Guru (Samskrit : गुरुः) means preceptor, one who imparts valuable life lessons to the one who seeks knowledge. He is one who takes charge of immature children, sculpts them and makes them worthy useful citizens of the world. Thus such a preceptor was naturally held high in reverence. Gurus held an esteemed position in the society due to their Vidya or knowledge they possessed (Manyasthana).
The importance which in modern times is attached to the Institution, of study, was in ancient days attached to the teacher in India.
- 1 परिचयः ॥ Introduction
- 2 व्युत्पत्तिः॥ Etymology
- 3 आध्यात्मिकपिता ॥ Spiritual Father
- 4 गुरोर्लक्षणानि ॥ Qualities of a Guru
- 5 आचार्यंपरीक्षेत ॥ Acharya Pariksha in Ayurveda
- 6 गुरुस्तुतिः ॥ Reverence to Gurus
- 7 बहुविधा गुरवः ॥ Types of Gurus
- 8 References
परिचयः ॥ Introduction
In the context of Guru and Shishya, various definitions are seen in the ancient texts. Vidya as in Adhyatma vidya or Paravidya is held in high reverence by the ancient seers (Mundakopanishad clearly explains it). While an acharya contributes to the growth of student's knowledge during the formative years, a Guru guides him all through his life, keeps him on the path of dharma, and leads him to practice the higher knowledge (Paravidya). The Shivasutras explained by the Shivasutra vimarshini highlight this aspect
गुरुरुपायः । gururupāyaḥ । (Shiva Sutra 2.6) and गृणाति उपदिशति तात्त्विकमर्थम् इति गुरुः । gr̥ṇāti upadiśati tāttvikamartham iti guruḥ । (Shivasutra Vimarshini)
One who teaches the meaning of tattvas (higher knowledge) is a Guru.
Once can understand why the preceptor is called a Guru from the following sloka as given in Mahabharata.
पञ्चैव गुरवो ब्रह्मन्पुरुषस्य बुभूषतः। पिता माताग्निरात्मा च गुरुश्च द्विजसत्तम॥ (Maha. Vana. Parv. 3.214.27)
pañcaiva guravo brahmanpuruṣasya bubhūṣataḥ। pitā mātāgnirātmā ca guruśca dvijasattama॥ (Maha. Vana. Parv. 3.214.27)
The following five are to be considered as gurus; the father, mother, the preceptor, Agni and Atma.
The word Guru has multiple meanings as evident from the following exposition from various sources.
- a preceptor to brahmachari teaching vedas and vedangas
- an instructor of sandhyavandana and agnikarya
- dispels Ajnana and imparts knowledge to attain Parabrahma
- one who removes worldly afflictions
- one who performs penance and is highly knowledgeable
- Devaguru Brhaspati
Shabdakalpadruma gives the various aspects of गुरुः as follows
गृणाति उपदिशति वेदादिशास्त्राणिइन्द्रादिदेवेभ्यः इति । gr̥ṇāti upadiśati vedādiśāstrāṇiindrādidevebhyaḥ iti ।
Meaning: One who teaches, advises (used in the sense of explaining, pointing out, informing, command, prescribe) the vedas and shastras to devatas like Indra and others.
Shabdakalpadruma quotes Manusmrti which explains that a Guru teaches an Upaneya (one who undergoes Upanayana samskara) and instructs him the procedures to perform sandhyavandana and other acharas (related to brahmacharya ashrama) and gives him the related sandhyopasana mantras.
