Before understanding the role of a Guru (teacher) and Shishya (student) it is important to understand the meaning of these two words.

Guru :-

Guru is made up of two words Gu and Ru where Gu means Darkness and Ru Means one who removes darkness of ignorance through the light of knowledge.

Sishya :-

Sishya means a disciple. He is a person who has a desire to gain knowledge. A Sishya should give priority to obey the orders of his guru and not his ego. A true sishya should try to face and solve the problems on his own and only the ask guru for solution when he feels that now he cannot get solution.

A true Sishya should not move around his guru trying to butter him and expecting something in return nor should he be totally dependant on his guru. He should try to uplift his own energy through the guidance of his guru and should not expect his guru to do spoon feeding for him.

A true Guru is a person who gives knowledge to his disciple till his doubts and delusions are not cleared. A true Sishya is a person who has complete faith on his Guru. In order to become a true sishya a person requires two things Trust and Devotion.

The relationship of a Guru and Sishya is such that a Sishya want to give everything to his Guru and a Guru does not need anything from his Sishya. A Guru is also considered as a path from which a person moves towards God.

Role of Guru-Sishya in todays life :-

It is obvious that every person cannot spend his life in learning Vedas, scriptures, etc. as the world changes a person has to change too. In today’s world the role of Guru is to teach the difference between right and wrong and help his Sishya when he gets stuck. A role of Sishya is to learn and implement the knowledge given to him by his Guru.

After achieving the knowledge it the path of Sishya on which only he has to walk. A Guru can show path but he can’t walk on that path on behalf of his Sishya.

Todays Guru-Shishya :-

Not all Gurus are fake but in today’s world most Gurus have changed and so has the Sishyas. Most of the people move around a swami, tantrik or guru thinking that we will get something in return. People think that a Guru has a magical wand which will make him supreme and happy but what he forgets is that real happiness comes from inside.

99 people out of 100 will go near a Guru or a learned not to learn but thinking that he will move his magical wand and make his life happy and wealthy. What a person needs to understand is that a gurus role is to teach you what is right and wrong but on that it is finally you has to walk and earn your karms and is this no guru can give you spoon feeding.

No doubt the gurus have also changed as not only there is competition between the swamis in building ashrams and having foreigners as their sishyas. Majority of Gurus keep sishyas because they need people to move around them to show their status and get their work done.

A True guru knows what you need :-

When a person does not receive any knowledge from his guru he starts to talk bad of his guru but before that he should ask himself 2 questions 1st. Were my motives selfish and if yes then you got what you deserved and if no then find another guru and 2nd Did I deserve to have the knowledge which I asked for? Here the fact is that a guru gives certain knowledge to only those people who he thinks has achieved that stage in which he can be given that knowledge. To gain certain knowledge certain merits are required and if you don’t have it then you won’t get that knowledge. A true guru will give you want you need and not what you want.

A blind man cannot show path to another blind and hence it would be wise to keep intensions good and learn things from a true guru and then on the basis of the knowledge achieved walk on the road of life on your own merits.

Do we need a guru and for how long :-

A guru is a person who shows you a right path. A guru is also a human being and he too has achieved knowledge from his guru or by the experiences in life. If you think you don’t need a guru then you can read the sacred texts and find the path on your own. By doing so no doubt the road to your life will be a bit tough but not impossible.

You can have a guru till you think you have got the knowledge which you needed or the guru thinks you achieved the knowledge which you deserved or you can take help of your guru when you get stuck till then fight your battles of life on your own.

Suppose you need to fit a air conditioner in your house at that time you call a electrician, he fits the air conditioner in your house after that you dont need the electrician till your A.C. is working same way you need a guru to gain knowledge and establish a link between you and god after that link is established you need guru only when you feel that you are stuck up in spiritual field or you need to move further in spiritual field.

In Hinduism 4 Ashrams (stages) are mentioned if you see the role of guru is only till 1st stage rest is all on the person himself. No doubt if a person gets stuck a guru can give guidance.

The 4 Ashrams (stages) :-

During ancient times a person life was divided in 4 stages.

1st stage Brahmacharya (student life) Here a child would stay with his Guru in Gurukul (school) and acquire knowledge of Vedas, Scriptures, Dharma, etc. This stage starts at the age of 5 and lasts approximately till age 24 or 25. A person lives a life of a Brahmacharya during this stage i.e. Bachelor.

2nd stage Grihasth (household life) – During this stage a person lives a life of a householder and performs his duties towards his family, society and serving saints. This stage starts at the age of 25 and lasts till the age of 49.

3rd Stage Vanprasth (retired life) After performing his duties towards his Grihasth Ashram a person starts to prepare himself for the 4th stage. In the 3rd stage a person starts to detach himself from worldly pleasures and gradually withdraws himself from the world. This stage starts at the age of 50 and lasts till 74 years.

4th Stage Sanyas (renounced life) – Here a person is completely withdrawn from the world and spends the rest of his life doing meditation, tapasya, etc. to attain salvation (moksh). This stage starts at the age of 75 and lasts till 100 years or till a person lives.

Can I have more then one guru? :-

In Mahabharat Yaksh asked Yudhisthir 18 question but one questions answer we can connect it to the above mentioned question answer.

Yaksh : Is the complete truth of Dharma as described by Rishis (hermit).

Yudhisthir : No, because one rishis thinking does not match with another Rishis thinking, there is a difference in their thinking. No rishi has complete knowledge. The complete truth of Dharma is in a person’s heart.

From the above answer given by Yudhisthir to Yaksh we can know that no Swami, hermit, sage, tantrik, etc has a complete knowledge. If you are in a search of a specific knowledge and your guru does not have answer to your question then there is nothing wrong in going near another guru.

Knowingly or unknowingly we make guru every day. Suppose you are traveling and need a direction at that time you ask some one who knows that direction. You ask that person and he shows you the correct direction this means that you took the knowledge from that person and hence knowingly or unknowingly that person your guru for that short period.

This is what guru does he shows you the path and then you move ahead. If you think that guru or god can save you from the law of karma with a magical wand then you are wrong.

Mantra-diksha :-

Mantra-diksh is a process in which a guru gives a specific mantra to his disciple for progress in spiritual field. Its just like giving a torch to a person darkness.