Guru Poornima

Guru Poornima
The Poornima (Full Moon) Day in the month of Ashadha (July-August) is known as "Guru Poornima". In the word guru, the first syllable gu signifies one who transcends all attributes. Ru signifies one who has no form. In another sense, the term guru means one who dispels ignorance. Guru Purnima celebrates the might of one's teacher or guru through respect and reverence. Also known as Vyasa Poornima.

Origin/Significance/Legend
This is a very sacred day on which special worship is performed to the Acharyas, who, through their Infinite Compassion and Supreme Grace, have imparted the Knowledge of the Absolute vidya (Brahma Vidya). It is believed that the great scholar Vyasa, who lived in the Dwapara Yuga, was born on this day.
Among the Acharyas, Sri Veda Vyasa stands the foremost and on this day, special pujas are offered to Vyasa Maharishi. He codified the Vedas into four divisions Wrote the Brahma Sutras He also wrote 18 Maha Puranas (Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Siva Purana, Skanda Purana, Garuda Purana, Brahmanda Purana etc. Eighteen, Vishnu Purana was done by Vysacharya's father, Parasaracharya, but was edited and presented by Vyasa. He had witnessed and narrated the various incidents of the Mahabharata (with Maha Ganapati as the writer) which contains the crown jewel of our Dharma, the Bhagavad Gita. Sage Vyasa is also believed to be a Chirajeevin, Salutations to thee, O Vyasa, of profound intellect and with eyes like the petals of a full-blown lotus. Veda Vyasa, a man of supreme learning and knowledge, is said to have been greatly revered by his disciples. It is said that every year on the day of Ashadha Purnima they worshipped him and sought his blessings. This practice, and the belief that seeking the blessing of one's teacher brings wisdom, has come to stay. Over time, Vyasa Purnima came to be called Guru Purnima.

Rituals
A festival with a truly spiritual meaning and relevance, t is believed that God is the ultimate guru, or the supreme teacher. On Guru Purnima, it is a practice to worship one's spiritual teachers, make token offerings, and seek their blessings. This offerings is called as Guru Dakshina. The offering is usually in kind and is more symbolic than literal. An offering of grains and pulses is made on a piece of cloth. This practice can be traced back to the gurukula system, where, at the end of their stay at the guru's household, students presented the guru with a token offering to show their respect and appreciation of what they had got. An austere diet of milk and fruit is recommended on Guru Purnima. The day is usually spent discussing and illustrating the teachings of the guru with other disciples. On a broader perspective, Guru Purnima is not a day characterized by household festivities and celebrations in the regular sense. It holds spiritual relevance and meaning for scholars of the scriptures. Starting this day, for a period of four months, sanyasis or disciples of spirituality and religion stop their wandering and settle down at one spot to begin a thorough study and discourse of the scriptures. On Guru Purnima, they seek the blessings of the preceptor, offer their prayers, discuss his might and greatness, resolve to further pursue spiritual progress, and initiate new aspirants into the order of sanyas or spirituality. All of us, the followers of our Sanatana Dharma, owe it to Bhagavan Vyasa for whatever we practice today in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment.

Celebrated In
Guru Purnima is celebrated every year on a grand scale at the Shivananda Ashram, Rishikesh. Many devotees and aspirants from all parts of the country gather here for the occasion.

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