Guru in Sri Vidya
In all philosophical and spiritual systems, Guru is a facilitator who is instrumental in his disciple’s physical, mental and spiritual progress. In Srividya, a Guru is the mean (sadhana) and the destination (sadhya) of the spiritual progress of the upasaka. Guru is often referred as SriGuru or Srinatha. Guru in Srividya always exists in the eternal state of Mahakamesvara and bestows the experiential knowledge of Srividya to a sishya. The role of a Guru in Srividya is very unique. ‘Diksitsyavadhikarosti pujas chaiva nishyam|gurutva tasya kutrapi nadhikarah: kathachana ‘ ‘दीक्षितस्यैवाधिकारोऽस्ति पूजायां चैव निश्चितम्|गुरुत्वे तस्य कुत्रापि नाधिकारः कथञ्चन॥ Sastras ordain that not all dikshita-s can be a Guru and there are special anushtana-s for the gurutva. Deeksha gives one the right to perform only puja. It does not give the authority to become a guru. There are numerous attributes given for guru lakshana-s in various tantras.
Ekaguru-Upasti – एकगुरुपास्तिरसंशय: (Ekaguru-Upastirasamsaya:- Parasurama Kalpasutram) In Srividya sastra it is obligatory to have only one ‘Sriguru’, attaining whom is the objective of the sastra. The process of diksha, is very much similar to the creation of an embryo. The sambhava-sariram is created with the rakta-suklacarana-s of SriGuru which sets an opening for the sishya to expound his way to higher levels of sadhana. It is therefore not possible to have multiple Guru-s similar to how one can have only one biological parent.
There are Six Pranavas, sat-taras (form of sivasakti) which are the basis for all mantras. The Paduka given with these pranavas is the sripaduka given after poornabhiseka-deeksha. Following or worshipping anyone other than Sriguru after receiving poornabhisekam is prohibited in the sastra. It is said that of all mantras, shodasi in Srividya, Sat-tarayukta-paduka among padukas, Kevalanandavalli-Mahasakti among devatas and poornabisheka Guru among all Gurus are the supreme and the ultimate.
Learning various subjects or getting upadesa from many may be common before getting deeksha. But it is not permissible after poornabhiseka. Veda also emphasizes, upasana with one Guru as ‘Ekrishradhyantah yathaikarshivijanante ‘ “एकर्षिश्रद्धयन्तः यथैकर्षिविजानन्ते” Any different opinion about Sastra or practices from the upadesa of one’s Guru is considered as a betrayal of SriGuru. Guru-Sishya acharas are harder to adhere than performing the yaga. Few of the qualities that are mentioned for a sishya are, one who possesses good qualities and character, who is wise, who maintains cleanliness, who possesses righteous thoughts, who is adept and skillful, etc. A sishya follows a way of conduct towards his Guru in other paths. In the case of Sri Guru referred above, the conduct of a sishya is one of the main acharas in srividya sastra. One who does not follow such rules (acharas) becomes a sinner (Pathitha).A disciple should often stay with his Guru and serve him with devotion. He should also get clarity about secrets of sastras through his precious upadesas.