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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: guru

DEFINITIONS

Guru: (Sanskrit Gu, darkness and Ru, destroyer. Hence, destroyer of darkness) Generally used to mean a teacher or the leading teacher of a particular philosophy or practice. The original concept, however, was more complex. A guru was traditionally an enlightened being and capable of being in direct contact with God. When a student (chela) first meets the guru (meeting a guru in person is called darshan), the guru was supposed to instantly know what unique training the person needed to become enlightened. The result would be a guru/chela relationship where the guru would teach the chela what he or she needed to become enlightened and voluntarily take on the chela’s karma while the chela is with him or her. The chela, in exchange, would do whatever the guru required. This could involve both the performance of spiritual exercises for the student’s training and giving personal service to the guru.


ARTICLES

Cults
The word "cult" used to be synonymous with the word "sect" It meant a religious group. Therefore, Judaism, Christianity or any religion could be considered a cult. But today the word "cult" has taken on a very ominous meaning. Today when the word ...
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Initiation
The word has been given a variety of definitions over the years, everything from the pledging and hazing of college (and even high-school) students into fraternities and sororities to the admissions trials of secret societies, entry into occult and ...
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The History of the Golden Dawn
The story of the Golden Dawn, like that of any human organization, is replete with high points and low points—with human achievements and human failings. There is no need for us to try to whitewash or sugarcoat the faults of some of the individuals ...
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When I was doing research for my new book, Ghosts of Lincoln, I found a particularly delightful tale in several collections. The story goes that when Winston Churchill was staying at the White House, it was said that Churchill was staying in one of Lincoln's old rooms and emerged from the bathtub, dripping wet and completely naked, to find the... read this article
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