By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Ekadasa-gurus, EkadaZa-gurus, Ekadasha-gurus
Ekadaśa-gurus literally means ‘eleven gurus'.
In the religio-cultural tradition, the guru or teacher occupies an important place. The word means ‘one who teaches the scriptures’ like the Vedas.
It is used in a much wider sense in the general terms indicating anyone who deserves respect like the spiritual preceptor.
The Devala Smṛti lists the fallowing eleven persons (ekādaśa = eleven) as gurus:
- Ācārya - Vedic teacher
- Elder brother
- Maternal uncle
- One who protects or gives shelter
- Maternal grandfather
- Paternal grandfather
- One who is superior in caste
- Paternal uncle
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore