Book Review

How to Cite

Gerald Surya. (2022). Book Review: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 12(1), 121–126. Retrieved from


The purpose of this study is to identify, examine, and characterize the guru institution in Gaudiya Vaishnavism, and to arrive at general conclusions regarding interpretation of sacred texts and the interplay between canon and charisma. The book is divided into four parts, in a total of fourteen chapters. Part one consists of two chapters: one is an introduction to the thesis, and the other  consists of background information on the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition. Part two details the doctrine of guru in the course of four chapters: the characterization of the guru, the qualifications of the guru and disciple, the processes of finding and leaving a guru, and the processes of initiations. Part three consists of seven chapters highlight- ing in detail the seven roles that each Gaudiya Vaishnava guru may take in relationship to his disciples. The author's summary and conclusions are presented finally in part four. Overall, the book accomplishes its goals of explaining the nature and role of guru in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.