Guru (Devanagari is a Sanskrit term for "teacher" or "master", especially in Indian religions. The Hindu guru-shishya tradition is the oral tradition or religious doctrine or experiential wisdom transmitted from teacher to student. In the United States, the meaning of "guru" has also been used to cover anyone who acquires followers, especially by exploiting their naiveté, due to the inflationary use of the term in new religious movements.
- Alphabetized by author
- The syllable gu means shadows / The syllable ru, he who disperses them, / Because of the power to disperse darkness / the guru is thus named.
- Advayataraka Upanishad: 14–18, verse 5.
- I have been saying for many years that we are using the word 'guru' only because 'charlatan' is too long to fit into a headline.
- Peter Drucker — quoted in D James (15 September 1997). "Peter Drucker, the man who changed the world". Business Review Weekly: p. 49.
- Tim Guest’s extraordinary account of his childhood in the communes of Bhagwan [Rajneesh], the notorious Indian guru, is a survivor’s tale, poignant, funny and wise.
- Although he reputedly hated the label of ‘guru’, Peter Drucker was, by any standards, the greatest management guru the world has yet seen. In 1996, the McKinsey Quarterly journal described him as the ‘the one guru to whom other gurus kowtow’ and Robert Heller described him as ‘the greatest man in the history of management’, praise indeed for a man who described himself as ‘just an old journalist’.
- Obviously the obedience to the spiritual master includes the risk of abuse. However, charges of abuse should be evaluated within the context of the religious tradition. Gurus who kill or [sexually abuse] their followers may not hide under pretexts of religious freedom. On the other hand, “being a guru” or establishing with the disciples a special relationship of trust and obedience is not illegal. It should not be evaluated through individualist and rationalist standards by media, or even by secular courts of law who do not understand the [ancient] religious principle of surrendering a great part of the disciple’s liberty to a spiritual master.
- Massimo Introvigne, "In Defense of the Gurus: Why Spiritual Masters Are Persecuted", Bitter Winter (October 2022)
- Most of the devotees with whom we spoke reported a significant drop in the number of people receiving knowledge starting from late 1973. This created a condition of financial strain which became critical when Millennium '73, an all-out extravaganza held in the Houston Astrodome where Guru Maharaj Ji was crowned 'Lord of the Universe,' proved to be an economic flop. … DLM underwent significant organizational and ideological transformations. It no longer projected itself as a movement that would include all of humanity in its membership.
- Kirpal Singh Khalsa (June 1986), "New Religious Movements Turn to Worldly Success", Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (Blackwell Publishing) 25 (2): 233–247, doi:10.2307/1385479, retrieved on 2008-09-27.
- If you are not at all concerned with the world but only with your personal salvation, following certain beliefs and superstitions, following gurus, then I am afraid it will be impossible for you and the speaker to communicate with each other. …We are not concerned at all with private personal salvation but we are concerned, earnestly, seriously, with what the human mind has become, what humanity is facing. We are concerned as human beings, human beings who are not labelled with any nationality. We are concerned at looking at this world and what a human being living in this world has to do, what is his role?
- I am the rich man's guru.
- Who is whose Guru? God alone is the guide and Guru of the universe.
- In other words, gurus generalize from their own experience. Some gurus are inclined to believe that all humanity should accept their vision: others allege that, when the last trump sounds, their own followers will be saved, whilst the majority of mankind will remain unredeemed. This apparently arrogant assumption is closely connected with certain features of personality displayed by a variety of gurus.
- We must consider the possibility that the conviction expressed by gurus is less absolute than it appears in that their apparent confidence needs boosting by the response of followers. As we shall see, some gurus avoid the stigma of being labelled insane or ever of being confined in a mental hospital because they have acquired a group of disciples who accept them as prophets rather than perceiving them as deluded.