In the words of the famous Saint Kabir:

गुरु गोविंद दोऊँ खड़े, काके लागूं पांय।

बलिहारी गुरु आपने, गोविंद दियो बताय॥

The true meaning of this Doha is that when Kabir saw both his Guru and God (Govind) standing together, he wondered whose feet should he touch first. Understanding his dilemma, God himself pointed towards his guru and said, touch his feet first.

Such is the tradition of our culture, and every year, we celebrate Guru Purnima to pay our respects to our teacher. This year, Guru Purnima will be celebrated on 5th July, 2020.

Celebrated in Hindus, Buddhism, and Jainism, Guru Purnima holds a significant position in the festivals of the land of India. It is considered an auspicious day to pay respects and gratitude to the academic and spiritual teachers in one’s life. But how did the festival start and what is its significance? What are the rituals of Guru Purnima? This blog details everything that you need to know about this great festival.

Guru Purnima

Celebrated on the full moon of the Hindu month of Aadi or Ashadha, the date of Guru Purnima typical falls in the month of June and July of the Gregorian Calendar.

While the roots of this festival ties into our ancient history, it is a known fact that the festival was actually revived as part of our culture by the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, to pay respects to his spiritual Guru Shrimad Rajchandra.

Guru Purnima, or Vyasa Purnima, is celebrated in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and many parts of China as well, as a festival of honouring those who show us the right path in our lives.

History of Guru Purnima

There are a number of stories scattered across the history of this land that tells about the origin of the festival. The most prominent one, however, belongs to the creator of the Indian epic, Mahabharata; Maharishi Ved Vyasa. It is known that the great teacher Vyasa was born on this day to the great Sage Parashara, the author of the first Purana.

He is known to have collected all of the Vedic hymns of that time, compiled them and divide them into 4 parts based on their use. He taught these 4 ‘Vedas’ to his four disciples, gaining the highest possible regard to a Guru in the history of India.

Another great story relates to Lord Shiva, who was known as Adi Yogi (the first Yogi), and how he transformed into the Adi Guru (the first guru). It is known that when 7 sages approached Shiva to help them experience what his knowledge helped him experience, Shiva asked them to prepare and closed his eyes again.

After 84 years, Shiva finally opened his eyes to find the sages glowing and shining. On the full moon day, Shiva finally shared the divine knowledge with them, so the sages evolved consciously. On this day, Lord Shiva became the Adi Guru, and the 7 sages became the Saptrishi.

Similarly, Buddhists celebrate this day as the day of the first sermon that Lord Budhha delivered after attaining enlightenment. Jainism, on the other hand, celebrates Guru Purnima as the day Lord Mahavira chose his first disciple to deliver his knowledge with; Gautam Swami.

Rituals of Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima is the day of paying gratitude and respects to one’s teachers, which is why the celebration of the day begins with a special pooja; the Guru Pooja. The hymns on this day celebrate the praises and importance of Gurus in their life while thanking them for changing their lives. In a number of places across the country, students fast on this day with occasional consumption of fruits and curd, in order to pray for good health and longevity of their teacher’s life. The fast is broken after the Guru Pooja.

Needless to say, our culture tells us that the highest position in a person’s life belongs to their teacher. This may be anyone who taught them, showed them the right way, or helped them learn a valuable lesson in their life. The best astrologer in Delhi, Pandit Pawan Kaushik pays tribute to all the teachers in this country who become the light in the lives of their students and wishes everyone a happy Guru Purnima. For more knowledge on this topic directly from Pandit Pawan Kaushik, book your appointment today.