Sadguru may have several definitions across scriptures.

I want a definition from scriptures that is similar to the following

A person is not eligible to be a Sadguru if (s)he has no known parampara(lineage).

This question is explicitly refraining the aspects such as persons who are avaduta, avatar, etc., as well as counterexamples for the definition and is only asked for scriptural references which say that a person cannot be a sadguru if (s)he has no known lineage if exists.

  • Can I give an answer to say how anyone can become Guru?? Jan 27, 2021 at 13:47
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    Okay but just telling anyone can become a Guru. Namadev,Tukaram,Eknath.Kanaka Dasa etc had no lineages but became great teachers Jan 27, 2021 at 14:02
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    @Sethu Ekanath and Kanakadasa both belong to great guru paramparas (of Janardana Swami and Vyasarayaru respectively) so they cannot be cited here.
    – Surya
    Jan 27, 2021 at 16:03
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    A Sadguru is one who is carrying the knowledge or mantra directly from God (who started a Parampara) thru an unbroken lineage. I think we can find verses like that. I have to search and if I can find something I will answer.
    – Rickross
    Jan 28, 2021 at 5:13
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    Just to give info: Sarvollāsatantram mentions when to join 'sat' before 'guru' (sadguru-Lakshanam) but does not mention anything about parampara. (As already written in Q, it may vary depending upon scripture)
    – Second
    Jan 28, 2021 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


There are various types of Gurus broadly classified into two categories -- Siksha Guru and Diksha Guru. In spiritual matters the later is important.

For the Diksha to be valid, the Diksha Guru has to belong to any definite Parampara (lineage) that starts from God. The mantra was first spoken by God to his immediate disciples. These disciples then pass the mantra to their disciples and gradually in this manner, through an unbroken lineage, the mantra is supposed to reach us.

The mantra (or knowledge) is potent only when we receive it in an unadulterated form exactly how it emerged from the mouth of God. And, this is possible only if the mantra comes down to us through an unbroken lineage of Gurus.

The following verse is the type of verse you are looking for:

vinA dikshAm na mokshah syataduktam shiva-shAsane |
sA cha na syAd-vinA-AchArya-mitya-AchArya-paramparA ||

Without Diksha there is no liberation---- this is the order of Shiva; And, Diksha is not possible without Acharyas (or Gurus); Hence ParamaparA-s of acharayas have been laid down.

Kularnava Tantram 14.3

This verse says in order to make Diksha fruitful the Paramparas have been laid down. In other words, it says that the Guru (who's giving Diksha) has to be associated with one such Parampara or the other.

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