Guru Purnima or Vyasa Purnima holds great cultural significance as it is an opportunity to show our respect for our teachers and mentors who have moulded us into what we are today. The day has been celebrated since time immemorial, since the early ages, with great enthusiasm and fervour.
As the name indicates, the day started being commemorated by the disciples of Ved Vyasa, one of the most learned teachers in ancient India. He is known for being the author of the four Vedas, the Puranas, the epic of Mahabharata, and the many encyclopaedias of Hindu sacred texts. This year, the day will be celebrated on 3rd July, Monday.
History & Significance Of Guru Purnima
- Guru Purnima is celebrated on the day on which Lord Shiva taught the seven sages from the Vedas, in the avatar of Adi Guru or the original guru. In the religious text of Yoga Sutras God in the form of Om (Pranava) is named the Adi Guru of Yoga. On this day, Lord Buddha is believed to have presented his first sermon at the city of Sarnath, now in Bihar. This emphasises on why Lord Shiva’s disciples decided to celebrate Guru Purnima on this day. However, this is just one out of the many stories behind the history and significance of Guru Purnima.
- Another story reveals that the day was a full moon day when Lord Shiva, the first Yogi, seamlessly transformed himself into the avatar of Adi Guru, the first guru. He did this to share knowledge to the Saptrishis who prayed to him for 84 years for the transfer of knowledge.
The story says that Lord Shiva appeared in the Himalayas and people went to watch this sudden appearance. They all left after a while, except for seven people who decided to stay back. They requested the Lord to pass on his knowledge to them, so that they can feel what the Lord does. After resisting initially, he eventually gave in to their request on condition that they do sadhana for 84 years. After the lapse of this time period, the Lord taught them about the truth of life and accepted them as his disciples and named them Saptrishis on this day.
- Another story gives a different perspective of the origin of this day. Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment on this full moon day and spread his first sermon in Sarnath. As a result, the day is also referred to as Buddha Purnima.
- For the Jains, Mahavir Swami – the 24th Tirthankar of Jain, took Indrabhuti Gautam as his first Disciple as his first disciple on this day. The day is celebrated as Treenok Guha Purnima from that day on – yet another significance of Guru Purnima.
Guru Purnima Puja & Celebrations
- After a refreshing bath in the morning, touch the feet of your teachers, worship their images, and offer incense, flowers, fruits, and camphor, to start Guru Purnima celebrations.
- Prayers are offered throughout the day and annual resolutions are taken to move forward in their spiritual journey.
- You can observe a fast for the whole day or just stay silent – a practice that is known as Maun Vrat. if you are fasting, you shouldn’t consume salt, cereals, non-vegetarian items, and other heavy foods. The fast can be broken after offering puja in the evening.
- You may listen to or study the teachings of your teachers, to learn more about life – one of the most wonderful ideas for Guru Purnima celebrations.
- Clothes and food are offered to the needy as well as the sadhus and sanyasis.
- Sansangs can be hosted at your home or in your housing society to worship your teachers.
- You can offer gifts to your gurus. Some popular gift ideas include sweets, dry fruits, flowers, and silver items, as a part of Guru Purnima celebration ideas.
- For those doing Vishnu Puja, recite Vishnu Sahatranam, that is, the 1000 names of lord Vishnu, as a mark of respect to your gurus – one of the most beautiful Guru Purnima celebration ideas.
Puja Vidhi For Guru Purnima
In 2023, the muhurta for Guru Purniam is from 20:22:36 of 2nd July to 17:09:30 of 3rd July. The puja vidhi performed on this day is as below:
- After a morning bath, greet your teacher(s) or the deity, and acknowledge the importance they hold in your life in the presence of their picture or idol. That’s how the Guru Purnima celebration ideas start.
- Offer a garland.
- Sing aarti songs.
- Offer fruits to your guru(s), light a few incense sticks, followed by a few lamps.
- Offer water and milk to the idol or image while offering pujas.
- Build a spiritual connection with your teacher(s) by thinking you are eternally indebted to them for the knowledge they’ve passed on to you.
- Chant Guru mantra, which is an integral part of the ideas for Guru Purnima celebrations.
- Offer a personal prayer to conclude the Guru Purnima celebrations.
- If the teacher(s) you’re praying to is alive, you can worship his feet, offer sweets, and say your prayers.
Guru Purnima Puja At Home And In Office
Guru Purnima celebration ideas in office remain the same as what you do at home, only the venue differs. So customise the celebration ideas, while following the traditional vidhi pooja.
Guru Purnima puja is a sacred way for letting your teachers know about how indispensable they are for you. Let them know that they are the root of knowledge that you possess, which has undeniably enriched your life and moulded you to what you are today. Shubh Guru Purnima to you!
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