gururdevo maheshwarah |
tasmai shrigurave namah ||
Today is Guru Purnima, an important day that celebrates the position a guru enjoys in our society as also continuation of Guru-shishya parampara or tradition that’s now limited to a few old gharanas of Hindustani music.
Guru is Shiva sans his three eyes, Vishnu sans his four arms, Brahma sans his four heads. He is parama Shiva himself in human form – Brahmanda Puran.
Guru Purnima honours Ved Vyasa, known as one of the most honoured Gurus of ancient India. Senior Ayurvedic consultant Dr Vishakha Mahindroo says, “Veda Vyasa, structured the four Vedas, composed the epic of the Mahabharata, created the foundation for the many Puranas and the vast encyclopedias of Hindu sacred lore. Guru Purnima represents the date on which Lord Shiva as the Adi Guru or original guru taught the seven rishis who were the seers of the Vedas. In the Yoga Sutras, Ishvara as Pranava or Om is said to be the Adi Guru of Yoga. Lord Buddha was said to have delivered his first sermon on this day at Sarnath, reflecting the power of this sacred time.”
Guru Purnima is celebrated to honour our teachers, who remove the darkness from our minds. They have a special place in the lives of their followers since ancient times. All the holy books of Hinduism dictate the importance of Gurus and the extraordinary bond between a Guru and his Shishya (disciple). An age-old Sanskrit phrase ‘Mata Pitah Guru Daivam’, says that the first place is reserved for the mother, second for the father, third for Guru and forth for God. Thus, teachers have been given a higher place than Gods in Hindu tradition.
Given that it’s a very pious and deep rooted tradition that has a direct reference to our mythology and culture, I pay obeisance to my gurus – the parents, any person’s first gurus, school, college, university teachers, professional gurus who train you in one’s work and several others whom we across and learn something from- on this Guru Purnima day. However, at this age, when I have also worked for decades coming across hundreds of juniors , a few admirers have also been sending me Pranam on this Guru Purnima. While humbly acknowledging their kind gesture, I would like to tell them that I do not consider myself worthy of all their respect and affection as I am yet to achieve any major milestone in my life other than day to day struggle to meet mine and my family’s normal requirements. I consider myself a student, trying to imbibe a single drop from this vast ocean of knowledge, though I am always ready to disseminate or share whatever little I have!
It’s such a beautiful thought that all elders are our gurus and so are those who are doing good for an organisation, society, community, city or country! Corona warriors are one such group that are waging a battle, sometime losing, with the pandemic to keep us safe! Our forces defending our borders are another example! Likes of Mother Teresa, Baba Amte and several other unsung heroes are all gurus that deserve our respect. Because God himself does not always come to our rescue or to remove darkness – whether of ignorance, mal practices of something like Corona virus, he sends his representatives- our Gurus, who are our teachers, mentors, advisors, protectors and above all a bridge to connect with the God himself!
Happy Guru Purnima to all !