Guru Purnima is celebrated by Buddhists, Hindus and Jains every year on the full moon day of the Shakha Samavat in the Hindu calendar.
The festival, though traditionally celebrated by Buddhists in remembrance of Lord Buddha, who gave his first sermon on this day at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, it is celebrated by many Hindus too, for whom this day is marked by remembering and paying homage to the great sage Vyasa, a symbol of the guru-shishya tradition. It is called Purnima because it is observed on the day of the full moon.
Meaning of Guru
The word ‘Guru’ is derived from two Sanskrit words ‘Gu’ meaning ‘darkness or ignorance’ and ‘Ru’ meaning ‘removal’. Hence, Guru is believed to be the removal of darkness from our lives. On this day, disciples offer puja to their gurus and seek their blessings. Guru refers to spiritual guide who enlighten disciples by his knowledge and teachings.
Adi Shankara, Sri Ramanuja Acharya and Sri Madhvacharya are some of the noteworthy Gurus in Hinduism.
Guru Purnima is also celebrated by Buddhists in the honor of Gautama Buddha to commemorate the day when Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India.
On this day disciples offer Puja or pay respect to their Gurus.
Why is Guru Purnima celebrated?
Traditionally the festival is celebrated by Buddhists in honor of the lord Buddha who gave His first sermon on this day at Sarnath,Uttar Pradesh. However the followers of Hindu religion celebrate Guru Purnima as the birth anniversary of Veda Vyasa. Veda Vyasa, also known as Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, is the author of Mahabharata, Vedas and Puranas. Since he wrote several religious books and authored spiritual teachings, Veda Vyasa is considered as the original Guru.
Five weeks after Buddha attained enlightenment, he traveled from Bodhgaya to Sarnath to meet his five friends and teach the Dharma. He knew his five companions would be able to understand Dharma, he taught them and as a result, they also became enlightened. Hence, the community of enlightened ones was found. The sermon Buddha gave to five of his companions was called ‘Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta’. The sermon was given on the full moon day of the Ashada month. The Sangha later grew to 60 and Buddha sent them in all directions alone to teach the Dharma. These 60 monks are called ‘Arahants’.
Purnima tithi begins: July 26, 2018 at 11:16 pm
Purnima tithi ends: July 28, 2018 at 1:50 am
Happy Guru Purnima!
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