Guru Poornima – Full moon day of the enlightened teacher
What is Guru Poornima?
7th July this year is the holy day of Guru Poornima. ‘Guru’ literally means ‘The one who dispels ignorance (avidyaa)’. ‘Poornima’ means ‘Full Moon Day’.
This day is dedicated and a memory to the great sage popularly known as Veda Vyaas (the one who compiled the Vedaas). The day, also known as “Vyaas Poornima” is observed by devout Hindus who worship their beloved Gurus. In India and in all temples/ashrams elsewhere Guru Poornima is celebrated with much grandeur. On this day, Indians across the world pay their deepest reverence to both their personal Guru, as well as to Sri Maharishi Vyaas with devotion, love and piety.
The auspicious day of Vyaas Poornima has a great significance to every seeker of ‘absolute truth’ (GOD) who has received benediction from their holy Guru and thus acknowledges the entire lineage of Gurus symbolized in Ved Vyaas.
Who is Ved Vyaas?
The name, Ved Vyaas is in fact a title. Ved Vyaas is also known as ‘Krishna Dwaipaayana Vyaas’ and ‘Baadaarayana’. He was said to be dark-complexioned and hence may be called by the name Krishna (black) and because of his birth on an island (dwip) in the middle of the river Yamuna, he was conferred the name Dwaipaayana. Hence the name Krishna Dvaipaayan Vyas. Vyaas means to divide or categorize as he categorized the Vedas into four sections for studying convenience. As the island on which Vyaas was born is said to have been covered by Badara (Indian jujube) trees, he is also known as Baadaarayana. Some say he lived in ‘Vadari forest in the Himaalayas near Badrikaashram hence called ‘Vaadrayan’.
Works of Guru Ved Vyaas:
Of the three authoritative and sacred books in Hinduism, the Brahma Sutra is attributed to Ved Vyaas and also makes him the proponent of the crest-jewel school of Hindu philosophy, i.e., Vedanta – the Science of Life. The Brahma Sutra is one of his shortest theologies on Hindu philosophy. All Hindus are indebted to this ancient saint Ved Vyaas who edited, classified and compiled the four Vedas, wrote the 18 Puraanas including the Srimad Bhaagavad Puraana and the Mahaabhaarata. Sri Vyaas even taught Dattatreya, who is regarded as the Guru of Gurus.
Significance of Guru Purnima
In honor of this world teacher, all seekers and devotees perform Vyaas Puja on this day by worshipping their Guru. Mahatmas and Saadhus are honored and acts of charity done by all householders with deep faith and devotion. During the ‘four months’ (chaaturmaas) beginning from this day the wandering spiritual masters and their disciples used to settle down at a place to study and discourse on the Brahma Sutras composed by Ved Vyaas, and engage themselves in Vedaantic discussions.
Happy Guru Poornima!