(Last Updated on : 01/03/2011)
A Tantric Guru, depending on the specific lineage and class of tantra, can demand that the disciple will commit to a daily practice like recitation of certain mantras or doing meditation daily. Some Tantras for example Nirvanatantra mention certain types of gurus - paramaguru, paraparaguru and paramesthi-guru. According to some Tantric works Goddess Sakti is paraparaguru and Lord Shiva
paramesthi-guru. One's teacher is one's guru and his guru's preceptor is his paramaguru. Some works classify the gurus as Divyaugha (divine), Siddhhaugha (sages) and Madnavaugha (human). In some works they are divided into two classes Tara guru and Devaguru. It is stated in these works that the names of male gurus should end in - ananda or anantha and those of female gurus in - Amba
The tradition of Tantrism
states that none can take to the Tantric way of life and worship without initiation by a guru of certain individuality. He will assume the energy of the paramaguru in his own body and then cause it to enter into that of the student. The guru should decide the suitability of the particular mantra for a particular student. A woman with require criteria is qualified to be a guru. Initiation by a woman is very effective and beneficial. Eight times more powerful is the beginning by one's mother. In this context it is said that if she gives her own mantra to the son, then he can acquire the eight well-known Siddhis. However one is forbidden to receive mantra from one's father or brother. The husband is also barred from initiating his wife. The husband can be his wife's guru only if he is siddha-mantra
In some Tantras the Tantric guru is regarded as greater even to one's own father. In Tantric rites, a person should seek the help of his guru else it is considered as futile. He should be considered as an incarnation of Siva or Para Brahman. A guru has to acquire many qualities of the head and the heart. A widow or a woman who has no son is not qualified to be a Guru. A Kaula is the best guru for all disciples. Gurus are of two kinds -Diksha-guru and Siksha-guru. According to an authority which is cited in the Pranatosini, gurus are six types - preraka, sucaka, vacaka, darsaka, siksaka, bodhaka. It also seems to be that one can have only one person as a guru.
A guru must have a number of social, physical, and mental qualities which vary according to the doctrines, preferences of the different Tantric traditions. Persons of the following types cannot be gurus: afflicted with Leucoderma, leprosy, optical diseases, dwarf, possessed of bad nails and teeth, henpecked, having more or less limbs than usual, fraudulent, diseased, extremely greedy, garrulous, accursed, miserly, addicted to gambling, devoid of prescribed practices, wicked and speaking ill of guru.
The obscure transmission of doctrine by the guru to his chosen disciple includes the transmission of a mantra which is all-powerful and superhuman in nature. Someone endowed with superhuman powers can have access to and spread such a power. This is the reason why the Tantric guru is regarded divine. The reverence and respect paid to the guru are reflected in the Tantric ritual worship which begins by an invocation of the guru by which the worshiper places him/her mentally within his/her own tradition.
A gurupuja is a ritual worship of the guru which is to be carried out by the newly initiated disciple for the master who has initiated him. This rite is a symbolic offering both of one's prayer and of oneself to the guru. The guru, though divine, is a human person who becomes divine only after a ritual empowerment by which his master transmits to him his own supernatural powers, spiritual powers and ritual qualifications.
The guru takes over his office and his powers from the master who initiates him thereby transferring and renouncing to him his own role and authority.