Guru Purnima

The above Doha by Sant Kabir ranks Guru higher than God, for realisation of God wouldn’t have been possible without the Guru.

Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur devo Maheshwara,

Guru sakshat, Parma Brahma, tasmai Shri Guruvay nama.

Guru is Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver) and Mahesh (destroyer) and I pay my obeisance to my Guru who helps me realise God by removing darkness.

Today is Guru Purnima. As per the legend, this was the day when Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa – author of the Mahabharata – was born to sage Parashara and a fisherman’s daughter Satyavati; thus this day is also celebrated as Vyasa Purnima. As Veda Vyasa is universally acknowledged as a Guru, hence his birthday is celebrated as Guru Purnima.

In yogic lore, it is said that Guru Purnima was the day that saw Shiva become the Adi Guru, or the first Guru. The story goes that over 15,000 years ago, a yogi appeared in the upper regions of the Himalayas. Nobody knew what his origins were. But his presence was extraordinary, and people gathered. However, he exhibited no signs of life, but for the occasional tears of ecstasy that rolled down his face. People began to drift away, but seven men stayed on. When he opened his eyes, they pleaded with him, wanting to experience whatever was happening to him. He dismissed them, but they persevered. Finally, he gave them a simple preparatory step and ‘closed’ his eyes again. The seven men began to prepare. Days rolled into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, but the yogi’s attention did not fall upon them again. After 84 years of sadhana, on the summer solstice that marks the advent of Dakshinayana, the earth’s southern run, the yogi looked at them again. They had become shining receptacles, wonderfully receptive. He could not ignore them anymore. On the very next full moon day, the yogi turned south and sat as a Guru to these seven men. Shiva, the Adiyogi (the first yogi) thus became the Adi Guru. Adiyogi expounded these mechanics of life for many years. The seven disciples became celebrated as the Saptarishis and took this knowledge across the world.

In modern lore, when the education has become highly commercialised and Guru-shishya parampara a thing of the past, I have seen some posts on social media worshiping the most knowledgeable of all the Gurus – Google!Whether it’s Ved Vyasa, Adi Guru, our school/college teachers or “know all” Google, the theme of Guru Purnima is that knowledge should be respected and the source from where knowledge is obtained is more venerable than God itself. In that context, even our parents are our Gurus being responsible for the first knowledge bites! On this auspicious day, let’s make two easy resolutions – (1) knowledge is power and given its vastness let’s imbibe a small nugget each day and (2) let’s respect our elders, who bestow their blessings on us besides providing worldly knowledge, something that Google is incapable of!

Happy Guru Purnima!

6 thoughts on “Guru Purnima

  1. The first Gurus in everybody’s life is parents, first the Jan-ni (जनम देने वाली मां) and second the Palak(पालने वाला पिता) and we must always be indebted them for what they have given to us, may be beyond their means to see us happy in life.

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  2. The word ‘Gu’ stands for darkness; the word ‘Ru’ stands for the removal of that (darkness). Due to the removal of darkness, he (the one who he moves the darkness) is called a ‘Guru’ (Teacher).

    If the Guru (teacher) has given the student insight into only one syllable, even for that also, there is no such wealth on this earth (which one can give) to become free of this debt.

    One can only imagine how immensely indebted we are to our true Gurus and Acharyas ! They enlighten us and lead us on the right path. They take us from darkness towards light. There is no way we can pay off that debt and claim ourselves to be debt free! The only way to repay our debt is by paying it forward – by learning their teachings, applying it in our lives and passing on the teachings to others.
    – extracted from a message on Guru Pournima

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