- गृणाति उपनीय-सन्ध्योपासनाचारादीनि कर्म्माणि उपदिशति । उपनेता सन्ध्योपासनाद्युपदेष्टा च । यथा, मनुः । २ । ६९ ।
- gr̥ṇāti upanīya-sandhyopāsanācārādīni karmmāṇi upadiśati । upanetā sandhyopāsanādyupadeṣṭā ca । yathā, manuḥ । 2 । 69 ।
- उपनीय गुरुः शिष्यं शिक्षयेच्छौचं आदितः । आचारं अग्निकार्यं च संध्योपासनं एव च । । २.६९ । ।
- upanīya guruḥ śiṣyaṁ śikṣayecchaucaṁ āditaḥ । ācāraṁ agnikāryaṁ ca saṁdhyopāsanaṁ eva ca । । 2.69 । ।
गुरुगीता ॥ Gurugita
Said to be a part of Skanda Purana, Gurugita comprehensively summarizes the various aspects of Guru in Uma Maheshvara samvada (dialogue between Uma and Maheshvara).
गुकारश्चान्धकारो हि रुकारस्तेज उच्यते। अज्ञानग्रासकं ब्रह्म गुरुरेव न संशयः॥४४॥
gukāraścāndhakāro hi rukārasteja ucyate। ajñānagrāsakaṁ brahma gurureva na saṁśayaḥ॥44॥
गु-कारः stands for अन्धकारः (darkness in the form of Ajnana) and रु-कारः denotes तेजः (light in the form of Jnana). The one who dispels Ajnana by the light of Brahmajnana is a Guru, without any doubt.
गुकारो भवरोगः स्यात् रुकारस्तन्निरोधकृत्। भवरोगहरत्याच्च गुरुरित्यभिधीयते॥४५॥
gukāro bhavarogaḥ syāt rukārastannirodhakr̥t। bhavarogaharatyācca gururityabhidhīyate॥45॥
गु-कारः stands for भवरोगः (worldly inflictions) and रु-कारः denotes भवरोगनिरोधकः (preventing worldly inflictions). One who removes the diseases of worldly attachments is called a Guru.
गुकारश्च गुणातीतो रूपातीतो रुकारकः। गुणरूपविहीनत्वात् गुरुरित्यभिधीयते॥४६॥
gukāraśca guṇātīto rūpātīto rukārakaḥ। guṇarūpavihīnatvāt gururityabhidhīyate॥46॥
गु-कारः stands for गुणातीतः (one who is above the three gunas - satva, rajas and tamas) and रु-कारः denotes रूपातीतः (one who is formless). A Guru is so called because he is devoid of the gunas (three states) and form.
गुकारः प्रथमो वर्णो मायादिगुणभासकः। रुकारोऽस्ति परं ब्रह्म मायाभ्रान्तिविमोचनम्॥४७॥ (Guru. Gita.1.44-47)
gukāraḥ prathamo varṇo māyādiguṇabhāsakaḥ। rukāro'sti paraṁ brahma māyābhrāntivimocanam॥47॥ (Guru. Gita.1.44-47)
गु-कारः the first varna is गुणभासकः (indicates Maya and other such qualities) and रु-कारः denotes परं ब्रह्म (the highest Brahman which dispels Maya and other delusions).
अत्रिनेत्रः शिवः साक्षात् द्विबाहुश्च हरिः स्मृतः। योऽचतुर्वदनो ब्रह्मा श्रीगुरुः कथितः प्रिये॥९२॥ (Guru. Gita.1.92)
atrinetraḥ śivaḥ sākṣāt dvibāhuśca hariḥ smr̥taḥ। yo'caturvadano brahmā śrīguruḥ kathitaḥ priye॥92॥ (Guru. Gita.1.92)
Guru is none other than Shiva devoid of three eyes (Guru has two eyes), a two shouldered Vishnu and Brahma devoid of four faces (heads).
Thus Mahesvara extols the greatness of a Guru in many ways to Umadevi.
