What does ‘Jay Gurudev’ mean and what is the purpose of Guru?

‘Jay’ means ‘all glories!’ to whoever one is invoking. So, when one says “Jay Gurudev!”, we are paying our obeisance to Sri Guru, who is the direct representative of Sri Krishna, and we humbly pray that his qualities and teachings are imbibed into our own heart.

The bona fide spiritual master is someone who has realized the conclusion of The Vedas and is renounced with no external desires. The function of Sri Guru is to help living entities to turn towards God and realize the true nature of their soul.

tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ
brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam

“Therefore any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bona fide spiritual masters.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.03.21)