What is Guru Purnima?

‘Gu’ means darkness/ignorance and ‘Ru’ denotes the remover of that darkness/ignorance. Therefore, Gurumeans who removes our ultimate darkness/ignorance, known as Maya(illusion), and who inspires and guides us on to the path of God-realization is the true Guru.  Purnima means Full Moon.


Significance of Purnima

Guru Purnima is observed as the auspicious day on the Purnima day in the Hindu month of Ashad (July-August). The right name for this day is Vyasa Purnima.  Vyasa was born, completed the codification of the four Vedas and completed the writing of the eighteen Puranas on this day. Owing to the passage of time Vyasa Purnima came to be called Guru Purnima.


Purnima is the day when Moon reflects, without any hindrance the maximum light of Sun onto the world.  Moon is the presiding deity of the Manas (Mind) and Sun is the presiding deity of the Atma (Soul).The mind of man is compared to the Moon, for it is as wayward as the Moon with its swing from brightness to darkness; this day, the Mindtoo has to be bright, effulgent and cool.  As Moon reflects the maximum light of Sun, similarly, our Mind must reflect the Divine characteristics of Soul.  That day is Purnimain the true sense of the term, when the mind is filled with pure love. Let your mind shine brilliantly like the moon on a full moon day. This is possible only when you fill your mind with love. If you become the embodiment of love, you will become divine.




Significance of Guru Purnima

“Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheswarah
Guru Sakshath Parabrahma,Thasmai Sri Gurave Namah”

The above sloka(verse) states that a Guru is verily Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the sustainer), and Maheswara (the destroyer). Guru means God. These are the different facets of God, symbolized by the three Gunas (attributes): Brahma is Rajas, Vishnu is Satvaand Siva is Tamas. The whole cosmos is constituted by the three Gunas.  The trinity (Brahma, Vishnu & Maheswara) is present in the form of the three Gunas within us.  This is the meaning of the three words Bhur, Bhuvah, Svaha in the Gayatri Mantra.  Bhur means Bhu-loka (Earth), which is made up of matter and so is the human body, can be referred to as materialization. Bhuvah means Prana (life force) that makes the body move. This is vibration. Svaha means wisdom. This is radiation. The Vedas declare, ‘Prajnanam Brahma’. This Prajnana is nothing but radiation. Human being is a combination of materialization, vibration and radiation. You do not need to search God outside. Turn your vision inward, there you find God.”



Who is a True Guru?

What is the truth underlying the Guruprinciple? The word Guruhas been vulgarized. Such a pious word is being misused.Is he the one that teaches worldly education or explores the properties of matter, a Guru? Is he the one that describes in detail Natural Sciences, a Guru? No, they are only teachers.  Do not depend much on them.  It is better for you to prepare yourself and remain awake.  The scriptures say to wake up from the deep sleep of ignorance. Remain fully awake, remain conscious, and go on learning.


The term Guru” means one who dispels the darkness of ignorance. “Gu”means one who is beyond Gunas (attributes), “Ru”implies one who is beyond Rupas (forms). This refers only to God. That is why the “Guru” is hailed as Brahma, Vishnu or Siva. Only God is the true Guru. All others are merely teachers, like the teachers of different subjects in a college. “Guru” is the one who reveals the “Guri” (target) to the disciple. “Guri” here refers to the Atmic Principle. A true Guruis the embodiment of Brahmaananda(transcendental bliss). A true Guruis one who enjoys and confers changeless supreme happiness. He is beyond space and time; and there is nothing higher than Him. He is the very form of truth and infinite. He has neither birth nor death, neither beginning nor end. He is God Himself: He is the Guru.



What you are supposed to know on this day of Guru Purnima?

You must understand that God is in you, with you, around you, above you, below you. In fact, you are God. Recognize this truth in the first instance. Do not entertain excessive desires and become beggars. Do your duty sincerely. That is the true Sadhana.



How to celebrate Guru Purnima?

Guru Purnima must be celebrated with the prayer and contrition which alone can cleanse the heart, and not by feasting or fasting, which affect only the body. The fact that Vyasa is associated with this day or that Lord Rama or Krishna is connected with some other day is merely an opportunity to mark the day as outstandingly important, when something holy has to be done.


The world can be turned into an earthly paradise if you strengthen your faith in God and demonstrate it in your actions. You must have the courage and determination to face any kind of problems and difficulties. Promote the love of God and the fear of sin among the people. From today, develop your faith in God; engage yourselves in dedicated service to society and make your lives purposeful and helpful to those in distress or need. Remember that whomsoever you may serve, you are serving God.



Relationship between Guru and Disciple

The relationship between the Guru and the Disciple is considered very sacred. This relationship is purely spiritual in nature and is independent of age of the two. It is based on maturity of Gyan (Spiritual Knowledge) and Sadhna (Spiritual Practice). The only awareness that a Disciple should foster is, ‘I should be uplifted spiritually’. The Guru too harbors only one thought, ‘May this Disciple be uplifted’.




Ravinder Grover