Guru Ideal in Indian Tradition

In the Indian tradition, Guru is highly revered. He or she is held higher than one`s mother and father, and even God. Guru, in the spiritual sense, is not a mere teacher and guide but a facilitator for the shift in the disciple`s consciousness from lower to higher level. Guru leads one to God. Guru makes one know one`s real nature, his inherent divinity. The word Guru consists of two Sanskrit phrases-gu and ru. Gu means darkness and ru means removal. Hence Guru means the one who removes darkness and brings the light of knowledge.

In the ordinary sense, the term guru may be used to refer to an instructor, a trainer, a coach, a tutor, a lecturer and so on. Though in Sanskrit terms like acharya, upadhyaya and sikshak are used to denote a teacher, the word guru refers to the highest type of the teacher for he leads one to the Highest. Guru is called the greatest for he helps the disciple to check his passions and leads him beyond all relativity. He knows and teaches the essence of scriptures and therefore held as the embodiment of God himself. Guru is called Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Like Brahma, he creates spiritual hunger in his disciple; like Vishnu, he nurtures him and like Shiva, he liberates the disciple.

It is described in Chapter X of Shri Sai Satcharita that “There are two kinds of Gurus (1) Niyat (appointed or fixed) and (2) Aniyat (unappointed or general).The latter by their advice develop the good qualities in us, purify our hearts and set us on the path of salvation; but contact with the former dispels our sense of dualities (sense of difference) and establishes us in unity by making us realize ‘Thou art that’. There are various Gurus imparting to us various kinds of worldly knowledge; but he, who fixes us in our nature (Self) and carries us beyond the ocean of worldly existence, is the Sadguru. Sai Baba was such a Sadguru”.

Shirdi Sai Baba is my Guru Ideal since I became a Sai Baba devotee on October 14, 2008.

Shri Satchidananda Sadguru Sainath Maharaj Ki Jaya.

Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda
Shirdi Sai devotee


About drmcpanda

Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S.,M.D. Date of Birth:29.02.1948 Retd. (29.02.2008) Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa India
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22 Responses to Guru Ideal in Indian Tradition

  1. I have referred the article ’Contemplation on the Guru-Ideal’ published in the monthly journal ‘The Vedanta Kesari’ in its Vol. 98, No.7 and Chapter X of Shri Sai Satcharita translated in English by N.V.Gunaji published by Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi, Dist. Ahmednagar Maharashtra India in drafting the article ‘Guru Ideal in Indian Tradition’.

  2. Very right thoughts expressed. Guru is supreme. Lord Srikrushna also said this in the Immortal Bhagbat Gita. No teachings can be complete without Guru. Great article.

  3. Thanks for referral Dr Panda. This is a matter of faith, which has no scientific basis. There is huge change in situations of the times when Guru tradition worked. Now worldly knowledge is so extensive and dynamic that no one person can be symbolized as one’s Guru. As far as spiritual knowledge is concerned, it is more of faith depending upon the personality of person. More innocent and ignorant a person is, more is he likely to have faith in the Guru and most of the times it is more of blind faith in pseudo-spiritualism. The knowledge of all type including spiritualism is found in books and now on internet. The path to self is through extensive churning of existing knowledge and individual inclinations. Following preaching of world wide renowned Gurus, books like Gita or other teachers/ writers are some of the paths to quench individual quests. To be able to learn, assimilate, infer and then teach is the standard path followed, more so now through electronic media. This blog is doing great service in putting various ideas and opening these to various views/comments. Recording and discussing ideas leads to churning of various views and opens the darkness to various sources of lights. Source of ultimate and maximum light is probably the embodiment of God and persons/ books/ internet material, which are able to lead us towards that ultimate source of light are Guru/s in real sense. Love to Snigdha.

  4. Tapas Kumar Mohanty e-Zone W3b says:

    Dear Sir,
    Thanks for reflecting the importance of Guru. Similar has also been mentioned in the Yoga Upanishad as:
    “गुशब्दस्त्वन्धकारः स्यात्‌ रुशब्दस्तन्निरोधकः।
    अन्धकारनिरोधित्वात्‌ गुरुरित्यभिधीयते॥ १६॥” 
    Advayataraka Upanishad, Verse Verse 16
    Best part is that, the word Guru along with other Sanskrit words had been included into the Oxford dictionary. Check out the following link :

    Om Sai Ram.

