guru (gōˈrō, gŏrˈō) [key], in Hinduism and Buddhism, spiritual teacher. The guru gives initiation into spiritual practice and instructs disciples, often maintaining a close relationship with them. Among the Sikhs (see Sikhism) the title guru was given to the 10 leaders of the community from Nanak (c.1469–c.1539), founder of Sikhism, to Govind Singh (1666–1708). Govind appointed no successor, declaring that the Granth (the Sikh scriptures) was the true guru.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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