Guru Purnima: One Of The Most Important Days In Hinduism…

Guru Purnima: One Of The Most Important Days In Hinduism

The Blessing of a Guru

In India, it’s believed one of the greatest blessing is to have a guru.

A guru, it is said, brings a disciple from delusion into the light of spiritual liberation.

Traditionally, enlightened gurus are considered to be a link between the divine and the individual- the worldly and heavenly realms.

Hindus routinely use the analogy of the moon to describe the all-important guru: just as the moon shines by reflecting the light of the sun, and glorifies it, all disciples can dazzle like the moon by gaining from their Gurus.

SEE ALSO: Pretas: The Ghosts Of Hinduism And Buddhism




What is a Guru?

In Hinduism, it’s believed that a divine teacher is necessary in order to guide a disciple to their enlightenment.

The word “Guru” in Sanskrit is translated as “dispeller of darkness.” Hence the Guru dispels the darkness of ignorance and leads the aspirants on the path to enlightenment.

Gurus, therefore, must be enlightened themselves.

Patiently teaching their disciple a spiritual lifestyle, they emphasize the importance of regular meditation, right action, and right thoughts; all with the intention of making the disciple a better conduit of spiritual living.

The Story of Guru Purnima

According to Hindu lore, 15,000 years ago a yogi appeared in the high regions of the Himalayas.

Nobody knew where he came from, but people felt his holy presence and gathered around him.

He wasn’t exactly animated- in fact, he was just meditating. The only signs of life he showed were the occasional tears of ecstasy that streamed down his face.

Over time, all but 7 of the onlookers left.

When he finally opened his eyes, the 7 pleaded with him to teach them his ways, wanting to experience what he was experiencing.

He dismissed them, but they persevered. Finally, he gave them a simple preparatory step and closed his eyes again.

The seven men began to prepare. Days rolled into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, but the yogi’s attention did not fall upon them again for another 84 years.

Upon awakening on the on the summer solstice that marks the advent of Dakshinayana, it was apparent to the yogi that the 7 had become shining receptacles, ready to receive the teachings of enlightenment.

On the next full moon day, he faced the 7 as a teacher.

The Adiyogi (the first yogi) thus became the Adi Guru, the first guru.

The 7 yogis later took his knowledge and spread it across the world.

Today, the first full moon after the solstice is celebrated for all gurus in Hindu culture.

They call it Guru Purnima.

Observing Guru Purnima

Typically, when observing Guru Purnima, a practitioner will fast and meditate most of the day.

They may make a pilgrimage, present gifts to their guru, or read holy books, but most of the day is spent in spiritual contemplation.

As time has gone by, this day of observance has expanded to include all kinds of teachers.

Irrespective of their religions, Indian academics celebrate this day by thanking their teachers.

Many schools, colleges and universities have events in which students thanks their teachers and remember past scholars.

Alumni visit their teachers and present gifts as a gesture of gratitude.


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Matt Caron

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Matt is the content manager of the Sivana blog, an enthusiastic Yoga teacher, and life voyager. He strives to inspire…

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