Guru Purnima is an auspicious occasion to pay tribute and seek blessings of Gurus. The word ‘Guru’ is derived from two Sanskrit words ‘Gu’ meaning ‘darkness or ignorance’ and ‘Ru’ meaning ‘removal’. Hence, Guru is believed to be the removal of darkness from our lives. The festival is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. The day commemorates the birth anniversary of Ved Vyasa, the author and a character in the epic Mahabharata. The day also marks the occasion when Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh. In 2019, Guru Purnima falls on July 16.
In the yogic tradition, the day is celebrated as the occasion when Lord Shiva became the first Guru after he began the transmission of yoga to the Saptarishis.
Guru Purnima is believed to be the day when Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa – author of Mahabharata was born to sage Parashara and Satyavati. Hence the day is also called as Vyasa Purnima. Sage Vyasa worked for the cause of vedic studies by gathering all the vedic hymns and further dividing into four parts based on rites and characteristics. The four parts are namely Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva.
Five weeks after Buddha attained enlightenment, he travelled from Bodhgaya to Sarnath to meet his five friends and teach them Dharma. He knew his five companions would be able to understand Dharma, he taught them and as a result they also became enlightened. Hence, the community of enlightened ones was found. The sermon Buddha gave to five of his companions was called ‘Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta’. The sermon was given on the full moon day of the Ashada month. The Sangha later grew to 60 and Buddha sent them in all directions alone to teach the Dharma. These 60 monks are called ‘Arahants’.
Purnima tithi begins: July 16, 2019 at 1:08 am
Purnima tithi ends: July 17, 2019 at 3:07 am