CHENNAI: Sage Vyasa, who is hailed as an exemplary preceptor, has been responsible for the dissemination of spiritual knowledge. When it comes to representing Truth, it is of paramount importance to remain impeccably objective and not be swayed by subjective perceptions that may give rise to mere inferences (either positive or negative).

This sage, who is credited with the enormous task of arranging the Vedas, and for spiritual works such as the Brahma Sutras, the Mahabharata, the eighteen Puranas, etc., is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He established the system of teaching through discourses.

The hymn Guru Gita, in the form of a dialogue between Siva and Parvati, appears in the Skanda Purana, wherein the well-defined code of conduct pertaining to the preceptor and the disciple is detailed.

The unique Bhava (attitude) that is the pride of the Guru-Sishya relationship highlighted in this hymn throws light on the extraordinary discipline that governs the process whereby knowledge is handed down, said Sri S. Ganesa Sarma in a lecture. Preceptors in the traditional lineage have scrupulously strived to maintain stringent demands while imparting truths and disciples likewise have braved challenges to acquire knowledge.

The Guru inspires and instructs by example. He has the potential to clarify the goal of human life God realisation, and also show the path to the goal.

He can remove the darkness of ignorance known as Maya. The Guru is also seen as the Supreme Grace that enables the transfer/transmission of all knowledge (spiritual, temporal, etc.) through generations.

The disciple who is enjoined to learn at the feet of the Guru and perform selfless service is slowly disciplined to cultivate not merely humility, but basic human values that are not affected by one's status or wealth.

Tradition venerates the position of the Guru who is identified with Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara and the Supreme Being, and whose grace can enlighten the disciple.

The disciple has to become eligible to receive the knowledge from the Guru.

The stress on humility reinforces that this alone is the goal of true learning.