Guru Purnima the day to Remember one's 'Guru, the Dispeller of Darkness!
by Elizabeth Menon

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Guru Purnima the day to Remember one's 'Guru, the Dispeller of Darkness!

The first Full Moon after the Summer Solstice on 21 June, which falls in the month of Ashadam/Mithunam in the Hindu Calendar (July as per the Gregorian Calendar ) is celebrated as 'Guru Purnima', a day to celebrate one's Guru/Teacher. The word 'Guru' is derived from two words in Sanskrit, 'Gu' meaning darkness, and 'Ru' meaning dispeller, 'Dispeller of darkness or the one who removes darkness of ignorance leading the students/aspirants on to the path of enlightenment! This day is considered one of the greatest moments, the day when 'Adiyogi, Lord Shiva', after 84 years of meditation on the banks of Kanthisarovar in the Himalayas started his teaching to the 'Saptharshis' (Seven Sages), around 15,000 years ago ! The Saptharshis took the knowledge, the 'Yoga teaching' that offered the possibility of attaining greater knowledge beyond what physical nature can achieve, and how to evolve consciously by meditation and yoga practice, to all corners of India! Lord Shiva is generally considered the 'First Guru or the 'Adiyogi' this day is also celebrated by many to honour Sage Vyasa, who edited the four Vedas (Rigveda,Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharva veda), who also wrote the 18 Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavata; and the Budhists honour Budha on this day.

The day of the first full moon after the solstice is a time when Earth and all life upon it are most receptive to the cosmic energy and its possibilities. In addition to having religious importance, this festival has great importance for Indian academics and scholars, irrespective of their religion or social status. Indian academics celebrate this day by offering gratitude to their teachers and receive their blessing, and it is also a day to remember past teachers and scholars, or read their books or teachings, especially for those away from their teachers. A statue of Adiyogi, 21' tall, was unveiled by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev at the Isha Foundation in Coimbatore as part of the 'Gurupurnima' Celebrations today! It is considered the best time to begin one's spiritual lessons and traditionally, the aspirants start their spiritual 'sadhana' and meditation from this day. This day is of deep significance to the farmers too, as it heralds the setting in of the much-needed rains, that ushers in fresh life in the fields it is believed that potatoes and other vegetables planted on the night of the Full Moon give the best harvest!

The day of 'Guru Purnima' is also a time for self-assessments, to throw away the negative vibes, to have pure thoughts always and a decision to improve one's own life, and to help fellow beings in need, which must include protecting women and children and the elderly in our society! We must also make a conscious decision to be aware of our civic duties and to obey the rules of the country, rather than crucifying the ones who are trying to implement them! The righteousness of Shiva and his Yogic Virtues, and teachings of our Gurus (Mother, Father and Teachers) should be looked on as a 'Focus' in life, drawing energy from the 'Shivam' and the teachings of others to achieve greater things in our lives. The next six months during the 'Dakshinaayan', till the winter solstice is the best time to strive for evolving and experiencing the 'Divine' in each of us which may be dormant in us, to better one's life on this planet Earth!

Have a Peaceful day, taking stock of one's life and paying tribute to our parents and teachers!

© E Menon



Thank you for your kind words, which I value immensely!'hope you continue to enjoy the articles!
07/14/2014 - 10:26
Dr Elizabeth Menon
I have attended Gurupooja several time in my life. I know it is a time one should offer prayers to our Guru and nothing more. Probably I never bothered to inquire. Thank you Ms Elizabeth Menon for this informative piece..
07/12/2014 - 01:30
C K Padmanabhan
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