Festivals & Fasts

Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima

The Full Moon Dedicated to the Divine Teachers

Guru Purnima is the day on which one expresses ones gratitude to one's Guru. In India, for thousands of years, the Full moon in Ashadha Nakshatra is celebrated in honour of the divine gurus. Ved Vyasa is regarded as the Guru of all Gurus and the Guru Purnima is dedicated to him. Vyasa edited the four Vedas, wrote the 18 Puranas, the Mahabharata, and the Srimad Bhagavata. He also taught Dattatreya, who spread Vyasa’s knowledge to the other gurus.

Gu means darkness, Ru means Dispel, eliminate. Guru means the one who dispels the darkness of ignorance. Guru is the spiritual teacher who shows the aspirant the path to higher knowledge. He brings light to his disciple by showing them the means to find the eternal light. Spiritual gurus are seen as a link between the individual and the divine and therefore given great importance in the Vedic philosophy. Gurus open the eyes of the aspirant to their higher self and show them the divine light where they, the aspirants may have been struggling in darkness. Gurus are considered the living form of God. Therefore honoured and respected for centuries more than any other person as only the Guru can show the aspirant a path back to the divine and bring them from darkness to light.

Mantras to the Guru

Aum Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshvaraha,
Gurur Sakshaat Param Brahma, Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha.

The enlightened Guru is no other than Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the destroyer. Guru is truly the Almighty Brahaman; our salutations to Him, the Divine Spiritual Master.

Aum Dhyana mulam Gurur murtih
Puja mulam Gurur padam |
Mantra mulam Gurur vakyam
Moksha mulam Gurur kripa ||

The root of meditation is the form of the Guru, The root of worship is the feet of the Guru,
The root of mantra is the words of the Guru,
The root of self realization is the grace of the Guru.

Guru Gayatri

Aum Guru Devaya Vidmahe
Para Brahmane Dhimahi
Tanno Guru Prachodayat.

Celebrating Guru Purnima

On this day, all spiritual aspirants and devotees worship Vyasa in honour of his divine personage and all disciples perform a puja/ homage of their respective spiritual teachers.

It is a good time to begin your spiritual lessons. Traditionally, spiritual seekers commence intensifying their spiritual sadhana from this day.

Jyotish is an important tool to give the divine light to the spiritual aspirants. Therefore the study of Jyotish, Vedic astrology- is an important one for any spiritual aspirant to undertake. Honouring your Jyotish gurus on this day would also be of great significance. It is a good day to make start your study of Jyotish, to make a resolution to study Jyotish or to read the texts of Jyotish.

Traditionally the disciples would visit their gurus on the Guru Purnima day and honour their teachers by paying homage to them. If it is not possible to visit your guru, you could honour them mentally, do a small ritual and repeat the guru mantra. You could also send them flowers, sweets, cards or gifts to honour their contribution to your spiritual life. It is also a good day to give Dakshina (offering) to your Guru. This can be in the form of money, clothes, fruits etc.

You could organise a Satsang in honour of your guru or join one. Sat means truth and Sang group. Satsang means a group of truth seekers. Usually, it is a party of aspirants seeking the light. Many spiritual organisations organise a Satsang and host a puja for Guru Purnima.



by Komila Sutton

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