Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima is traditionally celebrated by Hindus and Budhhists, in the month of Ashadh(June-July) of the Hindu calendar,which is the day of full moon ie 'Pournima'.The auspicious moment of Vyaas Pournima, is chosen for observing this annual festival. The spiritual Gurus are revered on this day by remembering their life and teachings.On this auspicious day of full moon, the world got its first guru,hence this day is called a'Guru Purnima'.

Gurus are respected like God and regarded as a link between the indivisual and the immortal.The stars and the moon shine by getting the light of the Sun.Accordingly, the dissiples glow by getting the knowledge from their Guru.As per Sanskrit language, "Gu" means darkness or ignorence and "Ru" means light.So Guru means one who removes darkness and ignorence in one's life.

The period "Chaturmas" (four months) starts from this day. In the olden days, spiritual masters with their disciples used to settle down at a place to study and discourse on the Brahma Sutras composed by Vyasa, and engage themselves in Vedantic discussions.This is the best day to begin to intensify the spritual lessons ie "Sadhan".

Guru is the ocean of knowledge and without a Guru the life of a person is never complete.On this day,dissiples offer worship to their Guru and also award their Guru with a token gift, in response and respect to the knowledge given by the Guru,which is called "Guru Dakshina"

Dissiples whole heartedly give service to the Guru on this day by celebrating the auspicious event. Dissiples observe a "fast" on this day till the "Naivedya" food is offered to the Guru.The relationship between the Guru and the disciple is considered very sacred.This relationship is independent of age and purely spiritual in nature.It is based on Spiritual Knowledge and Spiritual Practice.

The Guru in the Hindu tradition is looked upon as a form of God himself.Through his grace and guidance one reaches the highest state of wisdom and bliss.The Guru is the incarnation of the Parabrahma.The worship of the Guru,is one of the most important and esteemed features of the Hindu culture tradition.

The great sage Vyas,a son of a fisherwoman,who classified the spiritual knowledge of the Vedas under four heads - Rig, Yajur, Saama and Atharva. The credit of composing the Brahma-sootras,eighteen Puranas and the great epic Mahabharat, also goes to him.There are many sages and saints,who are being worshipped as the spiritual and religious preceptors by numerous individuals down the centuries.The preceptor for a whole society should be able to act as a perennial source of inspiration to the people, embodying the highest and the noblest national values.

The Guru is one,who is the incarnation of God,who bestows happiness,whose face is full of joy.His essential nature is knowledge.The Guru is aware of his true self,who is the Lord of yogis and highly adorable.The Guru is the physician who cures all the disorders of the devotees.A Guru is one who removes the darkness of ignorance.

In general term a Guru is a teacher, and Guru means "heavy" in Sanskrit.Thus the role of the guru is full of weight ,and it is very important for a followers.A right Guru can form a disciple's spiritual destiny. A Guru has a big treasure of knowledge and a power of oration. a Guru introduces us with the importance and sanctity of our religion.A Guru introduces us with the Soul within ourselves.A Guru sacrifices his whole life for the welfare of followers.without expecting any materialistic returns.

Without a Guru,the life of a person is not complete.India is blessed with many such Gurus. The tradition of accepting and following a guru is maximum adopted in Hindus .There are different type of followers.While some sacrifice years with their Guru.Some meet the Guru only once in the whole life. Some see the Guru only in visions and dreams.Some see through biographies (Guru Charitra)or pictures of the Guru.

Legend

Hindu
On this day the first "Yogi"(enlightened Human) of this world called the 'Adhi Muni', means Lord Shiva educates his seven students known as "Saptha Rishi" with the yogic techniquess.This day the hindus came to know that humans have ability to cross their limitation and got the techniques to go beyond their five senses and can become 'Yogi'.

On this day Vyasa, the author of theMahabharata,was born to sage Parashara and a fisherman's daughter-Satyavati.So this day is celebrated as 'Vyas Purnima'. Vyasa gathered all the vedic hymns for Vedic studies and educated his four dissiples-Paila, Jaimini, Vaisampayan and Sumantu.

Veda Vyas divided the vedic hymns into four parts based on their use in the sacrificial rites,which earned him the title- 'Vyasa' (vyas means to divide).Vyasa divided the Vedas into four parts,ie Rigved, Yajurved, Samaved and Atharvaved.While the histories and the Puranas are believed to be the fifth Veda. Maharshi Vyas, is the Guru of all Gurus.All worships and prayers to indivisual Guru reach directly to Maharshi Vyasa,who has lead life of all in a righteous way.

Buddhist
Gautam Buddha,before his enlightment,gave up penances.His five monks left him and went to Sarnath.After attaining enlightment Buddha travelled from Bodhgaya to Sarnath by crossing the river Ganges.Gautam Buddha came in contact with his companions there, whom he gave teachings and they were enlightened.Later the enlightened monks formed a community called 'Sangha'.Budha gave the first sermon to the five monks on the full moon day of 'Ashadha'.

Rituals

Dissiple wake up early in the morning and take sacred bath.Later they visit the temple of their Guru,where floral offerings and symbolic gifts are offered in honour of the Guru.In other cases,dissiples visit the Ashrama of their living Guru and worship him by washing his holy feet,called 'PadaPooja'.A full day 'Upavas' (no food taken) is observed.

Recitations of the Hindu scriptures especially, the Guru Gita, a 216 verse ode to Guru,by the sage, Vyasa himself, are held all day.Later on Bhajans,religious hymns are sung by the devotees and 'Prasad' (food offering) is distributed to all the visitors.

On this occasion,the fellow devotees, Guru Bandhus (disciple-brothers) , express their solidarity to one another in their spiritual journey.Lot of people come for the 'Darshana' of the Guru,by travelling from very long distances.