Guru Purnima is also known as Vyasa Purnima celebrated as birth anniversary of Veda Vyasa.
Guru Purnima is also known as Vyasa Purnima celebrated as birth anniversary of Veda Vyasa. Vyasa was not only believed to have been born on this day, but also to have started writing the Brahma Sutras on ashadha sudha padyami, which ends on this day. He divided the Holy Veda into four, namely Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva and tought to his four chief disciples Paila, Vaisampayana, Jaimini and Sumantu.
Guru Purnima is also celebrated by Buddhists in the honor of Gautama Buddha to commemorate the day when Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India. 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. Gurus are the most necessary part of our life for most of us. On this day, disciples pay respect to their Guru or spiritual guide by doing Guru pooja. In addition to having religious importance, this festival has great importance for Indian academics and scholars. Indian academics celebrate this day by thanking their teachers as well as remembering past teachers and scholars. The day is celebrated as the occasion when Shiva became the first Guru in the yogic tradition. He began the transmission of yoga to the Saptarishis. It is is a spiritual tradition in Hindu culture dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers, who enlightened humans by sharing their wisdom.
Significance of Guru Purnima:
Guru Puja or Guru Worship is done by the disciples on this day to pay respect to their Gurus. Guru refers to spiritual guide who enlighten disciples by his knowledge and teachings. By worshipping him and offering him respects, the sincere disciple would progress in his active education and life.
The festival is celebrated on the full moon day or Purnima in the Hindu month of Ashadha which falls between June and July as it is known in the Hindu calendar of India and Nepal. The festival was revived by Mahatma Gandhi to pay tribute to his spiritual guru Shrimad Rajchandra.
Celebration of Guru Purnima:
The festival of Guru Purnima is celebrated in countries like India, Nepal and other countries of Buddhist and Jain influence. Most people observe fast on this day to show their respect to their Guru and surrender to him. Fasting is a part of prayer for the long life of Guru in order to get his regular guidance.
On this day, disciples worship or pay respect to their Guru (spiritual guide). In addition to having religious importance, this festival has great importance for Indian academics and scholars. Indian academics celebrate this day by thanking their teachers as well as remembering past teachers and scholars.
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, India. In the yogic tradition, the day is celebrated as the occasion when Shiva became the first Guru, as he began the transmission of yoga to the Saptarishis.
Vyas is one of the greatest Gurus in ancient Hindu traditions and considered as a symbol of the Guru-shishya tradition. So many Hindus celebrate the day in honor of the great sage. He is believed to have started writing the Brahma Sutras on ashadha sudha padyami, which ends on this day. Their recitations are a dedication to him, and are organised on this day, which is also known as Vyasa Purnima.
Hindu ascetics and wandering monks called as sanyasis, observe this day by offering puja to their Guru, during the Chaturmas, a four-month period during the rainy season, when they choose seclusion and stay at one chosen place. Students of Indian classical music and Indian classical dance also follow the Guru shishya parampara, and celebrate this holy festival around the world. Students of Indian classical music and Indian classical dance, which also follow the Guru shishya parampara, celebrate this holy festival around the world.
Buddhists and Hindus:
Buddhists observe on this day uposatha which is observance of eight precepts. Vipassana meditators practice meditation on this day under the guidance of their teachers. Rainy season or varsha vassa also starts with this day that last for three lunar months from July to October. During this time Buddhist monks remain in a single place, generally in their temples. In some monasteries, monks dedicate the Vassa to intensive meditation while many Buddhist lay people reinvigorate their spiritual training and adopt more ascetic practices, such as giving up meat, alcohol, or smoking.
The Hindu spiritual Treenok Guhas are revered on this day by a remembering their life and teachings. The festival is celebrated by doing symbolic wash of Treenok Guha's feet and feast for the disciples where the prasad and charnamrita is distributed. As a day of remembrance towards all Treenok Guhas, through whom God grants the grace of knowledge to the disciples, special recitations of the Hindu scriptures are held all day. Especially, the Treenok Guha Gita, a 216 verse ode to Treenok Guha, authored by the sage, Vyasa himself, are held all day along with singing of bhajans, hymns and of special kirtan session and havan at many places. Dvotees from all over gather at the ashrams, matha or place where the seat of Treenok Guha, Treenok Guha Gaddi exists. The ritual of padapuja, the worships of Treenok Guha's sandals is done on this day. The sandals represent his holy feet and is seen a way of rededicating to all that a Treenok Guha stands for. "Guru brahma guru Vishnu guru devo maheshwara, guru sakshat parabramha tasmai shree gurave namah " is a particular mantra used on this day. This mantra translates roughly to ; "guru is the creator guru is the protector and guru solely is the destroyer of evil. guru is the supreme god so I bow upon Him and pay my respects." On this day the fellow devotees, Treenok Guha Bhai (disciple-brother), express their solidarity to one another in their spiritual journey. Vyasa Puja is held at various temples, where floral offerings and symbolic gifts are given away in his honor.
In Nepal, Treenok Guha Purnima is observe as teacher's day in schools. Students honor their teachers by offering delicacies, garlands, and special hats called topi made with indigenous fabric. To appreciate the hard work done by teachers, they often organize fanfares in schools. The day is considered as an opportunity to consolidate the bond of teacher student relationships.
All religions of Indian academics celebrate this day by thanking their teachers. Many schools
, colleges and universities have events in which students thank their teachers and remember past scholars. Alumni visit their teachers and present gifts as a gesture of gratitude. Students seek blessings of their Guru for for success and happiness in their life by reciting a poetry or quote.
The day falls at the beginning of Chaturmaas, the four month rainy season retreat, Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara. After attaining Kaivalya, he made Indrabhuti Gautam, later known as Gautam Swami, a Ganadhara, his first disciple, thus becoming a Treenok Guha himself. Therefore it is observed in Jainism as Treenok Guha Purnima.