Guru Purnima (Asadha Purnima, Vyasa Purnima) is a festival of religious and spiritual significance where many Hindus and Buddhists pay homage to their spiritual gurus or teacher. It is observed on the full moon day, Purnima, in the Hindu month of Ashadh, which generally falls in the month of June or July.
According to vedic astrology, the planet Moon on this auspicious date remains in the zodiac Sagittarius ruled by Jupiter and the Purvashadha Nakshatra of Venus. Hence the brightness of the Moon on this auspicious day of Purnima, it is believed to dispel darkness away of everyone’s life.
The religious scriptures of Hinduism and Buddhism mark this festive event of Guru Purnima as a sacred event. As per our traditional customs and belief system, a Guru, a teacher is considered next to God, and therefore an integral part of the society and its building process. This year, the auspicious day of Guru Purnima will be celebrated on July 24th, 2021.
Guru Purnima is the day meant specially for revering the Gurus. The great sage Vyasa or Veda Vyasa was born this day, and as he was regarded as a great Guru, the day is observed as a day to give honour and respect to all teachers, Gurus and preceptors. A full Moon day or Purnima is believed to be meant for reverence of your Guru. The month corresponds to the Tamil month of Aani and in the English calendar, to the period June–July.
When is Guru Purnima 2021?
The 2021 Guru Purnima day falls on 24th July, Saturday.
Purnima Tithi Timings On Guru Purnima Day 2021
Sunrise 24 July, 2021 05:58 AM.
Sunset 24 July, 2021 07:08 PM.
Purnima Tithi Begins 23 July, 2021 10:43 AM.
Purnima Tithi Ends 24 July, 2021 08:06 AM.
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Greatness of Guru Ved Vyasa
Ved Vyasa is a well known name in Hindu traditions and culture, and he was not just a pre-eminent Guru but also an extra ordinary saint-poet. He was a teacher par excellence and is a Guru of Dattatreya, who himself is called the Guru of Gurus and also as the incarnation of the supreme trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesha.
It is important to know that the word Veda remains as a prefix to Vyasa’s name, because he was the one who compiled the ancient Vedas and classified them into four parts. He has also written the great Indian Epic- Mahabharata, while also composing 18 Puranas, including the most sacred Bhagavata Purana. He was the greatest sage of Indian Philosophy and symbolizes the Guru-Shishya (teacher-student) tradition. It is also believed that he did the final compilation of the Brahma Sutras on this day of Guru Purnima.
Importance of Gurus
A Guru holds a prominent and respectable position since ancient times in our Hindu tradition. His importance lies in the fact that he is considered equivalent to God. We find end number of hymns where we are told the importance of a guru in one’s life; he is the one who exposes us to the hidden things and secrets of life.
Gurus are like light house who guide us through the path of wisdom, virtue, peace and spiritual advancement, and that ultimately lead us towards liberation. These can fairly demonstrate the importance of the occasion of Guru purnima. It is an auspicious day of strengthening the Guru-Shishya relations.
Guru Purnima is dedicated to the great mentors who transform our lives and lead us to the righteous path of karmas. Therefore, it is an opportunity to show our respect towards our teachers and make them feel special through celebrating Guru Purnima. Indian traditions have a deep rooted tradition of guru and shishya and we can find ample of stories in our ancient scriptures regarding the same.
It is an inevitable part of us, and children in olden days were made to wear a sacred thread called janeu or poonal and were sent to the gurukuls to study scriptures and learn various skills or vidhaayein from their respective gurus. In return of the education received they were supposed to give guru dakshina to please their teachers or mentors.
It was a token of gratitude towards his/ her Guru, and it was only giving it that the students used to step into their new lives in the real world. These age old customs are still observed in modern India keeping our traditional roots alive. It was pre assumed that a guru would help them to find the righteous direction in life.
Keeping up with this Guru-Shishya tradition, every Guru Purnima, natives give something valuable to their teachers as gifts and seek their blessings. Parents are the prime most teachers in our life, and thus the Indian culture put emphasis on respecting your parents as your first gurus. As per the spiritual scholars, it is the Guru who transcends an ordinary being from the vicious cycle of life and death and helps him to realize the truth of the eternal 'aatma' or conscience.
The enumerated shloka from the ancient Vedic Scriptures narrates the supreme position of a teacher or Guru -
”Gururbrahmā Gururviṣhṇu Gururdēvōh Mahēśhvaraḥ
Guru Sākṣhāta Paraṁ Brahmah Tasmai Shrī Guravē Namaḥ”
Meaning: Oh teacher, you are equal to the Gods. You are Lord Vishnu and even you are Lord Shiva – the God of the Gods. Oh teacher, you are the celestial being, and you are Lord Brahma for me. Thus, oh teacher, here I bow in front of you with great reverence.
In the word Guru - Gu means darkness, ignorance and Ru implies removing something. So, in literary sense, Guru is the one who removes agyaan or darkness of ignorance from our lives, gives us wisdom and knowledge and brings positivity in our mind and life.
The feet of the guru are revered because all nerves are linked to the feet where vital energy points relating to every organ of his physical and inner bodies exist. Through touching his feet, you are touching your spiritual master internally. Worshipping the feet of the teacher is also an acknowledgement that by following his footsteps they will attain their spiritual goals.
Offerings made on this day include flowers, fruits and a piece of unstitched cloth for gurus who have renounced the world. These items are kept in a basket or on a metal tray, with dakshina, which is a monetary gift wrapped in a betel leaf. In ancient days, gurus used to receive precious stones and gold from the king and cows from those wealthy ones with desire of sustaining their gurukul for dissipation of knowledge by their gurus.
