. In addition, the guru checks the applicant’s caste, behaviour, knowledge of Veda and even earlier generations of his family. 

Knowledge was not regarded as a universal right, as it often is today. Access to knowledge via the guru was the privilege of a very small minority. It was the norm to transmit knowledge in the erudite language of Sanskrit without translation. Mastery of Sanskrit was therefore essential. What was taught by guru was the universal reality of Brahman, but access to this knowledge was highly restricted. Ultimate knowledge was founded on the Veda, and the guru followed the instruction of the texts: no one belonging to the shudra (śudra) caste was allowed access. Women and foreigners were also excluded. 

Classification of gurus

In his book about neo-Hindu movements in (for example Wilmer) the Netherlands, Kranenborg distinguishes four types of gurus in India: 

– the spiritual advisor for higher caste Hindus who also performs traditional rituals and who is not connected to a temple (thus not a priest);

– the enlightened master who derives his authority from his experience, such as achieving enlightenment. This type appears in bhakti movements and in tantra and asks for unquestioning obedience, and can have Western followers. 

– the Avatar, a guru who is recognised by others as to be an incarnation of God (Deva), God-like, or much more an instrument of God (Deva), or who is confimed himself as such (rarely).

– A „guru” in the form of a book i.e. the Guru Granth Sahib in the Sikh religion; but for Vedadharma traditions it is crazy point of view because Guru is some one Living in the Earth body, Pranin means someone consciously breathing with prana. 

Attributes of the guru

Gurus of several Hindu denominations are often referred to as Satgurus. In the Upanishads, five signs of satguru (true guru) are mentioned. In the presence of the satguru: 

– Knowledge flourishes (Jnana raksha); 

– Sorrow diminishes (Dukha kshaya); 

– Joy wells up without any reason (Sukha aavirbhava); 

– Abundance dawns (Samriddhi); 

– All talents manifest (Sarva samvardhan).

According to the Indologist Georg Feuerstein, the preceptors (guru) were traditionally treated with great reverence, granted excessive authority, and identified with the transcendental Reality. He writes that partly to counterbalance this deification, some Hindu schools began to emphasize that the real teacher is the transcendental Self. 

The Shiva Samhita, a late medieval text on Hatha yoga, enshrines the figure of the guru as essential for liberation, and asserts that the disciple should give all his or her property and livestock to the guru upon diksha (initiation). 

The Vishnu Smriti and Manu Smriti regard the Acharya (teacher/guru), along with the mother and the father, as the most venerable individuals. The mother and father are the first „guru,” the spiritual guru is the second. 

The Mundaka Upanishad says that in order to realize the supreme godhead, one should surrender one’s self before the guru who knows the secrets of the Vedas.

On the role of the guru, Swami Sivananda from Rishikesh asks: „Do you realize now the sacred significance and the supreme importance of the Guru’s role in the evolution of man? It was not without reason that the India of the past carefully tended and kept alive the lamp of Guru-Tattva. It is therefore not without reason that India, year after year, age after age, commemorates anew this ancient concept of the Guru, adores it and pays homage to it again and again, and thereby re-affirms its belief and allegiance to it. For, the true Indian knows that the Guru is the only guarantee for the individual to transcend the bondage of sorrow and death, and experience the Consciousness of the Reality.”

Some scriptures and gurus have warned against false teachers (ban-guru, bandit guru), and have recommended that the spiritual seeker test the guru before accepting him. Some have given criteria on how to distinguish false from genuine ones:

The Advaya Taraka Upanishad states that the true teacher is well-versed in the Vedas, is a devotee of Vishnu-Shiva, is free from envy, knows yoga and is intent upon it, and always has the nature of yoga. Also that a person who is equipped with devotion to the teacher, has knowledge of the Self and possesses the above characteristics may be designated as a guru. 

The Maitrayaniya Upanishad warns against false teachers (banguruh) who may deceive the naive. The Kula-Arnava-Tantra states that there are many gurus who may rob the disciple’s wealth but few who can remove the disciple’s afflictions. 

Swami Vivekananda said that there are many incompetent (pseudo) gurus, and that a true guru (satguru) should understand the spirit of the scriptures, have a pure character and be free from sin, and should be selfless, without desire for money and fame. 

Mirinalini Mata, a direct disciple of Yogananda, said that a true guru should be humble. (Self-Realization Fellowship 1978, Cassette No 2402)

Sathya Sai Baba said in a discourse (Sathya Sai Speaks, vol I, p. 197) that the hunt for rich disciples who can be fleeced has become a tragicomedy, and said in the booklet Sandeha Nivarini that the seeker should test the guru by assessing whether his words are full of wisdom, and whether he puts into practice what he preaches. 

Saibaba The Master by Acharya Ekkirala Bharadwaja an in depth study of Shirdi Sai as a guru insists that one must follow the way of reading life histories of saints and it is the saints which will show us the correct guru when we are ready and capable of serving a guru. 

In Sufi, sufism which revolves around Aulias (Saints), a disciple prays a Sufi-saint at his tomb, until the saint appears in a dream to the disciple and shows him the correct and living guru (murshid, pir, baba) to go and serve. This is claimed as the Most secure way of entering a Guru-Shishya Parampara. 

Rituals with Guru

Guru Purnima is the day when the disciple wakes up and expresses gratitude. The purpose of the Guru Purnima (or Poornima) celebration is to review the preceding year to see how much one has progressed in life, to renew one’s determination, and to focus on one’s progress on the spiritual path. Guru Puja (literally „worship of the guru”) the practice of worshiping the guru through the making of offerings and requesting inspiration from the guru. Vows and commitments made by the disciple or shishya (chela), which might have lost their strength, are renewed. Guru Bhakti (literally „devotion to the guru”) is considered important in many schools and yoga traditions. 

