What is meant by Guru Purnima?
Hinduism is a way of life, centered around relationships and festivals. One special day is called Guru Purnima & is dedicated to all teachers or Gurus, who are masters in their subject & impart vital knowledge & wisdom to their students.
Students of Indian classical music & dance, academic, sports, or spiritual subjects dedicate this day as a form of gratitude to revere their teachers. It is a day when the bond between a teacher & student is strengthened.
Guru Purnima 2021- 24 July, Saturday
What does Guru mean in India?
Guru comes from a Sanskrit word. “gu” means “darkness/ignorance’& “ru” means “remover of that darkness”. Therefore, Guru removes the darkness of our ignorance.
Only a true Guru can help the seeker to break karmic & thought processes to open up new visions & possibilities.
What does spiritual guru mean?
A spiritual Guru can raise our consciousness to the ultimate truth, beyond the illusions of material wealth & free us of physical bondage.
How many times does Purnima come in a year?
Guru Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashadha, which normally falls in July/August. The mind is connected with the moon. A full moon brings out the best of the spirituality within us.
On this day, the planetary alignments offer a high frequency of light energy associated with love, devotion & compassion. It is believed that even Apsaras or angels come from heaven to join the celebrations.
How is Guru Purnima celebrated?
The day starts with disciples waking up in gratitude & contemplate the knowledge received of how they have progressed in the previous year.
On Guru Purnima, fellow devotees, disciple-brother, express their solidarity in their spiritual journeys.
A special pooja (worship) is done to honor the teachers. After a special mantra, Colourful flowers & several types of food are offered as prasad to all the students or congregation. This ritual is called Guru pooja.
Disciples re-commit to guidance & acquiring knowledge throughout their lives. This helps them to refocus and sharpen their intellect. In return, the Gurus give blessing for success and happiness to the students.
What does the guru mantra mean?
A mantra used on this day is:
Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu,
Guru Devo Maheshwara,
Guru Sakshat Parabrahma
Tasmai Shree Gurave Namah
Which translates to:
Guru is the creator; Guru is the protector and Guru solely is the Destroyer of Evil.
Guru is the Supreme God So I bow upon Him and pay my respects.
Why is Guru Purnima celebrated?
The Festival of Guru Purnima is celebrated by Hindus because on this day, because according to the Puranas, over 15,000 years ago, Lord Shiva became the first Guru, as he began to impart the knowledge of Yoga to Saptarishis, who spread this throughout the world. These 7 basic different aspects of yoga are still used today.
Guru Purnima is also called Vyas Purnima
Guru Purnima is also called Vyasa Purnima, as many Hindus celebrate the day in honor of Sage Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata, who started the Guru-Shishya tradition of teaching.
Ved Vyasa was born on this day and is believed to start writing the Brahma Sutras. He gathered all the Vedic hymns & divided the Holy Veda into four parts according to their subject matter.
Priests recite & give discourses from these sacred scriptures as a homage to the enlightened teacher. Vyasa Puja is held in all temples, with havans, hymns, bhajans & kirtans are performed with great devotion.
What is Guru Purnima and Buddha Purnima?
Buddhists celebrate the day in honor of Gautama Buddha who gave his first sermon at Sarnath in UP, India to his 5 companions, who became enlightened.
This established the Sangha, which spread Buddhism throughout Asia. On this day Buddhists contemplate the 8 precepts of life.
Why do Jains celebrate Guru Purnima?
It’s a special day for the Jains, as it is believed that Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara, made Indrabhuti Gautam his first disciple.
Today, many schools, colleges, and universities have events in which students thank their teachers and remember past scholars, irrespective of their religions & backgrounds.
Even Alumni visit their teachers to get blessings & re-establish connections. They give gifts as a gesture of gratitude.