Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima

By Nepali Patro
July 3, 2020

The full moon day of Ashadh Shukla Pakchya (Asar Shukla Pakchya) is called Guru Purnima. Today all the gurus, teachers, as the first Guru (parents), Gayatri Mantra Guru, Diksha Mantra Guru, the guru who taught Veda and scriptures giving true knowledge of this world as well of the afterlife, and those teachers who taught during school, university, etc are shown gratitude through worship, letters, SMS, telephone, etc. thus Guru Purnima is considered as the main festival of receiving blessings by the guru (spiritual teacher) and teachers and to express gratitude to all of them. In Hindu scriptures, it is mentioned that there is no other deity worthy of respect than mother, father, and the enlightened teacher. Similarly, mothers, fathers, and husbands are said to be the main teachers for women. Guru Purnima.

गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुः गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः।
गुरुः साक्षात्परब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः॥
ध्यानमूलं गुरोर्मूर्तिः पूजामूलं गुरोः पदम् ।
मन्त्रमूलं गुरोर्वाक्यं मोक्षमूलं गुरोः कृपा ॥

What is Guru i.e. Essence of Guru?

The word Guru is made up of two letters. “Gu” meaning darkness and “Ru” meaning light. The creature wanders in the darkness until it receives light. The mass of light is present in the Guru. A dark disciple becomes confused and wanders around without knowing anything, that is, knowledge or wisdom. When he realizes that this is this and that is that, then he becomes happy. The sun shines on his watch. Since that dark form of ignorance is removed by knowledge, it is the uneducated, ignorant, or uninformed person that goes to gain knowledge and to become a disciple of Guru. The one who imparts that knowledge is the Guru. The person who shows the right way is also the Guru.

It is also the Guru who imparts knowledge of Veda including other important scriptures. The disciple must be matured enough to understand the importance of the teachings given by the individual Guru. Otherwise, he takes even the most important thing as very normal. It should be understood that receptivity is the main factor. Receptivity and eligibility come after receiving education. The master does not want to impart knowledge until the disciple is mature enough. Try to avoid it by different means. Because Guru thinks, will the light of knowledge given to the disciple by Him can remain in the disciple- or not? If he thinks that he can retain it, then the master teaches the disciple by giving up everything and never leaving that disciple. He is afraid that the disciple will run away so he teaches him by persuading him constantly. Guru is extremely eager to teach. This is the essence of the master i.e guru. The Guru becomes anxious about how to transmit his essence unto him, to transmit knowledge, how to transmit the light of knowledge in his possession to others. The Guru is also wandering in search of the right disciple. This is a feature of the essence in the guru. This is not found in the case of general education transactions and the essence of a guru is not reflected at all.

Although there were many students and only a few teachers involved in the old Gurukul education compared to today’s certified education, the guru used to seek true disciples and vice versa, and that Gurukul ashram, the education it used to give was an great opportunity for the disciple to find a right guru. Knowing that the disciple was hungry of knowledge, the teacher would show him the way to the place where he would get the dose of that knowledge. The work of showing the right way was done by the Guru, while becoming a true disciple was done by the disciple themselves. One used to acquire worldly and transcendental Veda-Vedanta education and become perfect in knowledge. What is memorable here is that the ordinary teacher showed the way, then the disciple went to study with that teacher and after receiving his essence along with wisdom and knowledge, he also used to get engaged in the work of enlightening thousands of other disciples. That knowledge was true knowledge.

The principle of guru essence is that which, once received in life, is dearer as the knowledge giver- The guru, and the knowledge gained is much more dearer than life itself. One use to respect the imparter of knowledge and the knowledge received for lifelong. All his possessions were worthless in the face of the light he received, the knowledge received from Guru would be his invaluable asset. He would lay down his life in his honor. Acquiring such knowledge and dedicating one’s life to its protection was the fast of one’s life. Bhakti, Mukti, Aishwarya etc. used to bow down before such people. In the context of devotion in Srimad-Bhagavat, nothing was impossible for a Guru with inherent essence like the presence of the Ganga river in person. Reason being, everything seems to advance through knowledge to the beacon of devotion to the knowledge received from Guru to the Guru. In this way, such learned gurus became sages and saints and finally became idols of religion.

As a religious idol, he preached subjects written in Manusmriti etc to the disciples. For many days in the disciple to disciple tradition, these subjects remained in the Shruti (hearing and telling of script) tradition. Over time, as discipleship and the essence diminished, they started to keep them in script. The topics of those Shruti were the same, but were literally trying to maintain essence through those topics. The fact that the subject matter of Manusmriti, etc., obtained around twenty-five hundred years ago, is equally valid today from the subject matter point of view and linguistic point of view is due to the enlightenment taught by the true guru. We need that light of enlightenment even today, so we also must realize it. It can be said that, this mass of light being the light of knowledge of a full use of guru-essence, Western education which is only 200 years old but being an embodiment of new subjects every day is also because of this essence of guru which has been in existence since the ancient time.

