Guru Gita

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The Guru Gita (lit.'Song of the Guru') is a Hindu scripture that is said to have been authored by the sage Vyasa. The verses of this scripture may also be chanted. The text is part of the larger Skanda Purana. There are several versions of the Guru Gita, varying from around 100 to over 400 verses. Another view is that Guru Gita is part of Viswasara Tantra.[1]

In the Siddha Yoga tradition, the Guru Gita is considered to be an "indispensable text";[2] few other traditions also share that view.[3] Muktananda chose 182 verses to create a unique version of the Guru Gita, which has its own melody for chanting.[2]

The text of the Guru Gita describes a conversation between the Hindu god Shiva and his wife, the goddess Parvati, in which she asks him how to achieve liberation. Shiva answers her by describing the guru principle, the proper ways of worshiping the guru and the methods and benefits of repeating the Guru Gita.[4][5]


'Guru' means 'heavy' in Sanskrit (e.g., the 'guru'/'laghu' distinction between heavy and light syllables in Paninian grammar, cf. Ashtadhyayi 1.4.11). Even so, the Guru Gita text gives an alternative, folk etymology of the word Guru, in which the root gu stands for darkness, while the root ru stands for light. The term Guru is therefore explained as the remover of darkness, who reveals the light of the heart.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

The text was part of the 2010 film Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts.[3]


  • The Nectar of chanting: Sacred texts and mantras sung in the ashrams of Swami Muktananda: Sanskrit transliteration with English translations SYDA Foundation Rev. ed edition (1978) ISBN 978-0-914602-16-3
  • Paramhansa Pranavadarshan, Shri Guru Gita, Pranava, Inc. (2001) ISBN 978-0-9707791-0-6
  • Shivom Tirth (2005). Shri Guru Gita: The Divine Song of the Guru, Meaning and Commentary. Swami Shivom Tirth Ashram, Inc. ISBN 978-0-9676306-5-6.
  • Swami Narayananand (1972). Sri Guru Gita. Divine Life Society. ISBN 978-81-7052-092-4.
  • Mark Griffin (2008). Shri Guru Gita: 108 Sutras for Awakening. Hard Light Pub. ISBN 978-0-9759020-6-6.


  1. ^ Saraswatananda Bharat, Swami Diksha Prasanga, Gurugita O Bani, Bharat Sevashram Sangha, 211, Rashbehari Avenue, Ballygunge, Kolkata – 700 019, p. 52 (ed. 2015) ISBN 978-93-84965-22-8
  2. ^ a b Muktananda (1984). The Nectar of chanting: Sacred texts and mantras sung in the ashrams of Swami Muktananda: Sanskrit transliteration with English translations; SYDA Foundation; pp. xiv, 6-57 ISBN 0914602160
  3. ^ a b Shah, Riddhi (14 August 2010). "The "Eat, Pray, Love" guru's troubling past". Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  4. ^ Subodh Kapoor (2002). The Indian Encyclopaedia, Vol. 1. Genesis Publishing. p. 7796. ISBN 8177552570.
  5. ^ "Guru Gita". Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  6. ^ John A. Grimes (17 October 1996). A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English. SUNY Press. pp. 133–. ISBN 978-1-4384-0499-8.

External links[edit]