Full moon day during Ashadha (July-August) month is known as Gurpurnima day. Traditionally this day is reserved for Guru Puja or Guru Worship. On this day disciples offer Puja or pay respect to their Gurus. Guru refers to spiritual guide who enlighten disciples by his knowledge and teachings. Guru Purnima is also known as Vyasa Purnima and this day is commemorated as birth anniversary of Veda Vyasa. Veda Vyasa was the author as well as a character in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. 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.
What is Guru Purnima?
It is a day for reflection on our credits and debits.A day to be grateful for all that you have achieved in the past and resolving all that you want to do in the coming years. It is a day to be grateful for all the blessings and knowledge received and to see how the knowledge has transformed our life. Realizing this and feeling grateful for all that has come your way – celebrating this and the tradition of Masters, Who preserved this knowledge is guru purnima. The auspicious day of Guru Purnima, is observed as a day sacred to the memory of the great sage Vyasa. All Hindus are indebted to this ancient saint who edited the four Vedas, wrote the 18 Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavata. Vyasa even taught Dattatreya, who is regarded as the Guru of Gurus. Adi Shankar a, Sri Ramanuja Acharya and Sri Madhvacharya are some of the noteworthy Gurus in Hinduism.
The period ‘Chaturmas’ (“four months”) begins from this day. In the past, wandering spiritual masters and their disciples used to settle down at a place to study and discourse on the Brahma Sutras composed by Vyasa, and engage themselves in Vedanta discussions.It is a good time to begin your spiritual lessons. Traditionally, spiritual seekers commence to intensify their spiritual ‘sadhana’ from this day.Meditation is relaxing, reposing. Think of all the things to be
grateful for and ask what you want for the future and bless everyone.
We receive so many blessings. We should also bless all those who are
The Role of the Guru
The question is how to know who is fit for the role of guru in the path of Self-realization.
Sri Sankara says, “A real teacher is he who is well-versed in the Vedas, sinless, un-smitten by desire and the best among the knowers of Brahman, who has withdrawn himself into Brahman, is calm like fire that has consumed its fuel, who is a boundless reservoir of mercy, i.e. ineffable and a friend of all good people that prostrate themselves before him.”
The Guru Gita (verse 17) aptly describes The Guru as “dis speller of darkness” (from Gu, “darkness” and Ru, “that which dispels”). A true, God-illumined guru is one who, in his attainment of self-mastery, has realized his identity with the omnipresent Spirit. Such a one is uniquely qualified to lead the seeker on his or her inward journey toward perfection.
The Gita says that the person whose mind remains unperturbed in sorrow, whose thirst for pleasure has altogether disappeared and who is free from passion, fear and anger is of stable mind. A liberated Sage is free from desire, selfishness, egoism , attachment, greed and hatred. He is full of pure love, compassion and mercy. He is a powerhouse of spiritual energy. It is a rare fortune indeed to come in contact with such a Sage or sad-guru. God always sends His representatives to those who earnestly seek Him. Only a few have attained nirvikalpa Samadhi. But one must seek a true guru, if there is genuine desire for spiritual progress.
Indian culture puts special emphasis on the Guru-disciple relationship. There would be disciple seeks access to the Guru through humility, love and service. The real Guru is one who has attained Self-realization, which means complete mastery over the pulse less and breathless state,i.e. Samadhi. Only then one will be fit for the role of a guru, not because one speaks elegantly nor has a large following. If a person sincerely seeks enlightenment, God sees that he gets a true Guru.A Guru or Preceptor is indispensable for any spiritual practice.
Throughout our life we take the help of teachers for almost every subject that we learn, from academics to music and sport. In the same way if one sincerely wants to make spiritual progress, it is important to have a spiritual teacher or Guru. Hindus attach paramount importance to spiritual Gurus.
A Guru is not only working on earth for his direct disciples but for many other individuals who are crying for peace and happiness in the inner worlds and may never even meet the Guru, but are able to receive from the Gurus meditative offerings. A God-Realized Master’s presence on earth has a profound effect on the collective earth consciousness. Unless a person raises the latent spiritual force present in the coccygeal center to the brain after passing it through the different centers of the spine, he cannot become spiritual. Prayers worship and rituals are of no avail. They produce no change either in his consciousness or in his heart. Only a realized master can rouse the latent cosmic power, the kundalini. Direct touch with a guru is, therefore, essential. Gurus are often equated with God and always regarded as a link between the individual and the Immortal. 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. Like fatherhood and motherhood, there is guru-hood. We all have to play guru-hood at least to somebody. We do play. Consciously or unconsciously you are all guru to somebody. You keep giving advices and guiding people, giving them loving care. You all do this. There is no difference between the divine, the self and the Guru.
All true Gurus are alive, regardless of whether they have retained their physical forms or not. In the beginning of the spiritual search we can have many teachers, but there can be only one guru. They are disciples who come to the guru for an eternal relationship. The Guru is the living embodiment of spiritual truth. The father and mother give the physical birth. But it is the Guru who gives the spiritual birth and leads the disciples to the shore of Self-realization. The disciple has to follow the instructions of the Guru faithfully and sincerely and practice meditation regularly, if he is to gain full benefit from the contact of the guru. Words cannot do justice to the Soul-revealing power of kriya yoga. It is not necessary to be familiar with the theory of kriya yoga in order to progress in it. Only concentration and sincerity are required.
The teacher who accepts personally the adoration of others is merely a worshiper of his own ego. To find out whether a path is true, discriminate according to what sort of teacher is behind it, whether his actions show that he is led by God, or by his own ego. A leader who has no realization cannot show you the kingdom of God, no matter how large his following. All have done well, but blind belief in religious dogma keeps people spiritually ignorant and stagnant.
Most people fail to find the Truth, because they get lost in the forest of theology and travel from one thicket of theory to another. True religious principles are found in good books. But their full meaning cannot be grasped until their manifestation is seen in the life of a guru. For success in the divine search, as in every other aspect of life, it is necessary to follow God’s laws. To understand the secular knowledge available, you have to learn from a teacher who knows it. So also to understand spiritual truths it is necessary to have a spiritual teacher, or guru, one who knows God. A true Guru is a nominee of God, through whom God teaches the devotees so that they may realize their real Self.
श्री सतगुरु देवाए: नमः