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Guru, 10 Definition(s)

Introduction

Guru means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article.

In Hinduism

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Guru (गुरु) refers to a “spiritual guide”; it is a Sanskrit technical term defined in the Nāṭyaśāstra.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

about this context:

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

Purāṇa

1a) Guru (गुरु).—A son of Samkṛti.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa XI. 21. 2.

1b) A son of Bhautya Manu.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 114. Vāyu-purāṇa 110. 51.

1c) Devotion to, praised by Kaca; his daughter cannot be married by a pupil, as she stands in relation of a sister.1 Guru (śuśrūṣa) service of the teacher pleases Hari. Kṛṣṇa's discourse on service to guru, and his tribute to his teacher Sāndīpāni. It is said that guru's blessings make a man rise to his full stature.2 Different kinds of guru—mahāguru, ācārya, deśīka and others.3 Implicit obedience to. Transgressing his orders leads one to be born an aerial spirit: fit to be honoured like a king and a god.4

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 25. 69; 26. 6-8, 12-16.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 80. 28-43.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 8. 3-6.
  • 4) Ib. 43. 37-59.

1d) The planet Bṛhaspati.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 93. 14.

1e) A sage.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 196. 45.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

about this context:

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Āyurveda (science of life)

Guru (गुरु, “heavy”).—One of the twenty Gurvādiguṇa, or, ‘ten opposing pairs of qualities of drugs’.—Guru is the characteristic of a drug referring to its ‘heaviness’, while its opposing quality, Laghu, refers to its ‘lightness’. It is a Sanskrit technical term from Āyurveda (Indian medicine) and used in literature such the Caraka-saṃhitā and the Suśruta-saṃhitā.

The quality of Guru, present in drugs and herbs, increases the Kapha (bodily fluids, or ‘phlegm’), while it aggrevates the Vāta (bodily humour in control of motion and the nervous system) and the Pitta (bodily humour in control of digestion and metabolism). It exhibits a predominant presence of the elements Earth (pṛthivī) and Water (ap).

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

about this context:

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Hindu science dealing with subjects such as health, medicine, anatomy, etc. and has been in use throughout India since ancient times.

Śaivism (Śaiva philosophy)

Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Siva all rolled into one. Guru is Gu and Ru; Gu is darkness and Ru is remover. Guru dispels darkness, sin, and ignorance. Once Guru purifies himself both externally and internally and assumes the body of the deity he worships and propitiates, the body of the Guru is the same as the deity; his disciple receives a bit of the effulgence from the grace of the Guru. Initiation by mind (manasi Diksa is the best of all Diksas. I will give you an idea of external purification of the body that the disciple should undergo at the beginning. He awakens in the morning; clears his mind of all impure thoughts; scrapes the coated tongue, cleans the mouth and face, and takes a bath.

In Kashmir Saivism Guru is not necessary for initiation. Abhi says that by acquiring Pratyabhijna, one can bypass Guru initiation. When all the Malas are removed, Spiritual knowledge descends into the soul of the individual and that is called SaktipAta, also called Sattinipatam (ºò¾¢¿¢À¡¾õ) in Saiva Siddhanta of Tamil Nadu.

Source: bhagavadgitausa.com: Kashmir Saivism

about this context:

Śaiva (शैव, shaiva) or Śaivism (shaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Śiva as the supreme being. Closeley related to Śāktism, Śaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Guru (गुरु):—One of the two sons of Saṅkṛti (son of Nara, who was one of the five sons of Manyu). (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.21.2)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

The Lakṣmī Tantra (13.34) asserts that a guru, irrespective of his sect or creed, is a manifestation of Śakti’s aspect as savior. He is like a doctor who knows the exact treatment for his disciple’s ailment, the bondage of saṃsāra. He holds the key to the mysteries of the scriptures; he is the repository of the secret lore of the mantras and their applications in ritual and meditation.

Source: Google Books: Understanding Mantras

A Guru (गुरु) is one who conveys the meaning [of the text to] his pupils in whatever manner is appropriate to them, using Sanskrit, Prakrit, or such means as the regional languages. (see the Śivadharmottara 2.3)

Source: Alexis Sanderson: The Śaiva Literature

Syllables in a pada are also classified as metrically short (laghu "light") or long (guru "heavy"): a syllable is metrically short only if it contains a short vowel and is not followed by consecutive consonants in the same pada. All other syllables are long, by quality (having a long vowel or diphthong) or by position (being followed by a consonant cluster).

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Pali

Guru, (adj.-n.) (a younger form of garu (q. v.); Sk. guru) venerable, reverend, a teacher VvA.229, 230 (°dakkhiṇā a teacher’s fee); PvA.3 (°janā venerable persons); Sdhp.227 (°ûpadesa), 417. (Page 253)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

guru : (m.) a teacher. (adj.), heavy; venerable.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

about this context:

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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