Tell A Friend Home
Om Sai Mandir
Return To Articles
Guru Poornima: In Honor of the Guru

Guru Poornima, one of India’s most sacred festivals, is celebrated on the poornima (full moon) day  in the month of Ashada (July-August). The full moon day in this month is considered auspicious. The tradition of celebrating Guru Poornima was started in honor of the great sage, Sri Vyasa Bhagawan, who is also considered to be the first guru on the path of theism. Sri Veda Vyasa, Lord Krishna incarnate, has given man an enormous gift in the form of the four vedas, eighteen puranas, the Mahabharata, and the Bhagawata. These texts have benefited millions. Vyaasa first revealed to man the secret of making the mind as clear and as full of cool rays as the moon on a full moon night; that is the reason this poornima is associated with him and with all gurus. 3

The Guru. Breaking away from the cords of attachment becomes very easy with the help and grace of a realized master. A self realized master can lead the aspirant to the shores of liberation very easily. God is the guru of gurus, and in reality the only guru. Turning to God as one’s guru is the safest path to achieve success. Turn to the God within and He will surely lead you to the doors of immortality.

The letter “Gu” signifies one who transcends all attributes. “Ru” signifies one who has no form. Thus “Guru” signifies one who dispels ignorance. Only God can be regarded as one who is beyond attributes and forms. The guru who grants mantras is considered as the “Deeksha Guru”; the one who recasts the personality is the “Siksha Guru”. It is the latter who is reverentially praised in great texts. He removes faults in the vision and destroys the darkness of ignorance. He reveals the Aatma (self/soul) to the individual and makes him free. 2

The sacredness of this day. This day is sacred for various reasons. This day, the seeker who suffers from the delusion that the objective world is real is guided into the truth and those who have not felt the urge to explore their own inner reality are inspired to do so. When the sun rises, the world is blessed with heat and light. When the Guru blesses, the pupil gets peace and joy. Guru

Poornima, however, should not be considered as one day alone. It is all the days when the mind of man, whose presiding deity is the moon, is poorna (full), with cool refreshing rays, which it receives from the sun (intelligence). The mind must derive illumination from the intellect, the discriminative faculty, and not from the senses, which are the deluding forces.

Poornima (full moon day) celebrates the fulfillment that is the goal of all life. This day is dedicated for thanksgiving to the guru, for moon (the presiding deity of the mind) on this day is full, clear, cool, and bright. He has no blemish or dullness which diminishes His glow. The guru too is pictured and praised today as unblemished, bright, and affectionate. He is full of devotion and the sense of surrender to God. 2

On this day, sadhakas undertake the study of scriptures and practice all they have assimilated. Guru Poornima also marks the beginning of chaturmasa (rainy season) that heralds the advent of fresh life through showers of rain. This also indicates that one needs to perform serious sadhana to generate fresh waves of spirituality.

God is also considered to be “truth”. There is an ancient legend about truth. Once the Gods approached Ishvara (Shiva) and pleaded with Him to keep the knowledge of truth away from men and demons, for it would make them irresistible. So, it was hidden in the unreachable heights of the Aakaasha (sky). The demons lost interest in this kind of knowledge but men suffered agony in its absence. So, Ishvara hid it in the ocean and finally, when human yearning became overwhelming, Ishvara planted it in the heart of every human being. Even there it was not easily available for man. He had to penetrate through the evils of the five elements that comprise the gross body, the sheaths of the subtle body and the causal body, to have a vision of the indwelling Aatma. 2

On this day we need to decide to become masters of senses and intellect, emotions and passions, thoughts and feelings, by saadhana. Once Sister Niveditha asked for advice from Vivekaanandha to gain one-pointedness during meditation. Vivekaanandha said, “Do not allow Margaret Noble (herself) to come between you and God.” “Niveditha” means “offering.” So Vivekaananda explained, “offer yourself fully to God.”

  1. Guru Poornima Discourse, Prashanti Nilayam, 1970
  2. Guru Poornima Discourse, Prashanti Nilayam, 1980
  3. Guru Poornima Discourse, Mysore, 1961

Return To Articles

Home l Activities l Events l Directions  l Timings l Resources
About l Contact  l Newsletter  l Donate l Privacy Policy

  Submit your e-mail address to receive FREE newsletters, updates, festival reminders, and more.