अमरकोषः ॥ Amarakosha
The other representations of Guru include the Devaguru Brhaspati बृहस्पतिः सुराचार्यो गीष्पतिर्धिषणो गुरुः ।। १.३.२२३ ।। br̥haspatiḥ surācāryo gīṣpatirdhiṣaṇo guruḥ ।। 1.3.223 ।। (Amarakosha 1.3.223)
मनुस्मृति: ॥ Manusmrti
Manu defines a Guru as निषेकादिकृत् (niṣekādikr̥t) i.e., one who performs the various prebirth and Upanayana samskaras and helps the parents in raising the child.(Manu. Smrti 2.142)
आध्यात्मिकपिता ॥ Spiritual Father
While earthly parents are revered and one owes their physical birth to them, the Guru is revered and designated as the spiritual and intellectual father of the student. No education is complete without the help and guidance of the teacher. Different ancient texts describe the role of a teacher who is instrumental in the spiritual awakening and moral conditioning of an immature child.
अथर्ववेदः ॥ Atharvaveda
आचार्य उपनयमानो ब्रह्मचारिणं कृणुते गर्भमन्तः । तं रात्रीस्तिस्र उदरे बिभर्ति तं जातं द्रष्टुमभिसंयन्ति देवाः ॥३॥ (Atha. Veda. 11.7.3)
ācārya upanayamāno brahmacāriṇaṁ kr̥ṇute garbhamantaḥ । taṁ rātrīstisra udare bibharti taṁ jātaṁ draṣṭumabhisaṁyanti devāḥ ॥3॥ (Atha. Veda. 11.7.3)
Acharya bears the Brahmachari (one who is undergoing the Upanayana samskara) in his womb (of jnanasharira) for three nights. The devatas come down to see him (support him) just as he emerges from the womb (Adhyatmaka janma).
Here the night is indicative of Ajnana, state of darkness devoid of knowledge. It also represents the kinds of darkness signified by lack of concepts (thoughts), enquiry (examination) and content (subject matter), and incapability which are removed by the teacher.
मनुस्मृति: ॥ Manusmrti
Manu extols the greatness of a preceptor and lays down the role of an acharya as the spiritual father of a student.
तत्र यद्ब्रह्मजन्मास्य मौञ्जीबन्धनचिह्नितम् । तत्रास्य माता सावित्री पिता त्वाचार्य उच्यते । । २.१७० । ।
वेदप्रदानादाचार्यं पितरं परिचक्षते । २.१७१ । । (Manu. Smrt. 2.170-171)
tatra yadbrahmajanmāsya mauñjībandhanacihnitam । tatrāsya mātā sāvitrī pitā tvācārya ucyate । । 2.170 । ।
vedapradānādācāryaṁ pitaraṁ paricakṣate । 2.171 । । (Manu. Smrt. 2.170-171)
Shruti lays down that for a dvija, the mother gives him the first birth and by Upanayana samskara he gets his second birth, by the Agnistoma and other yajnadikshas he takes the third birth. Of these three births, in the brahmajnama obtained after upanayana, mother is Savitri and Gayatri and acharya is said to be the father. Gautama Dharmasutras also emphasize that the Acharya is the person from whom one receives second birth (at Upanayana) or instruction in the Veda.
तद्द्वितीयं जन्म ॥ तद् यस्मात् स आचार्यः ॥ वेदानुवचनाच् च ॥ (Gaut. Dharm. Sutr. 1.1.8-10)
taddvitīyaṁ janma ॥ tad yasmāt sa ācāryaḥ ॥ vedānuvacanāc ca ॥ (Gaut. Dharm. Sutr. 1.1.8-10)
गुरोर्लक्षणानि ॥ Qualities of a Guru
While greatest importance was attached to a teacher in ancient education for his grounding in his own branch of vedic knowledge and learning, people always sought for Gurus for their idealistic personality. He was the ideal person and the students were naturally inclined to follow in the footsteps of his teacher. A student was to regulate his own conduct by the example of his teacher. Thus the character and moral conduct of a Guru was of high standard. He was expected to be a pious, patient person and treat all students impartially. Apart from profound scholarship, one became an exemplary teacher by having fluent delivery, presence of mind, wit, and a great stock of interesting anecdotes to explain difficult concepts in an interesting manner.
