Characteristics of Guru and Disciple

In chapter 21 of “Goraksha Samhita Vol 1 (Bhutiprakaran)”, the great guru Gorakhnath gave the characteristics of a guru (and a disciple). On guruji’s instruction, I’ve excerpted that section here for the benefit of all those who are in the search of a guru.

[English translation is done by Dr. Lakshmi Warier. Transliteration of Sanskrit verses is in IAST scheme.]

गुरुप्रसादात् लभ्येत नान्यथा तु कदाचन
गुरुमन्वेष्येद्यत्नात् सर्वशास्त्रविशारदः || 18  ||

guruprasādāt labhyeta nānyathā tu kadācana
gurumanveṣyedyatnāt sarvaśāstraviśāradaḥ || 18  ||

But one will certainly attain (success) only by the grace of the guru and not otherwise, never, (hence) one should search for a guru with effort who is well versed in all the sastras.

श्रीमतोत्तरतत्वज्ञः स्फुटवाक्सत्यवादिनः
शुभदेशसमुत्पन्नः शुभजातिसमुद्भवः || 19 ||

śrīmatottaratatvajñaḥ sphuṭavāksatyavādinaḥ
śubhadeśasamutpannaḥ śubhajātisamudbhavaḥ || 19 ||

One who knows the truth of the answers of Siva/ Srimata, one who speaks clearly, one who speaks only the truth, born in an auspicious place, and born in an auspicious family/caste.

ककाराष्टकसंभूतो न गुरुं कारयेत्प्रिये
कच्छकोशलकाश्मीरं कार्णाटकं कोंकण उद्भवं || 20 ||

kakārāṣṭakasaṁbhūto na guruṁ kārayetpriye
kacchakośalakāśmīraṁ kārṇāṭakaṁ koṁkaṇa udbhavaṁ || 20 ||

Oh dear, one should not accept a guru born in eight kakaaras places (name of birthplace starting with the letter ‘ka‘) – born in Kaccha, Kosala, Kashmira , Karnata and Konkana region.

कामरूपं न वा देवी कान्चीकं कोलदेशजम्
ऐषु देशेषु ये जाता आचार्या वर्जयेत प्रिये || 21 ||

kāmarūpaṁ na vā devī kāncīkaṁ koladeśajam
aiṣu deśeṣu ye jātā ācāryā varjayeta priye || 21 ||

Oh goddess, and not one who is born in Kaamaroopa, not from Kanchi or the region of Kola (Bengal), oh dear, one should avoid the people born in these places as their guru.

अतिदीर्घं च अतिक्रष्णं केकरं श्यामदन्तकं
अघं चाणं च खल्वाटम् द्विचर्म च कर्कशं || 22 ||

atidīrghaṁ ca atikraṣṇaṁ kekaraṁ śyāmadantakaṁ
aghaṁ cāṇaṁ ca khalvāṭam dvicarma ca karkaśaṁ || 22 ||

Very tall, very dark, squint –eyed, one with dark/black teeth, a sinner, one-eyed, bald-headed, double skinned and very harsh.

कुष्ठिनं विकलं सच्चरं शठं मूर्खं च क्रोधितं
कामातुरम् तथा लुब्धं दाम्भिकं कलहप्रियम् || 23 ||

kuṣṭhinaṁ vikalaṁ saccaraṁ śaṭhaṁ mūrkhaṁ ca krodhitaṁ
kāmāturam tathā lubdhaṁ dāmbhikaṁ kalahapriyam || 23 ||

One who is suffering from leprosy, disabled, ……………..(sarcha?), stubborn, foolish and angry, lustful, greedy, deceitful and fond of fighting/arguing.

अगम्यागमने सक्तं मिथ्यावादिप्रलापितं
बहुयानप्रसक्तं च वीरभार्याभिगामिनं || 24 ||

agamyāgamane saktaṁ mithyāvādipralāpitaṁ
bahuyānaprasaktaṁ ca vīrabhāryābhigāminaṁ || 24 ||

One who is engaged in going to prohibited places, unnecessarily arguing and blabbering, engaged in traveling a lot and approaching the wife of a disciple.

असत्यं जल्पते यस्तु परनिन्दारतः सदा
अनेक व्यसनासक्तं परमर्मप्रकाशकं || 25 ||

asatyaṁ jalpate yastu paranindārataḥ sadā
aneka vyasanāsaktaṁ paramarmaprakāśakaṁ || 25 ||

One who utters lies and is always engaged in blaming others, engrossed in many vices and one who exposes the weak points of others.