Guru Purnima – What does the day mean?
Guru Purnima is not just meant for teacher-student relationship or for religious people, and this day has its significance for varied sections of the society too. It is widely observed across the nations like India, Nepal and Bhutan with great reverence. It has religious as well as economic significance too. Let’s talk about its importance in some of the segments of society.
Farmers: This day has its importance for the farmers too. After the scorching heat of summer days that makes the land dry and parched, farmers eagerly wait for the rain to see their lands soaking with water, this naturally makes their fields fertile and they can get sufficient water for irrigation and initiation of the agricultural activities. It is on the Guru Purnima that the monsoon generally marks its advent and the monsoon season begins with it. This is the reason that the farmers celebrate this day with much hope and enthusiasm.
Spiritual people: as we know the day of Guru Purnima is closely linked with spirituality and is considered an auspicious time to initiate journey towards spiritual progress. People start studying religion and like on this day, while the devout start penance through observing several sacrificial practices.
Chaturmaas: Guru purnima marks the beginning of Chaturmaas, the pious period of four months, when saints, monks and ascetics devote most of their in self introspection and religious activities. They undertake study of ancient scriptures and observe various sacred austerities. Guru Purnima is a day of illumination, as the Guru illuminates the mind of his pupils with his wisdom and knowledge. To stay in tune with this statement people decorate their houses and light diyas or traditional lamps as mark of enlightenment.
Lord Dakshinamurthy is a divine guru or teacher and is called as Adi Guru. Similarly, the planet Jupiter has also been considered the Deva Guru, the preceptor of the celestial beings. People worship Dakshinamurthy and planetary Lord brihaspati (Jupiter) on Guru Purnima to seek their divine blessings for better understanding, knowledge and wisdom.
Buddhism: According to Buddhist traditions, Gautam Budhha delivered his first sermon or teaching to his first five disciples on the day of Guru Purnima. It was the time when he migrated from Bodhgaya to Sarnath to form his 'Sangha' or the community of His disciples.
Jainism: According to Jainism, Lord Mahavira delivered his first lecture to his first disciple Gautam Swami and became his Guru on this day. Thus this day is celebrated in veneration of Lord Mahavira.
Hinduism: Vyasa puja is held at many places with recitation of spiritual mantras to venerate the supreme 'Guru'. Devotees offer flowers and gifts to show their gratitude and 'prasadam' and 'charanamrita' are distributed among them. Devotional bhajans, hymns and recitals are enchanted the whole day. The holy text of Guru Gita is recited in devotion to guru.
Significance of Guru Purnima
It is said that the Guru Vyasa compiled all the 4 Vedas that were recited orally by the Lord Brahma and every being on this earth is indebted to Ved Vyasa for his commendable and unimaginable task. We owe to him for writing several Puranas and our most important scriptures so, in order to pay homage to him and all the teachers in this world, a day was decided known as Guru Purnima. As this day is dedicated towards the Gurus, people irrespective of their religions and caste or creed offer their prayers to their gurus thanking them for the knowledge they have imparted with them.
What Should You Do On This Day?
- Meet your Guru and gift something valuable for him as per your capacity.
- One may worship Shri Aadi Shankaracharya, who is considered the Jagatguru or the teacher of the world as per the Vedic scriptures.
- 'Padapuja' or the worship of the sandals of the sage is observed by pupils in the different mathas/asharams and disciples surround the place of the seat of their guru, reminding themselves his teachings and principles. At some places it is preceded by a festive procession.
- This day is also devoted to the Guru Bhai or the fellow disciples; they express their gratitude towards each other in their journey towards spiritualism. They spend the day in introspection of their respective spiritual journeys so far.
- Many people begin their spiritual journey on this day through the process of renunciation of the world called 'diksha'.
- Buddhists observe the eight teachings of Buddha on this day. This ritual is known as 'Uposatha'. Since Guru Purnima marks the advent of the monsoons with it, Buddhist and Jain monks start religious practices and penance from this day.
- Many ardent students of the Indian classical music pay tribute to their music 'gurus' on this day and reiterate the guru-shishya parampara (teacher-student tradition) a long and deep rooted practice of Indian culture.
- Guru Dattatreya should also be worshipped through reciting Dutt Baavani.
- In Vedic Astrology, Jupiter (Guru) is known as the Guru – the teacher who also signifies higher education and ideals – you may rever Lord Jupiter this day.
- As per Vedic Astrology, you may also worship an energized Guru Yantra, especially if the planetary combinations present in your Natal Chart allow you to do so. This will help you strengthen the Guru or Jupiter's benign blessings in your Horoscope.
- If Jupiter is in its Sign of debilitation, i.e., Capricorn, in your natal chart, you should worship a Guru Yantra daily.
- This Yantra is also beneficial in case of guru chandaal yoga i.e. the conjunction between Jupiter-Rahu, Jupiter-Ketu or Jupiter-Saturn in your Birth Chart.
- If Jupiter is in trik houses, i.e., the 6th, 8th or the 12th House, in your Horoscope, you should worship an energized Guru Yantra.
- When Jupiter is retrograde or combust in your Natal Chart, Jupiter is not as strong as it is in its normal course. If such person worship an energized Guru Yantra it will prove beneficial for him.
- Those who have yogas for troubles in child’s education or finances, they may seek genuine guidance through expert astrologers and wear Pukhraaj or yellow sapphire as per recommendations.
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By worshipping your guru you shall invite Good Luck and gain growth in life.