A teacher or a guru is a source of enlightenment and can help you evolve as a better person and lead a meaningful life. So high is that position in our culture that we have a special day dedicated to honouring our gurus and the bond shared between teachers and their disciples. Guru Purnima or Vyas Purnima is celebrated every year on the full moon day in the month of Ashadha. This year, Guru Purnima is on 13th July, Wednesday.
Want to know more about Guru Purnima significance and how this day came to be celebrated? Keep reading!
Guru Purnima Significance & History
The tradition of celebrating Guru Purnima is as old as time. Even today, this day is celebrated with great fervour and zest. This day is to honour the efforts of every teacher or mentor that has helped us grow as a person. It is a time to feel grateful to have such people in our lives.
Guru purnima history is quite interesting. This auspicious day has its origin in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. According to Hinduism, this is the day when Lord Shiva became a Guru after he transmitted the knowledge of yoga to Saptarishis or the seven followers. Guru Purnima is also known as Vyasa Purnima in Hinduism, honouring the birth of the great sage and guru Ved Vyasa. Another common belief is that Vyasa finished writing ‘Brahma Sutra’ on this day.
In Jainism, this day is celebrated as Treenok Guha Purnima in honour of Mahavir, the 24th Tirthankara. The importance of Guru Purnima is that this is the day when Mahavir got his first disciple and became a Treenok Guha.
Buddhism has its own Guru Purnima history. The Buddhists believe that on this day, Lord Buddha delivered his very first sermon at Sarnath. This is a day of worship to honour the Lord.
Food Culture & Fasting Traditions Of Guru Purnima
Now that you know more about the importance of Guru Purnima, let’s take a look at the different ways this day is celebrated all across the country.
People celebrate Guru Purnima by observing a fast on this day. They refrain from eating rice, salt, dishes with cereals, heavy food, non-vegetarian meals, etc. During the fast, ‘light food’ such as fruits and yoghurt is allowed. This fast is broken only after the evening puja with vegetarian delicacies. In fact, on Guru Purnima, most households celebrating this day stick to a strict vegetarian diet. They feast on delicacies like poori-chola, halwa, khichdi, ladoo, soan papdi, kheer, etc.
The temples add to the sweetness of this auspicious day by distributing prasada and charnamrita (sweetened yoghurt and fresh fruits) to the devotees.
8 Guru Purnima Traditions
From offering prayers to showing gratitude, the occasion of Guru Purnima is celebrated in various ways. The rituals people carry out may differ according to their faith and beliefs, but the core feeling remains the same. Here are a few ways in which this day is celebrated in India.
- By offering prayers to God or the most prominent guru.
- Hindu devotees celebrate the day by chanting mantras honouring the maha guru and seeking his blessings. Singing hymns and devotional songs and reciting Guru Gita are also common practices.
- Several devotees celebrate the importance of Guru Purnima by conducting Vishnu puja.
- People make offerings to the Maha Guru and prasad is distributed among devotees on the occasion of Vyasa Purnima.
- Students of Indian classical music celebrate Guru Purnima by offering their respect to their beloved teachers. This way, the students reinforce the Guru-Shishya Parampara or the sacred bond between students and teachers.
- In Buddhism, this day is celebrated by conducting Uposatha – a ritual in which the devotees honour the 8 teachings of Buddha. Several Buddhist monks choose to start their journey of meditation on this auspicious day.
- Guru purnima celebration may also involve carrying out donations, offering food to brahmins and feeding needy people. These acts of charity are believed to help in reducing the damaging effects of one’s kundli.
- Students wish their teachers and offer them presents as a token of appreciation for the wonderful work they do.
6 Gifting Ideas For Teachers
Looking for that perfect gift to make this Guru Purnima celebration special for your teacher or mentor? Let us help you out! The key to ensuring your gift is a special one is to keep it simple and meaningful. Here are a few Guru Purnima gifts and ideas to help you choose the perfect present for your guru.
- A special letter or a thank you note. Personalised Guru Purnima gifts like these will surely strike a chord with your teacher.
- A beautiful bouquet to give their special day a refreshing and colourful start!
- A diary and a pen can be a great gift for a teacher. You can even get a personalised set with their names or initials engraved on it.
- A cool coffee mug with a quote on it so that your teacher is reminded of you every single day!
- A planter that they can keep on their work desk.
- A gift basket with their favourite edible goodies.
While our teacher enters our lives for a short period, we carry their lessons in our hearts for life! A heartfelt show of gratitude is probably the best gift for a teacher on Guru Purnima. Make the most out of this auspicious day by reaching out to your gurus and reminding them how they changed your life for good.
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