अप्रियं निष्ठुरं दुष्टं कुत्सितं समय अच्युतं
विज्ञानिनम् सकूटस्थं अन्यवादरतं तथा || 26 ||

apriyaṁ niṣṭhuraṁ duṣṭaṁ kutsitaṁ samaya acyutaṁ
vijñāninam sakūṭasthaṁ anyavādarataṁ tathā || 26 ||

One who is not pleasant, very cruel, wicked, contemptible/low and one who deviates from conditions, knowledgeable but situated in secret work and one who argues for others.

एवं गुणसमायुक्तं न गुरुम् कारयेत्प्रिये
आत्मान्ति विडंबितस्तेन येनैवं गुरुः सेवितः || 27 ||

evaṁ guṇasamāyuktaṁ na gurum kārayetpriye
ātmānti viḍaṁbitastena yenaivaṁ guruḥ sevitaḥ || 27 ||

Oh dear, one should not accept as guru a person with above mentioned (bad) qualities; he who serves such a guru has ridiculed himself/his soul.

नेह लोके सुखं तस्य परत्र न च विद्यते
कलहोद्वेगं शोकं च संतापं जायते प्रिये || 28 ||

neha loke sukhaṁ tasya paratra na ca vidyate
kalahodvegaṁ śokaṁ ca saṁtāpaṁ jāyate priye || 28 ||

He has no happiness in this world nor is he happy in the other world/elsewhere he also experiences, oh dear, arguments, anxieties, grief and worries/mental agony.

तस्मात् सर्वप्रयत्नेन सुपरीक्ष्य गुरुं कुरु
याद्रशो हि गुरोर्देवि शिष्योऽपि यदि ताद्रशः || 29 ||

tasmāt sarvaprayatnena suparīkṣya guruṁ kuru
yādraśo hi gurordevi śiṣyo’pi yadi tādraśaḥ || 29 ||

Hence by taking much effort and by testing well one should accept a guru, oh goddess, (because) how the guru is, so shall the disciple be.

सिद्धयन्ति च वरारोहे गुरुशिष्यैर्न चान्यथा
सुभक्तं च विनीतं च समयाचारपालकं || 30 ||

siddhayanti ca varārohe guruśiṣyairna cānyathā
subhaktaṁ ca vinītaṁ ca samayācārapālakaṁ || 30 ||

Oh excellent rider, otherwise the guru and the disciple do not succeed. (Characteristics of a disciple:) Well- devoted, modest and maintain conditions and customs.

संसारभयभीतं च गुरुपादार्चने रतं
शान्तं दयान्वितं शुद्धं मलमायाविवर्जितं || 31 ||

saṁsārabhayabhītaṁ ca gurupādārcane rataṁ
śāntaṁ dayānvitaṁ śuddhaṁ malamāyāvivarjitaṁ || 31 ||

One who is afraid of the horrors of this world, engaged in worshiping the feet of the guru, calm by nature, compassionate, pure, and devoid of evil/dirt and illusion.

सर्वद्वन्द्विनिर्मुक्तं दम्भपैशुन्यवर्जितं
गुरुयोगिकुमारीणां तपस्विजनपूजकं || 32 ||

sarvadvandvinirmuktaṁ dambhapaiśunyavarjitaṁ
guruyogikumārīṇāṁ tapasvijanapūjakaṁ || 32 ||

Completely free from all pairs/conflicts (dwands) devoid of deceit and wickedness and one who worships guru, yogis, virgins (kumaris) and pious people who follow austere life.

आक्रोशितस्तूदितो वा गुरुणापि विवासितः
विरागं यस्य वै नास्ति स शिष्यः सिद्धिभाजनं || 33 ||

ākrośitastūdito vā guruṇāpi vivāsitaḥ
virāgaṁ yasya vai nāsti sa śiṣyaḥ siddhibhājanaṁ || 33 ||

Shouted at and scolded (toodita) or banished by the guru who does not develop detachment he is the real disciple who attains success.

एवमादि गुणो यस्य स शिष्यो मुक्तिभाग्भवेत्
दीक्षयित्वा विधानेन अभिषेकं प्रदापयेत् || 34 ||

evamādi guṇo yasya sa śiṣyo muktibhāgbhavet
dīkṣayitvā vidhānena abhiṣekaṁ pradāpayet || 34 ||

He who has such qualities, that disciple will attain liberation, having taken the vow/diksha, he should do ablution as prescribed.

One thought on “Characteristics of Guru and Disciple”

Comments are closed.