45. Guru: The word Guru is usually equated to Mentor or Spiritual Master whereas it actually means one who leads from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge. This is revealed here in this one line “Gu karo andhakarasya Ru karo thnnivarakaha” which actually when translated means “One who leads from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.” It can be taken in the context of Spirituality, Music, Dance, Drama, Painting, Drawing, any of the Fine Arts and many other subjects too.
46. Acharaya: Acharya is usually equated to Teacher but the word Acharya has been formed from Aachara which means Practice and hence Acharya is one who can teach a skill and help you practice the same as he/she has also reached a certain level of understanding of the skill through Practice himself/herself; but without expecting anything in return.
47. Adhyapaka: A teacher, preceptor, instructor; especially of the Vedas, Vyakarna, Nyaya, Ganitha or Jyothishya. He/she may be teaching in a Gurukul or Pattashala.
48. Upadhyaya: An Acharya who teaches for livelihood is known as Upadhyaya. So in the present context all teachers can be called as Upadhyayas irrespective of which class of students they are teaching.
49. Bhritaka: An Acharya who has been “Hired” by anybody for teaching his children or ward or anyone else is called as Bhritaka. In today’s world of education I would say all our “Tuition Teachers” fall into this category of Bhritaka.
50. Uditha: A professor who is specialized in any subject and has his/her own style of teaching is called Uditha. The Udithas used to teach students in Viharas under their subject Kulapathy.
51. Pandith: If anybody has attained perfection and completeness in his/her own subject then he/she is called Pandith. Pandith also generally refers to any “wise, educated or learned man/woman” with specialized knowledge. The term is derived from Panndd which means “to collect, heap, pile up”, and this root is used in the sense of knowledge. Pandith can be in any subject like Vyakarna, Ganitha, Nyaya, Jyothishya, Music or even Dance. Other variations of this word are Pandey or Panda which are mostly used to denote a Pujari or a Priest.
52. Drishta: A teacher who is also a visionary and has a vision of teaching his students with passion and liking for the subject at the same time bringing in the same passion of learning in the students is called Drishta. In terms of the relationship with the students, a Drishta comes after the Guru.
53. Dwivedi, Trivedi and Chathurvedi: There used to be Vedic Pandits who used to study and be proficient in more than one branch of Vedas. Chaturvedi would be proficient in four Vedas, Trivedi in three Vedas and Dwivedi in two Vedas. This denotes that other than his/her own branch of Veda this person was proficient in three, two or one branch/es extra. This person could teach those branches that he/she was proficient in.
54. Shishya: Shishya is a Disciple more than a Student. As a Shishya has been initiated by the Guru (Given Diksha) and he lives with the Guru as long as his Vidhyabhyasa ‘Study’ is over and he serves the Guru. It is considered that this relationship between the Guru and Shishya is based on the genuineness of the Guru, and the respect, commitment, devotion and obedience of the Shishya. This is considered as the best way for Gjnana to be imparted. The Shishya eventually gets the Gjnana that the Guru embodies.
55. Chhatra: Chhatra is the student who is with the Guru or Acharya for academic interest or with just getting the knowledge for life. They study all the subjects to the extent that is required to lead a comfortable life.
Every Gurukulam used to have Shishyas and Chchatras. The Shishyas were the more serious types who would like to continue their Vidhyabhyasa a little longer and with more effort to reach completeness of their Vidhya taking it to the Gjnana stage and they would stay back in the Gurukuam even after the Samavartana ceremony. Whereas a Chchatra would do Vidhyabhyasa till it was just enough for life and move on after the Samavartana ceremony.
56. Vidhyarthi: This is the third category of students who come with the aspiration of gaining any specific Vidhya. Their stay at the Gurukulam, Acharyakulam or Vihara is limited till they gain the specific Vidya they aspired to attain.
57. Snathaka: One who has completed his/her Vidhyabyasa at a Gurukulam, Acharykulam, Pattashala, Veda Pattashala or Agama Pattashala and after the Samavartana ceremony he/she is called Snathaka. A Snathaka is qualified to pursue his / her higher education at a Vihara with Guru’s permission or blessings.
58. Kulapathi: As discussed earlier the Viharas which were centers of excellence and there were subject experts for higher studies who would be heading the faculty of specific study in the Vihara along with Udithas and Acharyas of the same subject to guide a Snathaka Chhatra. These subject heads were called Kulapathi.