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Any one explain the following guru mantra, as to why a common human guru is being compared with lords(Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva)?

Gurur brahma
Gurur vishnu
Gurur devo maheshwaraha

Gurur sakshaat para brahma

Tasmai Shri Guruve Namaha

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    The Amrita first flowed thru God's mouth (in the form of words) and ur Guru is the one who is passing that Amrita to u thru an unbroken chain of higher Gurus of ur lineage. That's how he is equal to God.. A Sath Guru, who's maintaining such an unbroken chain of lineage, that has started from God, is equal to God, not every Guru is. – Rickross Mar 18 at 6:15
  • Sounds like you may have misinterpreted the hymn from the Guru Gita. It is meant that God is the Guru. It is not a reference to a human guru. It is saying that Brahman is the Guru. – Swami Vishwananda Mar 19 at 6:59
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The sloka mentioned by the OP is a popular Guru Stotra sloka from Viswasara Tantram.

Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva are considered to represent 3 Gunas, ie., Rajas, Sattva and Tamas. And, Brahman is termed as trigunAtIta,ie., beyond all Gunas.

Guru is the one, who attained Brahman, and thus BRAHMAN itself. So he was eulogised as the equal to Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva.


There is another sloka from Guru Gita (P.24 - sloka 25) with slight variation, albeit with the similar meaning.

gururbrahmA gururviShNurgururdevo maheshvaraH |

gurureva paraM brahma tasmai shrIgurave namaH ||

Instead of Gurur sakshaat in the sloka quoted by the OP, this sloka contains gurureva.


It tries to give an idea of highest form of Advaita, according to which each individual (he/she) is a BRAHMAN, though unaware of that fact. He/she realises that himself/herself is the BRAHMAN, through the grace of his/her Guru, who is also BRAHMAN.

Rig Veda and Satapata Brahmana says the same in a slightly different manner.

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  • What do you mean by "source can't be traced"? The sloka is part of a very famous stotra that is found in Viswasara Tantram. It's Lord Shiva who's saying the stotra. – Rickross Mar 18 at 11:15
  • @Rickross: I am aware of this source, but could not locate original source. That was why I stated so. Anyways, I will quote this source. – srimannarayana k v Mar 18 at 11:20
  • Original source is not existing now .. so how can you find it? Only portions of various Tantras are extant at present and that too due to the hard work and dedication of few spiritual aspirants. – Rickross Mar 18 at 11:22
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    OK. Already made use of the source you had indicated. Thanks. :-) – srimannarayana k v Mar 18 at 11:23

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