Guru Purnima: Spiritual Tradition of India
Guru Purnima is the day dedicated to the Gurus or the teachers. On this day, people worship their Gurus — academic and spiritual teachers. Especially, Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains celebrate this day to pay respect to their teachers. They thank their Gurus for giving them the light of knowledge to overcome the darkness of the world. This festival falls on full moon day, which is called Purnima in Hindi in the month of Ashadha of Shaka Samvat, according to the Hindu calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar, it falls in the months of June and July.
Guru pujas are performed on this day in the Hindu religion. A Guru is placed at a higher place than God. Saint Kabir Das has said in his sayings,
“Guru Govind dou khade, kake lagoon paay? Balihari Guru aapne Govind diyo bataye.’’
--Saint Kabir Das
Meaning, Both are standing in front of me, my Guru, and the great God. I am confused about whom to greet and respect first. But I feel that my Guru is more glorious than God as he is the one who told me the way to that supreme power; otherwise, I would have remained in darkness forever. So, my Guru deserves my greetings first.
This day celebrated as the birthday of great Indian Guru saint Ved Vyas. He gave us the treasure of the Vedas. The Rig Veda, the Sama Veda, the Yajur Veda, and the Atharva Veda.
Buddhists celebrate this day to thank Gautam Buddha to get enlightened and giving them his valuable teachings and saving the world from darkness.
It is also said that on this day, Lord Shiva himself taught Yoga to the Saptrishis and became the first Guru of the world.