Definition - What does Paramaguru mean?

Paramaguru is a Sanskrit term that means “preceding guru,” or your guru's guru. In yoga, a guru is a trusted spiritual master and teacher. In many yoga traditions, an intimate relationship with the guru is akin to a relationship with the Divine and is considered to be fundamental to the achievement of enlightenment.

Yogapedia explains Paramaguru

The paramaguru is an integral part of the parampara system, which is the succession of knowledge from one guru to the next. It is is the primary means by which the teaching of yoga has survived the ages, with the paramaguru playing a crucial role in keeping the line of knowledge unbroken.

In parampara, the yogi reveres not just his/her guru, but his/her paramaguru and other preceding gurus. As an example, for disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda, their paramaguru is Sri Yukteswar, who was Yogananda's guru.

The lineage of gurus varies by tradition, but may be referred to in this way:

  1. Guru - The immediate guru
  2. Paramaguru - Guru's guru
  3. Parapara guru - Guru of paramaguru
  4. Parameshti guru - Guru of parapara guru

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