Guru Gita

Guru Gita
Translated by S. N. Sastri

Prostrations to Lord Ganesa and Gurus:
1. I meditate constantly on Lord Ganesa who has an elephant's face and a single tusk, who is like the sun for the lotus that is the face of the Daughter of the Mountain (Parvati) and who confers many boons on devotees.

2. I bow down to the succession of Gurus starting with Lord Sadasiva and leading up to my own Acharya, with Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada in the middle.

3. I prostrate before Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada, the repository of the Srutis, Smritis and Puranas, the abode of compassion, who confers blessings on the whole world.

4. Detachment having arisen in me because of my pondering over the frightful prospect of repeated births and deaths, meditating on Lord Pasupati, the Consort of Uma, residing in my heart, imbibing the flow of nectar of supreme bliss, I prostrate again and again before the pair of lotus-feet of my Guru. (Svarajyasiddhi - 1.2)


Sri Guru Gita (From Skanda Purana, Brahma Samhita)

The following slokas bring out the essential teaching of the scriptures that the Guru should not be looked upon as a mere human being, but should be considered as God Himself in that form.

1. The Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru is the Lord Mahesvara; the Guru is the Supreme Brahman Himself. Prostrations to the Guru.

2. Prostrations to the Guru by whom the eye blinded by the darkness of ignorance has been opened with the collyrium of knowledge.

3. Prostrations to the Guru who reveals the true nature of 'That' (Brahman), which is infinite and indivisible, and which pervades all creation, both moving and non-moving.

4. Prostrations to the Guru who reveals the true nature of 'Thou' (Jivatma) which dwells in all creation, both moving and non-moving.

5. Prostrations to the Guru who imparts the meaning of the term 'Asi' (the identity of 'That' and 'Thou'), which shows that all the three worlds, consisting of both moving and stationary creatures are pervaded by Pure Consciousness (Brahman).

6. Prostrations to the Guru by whose words, even in half a moment or a half or quarter thereof, the firm realisation of one's Self is attained.

7. Only to that great soul who has supreme devotion to God and equal devotion to his Guru will the scriptures reveal their real import.

8. You (Guru) are my father, you are my mother, you are my well-wisher and you are my God. I prostrate to the Guru for the eradication of the fear of Samsara.

9. The letter 'gu' stands for darkness, the letter 'ru' stands for its removal. The Guru is so called because he removes the darkness (of ignorance).

10. One should always worship the Guru by deed, thought and word. One should prostrate before the Guru without any inhibition.

11. The Guru should be worshipped every day by prostration with eight limbs. Thereby one will attain firmness of mind and realisation of one's real nature (as the Self).

12. The eight limbs of prostration (sashtanga namaskara) are the hands, legs, knees, chest, head, eyes, mind and speech.

13. Prostration to the Guru (who is Brahman Himself), because of whose existence (as the substratum) the world appears real, because of whose effulgence all the creatures in the world are seen as existing and because of whose Bliss the creatures in the world enjoy happiness. (In this and the next verse the nature of Brahman, that It is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, is attributed to the Guru also, to point out that the Guru and Brahman are to be looked upon as one and that the Guru should not be considered to be just the human form).

14. Prostrations to the Guru (Brahman), because of being enlivened by whom (as the pure Consciousness) the mind of man (all beings) has consciousness in the states of waking, dream and deep sleep.

15. Prostrations to the Guru, mounted on the power of knowledge and adorned with the garland of Reality, who confers prosperity as well as liberation.

16. Prostrations to the Guru who burns by the power of the fire of knowledge the bondage of karma accumulated over innumerable lives.

17. The water with which the feet of the Guru have been washed dries up the ocean of trans-migration and burns (negates) all that is transient (by the realization that it is unreal). Prostrations to the Guru.

18. There is no greater Reality than the Guru, there is no greater austerity than (the worship of) the Guru, there is no knowledge greater than the Guru (who is Knowledge or Brahman Itself).

19. My Lord is the Lord of the universe, my Guru is the Guru of the universe (God), my Self is the Self in all beings. Prostrations to the Guru.

20. The Guru is the Cause, but has himself no cause or beginning. (This statement is made by identifying the Guru with Brahman, which is the Cause of the universe, but Itself has no cause. It is a fundamental principle in our tradition that the Guru should not be looked upon as a mere human being, but should be considered as Brahman or God Himself. The real import of many of the verses here can be properly understood only if this principle is kept in mind). The Guru is the supreme God. There is no mantra equal to the mantra of the Guru.

21. When proper discrimination arises, it will be realised that the Guru alone is the supreme well-wisher. The Guru is the embodiment of all Dharma. Prostrations to the Guru.

22. The universe exists in the Guru and the Guru is in the universe. The Guru is himself the universe. Prostrations to the Guru.

23. Prostrations to the Guru who shows the way of liberation for those who have got caught in the forest of Samsara (transmigration) and are bewildered by delusion.

24. O Uma, for the creatures who are agitated in mind and tormented by the fire of the three kinds of affliction (those of the body, those from other creatures and those caused by divine forces), the Guru is like the great Ganga river. Prostrations to the Guru.

25. All living beings have been bitten by the snake of ignorance. The Lord in the form of knowledge (Guru) is the only physician for them. Prostrations to the Guru.

26. Prostrations to the Guru who is Lord Siva Himself, who is the cause of the universe, who is the bridge for crossing the ocean of Samsara and who is the lord of all knowledge.

27. The form of the Guru is the object of meditation, the feet of the guru are the object of worship, the words of the Guru are the mantra and the grace of the Guru is the means of liberation.


There is nothing in all the three worlds that can be considered as comparable to the Sadguru who imparts Self-knowledge (Atmajnaana). It may perhaps be thought that the legendary philosopher's stone would be a fit comparison, because it turns base metal into gold, just as the Guru turns an ordinary disciple into a realised soul. But even this comparison is not apt because, the philosopher's stone does not convert the base metal into another philosopher's stone like itself, whereas the Guru makes the disciple another Guru like himself. The Guru is therefore incomparable in all the three worlds. [Sloka-1, Satasloki of Sri Adi Sankara]