"Gu" means dark and "Ru" means light. So, "Guru" may be translated as darkness to light, or possibly one who leads from darkness to light. Guru is a teacher of life or a spiritual mentor who leads the shishya (student) from blindness or ignorance to bliss, wisdom, and enlightenment.
Guru Shishya Parampara is the traditional method of residential form of education wherein the Shishya remains with his Guru as a family member and gets the education as a true learner. This system gradually vanished with the disappearance of Gurukuls. However, it is still a very effective means of transfer of knowledge from the Gurus (teachers) to Shishyas (students).
The dance Guru guides the disciple in following the Hindu path of dance to finally attain liberation. The Guru observes the disciple's strengths and weaknesses and treats the disciple as a unique individual. The Guru often tests the disciple. Two concepts related to Guru are seva and Guru dakshina. Seva refers to the student doing work for the Guru. Guru dakshina is the payment to the Guru which traditionally was often achieved through seva. The disciple would live with, eat with, learn from, and do work for the Guru.
Arangetram pictures. Click a picture to see a larger view.
Thank you cards. Click a picture to see a larger view.