Guru Poornima: My face book page and What’s app messages are flooded with Guru Poornima wishes , yes today is Guru Poornima. Another Indian festival that is loosing its meaning and celebrations amidst many others.It made me decide that I need to write on this festival to explain the importance/significance.
Guru Poornima is celebrated in the month of Ashadh(per Hindu calendar) around July -August time frame during the full moon day (Poornima). The Day actually was celebrated to pay homage to Rishi (Saint) Ved Vyas. He was the Saint who edited 4 Vedas, the 18 puranas, Mahabharat, Srimad Bhagwatkatha. He was also the one who preached Dattatreya who is considered Guru of Guru.
The word “GURU” has been included in English dictionary too and used in colloquial english too to refer to a subject matter expert. Now a days Guru is also the term used for teachers.
The most common Shloka in sanskrit to show respect towards Guru is :गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुर्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः गुरुरेव परं ब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः
Gurur-Brahmaa Gurur-Vishnur-Gururdevo Maheshvarah |Gurureva Param Brahma Tasmai Shrii-Gurave Namah ||1||
Exact Translation:The Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru Deva is Maheswara (Shiva),The Guru is Verily the Para-Brahman (Supreme Brahman); Salutations to that Guru.
Meaning:The Guru is Brahma (G of GOD denoting Genrator) like Lord Brahma he generates Knowledge within us. The Guru is Vishnu (O of GOD denoting Operator) like Lord Vishnu he operates/drives us to the right path by enlightening us in the form of ideas and knowledge. The Guru is Shiva (D of GOD denoting Destroyer) like Lord Shiva he destroys the ignorance within us and paves way for the inner enlightenment. Thus a true teacher is like an ultimate GOD and we pay respect and salute to that Teacher.
Coming back to the question : so the teachers who taught us are they GURU ??
Well per my understanding it depends, if you got guidance from them (apart from academics or subject matter then yes) . The teachers who impart subject knowledge are like “Acharya’s.In ancient India the saints with subject matter expertise were called Acharya like ayurveda acharya’s Sushrut, Charak. The teacher of military arts for kaurava’s and pandava’s Dronacharya.
GURU : is made by combination of 2 root words of sanskrit (Gu + Ru). Gu meaning darkness and Ru meaning dispeller. Hence the destroyer of darkness is GURU. Now the darkness can be of ignorance , of arrogance , of pride , of all the negative qualities within you. The one who helps you overcome these negativities within you is the GURU. The term mostly is used for your spiritual guide the one who awakens or enlightens the inner soul within you. In Bhagwad Gita too Arjun accepts Shri Krishna as GURU as he guides Arjun when the latter is in doubt.
How do I explain significance of it to my kids.. You know the history and logic of Guru Poornima but how do you explain it to the little ones?? The lessons of spirituality or negativity within you or coming out of negativity or growing up spiritually with the guidance of GURU is a concept hard for them to understand. I read about an example of Sun and Moon in the internet. Moon has no light of its own, but on poornima /full moon it dazzles by reflecting the light of Sun , similarly if you get a true GURU (Sun) , the guidance from him/her will enlighten you and you will shine by imbibing the learning’s from him/her in your life.
We did a little experiment today, we took few seeds and planted them. I asked them what will the seed turn in to and their answer was plant . We talked that the seed needs water, air and sunlight to grow in to a plant. The sunlight is a must just the air and water won’t help plant to grow , the Sunlight is a must because it initiates the process of photosynthesis which helps in providing the food. Similarly a true GURU acts as SUN which helps us to initiate the process of photosynthesis (food for our mind/soul) within us. It helps us to come out of our cocoon of selfishness, ignorance ,pride and makes us a humble and good Human being. Parents can act as GURU too if they are able to guide their kids in right direction.
Salute to the GURU’s in our life who have taught us right from wrongs , helped us awaken our innerself let’s follow what is right and pass it to the next generation and make this world a beautiful place. LET’s begin from US ….
गुरु गोबिंद दोउ खड़े , काके लागूं पावों , बलिहारी गुरु आपने गोविन्द दियो बताय
Guru gobind dou khade,kaake lagoon paavon, Balihari guru aapne ,gobind diyo batay ..
Meaning : I was standing in front of my Guru and God, I was in dilemma who to salute first and God told it’s the GURU first…that’s how significant is THE GURU in our LIFE.