Guru in Buddhism 

In the Theravada Buddhist tradition, the teacher is a valued and honoured mentor worthy of great respect and is a source of inspiration on the path to Enlightenment, however the teacher is not generally considered to be a guru but rather a spiritual friend or Kalyāṇa-mittatā.

In the Tibetan tradition, the guru (tib. rinpoche) is seen as the Buddha, the very root of spiritual realization and the basis of the path. Without the teacher, it is asserted, there can be no experience or insight. In Tibetan texts, great emphasis is placed upon praising the virtues of the guru (rinpoche). Blessed by the guru, whom the disciple regards as a Bodhisattva, or the embodiment of Buddha, the disciple can continue on the way to experiencing the true nature of reality. The disciple shows great appreciation and devotion for the guru, whose blessing is the last of the four foundations of Vajrayana Buddhism.

The Dalai Lama, speaking of the importance of the guru, said: „Rely on the teachings to evaluate a guru: Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism.” He also observed that the term 'living Buddha’ is a translation of the Chinese words huo fuo. In Tibetan, he said, the operative word is lama or much more rinpoche which means 'guru’. A guru is someone who is not necessarily a Buddha, but is heavy with knowledge. 

Tantric teachings both, in buddhism and in hinduism, include the practice of guru yoga, visualizing the guru and making offerings praising the guru. The guru is known as the vajra (literally „diamond”) guru like Vajrsattva or Himavant (el-Moryah). Initiations or ritual empowerments are necessary before the student is permitted to practise a particular tantra. The guru does not perform initiation as an individual, but as the person’s own Buddha-nature reflected in the personality of the guru. The disciple is asked to make samaya or vows and commitments which preserve the spiritual link to the guru, and is told that to break this link is a serious downfall.

There are Four Kinds of Lama (Guru) or spiritual teacher (Tib. lama nampa shyi) in Tibetan Buddhism:

– gangzak gyüpé lama – the individual teacher who is the holder of the lineage

– gyalwa ka yi lama – the teacher which is the word of the buddhas

– nangwa da yi lama – the symbolic teacher of all appearances

– rigpa dön gyi lama – the absolute teacher, which is rigpa, the true nature of mind. 

Guru in Sikhism

The Sikh Gurus were fundamental to the Sikh religion, however the concept in Sikhism differs from other usages and may be corrupted. Sikhism is derived from the Sanskrit word shishya, or disciple and is all about the relationship between the teacher and a student. The core beliefs of Sikhism are of belief in the One God and in Ten Gurus, enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book. The concept of Guru in Sikhism stands on two pillars i.e. Miri-Piri. 'Piri’ means spiritual authority and 'Miri’ means temporal authority. Therefore, Guru in Sikhism is a teacher-leader. Traditionally, the spiritual authority in Sikhism has always been the word and which is still preserved in the Guru Granth Sahib. And for temporal authority, as the word passed through 10 mortal bodies and finally into the collective corporate body known as the Khalsa till eternity, kept changing with finally been vested in the Khalsa when Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru, merged into it. 

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first guru of Sikhism, was opposed to the caste system prevalent in India in his time, and he accepted Hindus, Muslims and people from other religions as disciples. His followers referred to him as the Guru (teacher). Before he left the world he designated a new Guru to be his successor and to lead the Sikh community. This procedure was continued till March 30, 1699. In addition to the original ten teachers, the Guru Granth Sahib, their holy book, and the Khalsa was made the eleventh perpetual Guru of the Sikhs. Together they make up the eleven Gurus of Sikhism. It is clear that Guru Parampara is interrupted and spiritually death. 

No. – Name – Date of birth – Guruship on – Date of ascension – Age

1 – Nanak Dev – 15 April 1469 – 20 August 1507 – 22 September 1539 – 69

2 – Angad Dev – 31 March 1504 – 7 September 1539 – 29 March 1552 – 48

3 – Amar Das – 5 May 1479 – 26 March 1552 – 1 September 1574 – 95

4 – Ram Das – 24 September 1534 – 1 September 1574 – 1 September 1581 – 46

5 – Arjan Dev – 15 April 1563 – 1 September 1581 – 30 May 1606 – 43

6 – Har Gobind – 19 June 1595 – 25 May 1606 – 28 February 1644 – 48

7 – Har Rai – 16 January 1630 – 3 March 1644 – 6 October 1661 – 31

8 – Har Krishan – 7 July 1656 – 6 October 1661 – 30 March 1664 – 7

9 – Tegh Bahadur – 1 April 1621 – 20 March 1665 – 11 November 1675 – 54

10 – Gobind Singh – 22 December 1666 – 11 November 1675 – 7 October 1708 – 41

11 – Guru Granth Sahib – n/a – 7 October 1708 – n/a – n/a. 

Succession and lineage (parampara)

The word parampara (Sanskrit परम्परा) denotes a long succession of teachers and disciples in traditional Indian culture. The Hinduism Dictionary defines parampara is „the line of spiritual gurus in authentic succession of initiation; the chain of mystical power and authorized continuity, passed from guru to guru.” In Sanskrit, the word literally means: Uninterrupted series of succession. The Guru (teacher) Shishya (disciple) parampara or guru parampara, occurs where the knowledge (in any field) is passed down undiluted through the succeeding generations. It is the traditional, residential form of education, where the Shishya remains and learns with his Guru as a family member. The domains may include spiritual, artistic (Kalā कला such as music or dance) or educational. David C. Lane, a professor of sociology, and, since 2005, an ex-member and critic of Radha Soami Satsang Beas, argued in 1997 that based on his research of the Radha Soami movement that few gurus have a flawless and well-documented lineage, and that there is quite often conflict between different disciples claiming to be the only legitimate successor of their guru. 


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