Guru Purnima- All You Need To Know
The author of the Mahabharata, Veda Vyasa, was born on this day. He also compiled the Vedas and classified them into 4.
On this date, Adi Guru or Lord Shiva taught the Sapta (seven) Rishis, who were the seers of the Vedas.
Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, delivered his first sermon at Sarnath on this day to his five disciples. It was after this that the first Buddhist Sangha comprising his disciples was formed.
Also, on this day, the Jains’ spiritual teacher and 24th Tirthankara, Mahavira, gained his first follower, Gautam Swami.
If you are wondering which is this special day, it is Guru Purnima. It is an important day for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains alike. It is the ideal day to honor your Gurus and teachers and express gratitude to them.
Guru Poornima falls on the full moon day of Ashadha (June-July) month. Students or disciples pay their respects to their Gurus on this day. It is also called Vyasa Purnima.
Significance of Guru Purnima
A Guru removes our ignorance and bestows knowledge. He guides spiritual seekers in their Sadhana. Without the help of a Guru, neither material wealth nor spiritual treasures are attainable. To gain these, we need both knowledge and wisdom.
Many human beings are seduced by Maya or worldly illusions and go astray. They forget their true purpose in life. But the presence of a Guru in their life can help them to course-correct and find their way back to God. Ego, arrogance, pride, envy, jealousy are all things that alienate us from other human beings and God. But the Guru can help us to get rid of such negative forces and become kind, compassionate, and selfless.
This is the reason why Gurus are given great importance in Hindu culture. To put it simply, without a Guru, it is difficult to reach God. The Guru’s spiritual knowledge is like a brightly glowing lamp that illuminates all corners of our mind and banishes the darkness of ignorance forever.
It is believed that, on Guru Purnima, the principle of Guru Tatva is very active, making it an ideal day for spiritual seekers to begin or deepen their sadhana.
Guru Purnima day also happens to be an important day for farmers when they offer thanksgiving to God for good rainfall for the next harvest.
How to Celebrate Guru Purnima
Rise early in the morning, at Brahmamuhurta - 3.30 - 4 o’clock in the morning. Meditate for a while.
After taking a bath, worship the feet of your Guru or worship his image. Offer fruits, flowers, camphor, and incense.
Some fast the entire day. Others maintain silence for the whole day. This is called “Maun Vrat” or ‘vow of silence’. Some people may have only milk and fruits.
Read or listen to the teachings of the Guru.
Offer food to holy men and get their blessings.
Organize Satsang at your house or in your community. Spread the glory of the Guru.
Introspect on life and make fresh resolves to achieve spiritual progress.
Mantra for Guru
Chant the Mantra given below while praying to invoke the Guru’s blessings:
Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwara
Guru Sakshat Param Brahma
Tasmai Shree Guruvey Namah!
The Disciple Who Loved Puranpolis
Once, there was an illiterate and voracious boy called Gauba who loved Puranpolis (a sweet). He would pester his poor, widowed mother to buy Puranpolis often. Fed up with his nagging, she took him to Saint Eknath’s house and asked him to look after the boy. She also told him about the boy's obsession with Puranpolis. Eknath felt that the boy had some dormant spiritual tendencies and took him in as a disciple. In his Guru’s house, he got Puranpolis daily, and he also got the name Puranpolya. He was very devoted to Eknath and served him faithfully. Eknath was writing a commentary on the Ramayana, which was called the Bhavartha Ramayana. Though he knew that it was time for him to depart from the world, he had not finished his book. So, he touched Puranpolya's head and transmitted his spiritual power to his disciple. After Eknath died, Puranpolya was able to finish the commentary. Incredibly, his verses were exactly like those written by Ekanath.
This story reveals that the Guru has the power to work miracles in his disciples’ lives.