Gurugita aptly summarizes the characteristics of a Guru
ज्ञानं स्वानुभवः शान्तिर्वैराग्यं वक्तृता धृतिः। षड्गुणैश्वर्ययुक्तो हि भगवान् श्रीगुरुः प्रिये॥१७२॥ (Guru. Gita. 2.172)
jñānaṁ svānubhavaḥ śāntirvairāgyaṁ vaktr̥tā dhr̥tiḥ। ṣaḍguṇaiśvaryayukto hi bhagavān śrīguruḥ priye॥172॥ (Guru. Gita. 2.172)
One who has these six qualities - jnana (ज्ञानं । knowledge), personal experience (स्वानुभवः), peace (शान्तिः), disinclination towards worldly objects (र्वैराग्यं), eloquence in speech (वक्तृता), consistency (धृतिः) - is none other than the supreme Guru.
चातुर्यवान् विवेकी च अध्यात्मज्ञानवान् शुचिः। मानसं निर्मलं यस्य गुरुत्वं तस्य शोभते॥२७०॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.270)
cāturyavān vivekī ca adhyātmajñānavān śuciḥ। mānasaṁ nirmalaṁ yasya gurutvaṁ tasya śobhate॥270॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.270)
In one who is skilled, intelligent, knowledgeable about the Supreme, virtuous (pure) and tranquil at heart - such a person is endowed with greatness.
गुरवो निर्मलाः शान्ताः साधवो मितभाषिणः। कामक्रोधविनिर्मुक्ताः सदाचाराः जितेन्द्रियाः॥२७१॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.271)
guravo nirmalāḥ śāntāḥ sādhavo mitabhāṣiṇaḥ। kāmakrodhavinirmuktāḥ sadācārāḥ jitendriyāḥ॥271॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.271)
A guru is one who is peaceful, virtuous, a person of few words, clean of kama (desires) and krodha (anger) and who conducts himself well, and has overcome the senses.
Shabdakalpadruma defines the characteristics of a Guru who gives mantra upadesha to knowledge seekers.
- मन्त्रदगुरोर्लक्षणं यथा । गकारः सिद्धिदः प्रोक्तो रेफः पापस्य हारकः । उकारो विष्णुरव्यक्तस्त्रितयात्मा गुरुः परः ॥
- mantradagurorlakṣaṇaṁ yathā । gakāraḥ siddhidaḥ prokto rephaḥ pāpasya hārakaḥ । ukāro viṣṇuravyaktastritayātmā guruḥ paraḥ ॥
The Ga (गकारः) in the word Guru is said to stand for conferring Siddhi (giver of perfection), and Ra (रेफः) is said to dispel Papam (sin). Ukara (उकारः) in the word Guru stands for Avyakta Vishnu (Brahman), thus three fold in meaning is the Guru.
- शान्तो दान्तः कुलीनश्च विनीतः शुद्धवेशवान् । शुद्धाचारः सुप्रतिष्ठः शुचिर्दक्षः सुबुद्धिमान् ॥
- śānto dāntaḥ kulīnaśca vinītaḥ śuddhaveśavān । śuddhācāraḥ supratiṣṭhaḥ śucirdakṣaḥ subuddhimān ॥
- आश्रमी ध्याननिष्ठश्च मन्त्रतन्त्रविशारदः । निग्रहानुग्रहे शक्तो गुरुरित्यभिधीयते ॥
- āśramī dhyānaniṣṭhaśca mantratantraviśāradaḥ । nigrahānugrahe śakto gururityabhidhīyate ॥
Peaceful, patient, a person of eminent descent, is humble and of pure personality and actions, is of good repute, well capable, intelligent, belonging to an ashram, engaged in meditation (penance), well versed in mantras and tantras, having the power to bestow a boon or utter a bane - such a person is called a Guru.
