Guru Purnima, also referred as Vyasa Puja, is observed on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashada or Ashara (June – July). Guru Purnima 2021 date is July 24 in North India. It is marked on July 23, 2021 in calendars followed in Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat The day is dedicated to the Guru – one who dispels darkness. Guru is honored and given due respect on Guru Charan Pujan day. Sage Vyasa is considered the Adi Guru or the first Guru in Hindu religion and therefore the day is also known as Vyasa Poornima.
Importance of Guru Purnima
The Guru Gita in the Skanda Purana hails guru in this famous verse:
Guru brahma Guru vishnu Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru sakshat Param Brahma tasmai Shri Gurave namaha
‘Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva,
Veneration to the Guru who has manifested as Parabrahman.’
While venerating the Guru we must also be cautious as the world today is filled with fake gurus and swamis – who make a living out of spirituality.
The true Guru is a transmitting medium, a transporting agent and transparent embodiment of the divine grace and compassion, the focal point of the timeless eternity and finite time.
Guru Purnima day is rightly termed as Vyasa Poornima because Guru Vyasa is the greatest editor and compiler of holy texts in Hinduism. He has provided all the necessary elements needed to understand the Truth and to lead a happy and peaceful life; only we need to have patience and time to read and digest the unparalleled wisdom treasured in the Holy Scriptures in Hinduism.
Guru Purnima Mantra
ॐ श्री सच्चिदानंद
गुरवै नम: (Om Shri Sachidanand Guruvai Namah)
ॐ श्री गुरुभ्यो नम: (Om Shri Gurubhyo Namah)
Vyasa Purnima – Vyasa Puja or Guru Pooja
व्यासाय विष्णुरूपाय व्यासरूपाय विष्णवे।
नमो वै ब्रह्मनिधये
वसिष्ठाय नमो नम:॥
Sage Vyasa is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. I Saute the great Guru who was born in the family of Sage Vasishta.
Pujas, satsangs and cultural programs are organized on the day. Students perform Guru Puja on the day.
Dakshinamurti Puja on Guru Purnima
Dakshinamurti is a manifestation of Hindu God Shiva. In this form he is the primordial Guru who blesses his students with the knowledge of liberation. Dakshinamurti Puja is annually held on Guru Purnima in North India.
Guru Purnima which falls on Ashada Purnima is dedicated to the true who Guru – who dispels darkness and ushers in the light of knowledge.
Dakshinamurti means one facing the South. He is the teacher of yoga, music, all arts and sciences and holds the key to the knowledge of spiritual truths.
Naimisharanya is believed to be the holy spot where Sage Vyasa divided the Vedas into four and compiled 18 Puranas. The annual mela here is held on Ashada Purnima day.
Naimisharanya is located in Uttar Pradesh and is around 90 km northwest of Lucknow and is 34 km from Hardoi.
The most important holy spots in the area are the Chakra Tirthi, Hanuman Garhi, Pandav Qila, Lalitha Devi Temple, Vyas Gaddi, Havan Kund, Dadhichi Kund and Sita Kund.
The term Guru is split as ‘Gu’ and ‘Ru’. Gu denotes ignorance and Ru means that which helps one to overcome ignorance. According to the established traditions, the parents are instrumental in giving birth to a child in this material world but it is the Guru who enlightens one and helps one to overcome the material bondage and become liberated from this transmigratory existence of birth, death, old age and disease.
Therefore the scriptures advocate that one should worship one’s guru as god. Skanda Purana says, “guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara, guru is the personification of supreme brahman therefore I adore him.’’ The Svethaswara Upanishad says that one will not get liberated unless one worships one’s guru as god.
Guru Poornima is also called as Vyasa-Poornima because all the schools of theistic philosophy that have originated in the country have their source in the scriptures classified or compiled by Veda Vyasa. Veda Vyasa classified the Vedas into four, based on their content and the purpose for which they are recited, compiled eighteen Puranas, authored Brahma Sutras and Mahabharata, which is considered to be the essence of all Vedas, for the benefit of people who are not knowledgeable in the Vedas.
Like parents only a true guru can selflessly think of the welfare of his disciples at the cost of his own interests. In the fifth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, Vrishabha Deva says that one should not become a guru unless he has the ability to liberate his disciple. Therefore an ideal guru should also be well versed in the knowledge that leads to Brahman. A selfish person cannot realize Brahman. Therefore, unless one has overcome his selfishness and is interested in the welfare of his disciples one cannot become a true guru even if he is well versed in all the scriptures.
Other Articles on the same topic
Swami Brahmanand Saraswati on the Signs of an Ideal GuruThe words ‘guru’ and ‘goru’ sound only a little different. The guru sees to the happiness of the shishya (disciple) and the goru (cattle) are only connected with nourishment and comfort. (read more)
How Sri Ramakrishna Taught Swami Vivekananda the Need of a Guru?
When Swami Vivekananda first visited Ramakrishna Paramahamsa he asked ‘I have read the Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures several times, I lecture and give discourses on the Gita and Ramayana. Do I still need harbor of a saint; do I still need a guru?’ (read more)
Washing The Feet Of Guru – Swami Chinmayananda
Just as a Shivling represents Shiva, a Saligrama represents Vishnu, in the same way, the feet of the teacher represent to the student not the feet, but the concept behind. (read more)
Qualities of a True Guru – 23 Qualities by Sri Krishna in Uddhava Gita
- They have no grudge against anyone.
- They have endurance, patience, fortitude.
- They are free from scandals.
- They take pleasure and pain in the same vein. (read more)