In the initial Gurukul system, five stages were adhyaapak, shikshak, updeshak, Aacharya, Rishi. The Guru-Shishya Parampara (preceptor-disciple tradition) system has been in this nation since ancient times. The word गुरु, a noun, connotes “teacher” in Sanskrit, but in Indian traditions, it has contextual meanings with significance beyond what a teacher means in English.
The guru is more than someone who teaches specific type of knowledge and includes in its scope someone who is also a “counselor, a sort of parent of mind and soul, who helps mold values and experiential knowledge as much as specific knowledge, an exemplar in life, an inspirational source and who reveals the meaning of life. As a noun, the word means the imparter of knowledge. As an adjective, it means ‘heavy,’ or ‘weighty,’ in the sense of “heavy with knowledge, heavy with spiritual wisdom, “heavy with spiritual weight,” “heavy with the good qualities of scriptures and realization,” or “heavy with a wealth of knowledge. The word has its roots in the Sanskrit gri (to invoke, or to praise), and may have a connection to the word gur, meaning ‘to raise, lift up, or to make an effort’.
गुशब्दस्त्वन्धकारः स्तयात्रुशब्दस्ततन्निरोधकः। अन्धकारन्निरोन्नध्वात्गुरुरर्यन्निधीयते॥
The syllable gu means darkness, the syllable ru, he who dispels them, Because of the power to dispel darkness, the guru is thus named. — Advayataraka Upanishad, The guru is seen as the one who “dispels the darkness of ignorance. In pan-Indian traditions, a guru is someone more than a teacher, traditionally a reverential figure to the student, with the guru serving as a “counsellor, who helps mould values, shares experiential knowledge as much as literal knowledge, a role model in life, an inspirational source and who helps in the spiritual evolution of a student. The term also refers to someone who primarily is one’s spiritual guide, who helps one to discover the same potentialities that the guru has already realized or master which can achieve expert level with his perfectness in every field. The Guru in Hindu tradition become very important person or pivotal figure of that field. These gurus led broad ranges of studies including Hindu scriptures, Buddhist texts, grammar, philosophy, martial arts, music and painting. The way all the subjects like literature, philosophy, Vedas were taught and made learned through face to face or Seena-ba-seena and verbalisation or mukhast in the same way music which is primarily a vocal and performing art, was also taught through Gurumukh and was assimilated.
A guru was regarded as the metaphysical father of his disciple and is ranked higher than biological parents. Gurus were expected to teach everything they knew to the disciple. After the student proved to be a deserving candidate, he would get the discipleship of the Guru. A reverent master would bestow all his knowledge, skills to the fullest and make his student a perfect and a learned shishya. The success of a shishya was an image of the Guru’s success. We somehow drifted away from our own strengths and leading experiences. The proposition to change came through generations very slowly as they grew from our visitors with the wrong intent. In the end, the western culture influenced us and lowered the very value system we had for own education system and we became a teacher and a now only a facilitator. The degradation is a result of the lowered focus on education per-say and we are prepared only to be a part of a workforce.
The journey from गुरु to a teacher to a facilitator to गुरु has to now come into effect. The sequence of the time-dependent transition or journey of the teaching community demands a new emerging trend which apparently seems like going back in time but is the only way. It only proves that we came down the ladder from where we were. The needs of this great transformation, with realized experience, make different bells ring, that it is because of some historical compulsions or wrong importance being portrayed for different systems. The time for the same is now.