This Sunday, July 9th beginning at 12:06 am, is a very special and auspicious day in Vedic culture known as Guru Purnima, which always falls on the day of the full moon (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashadha (June–July). This year the full moon is in Sagittarius opposite the Sun in Gemini.
Guru Purnima is celebrated in sacred memory of the great sage Vyasa, the ancient Guru who compiled the four Vedas and wrote the Mahabharata, often referred to as the Hindu Bible. Guru Purnima is also celebrated by Buddhists in the honor of Gautama Buddha to commemorate the day when he gave his first sermon. It is a day dedicated to honoring our teachers and Gurus with pujas—prayers, devotional ceremonies and rituals of homage and reverence.
The Sanskrit word “Guru” is translated as “dispeller of darkness.” Hence, the Guru dispels the darkness of ignorance and sets us on the path to enlightenment. Guru Purnima is not only a day when seekers of enlightenment offer their Guru gratitude, but also a day to receive that Guru’s blessings.
Not all of us in the West have Gurus, but that does not make this day any less significant. Guru Purnima is a day for acknowledging and venerating whatever belief, philosophy or teaching we hold dear to our heart. It is an excellent occasion to set time aside to meditate and offer prayers of gratitude to everyone and everything that helps us grow in body, mind and spirit, and to reaffirm our commitment to seeking truth and wisdom. If you have yet to embrace an intellectual or spiritual discipline, Guru Purnima is a perfect day to search for one.
The full moon of Guru Purnima is a period of high, positive energy that hugely magnifies the benefits and rewards of meditation, prayer and acts of devotion and gratitude. So on Sunday, let’s make a special effort to be thankful to all the teachers and guardian angels in our lives, and be joyful knowing that they will return our appreciation many times over with countless blessings.
Happy Guru Purnima!