Guru Purnima is celebrated every year to express gratitude unto the Guru Principle. The Arch Guru, Sage Vyas (founder of the Guru-disciple lineage) is worshipped on this day. It is the greatest festival in the life of a seeker. It is believed that the Guru Principle is a thousand times more active on this day than on any other throughout the year.
Under the pretext of this celebration, the festival provides an unmatchable opportunity to progress spiritually through service and sacrifice unto the Truth. That is why seekers and disciples participate in this mission for the truth with all their body, wealth and mind. This year Ashadh Purnima i.e. Guru Purnima (Vyas Puja) will be celebrated on July 23.
Significance & celebration
1) Tithi: Ashadh Purnima is full moon day in the month of Ashadh. 2) Objective of Guru Purnima is to express gratitude unto the Guru. 3) Importance of Guru Purnima: Firstly, on the day of Guru Purnima, the Guru Principle (Principle of God) is a thousand times more active than on other days. Therefore, the benefit of performing Seva (service unto the God-Principle) and Tyag (sacrifice of wealth, body, mind, intellect and ego), that is, offering unto the Absolute Truth on the occasion of Guru Purnima, is a thousand times more beneficial than on other days. Guru Purnima is a unique opportunity for acquiring God’s grace.
Secondly, the ‘Guru-disciple tradition’ is an age-old Hindu tradition full of Chaitanya. However, with time, under the influence of Raja-Tama predominant culture, this great tradition has been neglected. On Guru Purnima, the Guru is worshipped and the society can be taught about the greatness of this Guru-disciple tradition. This is a golden opportunity to preserve the Guru-disciple tradition.
4) Method of celebrating Guru Purnima: ‘On this day, disciples of every Guru perform their Padya-puja (ritualistic worship of Sri Guru’s Holy feet) and give them Gurudakshina (an offering made to the Guru to express gratitude). It is customary to perform Vyas-puja (ritualistic worship of Sage Vyas) on this day. In the Guru lineage, Sage Vyas is considered to be the greatest of all Gurus. It is believed that all knowledge has originated from Sage Vyas. Kumbhakonam and Shrungeri (Sringeri) are famous seats of Shankaracharya’s lineage in South Bharat where Vyas-puja is celebrated with great splendour. Devotees believe that the great Sage Vyas reincarnated as Shankaracharya. Hence, ascetics worship Shankaracharya instead of worshipping Sage Vyas.
Rituals of Guru-puja
After completion of daily ablutions such as bathing, one makes a resolve – ‘I worship Sage Vyas to establish the Guru lineage.’ A washed cloth is spread on the floor and twelve lines are drawn (from east to west and north to south) on it, using gandh. That itself is the Vyaspeeth (seat of Vyas). Then Brahma, Paratparshakti (Supreme Energy), Vyas, Shukdev, Goudpad, Govindswami and Shankaracharya are invoked onto this seat and their Shodashopchar-puja (worship with sixteen substances) is performed. It is also customary to worship Dikshaguru (one who has imparted initiation) and one’s parents on this day.
Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) is jointly holding an online ‘Guru-Purnima’ ceremony on July 23, 2021, at 7 pm in Marathi. The function can be viewed on YouTube on the link: Youtube.com/Dharmashikshan