The guru–shishya tradition, or parampara (“lineage”), denotes a succession of teachers and disciples in Indian-origin religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism (including Tibetan and Zen traditions)

Each parampara belongs to a specific sampradaya, and may have its own gurukulas for teaching which might be based at akharas, gompas, mathas, viharas or temples

It is the tradition of spiritual relationship and mentoring where teachings are transmitted from a guru “teacher” (Sanskrit: गुरु) or lama to a śiṣya (Sanskrit: शिष्य, disciple), shramana (seeker), or chela (follower) after the formal diksha (initiation)

Such knowledge, whether agamic, spiritual, scriptural, architectural, musical, arts or martial arts is imparted through the developing relationship between the guru and the disciple

It is considered that this relationship, based on the genuineness of the guru, and the respect which is not based on age or how old one looks, commitment, devotion and obedience of the student, is the best way for subtle or advanced knowledge to be conveyed

The student eventually masters the knowledge that the guru embodies