गुरु पूर्णिमा 2019 – 16 जुलाई गुरु पूर्णिमा तिथि प्रारंभ – 01:48 बजे (16 जुलाई 2019) गुरु पूर्णिमा तिथि समाप्त – 03:07 बजे (17 जुलाई 2019)
Students today do not realise the value of their teachers and gurus. The word Guru denotes one who dispels the darkness of our ignorance. Because the Guru guides us on the path of God-realisation, he is accorded the same respect as God himself. Guru Purnima is a day where students show allegiance to the ancient yet fundamental concept of the Guru.
Guru Purnima is celebrated on the auspicious day of the full moon, known as Purnima, in the month of Ashad (July-August) as per the Hindu Calendar.The word ‘Guru’ is obtained from the Sanskrit root ‘Gu’ which stands for darkness and ignorance, and the Sanskrit root ‘Ru’ which indicates the remover of that darkness and ignorance. Hence the word ‘Guru’ denotes one who is a dispeller of the darkness of our ignorance.
Guru Purnima is dedicated to the renowned Sage Vyasa who is said to have codified the Vedas around 1500 BC. The Vedas themselves signify wisdom, knowledge and vision. They are the most sacred texts of India which educate and guide humans with spiritual knowledge for all aspects of life. Vyasa Krishna Dwaipayana was son to sage Parashara and his wife, fisherwoman Satyavati and grandson to great sage Vasishta. The sagely philosophy and wisdom of his father and grandfather, combined with the practicality and level-headedness of his fisherwoman mother ensured that he was well-equipped to excel in life and create the bedrock of a universal religion, which regulates the religious direction of Hindus in particular and humankind in general.
Guru Purnima is celebrated on the birthday of Great Sage Vyasa and is also known as Vyasa Purnima. Purnima indicates ‘illumination’ and therefore, Vyasa Purnima denotes ‘spiritual enlightenment.’ Sage Vyasa is also credited with writing the Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavata. Teachers imparting Vedic or spiritual education pay obeisance to Sage Vyasa, even today, The seats from where these learned men will give their directives, are termed as ‘Vyasapeetha’ to recognise Sage Vyasa’s stellar contribution to education.
Teacher – Student Relationship
Students today do not realise the value of their teachers and gurus. Where would athlete Milka Singh be today without the dedication of his coaches Gurudev and Ranveer Singh? Would Steve Jobs have been able to pioneer Apple without the mentoring of the co-founder of Intel – Andy Grove? A Guru, a Mentor, or a Teacher, whatever you may call them…you cannot deny their importance in every walk of life! The relationship between teacher – student, guru – shishya, or mentor – protegee is said to be the lifeline of India. This day celebrates all Gurus, and reminds disciples of their value.
On Guru Purnima, one must pay homage to the ‘Guru-Shishya Parampara’ or the traditional teacher – student relationship which is the bedrock of Indian civilization. Year after year, age after age, Guru Purnima is a day where students salute and show allegiance to the ancient yet fundamental concept of the Guru. Hindu scripture reveals that without the spiritual wisdom of the Gurus and the energy and thirst that students harbour for gaining knowledge, society would be colourless, dull, rigid and conservative.
One of the foremost conditions for a student is complete surrender, or ‘Pranipata’, to the Guru. Disciples are encouraged to question, analyse and mull over the directives taught by their Gurus in order to understand, accept and transform oneself spiritually on the path shown.
Observing Guru Purnima
Because the Guru removes our ignorance, imparts knowledge for leading our day-to-day lives and guides us on the path of infinite bliss and God-realisation, he is accorded the same respect and importance as God himself. As a mark of gratitude for showing students the path to a spiritual higher way of life, students offer themselves as ‘Guru Dakshina’ to compensate and thank their Gurus or teachers. Service or ‘Seva’ to Gurus or teachers is said to be the highest form of repayment and reciprocity that students can gift their teachers.
