What is a Guru?

Dear students,

We are coming to an end of our study of Gandhi. He was clearly a guru. Yet, all of us have the “potential” to become gurus. Take a minute to reflect on who the gurus in your life are?

According to Shukavak N. Dasa of Devasthanam “The idea of a guru is a misunderstood concept within Hinduism. Literally, a guru is a teacher. The word guru means “heavy” or “deep,” thus a guru is a person “heavy” or “deep” in knowledge. In this sense a school-teacher is a guru, a coach or athletic instructor is a guru, a fine-arts or even a dance teacher is a guru. One’s parents are also gurus. In the religious field, where the word is most commonly used, a guru is a Hindu religious teacher. So a priest or any person learned in Hindu lore may be a guru. The main purpose of the guru is to teach. In the popular mind there are many stereotyped images of what a guru looks like or how he acts. Usually long hair, beards, flowing robes and lots of bowing followers come to mind, but if we keep the idea of a teacher in mind we will not be confused.”

According to the American Heritage Dictionary ”


[goor-oo, goo-roo]


1.Hinduism. A preceptor giving personal religious instruction.

2.an intellectual or spiritual guide or leader.

3.any person who counsels or advises; mentor: The elder senator was her political guru.

4.a leader in a particular field: the city’s cultural gurus.

1820–30;  < Hindi gurū  < Sanskrit guru  venerable, weighty


About warigiabowman

Mom. Professor. Coyote.
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