India is seemingly either known for the Taj Mahal or for her Gurus.

A guru is nothing but a teacher. However, the interpretation one has for a teacher varies from culture to culture, and in India, a teacher is held in high esteem with all necessary respect shown to a teacher as for one’s parents. This unmitigated and comprehensive respect is often confused by an individual foreign to the ways of India to that shown to one’s God, and thus a guru is mistaken for a God. All of a sudden, a lowly guru becomes a consecrated Guru.

Having stated this, I came across the following (from another site) where an eloquent comparison of the differences between a Guru and a teacher are made:

A teacher takes responsibility of your growth
A Guru makes you responsible for growth

A teacher gives you things you do not have & require
A Guru takes away things you have and do not require

A teacher answer your questions
A Guru questions your answers

A teacher helps you get out of the maze
A Guru destroys the maze

A teacher requires obedience and discipline from the pupil
A Guru requires trust and humility

A teacher clothes you and prepares you for the outer journey
A Guru strips you naked and prepares you for the inner journey

A teacher is a guide on path
A Guru is a pointer to the way

A teacher send you on the road to success
A Guru sends you on the road to freedom

A teacher explains the world and its nature to you
A Guru explains yourself and your nature to you

A teacher makes you understand how to move about the world
A Guru shows you where you stand in relation to the work.

A teacher gives you knowledge and boosts your ego
A Guru takes away your knowledge and puncture your ego

A teacher instructs you
A Guru constructs you

A teacher will punish you with the stick
A Guru will punish you with compassion

A teacher is to pupil what a father is to son
A Guru is to pupil what a mother is to her child

One can always find a teacher, but
A Guru has to find and accept you

A teacher leads you by the hand
A Guru leads you by examples

When a teacher finishes with you, you graduate
When a Guru finishes with you, you celebrate

When the course is over you are thankful to the teacher
When the discourse is over you are grateful to the Guru.


And finally, as Deepak Chopra once responded to the question if he was a guru (or was the question, was he a Guru??), he said: Gee, U R U (gee, you are you)!