Guru Purnima 2022: History and Significance

गुरू ब्रह्मा गुरू विष्णु, गुरु देवो महेश्वरा गुरु साक्षात परब्रह्म, तस्मै श्री गुरुवे नमः

As you move ahead in your life, other than your parents, it is the teacher (or Guru) who inspires you to channelise your strengths, feeds you with enlightened knowledge and ensures your overall growth. Altogether, an ideal teacher plays the role of a guide, a mentor, a life coach and at times, a spiritual coach too. Such teachers (or gurus) have been equated with God in our culture. In the light of the same, Guru Purnima (Vyasa Purnima) is celebrated to honour and thank the Gurus. This year, Guru Purnima will fall on July 13. Take a look at its history and significance to understand the festival in-depth.

Guru Purnima 2022: History and Significance

History of Guru Purnima

The word Guru is made up of two components i.e. ‘Gu’ meaning darkness and ‘Ru’ meaning elimination of ignorance or darkness. Thus, a Guru removes the darkness surrounding us and guides us to the path of salvation.

The history of this festival traces back to the Vedic era. According to the legends, around 15,000 years ago, a sage (yogi) appeared in the Himalayas. He would sit in meditation at one place, without showing any signs of life. His eyes would stay shut as being in deep thinking. Sometimes, tears would drop from his eyes. Soon, seven men gathered around him and when he opened his eyes (after days), the men asked him what he was going through. He just asked them to meditate and soon he closed his eyes again.

These men sat alongside him for ~84 years and on the ‘Dakshinayana’ day when the sage opened his eyes, he was pleased to see them enlightened and decided to impart his wisdom upon them. Later, the men were called ‘Saptrishi’ and spread wisdom received from Adi Guru all around the world.

Significance of Guru Purnima

The day represents the date when Lord Shiva (the Adi sage) taught the saptrishis, the seers of the Vedas. Guru Purnima honours and celebrates the teachers for their dedication, hard work and sacrifice for nurturing a student.

Also, it is an auspicious festival for Buddhists as it is said that Lord Buddha gave his first sermon on this auspicious day, and since then, it is known as Buddha Purnima.

On this day, people get up early, take a bath, recite ‘Vishnu Sahatranam, visit their teachers to pay respect and even present them with Guru Purnima gift as a token of gratitude.

Now that you know everything about Guru Purnima, convey your love and gratitude to the Gurus of your life and tell them you will forever be obliged.