To Indians, the word Guru (Teacher) is a very sacred one. It has many meanings. It may
mean that which is weighty and valuable; it may mean that which is worthy of honour; it
may also mean that which dispels ignorance. The word with its several meanings is known in
several countries of the world, in one form or the other, both in education and in
religion. Guru and Guruhood are revered.
The mother is the first Guru to a child. Then comes the father. Later, he who gives
knowledge is the Guru. After that comes the Guru who teaches the secret of good life and
of true happiness. Last of all, when wisdom comes, one is a Guru unto oneself.
Though Gurus be many, Guruhood is the same for all. From the knowledge a disciple gains
from his Guru, he himself becomes a Guru. That Guru imparts knowledge to his disciple in
turn. Thus the Guru tradition has continued without a break from times immemorial. The
Gurus appearing in different times taught men how to live a good and useful life. They
have also given the world knowledge that is of high value to man's life. The world has
witnessed many a crisis. The knowledge given by the Guru has survived them all.
In India, the Vedic Rishi and before him the Shiva-Yogi, the Upanishadic seers, and a
number of others Valmiki, Vyasa, Buddha, Shankara, Ramanuja, Basava, Madhva, Samartha
Ramadas, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Gandhi, Ramana - have all come in the Guru tradition.
There are saints, Jnanies (men of wisdom) and lovers of mankind among them. They have
helped to enrich Knowledge, Science, Art, Literature and Spiritual Values. Around them
have grown up story, legend and history.