The uniqueness of the Indian guru rests upon the uniqueness of the Indian teaching tradition. An understanding of a religious figure in India can be achieved only within the framework of the teaching tradition from which that individual has come. The study selects one way of understanding the guru in classical Hindu life in the belief that this articulation offers something normative for an understanding of guru in the wider Indian development and history.
The first part of this book is drawn from the texts that trace the role of guru and the guru-sisya relationship in the writings of Sanskara. The second part of the book is an investigation of the five major acaryas of the Sankara tradition reigning during the last half of the twentieth century. Thus, the articulation of the guru in the writings of Sankara, in part one, is tested from the historical context among the Sankaracaryas of the recent past.