- उद्धर्त्तुं चैव संहर्त्तुं समर्थो ब्राह्मणोत्तमः । तषस्वी सत्यवादी च गृहस्थो गुरुरुच्यते ॥
- uddharttuṁ caiva saṁharttuṁ samartho brāhmaṇottamaḥ । taṣasvī satyavādī ca gr̥hastho gururucyate ॥
The best of brahmins, he who is having the capacity to uplift or destroy (by the power of pronouncing a boon or a curse), is engaged in tapas, and follows satya (the righteous way) and is a grhastha, is called a Guru.
Thus we have a clear picture about the qualities present in a Guru in ancient days. With the fall of the ashramas and the change in educational system, the Guru- shishya parampara has been destroyed completely.
आचार्यंपरीक्षेत ॥ Acharya Pariksha in Ayurveda
Scholars have expressed different views regarding the practice of evaluation of the teacher and his abilities by the parents before sending their child for education.
Acharya Charaka in his classical treatise 'Charaka samhita' has described qualities to look for in an Ayurveda scholar in order to accept him/her as guru to obtain knowledge of Ayurveda. 'Acharya pariksha' (आचार्य परीक्षा) has been discussed in vimanastana after 'Shastra pariksha' (शास्त्र परीक्षा) by Acharya Charaka.
Acharya Charaka says that the ideal Ayurveda preceptor should have clear knowledge of the subject and practical experience. One should be diligent, dexterous, virtuous, with skilled hand, well equipped, possessing all the senses in normal condition, acquainted with constitutions, well- versed in courses of emergency management and quick actions, having his knowledge uncensured, free from ego, envy, anger, forbearing, paternal to disciples, having characteristics of a good teacher and fit for imbue understanding.
तद्यथा-पर्यवदातश्रुतंपरिदृष्टकर्माणंदक्षंदक्षिणंशुचिंजितहस्तमुपकरणवन्तंसर्वेन्द्रियोपपन्नंप्रकृतिज्ञंप्रतिपत्तिज्ञमनुपस्कृतविद्यमनहङ्कृतमनसूयकमकोपनंक्लेशक्षमंशिष्यवत्सलमध्यापकंज्ञापनसमर्थंचेत एवङ्गुणोह्याचार्यःसुक्षेत्रमार्तवोमेघइवशस्यगुणैः \सुशिष्यमाशुवैद्यगुणैः सम्पादयति|| (Char. Samh. 8.4) 
tadyathā-paryavadātaśrutaṁparidr̥ṣṭakarmāṇaṁdakṣaṁdakṣiṇaṁśuciṁjitahastamupakaraṇavantaṁsarvendriyopapannaṁprakr̥tijñaṁpratipattijñamanupaskr̥tavidyamanahaṅkr̥tamanasūyakamakopanaṁkleśakṣamaṁśiṣyavatsalamadhyāpakaṁjñāpanasamarthaṁceta evaṅguṇohyācāryaḥsukṣetramārtavomeghaivaśasyaguṇaiḥ \\suśiṣyamāśuvaidyaguṇaiḥ sampādayati|| (Char. Samh. 8.4)
Acharya Charaka further adds that a teacher holding such qualities quickly inculcates physician’s qualities in his disciple just as the seasonal cloud furnishes good crop in a suitable land.
गुरुस्तुतिः ॥ Reverence to Gurus
Great importance was attached to the proper accent and pronunciation of Vedas, and a particular vedapata paddhati could only be learnt from the lips of a qualified teacher. The continuous transmission of the store of vedic knowledge, which has a priceless position in the society, was possible only through the instrumentality of the teacher, thus he is highly revered all through the ages.
Gurus are thus respected and praised due to superiority in knowledge and rigorous penance.
