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Guru Purnima

July 5, 2020

Guru Purnima, a festival that is dedicated explicitly to paying tributes to the Gurus (teachers) is being celebrated in India for thousands of years. Guru Purnima usually falls on the full moon day of Ashada month (typically the first full moon after the summer solstice) in Hindu calendar. In 2020, it is celebrated on 5th July.

In Sanskrit, “Gu” means darkness or ignorance, and “Ru denotes the remover or dispeller of that darkness. Therefore, Guru means the one who removes the ignorance of the people (disciple) and makes him/her get enlightened.

Guru Purnima is also known as “Vyasa Purnima”. It is the birth date of the great Indian Sage “Vyasa Maha Muni”. Hence, the name “Vyasa Purnima”. He is known for his writings such as Mahabharata, Puranas and Brahma Sutras. He also segregated the Vedas for easy understanding of the people.

As per other scriptures, this is the day on which Lord Shiva had transferred the seven dimensions of yogic knowledge to seven rishis popularly called Saptarshis. Therefore, Lord Shiva is considered as “Adiguru” (the first teacher).

In the Buddhist tradition, this is the day on which Gautama Buddha gave the first sermon at Sarnath after his enlightenment in Bodhgaya.

In Jain tradition, Guru Purnima is also known as Treenok Guha Purnima. It is the day on which Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara, made Indrabhuti Gautam, later known as Gautam Swami, as his first disciple, thus becoming a Treenok Guha himself.

Did you know?

  • Guru Purnima is also celebrated in Nepal and Bhutan apart from India.
  • In Nepal, teachers day is observed on Guru Purnima.