Guru Poornima – A time to thank your teachers!
Ever wanted to thank your teachers or gurus for all the knowledge and goodness they imparted that has enriched your life in a great way? Guru Poornima is the perfect day to express gratitude to your teachers and get their blessings and good wishes in return! The word ‘guru’ in Sanskrit means ‘dispeller of darkness’. In a more worldly meaning, a guru is one who dispels ignorance and leads to enlightenment. Guru Poornima is a festival dedicated to academic and spiritual teachers, all of whom have made a difference in a student’s life. Traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists, Guru Poornima falls on a full moon day, which is where the ‘Poornima’ comes from.
Guru Poornima is celebrated with a Guru Pooja, wherein disciples offer worship or pay respects to their gurus. Many people celebrate the day by thanking their teachers and remembering their past teachers. In Buddhism, Guru Poornima is traditionally celebrated by Buddhists in honour of Gautam Buddha, who gave his first sermon in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh. In the yogic way of life, the day is celebrated as the occasion when Lord Shiva became the first guru and began teaching yoga to the Saptarishis.
Guru Poornima is considered to be an auspicious day for farmers as it signifies the start of the rains, and it is also a great day to start with your spiritual lessons, if you are so inclined. Another way in which one can celebrate this positive day is by taking a vow of silence and studying the books or writings of your guru, and reflecting on his teachings. At Rishikesh, especially, Guru Poornima is celebrated with much gusto. Disciples awake at Brahmamuhurta, which is at 4 am and then they reflect on their guru’s teachings and chant prayers.
Such is the glory and goodness of this beautiful festival. This year, Guru Poornima falls on the 31st of July. How are you celebrating this propitious day?