- गीर्य्यते स्तूयतेऽसौ ज्ञानतपोवृद्धत्वात् । ज्ञानप्रभावान्वितत्वात् तपोबलप्राधान्याद् वा पूज्यतमोमहात्मा । यथा, मनुः । २ । १३० ।
- gīryyate stūyate'sau jñānatapovr̥ddhatvāt । jñānaprabhāvānvitatvāt tapobalaprādhānyād vā pūjyatamomahātmā । yathā, manuḥ । 2 । 130 ।
- मातुलांश्च पितृव्यांश्च श्वशुरानृत्विजो गुरून् । असावहं इति ब्रूयात्प्रत्युत्थाय यवीयसः ॥ २.१३०॥ (Manu. Smrti 2.130)
- mātulāṁśca pitr̥vyāṁśca śvaśurānr̥tvijo gurūn । asāvahaṁ iti brūyātpratyutthāya yavīyasaḥ ॥ 2.130॥ (Manu. Smrti 2.130)
Mother's brother, brother of the father, father-in-law, rtvik and Guru (even if younger in age) are to be honored by getting up and mentioning the name.
With the rise of persons seeking knowledge in Vedanta and darshana shastras, the reverence for the Guru became still more intensified; for spiritual upliftment depended entirely upon his proper guidance.
बहुविधा गुरवः ॥ Types of Gurus
The teaching profession had a very high code in ancient India. However, where ever there was a learning, the source of such a learning was attributed to a Guru. Dattatreya (Vishnu avatara as the son of Atri and Anasuya) was said to have 24 gurus including nature, which taught him valuable lessons. Among the deities, Dakshinamurty (Shiva) and Brhaspati (the Devaguru) represent Guru.
Gurugita is one text that clearly highlights the seven different kinds of Gurus. They are classified based on how they contribute to the knowledge of the seeker. Classified as Suchaka and others, Gurus are of many kinds, an intelligent person should review and seek the guidance of a right guru.
- Suchaka (सुचकः)
- Vachaka (वाचकः)
- Bodhaka (र्बोधकः)
- Nishiddha Guru (निषिद्धगुरुः)
- Vihitaguru (विहितः)
- Karanaguru (कारणगुरुः)
- Mahaguru (महागुरुः)
The explanation is as follows
वर्णजालमिदं तद्वद्बाह्यशास्त्रं तु लौकिकम्। यस्मिन् देवि समभ्यस्तं स गुरुः सुचकः स्मृतः॥२७३॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.273)
varṇajālamidaṁ tadvadbāhyaśāstraṁ tu laukikam। yasmin devi samabhyastaṁ sa guruḥ sucakaḥ smr̥taḥ॥273॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.273)
O Devi! One who teaches the words and letters and the laukika shastras (worldly subjects) such a guru is to be understood as Suchaka (सुचकः).
वर्णाश्रमोचितां विद्यां धर्माधर्मविधायिनीम्। प्रवक्तारं गुरुं विद्धि वाचकं त्विति पार्वति॥२७४॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.274)
varṇāśramocitāṁ vidyāṁ dharmādharmavidhāyinīm। pravaktāraṁ guruṁ viddhi vācakaṁ tviti pārvati॥274॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.274)
O Parvati! One who teaches the dharmas and adharmas associated with varnashramas, know that such a preceptor is called as Vachaka
पञ्चाक्षर्यादिमन्त्राणामुपदेष्टा तु पार्वति। स गुरुर्बोधको भूयादुभयोरयमुत्तमः॥२७५॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.275)
pañcākṣaryādimantrāṇāmupadeṣṭā tu pārvati। sa gururbodhako bhūyādubhayorayamuttamaḥ॥275॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.275)
O Parvati! One who initiates by giving the Panchakshari and other mantras, such a guru is called Bodhaka (र्बोधकः), who is superior to the others as given above (Suchaka and Vachaka)
मोहमारणवश्यादितुच्छमन्त्रोपदर्शिनम्। निषिद्धगुरुरित्याहुः पण्डितास्तत्त्वदर्शिनः॥२७६॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.276)
mohamāraṇavaśyāditucchamantropadarśinam। niṣiddhagururityāhuḥ paṇḍitāstattvadarśinaḥ॥276॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.276)
Those gurus teaching the usage of mantras with bad intentions (like for attracting, inflicting death, and controlling a person) is to be avoided and is thus Nishiddha Guru (निषिद्धगुरुः) as said by the Panditas who realize the supreme being.
