Guru shishya parampara (the teacher-student tradition) denotes a succession of teachers and disciples in Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, which includes Tibetan and Zen traditions in their own right. Each parampara belongs to a specific sampradaya or tradition, and they in turn might have their own gurukulas for teaching. These gurukulas may be based at akharas, viharas, gompas, mathas or temples.
The guru shishya parampara is the Dharmic tradition of spiritual relationship and mentoring where words of wisdom are transmitted from a guru – the teacher – to a shishya – the student. In the formal parampara, the teaching starts after the student makes an offering to the teacher, called the dakshina (offering). After that, the knowledge imparted, whether it is agamic, architectural, arts, musical, spiritual, scriptural, or martial arts, through the unique ever-evolving relationship between the guru and the shishya.
It is considered that this relationship, on the basis of the genuineness of the guru, and the respect, devotion, obedience, and commitment by the shishya to the guru sans age, how old they look, etc. is the best way to build a healthy student-teacher rapport for the smooth conveyance of knowledge. The student, through their dedication and the guru’s guidance, eventually masters the knowledge the guru embodies within himself/herself.
This is an old system of education, but do you know about the current system of education in India? Click here to find out how much we have evolved since then.