I was recently at a Gurupurnima function in Boone, North Carolina at the Art of Living Ashram. Sri Sri Ravishankar spoke about the tradition of Gurus and the role of Guru in every person's life. He spoke about the four roles of a Guru. Wisdom dawns when one is with a Guru. Sri Sri created the following tweets while he was speaking to the audience.
The four benefits of having a Guru: wisdom, progress, achievement, and liberation in life. #HappyGuruPurnima
You can't escape having a guru or being a guru. You learn what to do from some and what not do from others.
In the same way,you teach others what to do or what not to do.By default everyone is a Guru and everyone is a student!
He explained that a Guru is needed for anyone to "recognize" the progress one has made in one's life. What impressed me was the way he explained the Sanskrit word Pratabhignya as referring to the ability to recognize. The Sanskrit verb root "gnya" refers to the act of knowing. The prefix Prati refers to back or again. The prefix Abhi refers to towards. Pratabhigna is the ability to recognize a facts. Wisdom is the ability to recognize reality. One comes out of a difficult situation when one recognizes the fact of being stuck. Similarly one's achievements remain small until one recognizes hidden skills within. Usually someone else points out latent skills in one.
Scientists say that a Human being is distinct from other creatures because a human has the ability to self recognize. Ancient traditions named this as the Guru Principle. They acknowledged a realm beyond the standard operational realm of the human mind. A small child learns first from a mother. Mother plays the role of the realm beyond, initially. A child learns skills from others such as teachers coaches. They all play the role of a Guru to a developing human being. The realm beyond develops to an extent within oneself as one grows up. One can continue to tap further into the real beyond by recognizing a personal Guru. Choosing a Guru was a natural progression in all Eastern traditions. Guru Purnima, the full moon in the month of July is the day of gratitude for the guides in one's life.