Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima & The importance of a Guru in the life of a Hindu –

The Guru Purnima falls on the fullmoon day of the month of Ashad. It is an auspicious day to adore the Guru. In ancient days, students and Brahmacharis used to get education in ashrams and Gurukuls. This is the only day when students venerate their gurus and pay them fees either in cash or in kind for the education dispensed during the year. This is known as Gurudakshina.

This festival is also known as Vyas Purnima or Rishi Purnima. Rishi Vyas was a great guru. He is the Rishi who compiled the verses of the four Vedas and wrote it in Sanskrit. He is paid tribute on that day for his laudable effort concerning the compilation of the Vedas, which enlighten the whole mankind.

Vyas Muni also wrote the eighteen Puranas and the Mahabharat. His contribution in producing the Hindu religious and spiritual books cannot be forgotten. Guru Purnima is homage to the great Rishi.

Hindu Scriptures say that like father and mother, teacher also should be worshipped. The tradition of Guru and Shishya (teacher and pupil) dates back to the emergence of mankind. In Hindu tradition a Guru is not just a teacher. A true Guru is believed to be a gift to man because he not only imparts education but he also shares his experience and knowledge. For Hindus a Guru can be a person, a creature, and object or a book.

Guru Nanak said, ‘Guru’ is the stepping stone, the Guru is the boat, Guru is the raft of Hari’s name. The Guru is the lake, the sea, Guru is the place to ford the stream.

Everyone is destined to become perfect sooner or later. God-realization, Self-realization, Nirvan or the Kingdom of Heaven – all these expressions used in different religions means the same thing. Everyone asks the questions; why we are here? Where are we going? And what is Truth?. In course of tie the search becomes more serious. When the soul becomes restless, he searches for a Guru. A person can be a spiritual guide or teacher but only the one who has realized God can be a true Guru. Only a true teacher is capable of dispelling ignorance and able to lead the seeker (the disciple) to the goal.

Hindu Scriptures are more than signposts that which point out the path, but inspiration and the driving force to follow the spiritual path comes from another soul, the enlightened one, the Guru.

The true spiritual Guru must have some qualities;

(a)  He must be a realized soul or an advanced one in the spiritual path.

(b) He must have a special capacity to guide the students according to their aptitude.

(c)  He must be unselfish and motiveless.

Until the student reaches the goal there is no respite for the teacher. Like a loving father who wishes only the good of his child, the Guru remains with the disciple until he attains God and gets liberated. It is for this reason that the teacher-student relationship is considered as the most sacred one. The Guru should be Pure, Sinless, Compassionate and full of divine Love and Wisdom. Whereas the true disciple should be Inquisitive, full of Service and Love, show Reverence and Devotion and Perseverance.

Gurus must ensure that their disciples make the use of knowledge.