The full-moon day, of the month of Ashad (July-August), is celebrated all over India as the sacred Guru Poornima day. On this auspicious day, we bow down to the great Guru Veda Vyasa, and to the ancient tradition of the Guru Parampara. We think of Sri Narayana, who imparted supreme knowledge to Brahma; we think of the Sanakadi rishis, his sons; we think of Lord Dakshinamurti, the ultimate Guru; and the lineage of Parasara, Veda Vyasa, Shuka, and the succession of Gurus and disciples who have succeeded them, keeping the great tradition alive to this day.
Guru Poornima heralds the arrival of a new season, the monsoon season or varsha ritu, as it is called. This is also called the Chaturmasya or Chaumaso, when sages and sanyasis do not move about from place to place, but reside in one spot, reading the scriptures, meditating, practising silence, and advocating a life of austerity and purity to all their disciples.
On this day, we honour our Guru, and through the Guru, we pay homage to the Satguru who resides in us all. For, the Guru is none other than the picture of God, he is the ‘inner prompter’, who makes us aware of the presence of God within us.
The path of Guru bhakti leads us to acquire one virtue after another, humility, egolessness, selfless service and inner stillness. When you commune with the Guru, you enter the deepest awareness where reason cannot reach. It brings you the deepest fulfilment that your personal achievements can never give.
On this day, people travel far and near to be with their Guru, to get a glimpse of him at least, to listen to his words of wisdom. Not only is the Guru wise and learned, he is also spiritually exalted; this is why the wisdom that he imparts comes from the heart, from the spirit, and is far, far above mere book-knowledge.
The bhakti tradition of India always had tremendous appeal to the common people precisely, because it helped to open up the path of love and devotion as a highway to salvation!
*July 13 is Guru Poornima
Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader