2018 Guru Purnima – Friday, 27 July
It is a propitious day of Guru Purnima, a day holy to the memory of the enormous sage Vyasa. All Hindus are thankful to saint Vyasa who shortened the four Vedas, also wrote the 18 Puranas, the Srimed Bhagavata, and Mahabharata. Vyasa even educated Dattatreya, who is considered as the “Guru of Gurus”. It is also known as “Vyasa Purnima”.
According to Hindu scriptures, people connect supreme importance to religious gurus. Gurus are frequently compare with God and always thought as a link between the Immortal and the individual. It is the time to start your religious lessons; Guru Purnima is a day for spiritual seekers who receives Diksha, divine power from their Guru’s.
The period of Chaturmas (four months) begins from Guru Purnima day. You may perform on this day lakshmi Diksha, kuber Diksha, Kanakdhara Diksha, asta-lakshmi Diksha, Mahavidya Diksha.
The Role of the Guru
Swami Sivananda asks: “Do you realize now the sacred significance and the supreme importance of the Guru’s role in the evolution of man? It was not without reason that the India of the past carefully tended and kept alive the lamp of Guru-Tattva. It is therefore not without reason that India, year after year, age after age, commemorates anew this ancient concept of the Guru, adores it and pays homage to it again and again, and thereby re-affirms its belief and allegiance to it. For, the true Indian knows that the Guru is the only guarantee for the individual to transcend the bondage of sorrow and death, and experience the Consciousness of the Reality.”
How to Observe the Day
At the Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, the Guru Purnima is celebrated every year on a grand scale.
All aspirants awake at Brahmamuhurta, at 4 o’clock. They meditate on the Guru and chant his prayers.
- Later in the day, the sacred worship of the Guru’s Feet is performed. of this worship it is said in the Guru Gita:
Dhyaana moolam guror murtih;
Pooja moolam guror padam;
Mantra moolam guror vakyam;
Moksha moolam guror kripa
“The Guru’s form should be meditated upon; the feet of the Guru should be worshiped; his words are to be treated as a sacred Mantra; his Grace ensures final liberation.”
- Sadhus and Sannyasins are then worshiped and fed at noon.
- There is continuous Satsang during which discourses are held on the glory of devotion to the Guru in particular, and on spiritual topics in general.
Deserving aspirants are initiated into the Holy Order of Sannyas, as this is a highly auspicious occasion.
Devout disciples fast and spend the whole day in prayer. They also take fresh resolves for spiritual progress.
The Guru’s Advice
Swami Sivananda recommends: “Wake up at Brahmamuhurta (at 4 a.m.) on this most holy day. Meditate on the lotus feet of your Guru. Mentally pray to him for his Grace, through which alone you can attain Self-realisation. Do vigorous Japa and meditate in the early morning hours.”
“After bath, worship the lotus feet of your Guru, or his image or picture with flowers, fruits, incense and camphor. Fast or take only milk and fruits the whole day.”
In the afternoon, sit with other devotees of your Guru and discuss with them the glories and teachings of your Guru.
“Alternatively, you may observe the vow of silence and study the books or writings of your Guru, or mentally reflect upon his teachings. Take fresh resolves on this holy day, to tread the spiritual path in accordance with the precepts of your Guru.”
“At night, assemble again with other devotees, and sing the Names of the Lord and the glories of your Guru. The best form of worship of the Guru is to follow his teachings, to shine as the very embodiment of his teachings, and to propagate his glory and his message.”