Hindu Tradition of Celebrating Guru Purnima
Vyasa Pujas are held at Hindu temples where flowers are offered and gifts are distributed to commemorate Sage Vyasa and other cosmic Gurus. Bhajans and Hymns are sung in Kirtan sessions and Guru Gita, a tribute to Gurus penned by Sage Vyasa himself is recited along with other Hindu Scriptures. Disciples wash their Gurus’ feet as a symbolic gesture and the water, known as ‘Charanamrit’ or nectar of the feet, is distributed amongst the students. Feasts are organised for the shisyas, where Prasad and devotional literature is shared with everyone. Padapuja, or the holy ritual of worshipping the Guru’s feet and sandals, is carried out as a way of showing respect and committing oneself to the teachings of one’s Gurus.
Buddhist Tradition of celebrating Guru Purnima
Because the first sermon that Lord Gautam Buddha gave his five monks, who were part of the Sangha (or community of enlightened ones), was held on the auspicious day of the full moon in the month of Ashad, Buddhists, too, celebrate this day. Buddhists observe Uposatha, for cleansing their minds and regaining inner peace. Disciples and Monks make a conscious effort to practice more, gain more knowledge and show commitment to their community by following either 5 or 8 precepts. Buddhist teachings and discourses go on all day and monks and disciples meditate all day long as per the millennia – old teachings of Lord Buddha and his Sangha of the enlightened ones.
Jain Tradition of Celebrating Guru Purnima
On this day, Lord Mahavir initiated a Gandhara, now known as Gautam Swami, as his first disciple after gaining Kevalgyan or omniscience. According to the Jain Calendar, this day is said to be the beginning of the four month long rainy season known as Chaumassa which are the four holiest months for Jains. They celebrate this day by showing obeisance to the Jain monks and Gurus through “Guru Vandan” and by observing strict penance in the form of fasts. They attend special discourses on the importance of Guru Purnima held by the highest ascetics and Monks in Jain temples and meditation halls. Sermons are also held to retell stories of Lord Mahavira and the day he truly became a Guru. Jains are urged to hold just one thought in their minds, “I should be spiritually uplifted.” The Gurus, too, have just one aim: “To uplift their disciples spiritually.”
Gurubrahma Guruvishnu Gururdevo Maheshwaraha: I
Guruhu sakshaat Parambrahma tasmai Shrigurave namaha: II
Story of Guru Purnima The story is remarkable for its both profundity and Philosophical Importance. Fifteen thousand years ago, a yogi suddenly appeared in the Himalayas. Nobody knew who he was and where he came from. They did not even know his name and hence he is called Adiyogi or the first yogi. Soon, a large crowd gathered around him. The man sat quietly with his eyes closed and did nothing. Occasionally, tears fell from his eyes. He did not even appear to be breathing. People saw that he was experiencing something that they could not understand. After many days, most of the people left as the man seemed to be oblivious to them.
Only seven people stayed back. These seven people wanted to know what he was experiencing. But Adiyogi paid no attention to them. They begged him to teach them what he knew. But he only said dismissively, “You are fools, you will not be able to know in a million years. You have to prepare. A great deal of preparation is required for this.” As they kept insisting, he showed them some preparatory steps. They began following his instructions and the preparations went on for many years. Still, the Adiyogi kept on ignoring them. After doing 84 years of sadhana, on one full moon day, when the sun was moving from the northern direction to the southern direction – which is called Dakshinayana – Adiyogi deigned to look at the seven men. By now, they had become like shining receptacles and were absolutely ready to receive his knowledge. He was not able to ignore them anymore.
After observing them closely, on the day of the next full moon, he decided to become a guru. That full moon day came to be known as Guru Purnima as it was on that day when the first yogi became the Adi Guru or the first guru. Because he turned to face south, he is called Dakshinamurthi. Then began the transmission of yogic sciences to the seven disciples. This is how the first full moon of Dakshinayana came to be regarded as Guru Purnima, the day the Adi Guru or first guru was born.
New India Foundation –NGO