Guru Purnima is celebrated across India with great enthusiasm and bliss. It is observed on a full moon night of Hindu month Ashadha. In 2017, it will be celebrated on 9th of July. On this day, people worship their Guru by offering garlands, fruits, dakshina, etc. This day is also known as Vyasa Purnima. Read on this exclusive article only on MyKundali...
Guru Purnima is dedicated to the great teachers and mentors who build up our future. Guru or a teacher is someone who acts like a guide in our lives directing us to the right path for our betterment. Therefore, it is a fine way of paying the homage to them through the day of Guru Purnima.
According to Hindu Vedic evidences, Guru Purnima is celebrated on the birth of Ved Vyas. Ved Vyas is referred as one of the greatest Gurus in Indian Philosophy. He symbolizes the Guru-Shishya (teacher-student) tradition. It is also believed that he completed the Brahma Sutras on the day of Guru Purnima.
Buddhists also celebrate Guru Purnima. They believe that Lord Buddha (also known as Siddhartha Gautama Buddha) delivered his first sermon on this day. The day of Guru Purnima is also known as Vyasa Purnima.
Guru Purnima or Vyasa Purnima is celebrated on Purnima or Full Moon day of the month of Ashadha, as per the Hindu Calendar.
All of you have had teachers. Some of them were great while some of them even greater. It’s the time to pay gratitude to them on Guru Purnima. Let’s take a look at some of the legends of Guru Purnima that would give you a better understanding of the Guru-Shishya tradition.
Since Guru Purnima is not only limited to Hindus, the festival has a number of legends associated with it. Let’s take a look at them:
Ved Vyasa & Guru Purnima
Krishna Dwaipayana was born on this day. His service to Vedas has been commendable. He was later named Ved Vyasa because he edited and divided the Vedas into four parts - Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda, and Sama Veda. It is believed that Ved Vyasa completed the four Vedas on the day of Guru Purnima.
Ved Vyasa also wrote and compiled the epic Mahabharata. His contribution to the scholarly principles of the Hindu Vedas had earned him the stature of being a Guru or teacher.
Gautama Buddha & Guru Purnima
Gautama Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama. He sacrificed all the worldly pleasures in the search of enlightenment. He delivered his first speech at Sarnath, a month later after attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya.
On his way from Bodhgaya to Sarnath, Gautama Buddha was penniless and had to pass the Ganges river through air. His teaching capability was unquestionable, as he passed his enlightenment to his disciples without being biased of self-worthiness. When he met five companions at Sarnath, he taught them the principles of enlightenment. This helped them to attain enlightenment as well. His disciples came to be known as Sanghas or companions. This happened on Purnima (Full Moon) of Ashadha month. Thus, according to Buddhism, Guru Purnima is celebrated to commemorate Buddha’s teachings.
Soon, the Sanghas grew in number. They went to multiple directions of the world to propagate the teachings of enlightenment. Later on, this process came to be known as Buddhism.
Jainism & Guru Purnima
Jains celebrate Guru Purnima as a special chapter contributed by Mahavira Tirthankara.
According to Jain texts, Tirthankara Mahavira (24th) accepted his first disciple Indrabhuti Gautam. From then on, he came to be known as Guru or a teacher. It falls on Chaumasa or the four month rainy season. This is the reason that the Jains celebrate Guru Purnima.
As the festival of Guru Purnima has more than one reason for celebrating it, the procedures to celebrate the day may also differ. Let's take a look at how Guru Purnima should be celebrated.
Let’s categorize the celebration of Guru Purnima into two religious patterns:
Buddhism & Guru Purnima
How the Buddhists celebrate Guru Purnima? Let’s take a look at the celebrating pattern of Guru Purnima by the Buddhists.
Buddhist devotees follow the day of Guru Purnima through different ascetic practices. Under the guidance of a teacher, people also practice meditation on this day. This also marks the commencement of the rainy season.
The Buddhist monks dedicate themselves completely to spiritual practices on Guru Purnima and remain in a fixed place in their temples. Many of them observe more orthodox practices by abandoning meat, alcohol, etc. This all are done according to the principle of Uposatha - eight rules of Buddhism.
Now, let’s take a look at the celebrating pattern of the Hindus.
Hinduism & Guru Purnima
Guru Purnima is considered as an important Thanksgiving day for the Hindus. Before proceeding forward, let’s know the rituals to celebrate Guru Purnima.
Vyasa Puja is the foremost pattern of celebrating Guru Purnima by the Hindus. Vyasa Puja takes place in various temples, which are decorated as symbols of festivity and traditions. A feast for the disciples is held. Following this, the Charanamrita (sweet curd with dry fruits used in religious rituals) is distributed among the disciples along with Prasada (holy food).
On this day, Guru Gita is read along with other recitations from Hindu scriptures. Padapuja is also held where slippers (Khadga) of the teacher are worshiped. It symbolizes to contain the feet-dust of the teachers obtained through thorough experiences in life. A special Mantra is chanted on Guru Purnima:
गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुः गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः।
गुरुर्साक्षात् परब्रह्म तस्मै श्री गुरवेनमः॥
Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwara |
Guru Sakshat Parbrahman Tasmai Shri Guru Veh Namah ||
Guru is Brahma, also He is Vishnu, Lord Guru is Maheshwara too |
Guru is the manifestation of that supreme cosmic power, I bow to the holy Guru ||
This Mantra embodies the soul i.e. a teacher is everything and hence, universal.
Guru plays multi-dimensional roles in our lives and ultimately takes us to the path enlightenment. Now, let’s discuss the significance of a teacher or Guru in our lives.
In a way, Guru is a godly ambassador who is just next to God. God is expected to induce the qualities of benevolence, humanity, discipline, spirituality and much more into us. Guru is expected to have the same qualities. But, in a way, Guru is more true than God. We cannot see God, but Guru is always be there by us to direct us to the right path in life.
From hermitages to universities, teacher-disciple relationship might have traveled a long path, but this tradition has hardly changed. A student always expects the teacher to guide him to the right direction and help him achieve success. And with all his saintly qualities, a Guru always fulfills the expectations of the student.
This is our turn to express our gratitude to our teachers or Gurus on Guru Purnima.
Since, it is the year 2017, people no more expect a student like Eklavya who would cut his finger for his Guru. But there are ways to express our thankfulness to our Gurus or guides on Guru Purnima.
No Indian festival can end without the festivity of food delicacies. Similarly, Guru Purnima is celebrated in a similar festive mood. Let’s take a look at the food delicacies of Guru Purnima.
Following are the food items that add more flavor to the festive happening of Guru Purnima:
Main Course Delicacies Of Guru Purnima
After having a taste of the mouth watering dishes, one would surely need some sweet items on Guru Purnima. Let’s take a look at the sweet delicacies of Guru Purnima:
Sweet Delicacies Of Guru Purnima
On Guru Purnima, you can send Guru Purnima SMS to your Gurus. This will make them feel remembered on Guru Purnima. Students can also stage plays that relate with the significance of Guru-Shishya tradition. The thing that is more important is to recognize their value in your lives.
Be it the year of 1920 or 2017, a Guru will always be there in our lives. He will always be by us to guide us. In short, Guru is the godly truth. Don’t lose the chance to repay a tribute to your Gurus on Guru Purnima.
MyKundali wishes you a Happy Guru Purnima..!