Guru Ashtakam – Paying obeisance to Guru (teacher)

There are four teachers in life – Mother, Father, Guru (teacher) and God who step into our lives in sequence and teach us what we need to learn and grasp in life. Had the opportunity to listen to Guru ashtakam by Shri Adi Shankaracharya! Was mesmerized by the meaning!

I got to listen to Guru Ashtakam written by Adi Shankaracharya

Adi Shankaracharya Birth Year is 509 BCE - History
Adi Shankaracharya

While some are privileged to get a Guru, for some it starts from mother and father and moves onto friends. One can learn from anyone and anything around us, we just need to have the humility to learn!

When the student is ready, the Master does appear!

Meaning of the verses

Even if you have a handsome body, a beautiful spouse, blessed with great fame and huge piles of money

Even if you have a wife, wealth, children, grandchildren, house, relations and are born in a noble family

Even if you have mastered the scriptures and have great literary acumen to write prose and poetry

Even if you are honored in foreign lands, rich in your homeland, and greatly regarded for your virtues in life

Even if you are a great King, and are served by other Kings and great Kings

Even if your fame has spread all over because of your charity and you enjoy abundance

Even if your mind is not attached to worldly pleasures, kingdoms, spouse, wealth, family

Even if your mind stays away in the forest or in duties, or around the house, or in great thoughts

None of these are of any use if you are not able to bow down to your Guru (Be humble and open to learn)


When one wants to learn, they become a student! They need to learn humility! Being humble, they attract good teachers who can teach them the essence of life!

The four teachers of life – Mother, Father, Guru and God help us set our minds into a spiritual journey!

Mother teaches us love, faith and trust

Father puts us in the path of education and teaches us to be passionate and set the right goals to go after

Guru bridges the gap between where we are to where we need to be (Without a Spiritual Guru, the bridge cannot be crossed)

Swami Vivekananda explains

Quote from Swami Vivekananda’s lecture on “What have I learnt?” in Bangladesh on March 30th, 1901 (Vol 3)

Guru is one who is not only learned in the scriptures, but also aware of subtle secrets, and who has realized their true meaning, is unhurt by desire, remains with the motive of doing good to others, should be an ocean of mercy without reason, knower of the Divine at least as much as the size of a small Amla fruit.

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