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Guru Shishya Parampara

Guru Shishya Parampara (translating to 'teacher-student tradition' is a relationship/bond between students and teachers of Indian classical music and dance. The Guru Shishya Parampara can also mean one's musical lineage, which can be traced through previous generations of one's teachers, much like a family tree.

A crucial part of the Parampara is the way that centuries-old traditions of music and dance are passed on; a majority of the teaching styles have roots in only oral teaching, which incorporates a type of storytelling to the student's learning. As many musical/dance compositions are based on tales of South Asian deities, festivals and legendary epics, communicating these in the same verbal way that the teacher was taught, creates a unique link between teacher and student, and preserves this ancient tradition.

The Parampara comprises many aspects, including the student's responsibilities of diligence in their artistic practice and, in ancient times, the teacher's spiritual and artistic mentorship of the student. For this reason, the Parampara is believed to be a sacred relationship, as the teacher is responsible for their moral, ethical and artistic education. Some applications of this include the student living for extended periods (sometimes years) in their Guru's house, to absorb their habits, routines and depth of musical insight.

Within the Guru Shishya Parampara, the student can sometimes take the decision of becoming the more formal 'Ganda Bandhan Shagird' of their teacher, which signifies their permanent commitment to their teacher and thus the lineage. This is commemorated with tying a sacred thread, and special rituals offering sweets and flowers to God.
 

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