Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu
Gurur Devo Maheshwaraha
Guru Saakshat Parabrahma
Tasmai Sree Gurave Namaha
(Guru is verily the representative of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He Creates, Sustains Knowledge and Destroys the Weeds of Ignorance. I Salute such a Guru).
Children, a teacher in the life of a student plays the same role which a potter (i.e. a kumhar) plays while making an earthen vessel. Just like the potter gives shape to a mound of wet clay,a teacher moulds the personality of a child. On guru Purnima Day the seekers offer the gurus their gratitude and receive their blessings.
Guru Purnima is Hindu festival dedicated to spiritual and academic teacherswhich falls on Full Moon Day in the month of Ashadha (July-August). This festival is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists, to pay their respects to their teachers and express their gratitude.The word “Guru” in Sanskrit is translated as “dispeller of darkness.” Hence the guru dispels the darkness of ignorance and leads the aspirants on the path to enlightenment. Guru Purnima is also considered an especially beneficial day to practice yogic sadhana and meditation.
This sacred day marks the very first transmission of the yogic sciences from Shiva – the Adiyogi or First Yogi – to the Saptarishis, the seven celebrated sages. The story goes that over 15,000 years ago, a yogi appeared in the upper regions of the Himalayas. Nobody knew what his origins were. But his presence was extraordinary, and people gathered around him. However, he exhibited no signs of life, but for the occasional tears of ecstasy that rolled down his face. People began to drift away, but seven men stayed on. When he opened his eyes, they pleaded with him, wanting to experience whatever was happening to him. He dismissed them, but they persevered. Finally, he gave them a simple preparatory step and closed his eyes again. The seven men began to prepare. Days rolled into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, but the yogi’s attention did not fall upon them again.After 84 years of sadhana, on the summer solstice that marks the advent of Dakshinayana, the earth’s southern run, the yogi looked at them again. They had become shining receptacles, wonderfully receptive. He could not ignore them anymore. On the very next full moon day, the yogi turned south and sat as a guru to these seven men. Shiva, the Adiyogi (the first yogi) thus became the Adi Guru. Adiyogi expounded these mechanics of life for many years. The seven disciples became celebrated as the Saptarishis and took this knowledge across the world.Guru Purnima is held sacred in the yogic tradition because the Adiyogi opened up the possibility for a human being to evolve consciously. The seven different aspects of yoga that were put in these seven individuals became the foundation for the seven basic forms of yoga, something that has still endured.
This was also the day when Veda Vyasa – author of the Mahabharat – was born to sage Parashara and a fisherman's daughter Satyavati; thus this day is also celebrated as Vyasa Purnima. Veda Vyasa did yeoman service to the cause of Vedic studies by gathering all the Vedic hymns during his times, dividing them into four parts (Rig,Yajur, Sama and Atharva Veda) based on their use in the sacrificial rites.
Buddhists also celebrate Guru Purnima in the honour of Gautam Buddha . It is said that Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnathin Uttar Pradesh on this day.
Ekalavya and Dronacharya
One of the best examples of the guru-shishya relationship can be found in the Mahabharat – a saga that questions our sense of right and wrong at every turn. The obvious guru-shishya relationship in the Mahabharat is that between Arjun (the shishya) and Krishna (the guru). One day, Dronacharya was teaching his shishyas a lesson and a dog suddenly ran past them. It appeared that someone had shot multiple arrows around the dog’s mouth to keep it from barking, but the dog was otherwise unharmed. Dronacharya and his pupils stood up and began looking for the archer. They eventually came upon a young man who was practicing archery in the woods. Upon seeing Dronacharya, the young man, whose name was Ekalavya, fell at his feet and asked for his blessings. Dronacharya asked, “Are you the one who shot the arrows to trap this dog’s mouth?” Ekalavya nodded his head. Dronacharya said, “You must be having an accomplished guru. Who is your guru?” Ekalavya said, “You are my guru.” Then Ekalavya revealed a stone statue he had made of Dronacharya. Dronacharya remembered the young boy whom he had rejected to teach archery. As he stood in front of Ekalavya, Dronacharya remembered his promise of making Arjun the greatest archer in the world. He realised that his promise may be in jeapardy because of Ekalavya’s innate talent and skill. Dronacharya said, “It seems like you have mastered this knowledge. Since you say I am your guru, what will be my guru dakshina?” Ekalavya readily agreed to give his guru anything he wanted. In a calculated move, Dronacharya asked the young archer for his right thumb. Without question or hesitation, Ekalavya cut off his right thumb and presented it to his guru, thereby resigning himself to a life without archery. And therein lies one of the most intricate depictions of the depth of guru-shishya relationship.
Traditionally in Bharat, when a child reaches an appropriate age, he would move out of his parents’ home to commence his formal education at a gurukul. Here, he, along with a number of other students or shishyas, would live under the supervision of their guru. In addition to receiving an education, the shishyas would also participate in the day-to-day chores of the gurukul. There was no monetary cost for students to attend the gurukul, but at the end of their stay, they offered a guru dakshina, a gift of thanks which could be monetary in form or a task that the guru requests the shishya to perform. In effect, the gurukul was an extended family which gave birth to the guru-shishya parampara, or tradition, which is considered to be one of the most sacred of relationships.
Guru can be any one who is teaching someone .Even parents are the gurus as they are the best preacher to the child. But it is said that a Guru is the one who acts as the link between the God and the human soul. Guru is the one who guides the person on the way of peace and knowledge and finally to the God. Saint Kabir Das has rightly written:
Guru Govind dou khade, kake lagu paanye,
Balihari Guru aapne, Govind diyo bataye
(Teacher and Lord are both there, whom to adore, but teacher you are great, who told us that God is there).
Over the years, the way Guru Purnima is celebrated has changed a lot and it is quite common because of the fact that, now the whole world is different and the concept of ardent disciple has changed a lot. In earlier times people used to host a special prayer for their gurus and in those prayers they used to recite the greatness and the nobleness of their gurus. That practice is still followed but not in the same manner.
However,children the real guru is truly within you . He is the one who dispels all fear and ignorance . As Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says, “He alone is the true teacher who is illumined by the light of true knowledge.” The outside world gurus , help you connect to the guru within. He resides in your Vishudha Chakra when you surrender to your higher self.