A Student asked the Guru: What is the difference between a Teacher and a Guru?
The Guru answered: A Teacher is the one who carries the candle-light and gives light to all the students, whereas, a Guru he himself becomes the candle-light, and his being, his presence itself is a light to everybody.
gukaaro andhakaaro-vai rukaarast-annivartakah;
andhakaara-nirodhivaat guru-rityabhidhiiyathe . . .
The Sanskrit syllable ‘Gu’ represents darkness (ignorance) and ‘Ru’ represents one who removes it. Thus, the one who removes our ignorance is called ‘Guru’
A Guru is the one who destroys ignorance.
In all of us there is a ‘superficial ignorance’, and there is a ‘core ignorance’. Superficial ignorance is about physics, chemistry, biology, literature, etc. Core ignorance is about ‘life’. The core ignorance of life is – ‘we live life for the future & lost in past’, but the Guru makes us understand that ‘live life for this moment & living this moment with fullness itself is joy & ecstasy; not for ecstasy but your presence itself is an ecstasy’.
Our spiritual Guru is none other than God Himelf. God takes the form of Guru to teach us how to reach Him and know Him, and how to live righteously in this world – just as Lord Krishna taught Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita.
On the sacred day of Guru Poornima (in honour of Maharshi Vedavyasa), every year the students offer his gratitude to him through pooja and dakshina (donation, clothes, or whatever the disciple can afford). The best offering is to share our Guru’s teachings with all those who are interested, so that the whole world benefits from them.