In Shiva Sutra, Lord Shiva says:

गुरुरुपायः ||

"The Guru who has attained Self-realization can alone help the aspirant in acquiring it."

So Guru is important for any seeker who is in the path of Spirituality. However a bonding must be there to start with. So my question is how this bonding between a Guru and a Shishya is explained in Hinduism?

  • The answer to your Q wd be a 100+ page book.In almost each scripture the glory of Guru is sung:)
    – user17294
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 10:27
  • And of worshipping Him, eating His prasada, pleasing Him etc etc.Many instances are in the lives of the saints.That wd create another 100+ pages:)
    – user17294
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 10:29
  • @Pratima Thats true. However We can post minimal content as well. Expectation is to get answers from all philosophy available in Hinduism. Multiple answers should be fine too since it's a generic question.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 11:03
  • discussed in kaulam group archives ... Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 23:23
  • 1
    Relevant videos 1. youtu.be/Q1zdfVVoE3c 2. youtu.be/yKGBUmfzdgE
    – user22253
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 6:22

3 Answers 3


External Guru manifests, when one gets lost in spiritual progress.


D. How is the Guru found?

M. God, who is immanent, in His grace takes pity on the loving devotee and manifests Himself according to the devotee’s development. The devotee thinks that He is a man and expects a relationship as between two physical bodies. But the Guru, who is God or the Self incarnate, works from within, helps the man to see the error of his ways and guides him in the right path until he realizes the Self within.

D. What is guru’s grace? How does it lead to Self-realization?

M. Guru is the Self…. Sometimes in his life a man becomes dissatisfied with it, and, not content with what he has, he seeks the satisfaction of his desires, through prayer to God etc. His mind is gradually purified until he longs to know God, more to obtain His grace than to satisfy his worldly desires. Then, God’s grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a guru and appears to the devotee, teaches him the Truth and, moreover, purifies his mind by association. The devotee’s mind gains strength and is then able to turn inward. By meditation it is further purified and it remains still without the least ripple. That calm expanse is the Self.

The Guru is both ‘external’ and ‘internal’. From the ‘exterior’ he gives a push to the mind to turn inward; from the ‘interior’ He pulls the mind towards the Self and helps in the quieting of the mind. That is guru’s grace. There is no difference between God, Guru and the Self.

You think that the world can be conquered by your own efforts. When you are frustrated externally and are driven inwards, you feel ‘Oh! There is a Power higher than man!’

The ego is like a very powerful elephant which cannot be brought under control by any less powerful than a lion, which, in this instance, is no other than the Guru, Whose very look makes the elephant-like ego tremble and die.

One does not become truth after finding a Guru, he was already Sat Chida Ananda Brahman, but only clouded by ego.

Dakshinamurthy Strotram

राहुग्रस्तदिवाकरेन्दुसदृशो मायासमाच्छादनात् सन्मात्रः करणोपसंहरणतो योऽभूत्सुषुप्तः पुमान् ।

विश्वं पश्यति कार्यकारणतया स्वस्वामिसम्बन्धतः शिष्याचार्यतया तथैव पितृपुत्राद्यात्मना भेदतः ।

6.1: Just Like the Sun and the Moon are Eclipsed by Rahu, the Pure Consciousness is Eclipsed by Maya (for a spiritually ignorant person),

6.2: A Spiritually Elevated Soul can enter that state of Unborn Deep Sleep (i.e. Pure Consciousness) by Withdrawing His Sense Organs to such an extent that Only the Real Essence remains,

8.1: The Differentiations that we See in the World as Cause and Effect, as Possessor-Possession Relations,

8.2: as the Disciple-Teacher, and Also as Father-Son Relations etc, are all Differentiations within the One Atman,

Swami Vivekananda

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.

The goal of mankind is knowledge. . . . Now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside: it is all inside. What we say a man "knows," should, in strict psychological language, be what he "discovers" or "unveils"; what man "learns" is really what he discovers by taking the cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge.


The question is

how this bonding or relationship between a Guru and a Shishya is explained in Hinduism ?

Sri Krishna says in BG

तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया।

उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः।।4.34।।

This you should learn [from those, endowed with knowledge], by prostration, by iniry and by service [all offered to them]; those who are endowed with knowledge and are capable of showing the truth will give you the truth nearby

The disciple should be prepared to prostrate before one'side Guru, serve Him with the complete surrender, question Him to get rid of his doubts.

Then the Guru, who himself is waiting for a suitable disciple for imparting the knowledge He acquired, will impart knowledge.

According to a saint (Sri Gajanan Maharaj, Shegaon, Maharashtra ), one should be prepared to do anything that one's Guru orders.

There are 3 ways of serving a Guru.

  1. markata Kishora nyaya - like a mother monkey carrying it's offspring - Here responsibility rests with the disciple. He has to cling to his Guru

  2. marjala Kishora nyaya - like a mother cat carrying it's offspring - Here responsibility rests with the Guru. He has to bear the responsibility of his disciple

  3. Bhramara kit nyaya - here responsibility lies with the both.

The disciple will remain stationed at a place and keep on meditating on his Guru. The Guru will keep on rotating around his disciple like a Bhramara, creating appropriate situations at appropriate time and pushes the concentration of disciple inward.

Whatever may be the method, one follows according to one's prarabdha, a bonding with Guru will be developed and REALISATION occurs.

  • Good answer! +1 btw those 3 ways you mentioned is as per the Saint Sri Gajanan Maharaj ?
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 17:34
  • @TheLittleNaruto:Saints normally talk less. Whenever they talk, the words they use will be brief. These are prevalent according to vedanta. Commented May 26, 2019 at 2:39

There is a concept of Saranagathi or complete surrender. Do whatever the Guru asks you to do, help him in whatever ways you can in all his endeavors,take good care of him. Whatever makes him see you as worthy enough to receive the Divine Knowledge. There is a Poem by Thotaka an ardent Disciple of Aadi-Shankara called "Thotakashtakam" https://mahaperiyavaa.blog/2015/03/22/thotakashtakam/ which describes the wonder Thotaka sees in his Guru that kind of describes what you are looking for. Do you honestly trust,love and understand his "Guru" status is the real question? That said, the Shiva Sutra that you quoted is not for Sthula Sharira....is all I can say :-)

  • "the Shiva Sutra that you quoted is not for Sthula Sharira....is all I can say" Why do you say that ?
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 7:18
  • People interpret that it is for Stula sharia. However, there are hidden implications in Siva sutras. Typically, read Shaiva philosophy only after a few stages of Kundalini awakening. Do not read them in the beginning. The Spanda Karika, Siva sutras and Pratyabhijnahradyam is very valuable for later stages. You will know the answer as you progress Commented May 15, 2019 at 16:17
  • Without this sthula sharira, can the practices prescribed in Shiva Sutra done ? @Gopal
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 17:09
  • Actually, even with Sthula sharia you will realize what is meant by Siva sutras post Kundalini awakening. Now, you are saying Kundalini awakening for Humans. Now, what about ghosts or well behaved Pisachas or Pitr Loka occupants? Don’t they deserve a chance to realize Brahman? What about the Devas who are in such non-sthula Sharira mode? What I’m trying to say is Siva sutras are equally applicable for them as well. Say, can a Brahmarakshas( a Brahman realized ghost) be a guru? Sure he can for another ghost and so on... Commented May 15, 2019 at 18:23
  • Where is such prerequisite given? Commented May 16, 2019 at 12:39

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