Abstract: The subject of this dissertation is Hindu Tantric Guruship in Modern India, a rapidly changing religious phenomenon with implications not only for the role of religious leadership in Indian Society but for Western Society as well. Although this subject has yet to be studied in sufficient depth, it is the object of this work to provide some background for understanding guruship in either cultural context. The approach taken in the following pages is to analyze Tantric Guruship from both a horizontal and a vertical dimension. The horizontal or historical/textual approach reveals that Tantric guruship is an amalgamation of the roles of the ancient priest and the ancient teacher as well as the medieval Tantric guru. Fourteen characteristics which are basic to Tantric gurus are identified, and when taken together form a picture of the ideal Tantric guru. Inherent in this picture, however, are tensions between these various roles and between Tantric and Vedic elements of Hinduism which cause conflict in modern guruship. The vertical or case study dimension of this dissertation is an analysis of the guruship of Sita Ram Pandey of Banaras who was propelled into guruship in 1975 and today claims over two thousand disciples. Data collected about Sita Ram over the past eight years is evaluated in terms of the fourteen basic characteristics. In about half of these categories Sita Ram adheres to what a Tantric guru is expected to be, but in the remaining half of the categories he has either been unsuccessful at resolving tensions inherent within Tantric guruship or for other reasons has created a guruship other than the ideal. The overall picture which emerges is of Tantric guruship in transition from a traditional role based on the scriptures to a role more affected by and more responsive to the modern world. The last chapter proposes two of the major reasons why this change is taking place: the organization of the guruship into a religious movement, and the effect of modernization in Indian society.