First of all, I’d like to wish you on the occasion of ‘Guru Purnima’. Guru Poornima is also called Vyasa Poornima because it is Ved Vyasa’s birthday, which comes during June-July every year. That is during the month of ‘Ashada’. Ved Vyasa is the author of the Mahabharata.
The Sacred Guru Mantra.
Guru Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwaraha!
Guru Sakshath Para Brahma Tasmai Shree Guruve Namaha!
Who is Ved Vyasa?
Ved Vyasa, the author of the Mahabharata, lived during the Dwapara Yuga and is considered to be one of the Chiranjeevi’s (immortals). His mother was Satyavati and his father was the sage Parashura. Ved Vyasa makes his appearance in the Mahabharata before the birth of Dhritarashtra, Pandu, and Vidura.
Why is Ved Vyasa’s birthday known as Guru Poornima?
Much like we celebrate ‘Teachers Day’ on 5th September on the occasion of Sarvapalli Radhakrishna’s birthday in India, the ‘Guru Poornima’ is traditionally our ‘Teachers Day’. Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains celebrate Guru Poornima. A Guru basically means a teacher. But a ‘Guru’ in the strict sense of the term is not only an academic teacher but also a spiritual teacher.
Significance of a Guru and Gurukul
It is rightly said that a teacher can make or break a student’s life. A Guru is the one who imparts knowledge. He is wise and intelligent. His purpose is to guide his pupils towards Gnana (intellect), Karma (work) and Moksha (freedom from the cycle of birth and death). He is supposed to train his students on life, religion, core subjects, etc. He used to keep his students in institutions called ‘Gurukula’ where the student would stay until his education was complete, which would take a few years.
Here are some revered Guru’s from the past.
There are some exceptionally amazing teachers to this day! I myself have had the fortune of having resourceful, kind, and helpful teachers who, I’m thankful for having shaped my life.
The difference is that in ancient times, education was not like today where education mostly has become a business with educational institutes only trying to make more money. Little is taught about the practicality of life and the main focus is on exams. Institutions these days pay peanuts to teachers and pressurize students to write tests and exams.
In Gurukula’s, the Guru used to teach everything from theory to practical life, from science and mathematics to religion and from medicine to yoga and meditation. In the end, the Guru would not ask for money. Rather he would ask for the ‘Guru Dakshina’. It meant that the student had to give whatever the Guru asked for. The Guru Dakshina was supposed to be according to the capabilities of the said student. For example, when Lord Krishna and Balaram completed their education, their Guru, Sage Sandipani asked them to bring back his dead son as Guru Dakshina.
On the occasion of Guru Poornima (or Purnima), I remember my teachers with a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart and wish well for them, wherever they are and whatever they are doing now. I reminisce about the bygone days I spent with my teachers and feel nostalgic about my childhood as I wish my teachers.
Have you wished your teacher?