In KulArnava Tantram's 13th chapter, Lord Shiva discusses about Guru and its signs in great details. In that context he says the following verse:

Shaive Gurutrayam Proktam Vaishnave Gurupanchakam |
VedashAshtreshu Sataso Gururekah KulAgame ||


According to Shaiva Tradition, Gurus are three, according to Vaishnava, Gurus are five, according to Vaidika Tradition Gurus are numerous but according to Kula Agama Guru is only one.

Now, its obvious to me that here Lord Shiva is not talking about the number of Gurus that a Shaiva can have. Because in the same chapter itself, he mentions that one can have many Gurus as long as one does not get a good one.

So, is he talking about three types of Shaiva Gurus that the Shaiva scriptures prescribe for the disciples at different stages of sadhana? If yes which are those three Gurus?

  • The Kularnava Tantra I found on the internet has only 11 chapters. Is it incomplete? Commented May 10, 2018 at 10:06
  • The text has 17 chapters in all.. so it must be incomplete @Sarvabhouma
    – Rickross
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 14:37
  • 1
    Are you looking for only Agama reference?
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 6:49
  • Any reference will be Ok @TheLittleNaruto
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 6:58
  • @Rickross I talked to Acharya, he said, it has clear meaning i.e. in Shaiva one can have upto 3 Gurus. Not sure if I can answer the same; hence added a comment.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 10:15

1 Answer 1


Although it's not a direct scriptural reference In Kulavarna tantra of Chakumba Prakashan translated by Dr. Pramhansa Mishra, Hindi version He writes: (I am translating)

"There is a provisional idea of three classes of Gurus, Namely 1. Shaiva-Shastra Paramestha (one who has mastered the Shaiva-shastra completely), 2. Param Guru (Great or the best) 3. Diksha Guru (one who can give Diksha). Vishnav followers agree upon five classes of gurus, while vedas have hundred classes of gurus! But in Kulamarga there is only one class of Guru- 'Knowlegable'"

  • 1
    Thanks. That was useful.
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 4:59

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