Guru Purnima is being celebrated to glorify the bond between Teacher and Learners. It is a sustainable and holistic practice in Indian tradition to learn from Gurus. Let’s find out why…

What is Guru Purnima:

Epic Mahabharata written by Veda Vyasa contains all the answers of our life (img: offechai)

The festival of Guru Purnima is unique in the world that celebrates the eternal bond between a Guru and Shisya. Guru Purnima as a festival started after Buddhist tradition of the commemoration of Gautama Buddha’s first sermon to his five disciples in Sarnath on a full moon day of the third month ‘Ashadha’ after he received Bodhi. Here Buddha as a Guru removed the darkness that held the knowledge to reach to his disciples. Again the writer of the Mahabharata, Maharshi Vyed Vyasa was also born on this day. As Mahabharata is said to have contained all the answers of existential and spiritual questions, the book may also be termed as a Guru for those, who could study it well.

Who is a Guru:

Guru dissipates darkness
Swami Vivekananda was a real Guru (img: Opindia)

In Sanskrit the word GURU means removal of darkness. Hence Guru is anyone, any person animal, object or anything that helps us to remove the darkness. With this argument Our first Guru is Our Parents and then the real Teacher and then the Sun that removes the visible darkness before us day after day. I used the term real teacher because Teacher is a very generalised term that must be deconstructed first.Guru Purnima honours one’s chosen Teacher as it is said, when the student is ready, the teacher always arrives.

Journey of a Guru:

One has to take the journey alone (img: the spritual Indian)

TEACHER is a generic word and too generalised a term we have imported from the British.

In Sanatan Literature & its mother language Sanskrit it’s defined elaborately..

Sanskrit words for “teacher” is based on their unique abilities & these are 6 phases or called it an evolution of a Teacher

  1. The teacher who gives you Information is called ADHYAPAK
  2. The one who imparts knowledge along with Information is called UPADHYAYA
  3. The one who Imparts skill is called ACHARYA
  4. The one who is able to give deep insight into a subject is called PANDIT
  5. The one who has a visionary view on a subject and teaches you to think in that manner is called DHRISHTA
  6. The one who is able to awaken the wisdom in you, leading you from darkness to light is called “GURU

These are 6 Unique abilities of a TEACHER, the word we use in general term

Guru helps us to achieve our journey from Karmayoga to Gyanyoga though we take the journey absolutely on our own, alone.

Which means that teaching journey of a Teacher is from ADHYAPAK to GURU and a student’s Journey is to learn under ADHYAPAK to GURU.

What Gurus We need today:

We need Gurus to reshape our habits and beliefs (img:zendhamuni)

Today in the time of environmental degradation and at the verge of near extinction in recent future and for survival as a species, the humans need not Gurus of Economy, Religion but Gurus to make us conscious about our effort as human beings to save our planet and as a byproduct save ourselves.

We have seen People inspiring other people in sports, education, life struggle, motivation but the most important thing we have been continuously ignoring, that We have made this Earth almost barren and hollow with our apparent educational and social practices.

Nature is the best Guru (img: ourplanet)

We must revive the old form of holistic education to start in nature’s lap. Where we must not be taught about Environment in a book in a concrete school classroom but Other subjects like history and Social sciences in nature’s shade. It’s somewhat just the Rabindranath Tagore had visualised education in Shantiniketan. But we need more.

We need Gurus who will clear the darkness of falsifying ourselves as achievers and successful people. We must find ourselves Gurus who will make us realise that we are one with a fallen leaf of a nature, or a snail that takes rest between it’s long journey from one silence to another.

who else in the world can make us that understand better than Nature itself. We must go back to the simple Nature where Our Guru is waiting for us.


( Information acknowledgement: friend Kunal Girme and internet. Featured image: freepress journal. We acknowledge sincere gratitude to all the image owners)


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