The word Guru has its origin in the Sanskrit language. The syllable ‘Gu’ taken individually refers to darkness and subsequently ‘ru’ refers to the removal of darkness.
Guru is given the highest place in an individual’s life even above that of parents and God. According to Hindu religion for mortals who have not seen God, Guru is the creator, protector and destroyer.
The first full moon day during the fourth month- Ashadha as per the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Guru Purnima. Also known as Vyasa Purnima the day is significant to Hindu’s as it is commemorated as the birth anniversary of Veda Vyasa. According to Mythological gospel Veda Vyasa was the one to dictate the entire Mahabharata to Lord Ganesha in one go.
This day is also celebrated by the Buddhist in honour of Gautam Buddha marking the day he gave his first discourse at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Guru Purnima is thus celebrated by disciples to acknowledge the selfless act of their Gurus for inducting wisdom and knowledge unto them. Guru or teacher holds a spiritually as well as academical importance for Hindus. The teachings of ancient Gurus like Adi Shankara, Sri Ramanuja Acharya and Sri Madhvacharya have sculpted the virtues of Indian society since the inception of civilization.
Also Read: Cheti Chand – Celebration of the First New Moon
According to Indian tradition the Purnima (full moon) is celebrated by paying homage and worshipping Veda Vyasa the first Guru and performing puja of their respective Gurus.
The day is also significant to Indian farmers as it marks the setting-in of the much-needed monsoon. As most farmers in India even today depend on rains for their crop.
This period of the year is considered as the ushering in of life and therefore is a good time for one to start his spiritual sadhana (practice/learning). It is also considered best for spiritual seekers for accepting the grace of their Guru. This grace has enormous significance for a disciple with regards to his ascension and growth.
Also, astrologically the planetary placement after the solstice and during the first full moon is the time when life on earth is most receptive to the cosmic energies and possibilities.
The best time for worshipping the Gurus is early in the morning. Beginning with cleansing oneself and praying to the Guru’s Padukas (shoes), followed by Puja, Meditation and chanting the Brahmananda Swaroopa- as paying tribute to the ecstasy of the creator.
Also Read: Gudi Padwa – The Hindu New year
Defying the limitations of existence and spiritually ascending to the possibilities beyond is only possible with the help of a Guru.