"Be on your guard against too much cleverness."

In Hinduism, there is a great emphasis on the teacher or the Guru (teacher, गुरु), as the guide and mentor, literally the 'weighted one' that is the one who is loaded with spiritual knowledge or divine wisdom. It also means the one who leads his disciples from the darkness of ignorance to spiritual enlightenment by imparting divine knowledge. A guru is the one who guides his or her disciple to become a Jivamukta, a liberated soul who can attain salvation through knowledge.

The Hindu concept of Guru (teacher, गुरु) dates back to the ancient Vedic times when seers revealed their spiritual insights, and sages taught their wisdom to a few select disciples called Shishyas (disciple, शिष्य). This tradition is known as the Guru-Shishya Parampara. The teacher is a central figure in most world religions; Buddha was a teacher, Christ was a teacher – and they use the techniques of parables and miracles to spread their message.

Acquiring knowledge can be a self-driven exercise in learning, something which any intelligent person can undertake on one’s own, but sieving this knowledge to gain true experience, to distill the hidden message, to practice the preaching is one of the ways along with real-life experiences to acquiring wisdom. When Buddha warns Siddhartha against too much cleverness, he is actually warning him against the arrogance to deny the guidance of a teacher. When we believe we are right, when we believe we are clever enough to understand the hidden truth, we are risking the manisfestation of the proverb, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

Today, the Guru-Shishya tradition is kept alive in the field of Indian classical music and dance.