Guru Purnima is an Indian celebration observed according to the Hindu Moon Sign calendar to convey respect towards the Gurus. It is observed on the full moon day or Purnima in the month of Ashadh (June-July) of the ShakaSamvat, the Hindu calendar of India and Nepal. This day marks the lunar cycle’s first peak after the solar cycle’s peak. Guru Purnima is celebrated in India and Nepal and is dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers. Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists normally celebrate this festival, to show honour to their teachers and convey their gratefulness.
The origin of the word ‘Guru’ has been obtained from two parts ‘Gu’ which means shadow and ‘Ru’ which is the remedy of the shadow. Therefore, the word Guru predicts someone who separates us from the shadow of ignorance to the light of knowledge.
People worship their Guru on, Guru Purnima. If devotees have no Guru, they perform Rudrabhishek Puja, offering prayers to Lord Shiva- the Guru of all. Moreover, Satyanarayan Puja is also performed on Purnima, considered a highly auspicious day to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu.
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Mythological Significance of Guru Purnima
According to Hindu mythology, Guru Purnima is celebrated to indicate the birthday of Ved Vyasa. He is the renowned sage who has written the four Vedas. He is also famous for writing one of the Sanskrit epics the Mahabharata along with 18 Puranas. On the day of Guru Purnima, the devotees offer Pujas and pray to their Gurus to remove the darkness from their minds. Buddhists also celebrate the festival to show thankfulness toward Lord Buddha. They believe that on the day of Guru Purnima Lord Buddha delivered his preaching at Saranath after travelling with his five disciples from Bodhgaya. In many Indian ashrams (retreats) ‘Padapuja’ is performed which is done by cleaning the slippers of the sage or the Guru by the devotees. Classical songs and chanting are done during this time.
Sanyasi does Vyasa puja on the day of Guru Purnima, as the ritual of Chaturmas(four months). The Hindu divine TreenokGuhas are worshipped by recollecting their living and teachings. Vyasa Puja is performed at many temples, where flowers and symbolic gifts are offered in his privilege and that of the planetarysatTreenokGuha. The celebrations are normally followed by a feast for the devotees, shishya, where the prasad and charnamrita meaning nectar of the feet, the symbolic wash of TreenokGuha’s feet, which signifies his blessing or kripa is showered.
Hindus attribute their supreme position to spiritual Gurus. Gurus are always compared with God and are regarded as a connection between the individual and the eternal. It is similar as how Moon glitters by the reflection of the Sun and exalts it, all devotees can flare like the Moon by acquiring knowledge from their Gurus.
The devotees keep fast on the day of Guru Purnima to express their devotion towards their Guru. The Buddhists observe this festival by following the teachings of the Lord Buddha on this day, they also take up Diksha (preparation) on this day. In many Indian ashrams (retreats) ‘Padapuja’ is performed which is done by cleaning the slippers of the sage or the Guru by the devotees. Classical songs and chanting are done during this time. On this auspicious day, many people prefer taking up spiritual lessons from their Guru which is known as “Diksha” in Hinduism. The devotees keep fast on the day of Guru Purnima to express their devotion towards their Guru. The Buddhists observe this festival by following the teachings of the Lord Buddha on this day, they also take up Diksha (preparation) on this day.
Significance of the Guru in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism
Guru is a term that means “dispeller of darkness.” Ignorance is the source of this gloom. The term “guru” traditionally refers to a spiritual or religious leader who possesses profound wisdom that can bring about moksha (liberation or nirvana) and firsthand knowledge of Divine insight or grace that has permeated their own essence.
Historical And Mythological References To Gurus In Hinduism
The ancient scriptures of Hinduism laud the virtues of a Guru. The Svetasvatara Upanishad, which emphasizes the value of Guru worship, claims that the teachings will illuminate those noble souls who have regard for both God and a Guru. The Taittiriya Upanishad encourage students to regard their teacher as if they were a god. A Guru is compared to Shiva in Guru Gita from the Skanda Purana. The Guru was also associated with the deity since he was seen as the sect’s living representative of the spiritual truth. In times of worship, the Guru is typically accorded the same reverence as God, and his birthday is observed as a feast day by his devotees.
Qualities Of An Ideal Guru According To Hindu Scriptures
The Katha Upanishad states that to learn about Brahman, one needs a Guru who knows Brahman as himself. Without him, nothing else is possible. In the Taittiriya Upanishad’s invocations and petitions, a teacher asks God or Gods for the following things. One might seek these ideal characteristics in a Guru or teacher.
The qualities of a spiritual Guru should include knowledge, self-realization, liberation, purity, virtue, austerity, honesty, detachment, freedom from sexual desire and delusion, and dedication to God. He should be firm in upholding discipline through personal example, wise, focused on God, unselfish, egoless, meek, and indifferent. A genuine Guru practises renunciation in both word and deed and maintains consistency in the face of all life’s dualities. He avoids attention from the public, fame, reputation, wealth, ownership, notoriety, worldly pleasures, and luxuries.
