First, we must understand what Guru stands for, according to ancient Hindu literature, the word guru is derived from two words Gu and Ru.

A guru is the one who Removes The Darkness Of Our Ignorance.

Significance Of Guru Purnima

This festival is celebrated in India, Nepal, Bhutan by Hindus, Jains and, Buddhists dedicated to the spiritual or academic gurus to pay tribute.

When it guru Purnima celebrated?

In this year 2022, Guru Purnima was on 13th July 2022.

It is celebrated on the full moon day of Asadha.

Asadha is the month in the Hindu calendar starting from 22 June till 22 July according to the Gregorian calendar, it is the first of the two months which has a monsoon season.

In the following article, I will discuss the Significance and history of this auspicious day in detail according to different religions.

Hindu Legends

According to the Hindu Ancient Scripture(Puranas), Lord Shiva is the supreme being who was the first Adiyogi.

Lord Shiva Elephant Caves;
An ancient sculpture of Shiva at the Elephant Caves, Maharashtra. 6th century CE
An ancient sculpture of Shiva at the Elephant Caves, Maharashtra. 6th century CE

In the yogic culture, it is said that the day is celebrated as the occasion when Lord Shiva became the first Guru (Adiyogi), as he began the transmission of cosmic knowledge to the Saptarishis the seven sages. Also, the names of the seven stars in the constellation are shown below.

showing 7 Saptarshi rescued by Matsya
Matsya (fish) rescues the Saptarishi and Manu from the great Deluge
seven names of Saptarishis
In Hindu Astronomy, the seven stars are identified with the names of Saptarshis

The day was revived by Mahatma Gandhi for his spiritual guru Shrimad Ramachandra in India but Guru Purnima also known as Vyasa Purnima, mainly celebrated on the birth of Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa (Sanskrit – कृष्णद्वैपायन) also known as Vyasa or Vedavyasa.

Ved Vyasa
Veda Vyasa giving teachings

the sage who wrote the epic fight in the history of the world Mahabharata in 3100 BCE narrated by Vyasa and written by Lord Ganesha by his broken tooth below is the stone engraved found in Angkor Wat, a temple in Cambodia and is the largest religious monument in the world with the depiction of Vyasa on the right and Lord Ganesha on the left.

Vyasa narrating the Mahabharata to Ganesha
Vyasa narrates the Mahabharata to Ganesha, his scribe, Ankgor Wat.

It was this dividing and editing that earned him the honorific “Vyasa” (Vyas = to edit, to divide). “He divided the Holy Veda into four parts, namely Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva. The Itihasas and the Puranas are the fifth Veda.

Buddhist History

Siddhartha Gautama is also called by the name Gautama Buddha.

When he found his five former companions after he traveled to Rsipatana in Sarnath (10 kilometers north-east of Varanasi) and taught them the Dharamacakrapravartana Sutras.

Gautama Buddha Teaching his disciples
Modern Thai depiction of the Sermon in the Deer Park at Sarnath
Statue of Gautama Buddha,
Statue of Gautama Buddha, preaching his first sermon at Sarnath.

This marked the date when Sangha was formed, on the full moon day of Asadha. The Gautam Buddha subsequently spent his first rainy season at Sarnath at the Mulagandhakuti.

It is celebrated with the start of the rainy season in the month of June/July.

In the rainy season times, it is difficult for monks to travel

Therefore…

Hindu Ascetics/yogis and wandering monks (Sanyasis) take this time to rest and most of them meditate very intensively to achieve their spiritual goals.

Buddha then sent 60 members of the bhikshu sangha in all directions to travel all alone to teach Dharma.

Jainism

According to Jain religious traditions, Guru Purnima also known as Treenok Guha Purnima celebrated at the beginning of Chaturmaas on this day of the four-month rainy season retreat.

Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara, after attaining Kaivalya (enlightenment), made Indrabhuti Gautam later years known as Gautam Swami, a chief disciple of Tirthankara (Gandhara).

Gautam Swami was also Lord Mahavira’s first disciple.

Lord Mahavira
The famous idol of Mahavira at Shri Mahavirji

How it is celebrated in Nepal?

In Nepal, Guru Purnima or Treenok Guha Purnima is celebrated as a big day in schools and universities.

This day is teacher’s day for people in Nepal. This is taken as a great opportunity to consolidate the bond of teacher-student relationships.

By Offering special hats(Topi), delicacies, and, garlands.

So, now the question arises can’t we remove darkness without the help of a guru.

Let me ask you a question first

So tell me… is it possible to

See without your eyes, Pick up your phone without your hands, or talk to someone thousands of kilometers from you without your telephone?

These are tools that we use consciously or unconsciously with the change in time or what we can also say is karma. I will explain karma in the following articles in detail.

In the same way, Guru is an enlightened soul or an evolved being in a particular aspect of life and can provide you with a map of the golden treasure.

Here,

Treasure means Nirvana, and the map is the process of Stillness / Meditation (YOG).

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