Avidyaranya kaanthare bramanthaam praninaam sada, Vidya margopadestaram vidyaranya gurum sreye.
Namami shankaracharyam sarva lokaika pujitham, Bhaje sri vidyaranya bharati maha swami virupaksha peetha sadgurum.
In our Indian tradition, a very high position has been accorded to the Guru. Without the grace of the Guru, no one can attain fulfilment of the purpose of life. We all desire Moksha, and the sole means to its attainment is Jnana (knowledge). The Veda says: "It is only by knowing the Supreme Brahman that one attains immortality. There is no other path".
How can that knowledge be obtained by us? Can it be got by perusal of texts? No, this knowledge can be procured only from a Guru. In the Upanishads, we hear of holy ones going to Gurus who are well versed in the scriptures and established in the Supreme and making a request of the form, "O Guru! Please impart knowledge to me". Even though the Rishis seeking knowledge may have been scholarly, it is certain that their acquisition of knowledge was solely dependent on their seeking it from a Guru. Only that knowledge which is obtained from the lotus mouth of the Guru is potent. Sans a Guru, no matter how many texts we may delve into, we cannot attain that knowledge. There is a hoary tradition everywhere which can be learnt only from the Guru.
Sri Sri Sri Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Hampi Virupaksha Vidyaranya Mahasamsthanam