The Guru (Teacher) Purnima (Full moon) is a festival devoted to spiritual and academic teachers.
It is commemorated on a full moon day falling in an auspicious first peak of the Lunar cycle after the peak of the solar cycle. (June-July). All over India where this tradition of guru-shishya parampara is commemorated, this festival is essential to give this valuable bond a fulfilling and full recognition.
Hindu Legend – This was the day when Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa – writer of the Mahabharata – was born to sage Parashara and a fisherman’s daughter Satyavati; thus this day is also well-known as Vyasa Purnima. Veda Vyasa did yeoman service for the purpose of Vedic studies by collecting all the Vedic hymns extant during his times, distinguishing them into four parts based on their use in the ceremonies, virtues and educating them to his four primary disciples – Paila, Vaisampayana, Jaimini and Sumantu. It was this distinguishing and editing that deserved him the honorific “Vyasa” (Vyas = to edit, to divide).
“He allocated the Holy Veda into four, namely Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. Guru Purnima is celebrated not through any faith or belief ascertained by the most academic institution particularly in the field of dance and music.
The festivity is marked by ritualistic honour to the Guru, Guru Puja. The Guru Principle is asserted to be a thousand times more beneficial on the day of Guru Purnima than on any other day. The word Guru is originated from two words, gu and ru. The Sanskrit base gu means darkness or thoughtlessness, and ru signifies the remover of that darkness. Hence, a Guru eliminates the darkness of our ignorance. Gurus are speculated by many to be the most vital part of life.
On this day, disciples or followers offer pooja (worship) or pay respect to their Guru (spiritual guide). In addition to maintaining religious prestige, this festivity has extraordinary significance for Indian teachers and scholars. Indian academics dedicate this day by thanking their teachers as well as remembering past teachers and scholars.
Traditionally the festival is commemorated by Buddhists in honour of the Lord Buddha who bestowed His first sermon on this day at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India. In the yogic belief, the day is enjoyed as the event when Shiva became the first Guru, as he started the transmission of yoga to the Saptarishis. Many Hindus honour the day in respect of the extraordinary sage Vyasa, who is identified as one of the greatest Gurus in ancient Hindu traditions and a symbol of the Guru-shishya tradition. Vyasa was not only inferred to have been born on this particular day but also to have initiated composing the Brahma Sutras on ashadha Sudha padyami, which ends on this day. Their recitations are devoted to him and are organised on this day, which is also called Vyasa Purnima.
The festival is familiar to all spiritual traditions in Hinduism, where it is a representation of gratitude toward the teacher by his/her follower.
Hindu ascetics and roaming monks (sanyasis), identify this day by delivering puja to their Guru, during the Chaturmas, four months during the rainy season, when they decide isolation and stay at one chosen place; some also give sermons to the local public. Students of Indian classical music and Indian classical dance, which also emanate the Guru shishya parampara, celebrate this sacred festival around the world.
NASA also stated ‘Guru Purnima’ in 2017 in its tweet accentuating its significance to the world because of the importance of the celebration. The tweet also held an image of the full moon and has been ‘retweeted’ over 1,000 times. Meanwhile, many Indians have praised NASA for acknowledging Guru Purnima.
Iconic Mentor and Mentee legends
Almost as old as 5000-6000 years, the ‘parampara’ – ‘tradition’ of ‘guru-shishya’ has been a great explanation for incredible emperors and kings to improve tactics on the battlefield & impart civic, ethical and sacred education to the mass.
Chanakya – Chandragupt Maurya
Chanakya (4th century BCE) was an Indian educator, scholar, economist, jurist and royal counsellor. He is traditionally known as Kauṭilya or Vishnugupta, who composed the ancient Indian political treatise, the Arthashastra. As such, he has been assumed the evangelist of the field of political science and economics in India, and his work is understood as a crucial antecedent to refined economics. His works were relinquished near the verge of the Gupta Empire and not rediscovered until the early twentieth century.
Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Vivekananda (Narendranath)
The connection between Ramakrishna and Vivekananda commenced in November 1881 when they came across it at the house of Surendra Nath Mitra. Ramakrishna inquired Narendranath (the Pre-monastic name of Vivekananda) to sing. Influenced by his singing talent, he persuaded him to Dakshineswar. Narendra acknowledged the proposal and took off to Dakshinewsar to meet Ramakrishna. The meeting illustrated to be a twisting point in the life of Narendranath. Originally, Narendra did not acknowledge Ramakrishna as his teacher and found him a “monomaniac”, but ultimately, he became one of the nearest people in his life. Ramakrishna timely moulded the character of Narendranath and readied him to devote his life to assist humanity. After the demise of Ramakrishna, Narendra and his other monastic followers ascertained their first monastery at Baranagar.
G.H.Hardy – Srinivasa Ramanujan
The celebrated British mathematician G.H. Hardy is recognized for his accomplishments in number theory and mathematical analysis. But he is perhaps even better recognised for his adoption and mentoring of the self-taught Indian mathematical genius, Srinivasa Ramanujan. Hardy himself was a marvel from a young age and stories are told about how he would jot down numbers up to millions at only two years of age, and how he would fascinate himself in the chapel by factorizing the hymn numbers. He graduated with honours from Cambridge University, where he was to spend most of his scholarly career.
Meanwhile, in 1913, Srinivasa Ramanujan, a 23-year-old shipping registrar from Madras, India, wrote a letter to Hardy (and other intellectuals at Cambridge), alleging, among other aspects, to have composed a formula that calculated the number of primes up to a hundred million with commonly no error. The self-taught and compulsive Ramanujan had contrived to verify all of Riemann’s findings and more with practically no knowledge of developments in the Western world and no proper education. He asserted that most of his ideas appeared to him in dreams and imaginations. G.H.Hardy was the only one to understand Ramanujan’s genius, and took him to Cambridge University, and was his colleague and instructor for many years. The two worked together on many mathematical questions, although the Riemann Hypothesis went on to oppose even their cooperative accomplishments.
Ramakant Achrekar & Sachin Tendulkar
The Sachin-Achrekar coalition was outstanding, and some would say lethal, mixture – a devoted coach, hell-bent on bringing the best out of his players, and a marvel, ever-so-keen to acquire new things and keep improving. Their first gathering, nonetheless, did not give the tiniest indication of what was in store.
“Beneath the helmet, under that curly-twirly hair, inside the head, there is something we don’t realize, something beyond scientific calculation. Something that enables him to rise, to wander a region of sport that, ignore us, even those who are blessed adequate to play alongside him cannot fathom. When he appears on the field to bat, people, start their TV sets and switch off their lives.” – British Broadcasting Corporation(BBC).
There are a lot of instances and examples to showcase the divine bond of Guru- Shsihsya.
Thus, time and again it has been substantiated that the bond and loyalty between a Mentor and a mentee to exceed incredibly in his choice of study has given the earth its tales and the peculiarity of excellence is equally authorized by the Teacher for the learner, accentuates the useful results.