For a married woman, the scriptures has make it clear (पतिरेको गुरुस्त्रीणाम्) that the parents, as well as the husband, are the only Guru. From the point of view of prenatal rites according to the scriptural view of ‘‘अमोक्षो धर्मविवाहानाम्’’, it is told that the marriage should be solemnized on the basis of astrological, religious, same age, economic equality, clan, etc. If the marriage is organised and takes place taking in consideration all these above factors there is no question of a rift in a marriage performed in this way of a Vedic manner. Therefore, it has been said that there will be no divorce or rift between husband and wife who have been married by following the religious method.

Nowadays, such marriages are less common and following the Western-style ideas marriage are taking place as a contract done in a court, thus the relationship is broken because the marriage did not take place and it just became a contract. In the Western countries, this method of marriage does not exist. As only the contract process or the process of court marriage is completed, the marriage contract will be broken like any other kind of contract. The husband could not take the wife as the right counselor because the marriage was not done in a religious form, meanwhile the wife also could not take the husband as the guiding teacher or a guru. In fact, for the wife, the husband’s position is higher than that of the Guru. The place of husband and Guru cannot be filled by the meaning of an ordinary teacher.

That is why it is said: – पतिरेको गुरुस्त्रीणाम् ।

Guru Purnima – Conclusion

गकारः सिद्धिदः प्रोक्तो रेफो पापस्य हारकः
उकारो विष्णुरव्यक्त प्रीतयात्मा गुरुः परः।।

The word guru formed by Ga, U and U is very broad in itself. And the meaning of it can be classified as the bliss giver, the one who takes away sin, and the collective propagator of knowledge, including qualities of Lord Bishnu, is the Guru. The importance of Guru is shown by the fact that the Guru is the giver of mantras, knowledge and is one form of the immaculate Siddhidata Lord Bishnu. Even though Lord Vyas was a self-sufficient Guru, by saying ‘कृष्णं वन्दे जगद्-गुरुं’ ‘ he has made Lord Krishna his Guru and has performed his deeds so as not to forget the essence of a Guru. ‘गुरुरग्निर्द्विजातीनां वर्णानां ब्राह्मणो गुरुः। पतिरेक गुरुः स्त्रीणां सर्वत्राभ्यागतो गुरुः’ :. Explaining the Guru in practical life, Chanakya has described the Guru who should be worshipped while living even in Grihasthashram (Normal Household).

The importance of placing Guru in such a high position is that when making a disciple without thinking, while appointing a minister, while choosing a wife, if that person is not worthy, then all the guilt of the sin will go to the superior person i.e the Guru, therefore it is instructed to choose the disciple etc wisely in the Religious Scriptures.

मन्त्रिपापञ्च राजानं पतिं जायाकृतं तथा
तथा शिष्यकृतं पापं प्रायोगुरुमपि स्पृशेत्।।

The Guru has the responsibility to make a disciple filled with knowledge and humility, but in order to acquire knowledge, a disciple also must have humility. The first step of a student is in fact his humility. It is the duty of the Guru to fill the world of knowledge in the disciple who is humble and inquisitive. In the same way, the relationship between husband and wife is also like that of a perfect Guru-Disciple. If we were to walk on the path of salvation at our own pace, we have to travel on the path of duty with interdependence. Relationships as well as duty should not be abandoned.

Guru Purnima is also celebrated as Vyas/Byas Jayanti, Guru Vyas, who was satisfied by composing the Shri Bhagwat Mahapuran with the character of Lord Krishna, he revealed that Lord Krishna is the Guru of all and by composing this satisfying Puran by His (Lord Krishna) grace he is self-satisfied.

Brahma, Bishnu and Shiva are considered as the Guru above all others, in this context, considering all the teachers, Guru who imparts Mantras, Ved and Scripture teacher etc who leads the disciple from darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge and wisdom. For this all kinds of activities, i.e imparting knowledge and since to open the eyes of the disciples with the rod of knowledge is possible only by the Guru, Thus, it is written and told in various scriptures, “I constantly and continuously bow down to the gurus who impart such worldly and otherworldly (things or circumstances relating to the next world) knowledge”. Guru Purnima. To Read this article in the Nepali Language please click here.

अज्ञानतिमिरान्धस्य ज्ञानाञ्जनशलाकया।
चक्षुरुन्मिलितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ।।

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