Guru Tattva

Definition - What does Guru Tattva mean?

Guru tattva is the guru essence or the divine principle within. The term comes from the Sanskrit, guru, meaning “teacher” or “master,” and tattva, meaning “principle,” “essence,” “reality” or “truth.” The guru can also be described as “one who brings awareness,” so guru tattva is the essence of the bringer of awareness or higher knowledge.

This essence is the inner process through which a yogi moves from ignorance to discovering reality and reaching the state of Self-realization.

Yogapedia explains Guru Tattva

According to Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati, guru tattva is the free flow of knowledge through you, and it manifests in the ajna (third-eye) chakra.

The physical guru is not the guru tattva, but simply represents the guru tattva in your life. The guru may share the guru tattva with you, but only if you are open to it. The three levels of guru are:

  • Siksa guru — a basic level of guru, like a yoga teacher or local religious leader
  • Diksa guru — one who initiates the student into a sadhana (spiritual practice) and passes along knowledge
  • Satguru — one who is enlightened and may or may not be embodied
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