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Indian Culture Topics..

You are here : home > Indian Culture > Indian Festivals and occassions > Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima

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. In the year 2022, Guru Purnima will be celebrated on 13th of July.

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.

Vyasa Purnima

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 ‘Vyaspeeth’ 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 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 give 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 Shishyas, 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.”

Take a quick look at the FAQs related to Guru Purnima.

Why is Guru Purnima Celebrated?

Guru Purnima is celebrated by the Shishyas or students to honour their Gurus or teachers for the spiritual enlightenment or for imparting spiritual knowledge or knowledge from other walks of life.

Guru Purnima is celebrated in which communities?

Guru Purnima is one of the important festivals celebrated by Jains, Buddhists and Hindus in their respective communities by following the customs and traditions that are prevalent in their communities.

What is usually done on Guru Purnima?

On the occasion of Guru Purnima, homage is paid to all the Gurus. Gifts or Guru Dakshina is given. Special programmes are organised. The disciples of spiritual gurus also observe fast for the well-being of their Gurus. Some disciples also pray, sing Bhajans or meditate throughout the day.

Why is Guru Purnima considered as one of the auspicious days?

Guru Purnima is considered as one of the auspicious days as it falls on the full-moon day of Ashadha month.

What is Guru Puja?

Guru Puja is nothing but an invitation to the divinity to enter one’s own self. It is an invitation by the soul. A soul invites divine energy to enlighten it. It is a powerful way to invite divinity to enter one’s soul.

What is the right way to do Puja on the occasion of Guru Purnima?

On the day of Guru Purnima, you need to take a bath from the head and wear clean clothes. If you do Puja every day at home, you must do that as usual. You must do the Puja and pray to the photo of your Gurus. If you are with your Gurus, you must wash their feet. After that you must offer them Tilk and flowers. You must offer them sweets and food. At the end you must offer Dakshina in form of gifts to them and then bid a good-bye to them after praying for their well-being and happiness.

How to fast on the occasion of Guru Purnima?

On the occasion of Guru Purnima, one can fast the whole day without drinking or eating anything. Another way to fast is to just eat fruits and drink milk throughout the day. Some devotees also observe fast the whole day and break the fast in the evening by having one meal.

Is it alright to have a Sattvic diet on the occasion of Guru Purnima?

It is alright to consume Sattvic diet on the occasion of Guru Purnima. Such a diet includes foods made-up of Sabudana, Singada, Peanuts, Sweet-Potatoes, Potatoes etc.

What is the importance of Purnima?

Purnima or full-moon day is considered to be the most auspicious day according to Hindu culture. On this day if Shree SatyaNarayan Puja is observed, it is sure to bring prosperity, happiness and good luck in one’s life. This Puja is done after one achieves important milestones in life like marriage, purchase of property, success in business or any other achievement.

Which other festivals fall on the full-moon day or Purnima?

Other festivals like Raksha-Bandhan, Buddha Purnima, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Vat Purnima, Narali Purnima and Holi are some of the festivals that are celebrated on full-moon day or Purnima.

Which are the ancient spiritual Gurus that are worshipped in India?

Spiritual Gurus like Buddha, Mahavir, Guru Nanak, Swami Vivekanand are worshipped in India. Apart from the ancient spiritual Gurus there are many other Gurus who are worshipped across India. Adi Shankara, Sri Ramanuja Acharya and Sri Madhvacharya are some of the Gurus who have done notable work in Hinduism.

How is Guru Purnima celebrated in schools and colleges?

Guru Purnima is celebrated in schools and colleges by greeting and giving gifts and flowers to teachers and professors. Students also express their gratefulness towards their teachers and professors on this day. In schools, stories on Guru Purnima and significance of Gurus in everyone’s life is told to students. Children also learn how to pay homage to Gurus, teachers, professors and faculties on this auspicious day.

What is the significance of spiritual Gurus in our life?

Spiritual Gurus teach us the right way to walk the path of truth and honesty and obtain salvation from the soul. By following the teachings of Gurus, we can learn to accept the fact that the main objective of human life is to obtain the salvation of the soul. The teachings of Gurus help us to increase our soul power. With the help of Gurus, we can start our life with new hope, courage and confidence. They give us strength to face tragic as well tough situations in life.

At what age can one start following the teachings of spiritual Gurus?

There is no specific age to start following the teachings of spiritual Gurus. The early we start the better it is. The teachings of Gurus help us to make our lives less complicated and happier. It helps us to get detached with the world and attached to ourselves. If parents are following any spiritual Gurus, they must encourage their children too to follow their teachings right from early age. Following the spiritual path right from early age can help children to grow-up into well-balanced and successful individuals.

What are the auspicious timings or Shubh Muhurat on the day of Guru Purnima this year?

Guru Purnima will fall on 13th of July in the year 2022. Guru Purnima Tithi will start on 13th July at 11:33 am and end on 13th July at 10:13 am.
According to Hinduism, life is meaningless without a Guru. A Guru is the one who helps his or her disciples lead a happy and a fruitful life as well as attain salvation of soul. So, if you haven’t found the right Guru for yourself, do so on the occasion of Guru Purnima. Follow the path of truth (Satya) and honesty and live a happy and prosperous life under the guidance of your Guru.

Gurubrahma Guruvishnu Gururdevo Maheshwaraha: I
Guruhu Sakshaat Parambrahma Tasmai Shrigurave Namaha: II

On which day will Guru Purnima fall in the year 2022? What is the significance of Guru Purnima? What is the importance of Guru in our life? Discuss here.

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Sunita.9 years ago
Gurus play an important role in our lives and as such we must do something for them on the occasion of Guru Purnima. On this day I visit my teachers and Gurus because whatever I am today is because of my Gurus.
Rupali.9 years ago
I agree with Mahesh, today's students are not paying respect to teachers so following such traditions will help to remind Indian values.
Mahesh.9 years ago
Guru Purnima is a very important day to pay respect to our teachers and gurus. It is a wonderful Indian tradition and it must be followed in today's age as these days children, especially teenagers do not show respect for their teachers.
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