अनित्यमिति निर्दिश्य संसारं संकटालयम्। वैराग्यपथदर्शी यः स गुरुर्विहितः प्रिये॥२७७॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.277)
anityamiti nirdiśya saṁsāraṁ saṁkaṭālayam। vairāgyapathadarśī yaḥ sa gururvihitaḥ priye॥277॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.277)
O Priya! That guru who shows the way to Vairagya (detachment) by the making the student realize that the world which is not eternal is full of miseries and pains, such a guru is called Vihitaguru (विहितः).
तत्त्वमस्यादिवाक्यानामुपदेष्टा तु पार्वति। कारणाख्यो गुरुः प्रोक्तो भवरोगनिवारकः॥२७८॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.278)
tattvamasyādivākyānāmupadeṣṭā tu pārvati। kāraṇākhyo guruḥ prokto bhavaroganivārakaḥ॥278॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.278)
O Parvati! Those gurus who prevents rebirth by imparting the knowledge of Tatvamasi and other Mahavakyas is called Karanaguru (कारणगुरुः).
सर्वसन्देहसन्दोहनिर्मूलनविचक्षणः। जन्ममृत्युभयघ्नो यः स गुरुः परमो मतः॥२७९॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.279)
sarvasandehasandohanirmūlanavicakṣaṇaḥ। janmamr̥tyubhayaghno yaḥ sa guruḥ paramo mataḥ॥279॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.279)
बहुजन्मकृतात् पुण्याल्लभ्यतेऽसौ महागुरुः। लब्ध्वाऽमुं न पुनर्याति शिष्यः संसारबन्धनम्॥२८०॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.280)
bahujanmakr̥tāt puṇyāllabhyate'sau mahāguruḥ। labdhvā'muṁ na punaryāti śiṣyaḥ saṁsārabandhanam॥280॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.280)
एवं बहुविधा लोके गुरवः सन्ति पार्वति। तेषु सर्वप्रयत्नेन सेव्यो हि परमो गुरुः॥२८१॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.281)
evaṁ bahuvidhā loke guravaḥ santi pārvati। teṣu sarvaprayatnena sevyo hi paramo guruḥ॥281॥ (Guru. Gita. 3.281)
One who clears all doubts and removes the fear of birth and death (all fears) such a guru is called Paramaguru. Such a guru obtained by the punya (merits) accrued in different births, obtaining whom one is totally released from the bonds of samsara is the Mahaguru (महागुरुः). Such are the different gurus in the world but one should at all costs serve the Paramaguru.
- Altekar, A. S. (1944) Education in Ancient India. Benares : Nand Kishore and Bros.,
- Dr. Korada Subrahmanyam in Bharatiya Vidvat Parishad Forum (A question: Guru-Shishya)
- Shabdakalpadruma (See word गुरुः)
- Manusmrti (Adhyaya 2)
- Guru Gita (Adhyaya 1)
- Gurugita Hindi Translation of selected Slokas
- Amarakosha ( Kanda 1 Varga 3)
- Atharva Veda (Kanda 11 Sukta 7)
- Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya (2005) Atharvaveda Samhita Part 2 Sarala Hindi Bhavarthsahita. Mathura : Yuga Nirman Yojana
- Pt. Girija Prasad Dvivedi. (1917) The Manusmriti or Manavadharmashastra. Translated into Hindi with notes, index and critical introductions. Lucknow : Newul Kishore Press. (Adhyaya 2 Page 52)
- Gautama Dharmasutras
- Guru Gita (Adhyaya 2)
- Guru Gita (Adhyaya 3)
- Charaka Samhita (Vimanasthanam Adhyaya 8 Sutra 4)
- Pt. Girija Prasad Dvivedi. (1917) The Manusmriti or Manavadharmashastra. Translated into Hindi with notes, index and critical introductions. Lucknow : Newul Kishore Press. (Adhyaya 2 Page 46)