Guru Purnima -The Perfect Way to Revere Our Mentors

Parents as Gurus in India
Parents as Gurus in India

Who does not like to be guided and who wouldn’t love to be shown that shining light of knowledge and care? Well this is what a good mentor or teacher is all about. When everything is cloudy and dark, it is this leader or force which makes things easier for the learner.

Why is a Teacher Needed in Life

Life is a journey which teaches us at every step. Each and every challenge in life is shadowed by the very process of learning. This is where a good teacher or mentor comes into play. A Guru is said to be a teacher because Gu in Sanskrit means darkness and Ru means remover of darkness. So a Guru is said to be that guiding force which removes all the darkness in our life.

Guru in India

In India a Guru is said to be a great leader and is considered equal to Almighty. In fact the parents are considered to be the first Guru and they are always revered and respected. In India it is said that any elderly person is more experienced hence has to be respected. A Guru is at the epitome of knowledge thus making Guru Purnima a sacredly important day for all in the country.

What is Guru Purnima?

Children make cards and gift their teachers
Children make cards and gift their teachers

This is said to be the day meant for the Guru on the day of Purnima which means full moon. Usually said to be observed on the full moon day of the Indian month of Ashadh it is celebrated with lot of pomp and respect. In fact in Nepal it is celebrated in a very grand manner with students giving garlands and gifts to their teachers. The trend is still being followed in various parts of India.

Guru Purnima and Indian Legends

According to Indian legends, Sage Vyasa wrote Mahabharata, the Indian epic and he also divided the Vedic hymns into four parts Jaimini., Vaisampayana, Sumantu and Paila. In fact the four Indian Vedas, Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda were divided by Sage Vyasa. As he divided them, he is called Sage Vyasa because Vyasa in Sanskrit means to divide. Sage Vyasa was born on this day so it began to be regarded as the day of the Guru.

Jainism and The Guru Connection

The Jains also observe Guru Purnima but for a different reason. It was on this day that their leader Gautam Swami was recognized as a student by the Jain leader Mahavir. Hence on this day the Jains revere their teachers.

Celebrations in the Neighbouring Country of Nepal

Student touching feet of teacher for Guru Purnima
Student touching feet of teacher for Guru Purnima

In India, there are grand celebrations with lot of tributes offered to all the teachers. In the age of social media, children put up photos of their teachers and also the memories with their guru. In Nepal the children offer gifts, garlands and flowers to the Guru and celebrate with lot of pomp and gusto.

Guru Purnima is indeed a valuable day of reckoning for all and is a very nice way of offering our gratitude to our beloved teachers.


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