Full moon days are ever special in Indian calendar. By a coincidence perhaps many good things have happened on full moon days, the birth of Lord Buddha and his Samadhi (demise), the birth of Mahaveer Jain and Guru Nanak ji, to cite a few example.
Today, July 12, 2014 is Guru Purnima. In India the students or the disciples offer their obeisance to their teachers (Guru) as a mark of gratitude. Lord Shiva is considered as the first Guru (Adi Guru) and is worshipped by all. The musicians, the dancers and others engaged in learning take the blessings of their guru on this day. Lord Ganesh is also worshipped for he is considered as the lord of learning and wisdom.
Guru is a very important concept. He leads the disciples in right direction to achieve their spiritual goals. In spite of being the incarnations of Vishnu Lord Rama had sage Vashista as his guru and sage Sandipani was Lord Krishna’s.
On this day sage Vyasa was born. He authored the famous epic Mahabharat and had divided the Vedas into four: Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. Guru purnima is also known as Vyasa Purnima in his honour.
It is also very auspicious for the Buddhists, since Lord Buddha had delivered his sermon at Sarnath near Varanasi on this day. It is important for the Jains, too. On this day millions across the globe shall offer their prayers to Shiridi Sai Baba, Puttaparthi Sai Baba, Mata Amritanandamayi and Sri Sri Ravi Sanker.
Millions practicing Yoga offer their tributes to sage Patanjali. One is reminded of a couplet that sums up the essence of guru in India:
Guru Brahma guru Vishnu guru devo Maheswarah
Guru sakshat Parambrahma tasmayi Sri Gurave namoh
(Guru stands for Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar, and the supreme Bhahma (soul) as well. Therefore, our saluations to our guru.)
On this sacred day let us say our salutations to our teachers, parents and elders who have led us at different stages of our lives.