Gururbrahmaa gururvishnuh gururdevo Maheswarah |
Guruh-saakshaat parambrahma tasmai shrigurave namah ||
“Guru is creator Brahma; Guru is preserver Vishnu; Guru is also the destroyer Siva and he is the source of the Absolute. I offer all my salutations to the Guru”.
The full moon day in the month of Ashadh (July) of the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Guru Purnima by all Hindus all over. This day is celebrated as a mark of respect to the “Guru” i.e. a teacher or a preacher.
This day is celebrated in the sacred memory of the great sage Vyasa, the ancient saint who compiled the four Vedas, wrote 18 Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavata.
The day, also known as “Vyasa Purnima” is observed by devotees who offer pujas (worship) to their beloved Gurus. Sage Vyasa is known to be the Adi (original) Guru of the Hindu religion. The auspicious day of Vyaasa Poornima has a great significance as everybody knows that the role of a Guru in real life is very much important.
Hindus show much respect to their gurus. Gurus are often regarded as God. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6/23) tells :
“Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau
Tasyaite kathitaa hi arthaaha prakashante mahatmanaha”
This means, Guru to be worshipped in the same manner as the deity - God, to attain all there is to attain on the path of God-realization. When this Self is within you where is the need to search for someone to teach you!
On this day several programs and cultural performances are organized by spiritual organizations. Divine discourse and bhajan samarohas are also organized to make the day more special.
In India, Guru Purnima is celebrated at various ashrams, especially with much grandeur at Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh. The day is celebrated here on a grand scale with devotees coming from various parts of the country. The same is also celebrated at ashram of Satya Sai Baba at Puttaparthy, Ashram in Amritapuri and few other places of spiritual importance. Guru Purnima is also celebrated few places outside India.
This is a day for spiritual seekers who remain extremely open to their gurus to receive divine power, and for this reason holy people choose this day to shower everyone with their most auspicious divine blessings.
The day of Guru Purnima has great significance for spiritual sadhaks and farmers. All spiritual aspirants and devotees worship Vyasa in honor of his divine personage and all disciples perform 'puja' of their respective spiritual preceptor or 'Gurudevas'. They offer flowers and sweets to their spiritual gurus. It is also good time to begin spiritual lessons from a guru. Traditionally, spiritual seekers commence to intensify their spiritual 'sadhana' from this day.
The day also finds a great importance for farmers. The period 'Chaturmas' ("four months") begins from this day. The water, drawn up and stored as clouds in the hot summer, now manifests in plentiful showers that brings fresh life everywhere.