tʃeɪlə - चेल

The Definition of Chela

Chela means disciple; from Sanskrit verb root, “to serve.” (1)

Chela is similar to a student, except that it implies more loyalty and closeness to the teacher and teachings. (2) In Hinduism, the bond between a chela and a guru (teacher) is considered sacred. It is more like the bond between a parent and child than a teacher and student. (3)

  1. Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda. Chapter 12, “Years in My Master’s Hermitage.”
  2. Mahatmas and Chelas, Leoline L. Wright. Chapter 5, “Chelas and the Chela Life.”
  3. A Handbook on Discipleship, Swami Kriyananda. Lesson 3, “Attunement with the Guru.”