Guru Purnima is indeed an auspicious festival celebrated in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and other countries with Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist communities. It is observed on the full moon day (Purnima) of the Hindu month Ashadha, which usually falls in June or July in the Gregorian calendar. In 2023, Guru Purnima is celebrated on Monday, July 3.
The festival is dedicated to expressing gratitude and reverence towards spiritual gurus, teachers, and mentors. It is believed that on this day, the great sage Vyasa, who is considered the author of the Mahabharata and one of the revered gurus in Hindu mythology, was born. Hence, the festival is also known as Vyasa Purnima.
On Guru Purnima, devotees wake up early and perform various rituals and puja ceremonies to honor their spiritual gurus. They offer prayers, seek blessings, and express gratitude for the knowledge and guidance received from their teachers. Many people also participate in Satsang (spiritual gatherings), where discourses, chants, and devotional songs are conducted to celebrate the occasion.
Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is also honored on this day as it is believed that he delivered his first sermon, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, to his five disciples on Guru Purnima. Buddhists celebrate this day by meditating, offering prayers, and engaging in acts of generosity and kindness.
In India, millions of Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains celebrate Guru Purnima with great enthusiasm. It is an opportunity for individuals to reflect on the importance of knowledge, wisdom, and the profound impact that spiritual gurus and teachers have on their lives. The festival promotes gratitude, respect, and the exchange of spiritual insight and teachings.
It is customary for people to celebrate Guru Purnima with their families, seeking blessings from their elders and gurus, and engaging in acts of charity and self-improvement. The day serves as a reminder to acknowledge the contributions of our teachers and express our gratitude towards them.
It offers prayers and blessings which set aside dedicated time to offer prayers to your gurus, expressing your gratitude for their guidance and wisdom. You can perform traditional rituals, chant mantras, or recite prayers that are meaningful to you. Seek blessings from your gurus, both in person if possible, or through thoughts and intentions, acknowledging their profound impact on your spiritual journey.
The practice of self-reflection where Guru Purnima is an ideal time for introspection and self-assessment. Reflect on your spiritual growth, the lessons you have learned, and the progress you have made. Take this opportunity to identify areas for further improvement and set intentions for your continued spiritual development. Consider journaling or meditating on your experiences, insights, and aspirations.
Remember, the specific practices and rituals may vary based on personal beliefs, cultural traditions, and the teachings of your gurus. It is essential to approach these practices with sincerity, respect, and an open heart, as they are intended to deepen your spiritual connection and express gratitude for the invaluable guidance you have received. Happy Guru Purnima!