Guru Punima, also known as Vyasa Punirma, is celebrated as birth anniversary of Veda Vyasa. Guru Punima is widely celebrated in India and Nepal to pay respect to spiritual and academic teachers. Guru Purnima is observed on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashadha (June–July). On this day, disciples offer puja (worship) or pay respect to their guru (spiritual guide). At academic institutions, students celebrate this day by thanking their teachers as well as remembering past teachers and scholars.
Why is Guru Purnima celebrated?
Traditionally the festival is celebrated by Buddhists in honor of the lord Buddha who gave His first sermon on this day at Sarnath,Uttar Pradesh. However the followers of Hindu religion celebrate Guru Purnima as the birth anniversary of Veda Vyasa. Veda Vyasa, also known as Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, is the author of Mahabharata, Vedas and Puranas. Since he wrote several religious books and authored spiritual teachings, Veda Vyasa is considered as the original Guru.
The word guru is derived from two words, gu and ru. The Sanskrit root gu means darkness or ignorance, and ru denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore, a guru is one who removes the darkness of our ignorance.
Guru Purnima is a symbol of the Guru-shishya tradition. Hindu ascetics and wandering monks (sanyasis), observe this day by offering puja to their guru. Students of Indian classical music and Indian classical dance, which also follow the Guru shishya parampara, celebrate this holy festival around the world.
Guru or teachers play key role in one’s life. Spiritual gurus nurtures and modifies our lives. They make us understand the difference between right and wrong and good and evil. Let’s offer our gratitude to Gurus and receive their blessings on this auspicious day!