The guru–disciple tradition, mentions the change in the succession of the Gurus and the disciples in Hinduism.In each Mutt of the various saints, a specific type of tradition would be followed, and there would be pontiffs and their disciples. It is the ancient tradition to maintain spiritual relationship and passing of the teachings and the responsibilities from the guru to his disciple.
This type of relationship is maintained, based on the supremacy of the guru, and the commitment of his student given at the time of learning the spirituality aspects from him.
Parampara means the continuation of the tradition and the passing of powers from the superior to his subordinate. In some of the Vedic education centres, the disciple would stay with his guru, and act similar to his family member, and also serve him like his humble assistant, and learns the Vedic education from him.
In the ancient Upanishads, the guru–disciple relationship was clearly mentioned. We can cite the best examples with regard to the Guru Disciple relationship from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. In Ramayana, the relationship between Rama and Hanuman is like Guru and Disciple. In the Mahabharata, the relationship between Krishna and Arjuna can be described as Guru and Disciple, when Arjuna learns the Bhagavat Gita teachings from Lord Krishna. And in the present Kaliyuga, Guru Raghavendra was the Guru to his disciple Sri Appanacharya, and both of them maintained strong bondage between each other.
The relationship between a Guru and a Disciple would be formed during the time of initiation ceremony where the guru accepts his disciple willfully and also shares his knowledge with him.
The types of Guru are as follows:
1. Guru – The immediate guru that is the guru who initiates his disciple in the spiritual path.
2. Parama-guru – The prime person or the base, Adishankara is the Parama Guru.
3. Paratpara-guru – the guru who is the Supreme guru and acts as a guide to the Parama Guru,we can mention Sage Vedavyasa as the Paratpara guru, who cleared the doubts of Sri Adishankara, by showing his physical appearance in front of him.
4. Paramesthi-guru – the highest amongst all the gurus. We can mention Guru Dakshinamurthy as the Paramesthi Guru, who is the Guru to the entire universe.