The Role Of The Guru In The Spiritual Development of A Disciple
The Guru assists his student, particularly when the disciple commits errors since, at that point, he is overpowered by delusion and requires assistance more than at other times. The Guru instructs the follower and guards him against repeating the same errors. The Guru’s primary responsibility is to grant total student liberation, which includes freedom from the cycle of birth, karma, and all types of suffering. A Guru is required for someone just starting on the spiritual path, as only an illuminated spirit can enlighten another.
Some people practise meditation on their own for several years. Later on, encountering certain roadblocks, they genuinely sense the need for a Guru. Finding your way on the spiritual path is still more challenging. Your thinking will often lead you astray. The Guru would clear away obstacles and hazards and direct you in the right direction. There are some confusing sections in the scriptures. Certain passages contradict one another, while others contain esoteric meanings, varying relevance, or hidden explanations. Cross references exist. A Guru will lay out the true purpose for you, clear up any confusion, and present the core of the teachings to you.
Guru Purnima 2023 Dates, Time, Tithi
- In 2023 Guru Purnima will be celebrated on 3 July.
- Poornima Tithi Begins — 08:22:36 p.m. on 2 July 2023.
- Poornima Tithi Ends — at 5:09:30 p.m. on 3 July 2023.
The Guru-Disciple relationship is the most beautiful and loftiest relationship because it is founded on the Guru’s unwavering compassion for the disciple and the disciple’s devoted spiritual pursuit of realizing his true nature. Personal interests do not taint it. It is a means of reaching God based on an eternal connection supported by awe, faith, and allegiance. In this relationship, the student gives the Guru his life in exchange for the Guru’s blessings of heavenly love. The only reliable way to approach God is to be loyal to his words.
A Guru and disciple share a unique link of love, compassion, trust, and appreciation. Without faith, respect and devotion, the relationship between Guru and disciple could never reach its goal.
A seeker of light can only gain entry to the beautiful universe they have inside of themselves through a Real Guru. The Guru helps the disciples disentangle the thought web by connecting the seeker with their unrealized potential. The disciple has the perfect chance of expressing thanks for all the blessings they will get after a relationship between the Guru, and the disciple has been established.
Celebrating Guru Purnima
Rituals, Mantra, And Customs Associated With Guru Purnima
Devotees bathe and worship their Gurus on the day of Guru Purnima. The nationwide celebration of Guru Purnima takes place. They chant this shloka as a tribute to their teachers.
Some of the mantras associated with Guru Purnima are:
“Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu”
“Gurur Devo Maheswara”
“Guru Sakshaat Par Brahama”
“Tasmay Shri Guruve Namah”
How The Day Is Celebrated In Different Parts Of India And The World
People pay respect to their Gurus all over India the only difference in the celebration that occurs is the Guru they pay respect to, for instance.
- In Uttar Pradesh, people pray at the “Baba Keenaram Sthal.”
- Thousands of devotees congregated at the Sai Temple in Nagpur, Maharashtra, and offered prayers.
- In Hyderabad, people pay respect at the Mata Amritanandamayi Math in East Marredpally.
Importance of Offering Gratitude To One’s Guru On This Day
In its broadest sense, it refers to intentionally valuing and acknowledging the instructors of our past, current, and future. We can someday cross the vast ocean of ignorance through their kindness.
Guru Purnima in the Modern World
Guru Purnima is significant from a religious standpoint and for Indian academics and scholars. On Guru Purnima, academics in India appreciate their instructors and remember their predecessors as instructors and scholars. In the time of social media and the internet, the definition of Guru is evolving. You can get spiritual guidance from any Guru thanks to the internet. One thing that remains the same in every era is that you need a Guru for spiritual guidance.
Connect with Gurus online for your sessions and benefit from their guidance from anywhere in the world. Your spiritual mentor will give you affirmation and encourage you to achieve your goals. They also help you find peace, neglect negative thoughts and understand yourself more. When choosing your spiritual Guru, you should be very discerning as they will guide you to the true meaning of life & change how you understand it, so choosing a genuine and trustworthy Guru is essential.
Guru Purnima is celebrated to show your gratefulness to the Gurus. It is celebrated in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism. A spiritual Guru helps you find your spiritual way and leads to liberation, which includes freedom from the cycle of birth, karma, and all types of suffering. Guru Purnima honours all intellectual and spiritual Gurus who are enlightened beings eager to impart their knowledge.
Conducting a puja or havan on the day of Guru Purnima lets you receive the Gurus’ blessings, which dispel ignorance and enlighten the way of life. Book pandits from SmartPuja to do the puja or havan, which will foster hope and development.
Frequently Asked Questions
People take a bath and pay respect to their Gurus.
Yes, it is celebrated in Jainism and Buddhism also.
Guru Purnima originated from the Buddhist custom of remembering Gautam Buddha’s first discourse to his first five disciples in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh.
Early in the morning, people bathe in holy water. They then carry out Vyas Pooja, Hawan, and Yajna before going to the Guru’s Ashram.
Since 1962, India has commemorated Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s birthday, 5 September, as Teachers’ Day, while Hindus have customarily marked Guru Purnima as a day to honour teachers and Gurus.
Yes, there are specific mantras to be chanted on Guru Purnima. We have mentioned them above.
One can seek blessings from their Guru by showing thankfulness.