  5. Dr.Binod Bihari Naik says:

    Respected Sir,

    Guru is always ideal and mandatory to be; what’s to say Indian tradition almost all tradition in human society.Hence guru is the 3rd guide or so to say 3rd eye to each being after fully cognised by parents. Guru means as you stated as torch bearer for dispeller of darkness and maker of human from man within.By means of upgradation of knowledge disciple catch holds the path divinity and reaches his abode that’s Cosmic soul .This process is revelation and realisation achieved by sadhana with guidance of Guru or inner voice. Lurking to sadhana makes being to bliss, a stage of trans or ecstasy..In this stage he will not feel the material world even he is with body and mind.This is called atmic stage and can do all normal to miraculous task to show humanity to divinity. Man has mainly three such as animality, humanity and divinity.Casting out of animality and by holding of humanity to feel divinity is the task of Guru and graced by God is called or labelled as GURU IDEAL IN INDIAN TRADITION…..A MIRROR TO ALL NATION for sustenance of universe for continuation of Divine drama by SADGURU…..Being of Miracle.

    With thanks and regards
    Your Divine Brother
    Dr Binod Bihari Naik
    Bargarh, Odhisa

  6. Purnima Panda says:

    Pranam kaka,

    The Guru is more than someone who teaches specific type of knowledge, and includes in its scope someone who is also a “counselor”, a sort of parent of mind and soul, who helps mold values and experimental knowledge as much as specific knowledge, an exemplar in life, an inspirational source and who reveals the meaning of life. A true God-illumined and uniquely qualified guru lead the seeker on his or her inward journey toward perfection.

  7. Dhandapani Muthuswamy says:

    Thanks Dr ji for giving another nice article on Guru Ideal in Indian Tradition for spiritual introspection and upgradation.

  8. Madhusudan Mahunta says:

    Dear Sir,

    You have narrated the article “Guru Ideal in Indian Tradition” nicely.The article is accepted by everybody with pleasant manner. Guru is the supreme authority in Indian culture. We can reach our divine goal through SadGuru. In Odia Proverb:
    Guru Brahma,Guru Bishnu,Gurudeba Maheswara,
    Guru Sakshyat Param Brahma,Tasmeye Sri Gurube Namha.
    However your article is highly appreciated and accepted by all.

    Madhusudan Mahunta
    Sai Devotee
    Sohela Bargarh Odisha

  9. Kedarnath Sahu says:


    A nice article related to Guru. Indian culture respects Guru as greater than God. As Kabir in his famous Doha has described Guru greater than Govinda. By the blessings of Guru every thing can be achieved by the person. You are the real example for us that by the blessing of SadGuru Sai you have achieved all in your life. Sir, a perfect article dedicated to GURU.

    Kedarnath Sahu
    Science Teacher
    Sohela,Bargarh Odisha

  10. V Chandra Sekhar says:

    Namaste Dr.Pandaji,

    While it is very true, as you mentioned in your article, that Guru is the one who guides one in the righteous path & help attain salvation spiritually as well as religiously, it must be mentioned that ancient scriptures mention Maatha, Pithaa, Guru, Deivam in that order. Can you please clarify,sir?

    • Dear Sekharji,

      ‘Maatha’ or mother is one`s first teacher or Guru, then ‘Pithaa’ or father who is introduced to him as father by his mother is his teacher or Guru. Then one in his adolescence, adult or elderly age may accept some one as his spiritual Guru. Lastly grace of Deivam or God is essential. When God is pleased with anybody, He gives him Viveka and Vairagya and takes him safe beyond the mundane existence. ”The Self cannot be gained by the study of Vedas, nor by intellect, nor by learning. He whom the Deivam or God chooses gains it” says the Katha Upanishad.

  11. Prakash Padhan says:

    Respected Sir,

    Thank you for your post describing about Guru. Saint Kabir says-“guru govind day khade hai make lagu paye, balihari guru aapne govind diyo bataye”, that means Guru even greater than God.

    Extremely sorry for my late reply. I am on medical leave for a month and was unable to see mails. Thanking you with high regards.

  12. It has been 8 years as on October 14, 2016 since I became Sai Baba devotee on October 14, 2008. During these 8 years I had Darshan of Shirdi Sai Baba in Gurgaon Haryana (N.C.R. Delhi), Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Bargarh & Padampur Dist. Bargarh in Orissa, Shirdi Dist. Ahmednagar Maharashtra in India and New York, USA. I had my latest Darshan of Shri Sai in Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Anand Ashram BTM Lay out Bangalore on occasion of 98th Maha Samadhi Divas of Shirdi Sai observed on October 11, 2016 (Dasara). You may read my article and responses on Spiritual Journey as Shirdi Sai devotee published in blog website of Yoga and Spirituality.

    Maha Samadhi Divas of Shirdi Sai BTM Layout Ashram 2016

    98th Maha Samadhi Day of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba was observed in Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Anand Ashram BTM Lay out Bangalore on October 11, 2016(Dasara). I had Darshan of Shri Sai Baba and donated funds towards Annadhana provided to poor, needy persons and devotees on the occasion in addition to donation of funds towards Ashram and Charitable Medical & Dental Clinic Management.

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