Parapara Guru

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Parapara Guru Mean?

Parapara guru is a high level guru in the Hindu and yogic traditions. Parapara is a Sanskrit word that has several meanings, including “higher and lower” and “earlier and later.” A guru is defined as a trusted spiritual master and teacher. The parapara guru is an integral part of the parampara system, the succession of knowledge from one guru to the next.

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 Parapara Guru

In parampara, the yogi reveres not just his/her guru, but all other preceding gurus. It is the means by which the teaching of yoga has survived the ages. The parapara guru is either the highest level of guru or the guru who succeeded the highest guru. The lineage of gurus varies by tradition, but may be referred to in this way:

  • Guru (the immediate guru)
  • Paramaguru (the guru of the guru)
  • Parameshti guru (the paramaguru’s guru)
  • Parapara guru (parameshti guru’s guru)

In some traditions, the parameshti guru is the highest level of guru, while in others (as in this example), the parameshti guru is the supreme guru and the parapara guru is the eternal guru.

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