Guru Purnima Significance: Importance of Guru in Our Life

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Guru Purnima Significance: Importance of Guru in Our Life

Swetha Prasanna 16 Jul 2021

According to the Indian culture, the importance of Guru in one’s life is immense. The word Guru originates from the Sanskrit root words gu and ruGu means darkness or ignorance, and ru means a person who is potent enough to remove it. Thus, a Guru is a person who drives us from darkness to light, and from ignorance to knowledge.

Guru Purnima is an auspicious day to receive the blessings of the Guru. It is a day marked to honor Gurus who made a mark on our life. The day is spiritually and socially an important one for Indians. Guru Purnima falls on the Full Moon Day of Aashadha month of the Indian Lunar calendar, which coincides with July-August of the English Calendar.

Gurus in Ancient India

In India, no one other than parents, except Guru, has the right to punish a child when they do something wrong.

According to Hindu scriptures, Guru is a form of God.

గురు బ్రహ్మ గురు విష్ణు

గురు దేవో పరమేశ్వర

గురు గురు సాక్షత్ పరాబ్రహ్మ

తస్మై శ్రీ గురవే నమహా

Meaning: Guru is equal to Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara. Guru is none other than the Parabramha himself. Oh Guru, please accept my salutations and bless me.

In ancient India, even Kings used to drop their sons in the Gurukulas and never questioned the authority or decisions of Gurus.

The role of Sage Vishwamitra, the Guru of Lord Rama is well known. Right from killing demons to marrying Sita Maata in Swayamvara, the decisions of Lord Rama’s life were made by his Guru, Sage Vishwamitra. Neither Lord Rama nor his father Dasaratha ever questioned the words of Sage Vishwamitra.

Sri Rama and Vishwamitra
Lord Rama accompanied By his Guru Vishwamitra during Ahalyoddharan

Ancient India has many Gurus who played a vital role in carving the future of kings and kingdoms.

Then, why do we celebrate only Sage Veda Vyasa’s birthday as Guru Purnima? Why not others’?

Why do we celebrate Guru Purnima?

Guru Purnima is also called Vyasa Purnima. It is the birthday of Sage Veda Vyasa, the Maharshi who authored Mahabharata – one of the two legendary Sanskrit epics of Ancient India. While he narrated the epic without a pause, Lord Ganesh composed it energetically.

Vyasa and Ganesha
Ganesha composing Mahabharatha as Veda Vayasa narrates it

Sage Veda Vyasa is the son of Satyavati and Parashara Maharshi. He is also the one who divided Vedas into four – Rig, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva.

According to Vishnu Sahasranama, Sage Vyasa is none other than Lord Vishnu himself.

వ్యాసాయ విష్ణురూపాయ వ్యాస రూపాయ విష్ణవే

Meaning: Vyasa is a form of Lord Vishnu.

Thus, Sage Veda Vyasa is the pre-eminent Guru ever lived human history.

Another reason for the celebration of Guru Purnima is the relation with Lord Shiva as Adi Guru. It was on Guru Purnima day that Lord Shiva appeared as a mystic to the humans. He shared the secrets of human enlightenment with seven disciples and went into silence for 84 years! These disciples were none other than the Saptarshis – considered as the famous teachers in humankind.

Guru Purnima is also religiously significant for Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains. Thus, all religions of Indian culture proffer a great significance to Guru. Guru Purnima is the day that celebrates this essence in every spirit.

Guru Purnima activities for Kids

Childhood is the age where children spend time with Gurus from up-close. The impact of teachers on children is immense. Due to the penetration of online learning resources, some children might not realize the importance of Guru. While such virtual resources can provide information, only a teacher/Guru in person can share knowledge. Thus, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that kids do recognize the importance of Guru.

Perform the Guru Purnima activities given below to let your child understand the importance of teachers and why to respect them.

  • Share the significance of Guru Purnima and the related stories with your children. Let them understand that day is indeed a lot more noteworthy than they ever knew.
  • Encourage them to make Thank You notes or draw Thank You posters to their teachers.
  • Let them pen down their thoughts about why they love their teachers and how they motivate them.
  • Encouraging your child to talk or write about “If I am a teacher, I would…” is one of the ways to understand the qualities they look for in an ideal teacher and things they would accomplish as a teacher.
  • Spend time together as a family watching Guru-related movies on this day. Either you choose the classics or the recent ones that portray the importance of Guru, the mission is accomplished.
  • One of the main traits of any Guru is compassion. Hence, encourage your child to help others on Guru Purnima day. It can be a donation to an NGO or active volunteering to create awareness about the necessity to help the underprivileged.

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