Guru Purnima, the Day to Honor the Guru

Hindu Dharma honors the guru or spiritual master as a principle in itself beyond any particular personality, philosophy or revelation. For those who follow teachings like Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta the guru is a cosmic principle taking many names and forms. We should follow the guru who best takes us back to our true Self, as the guru abides in our inner consciousness.

July 21,  2024  marks  Guru  Purnima, the  Full  Moon of  the  Guru  for  this  year.

The true guru is a position of spiritual guidance, the illuminating presence of a higher awareness connected to cosmic intelligence. The guru is not limited to any single person but shows how that cosmic intelligence can guide us in the human realm and beyond. 

The guru is an inner institution, a guidance in Self-awareness rooted in a meditative wisdom. The guru works to awaken us to our own Divine potential beyond the limitations of time and space, birth and death. The true guru shares the light of universal truth to dispel the darkness of spiritual ignorance for all.

The guru is a powerful conduit to the universal flow of higher knowledge beyond the limitations of the mind. There is one boundless guru consciousness behind all gurus. The guru is the guiding intelligence of the universal dharma that assumes in many names and forms but is not limited to these.

The importance of having a guru resides in being able to connect with the transcendent through a human representative and conduit. We should emphasize the guru’s teachings and live the life the guru prescribes.

The ability to surrender the human mind and its opinions to the Divine within, to the Supreme Consciousness, makes for a true guru. The true guru teaches a path of Self-realization, giving us back our own true nature, not making us weak or dependent.

Guru Purnima – The full moon of the universal guru

Guru Purnima is the day of the Hindu lunar calendar (Panchanga) established for honoring the guru in every form, including all the teachers, educators and teachings that help us in life, which is done through various rituals, mantras and meditations.

The guru is the spiritual master as the cosmic guru. On this day, one should dedicate oneself to following the guru’s instruction and putting it into practice for the year ahead. The guru principle is most active at this time, and we can more easily connect with notable gurus past or present. We should deepen our relationship with our gurus on this auspicious occasion.

Guru Purnima also marks the birthday of Veda Vyasa, the great ancient guru who compiled the four Vedas, composed the epic Mahabharata, and created the foundation for the many profound Puranas, the vast encyclopedias of cosmic knowledge. Yet it extends to all the teachers who carry on these deeper eternal teachings.

Veda Vyasa developed the foundation for Vedic Dharma and its yogic teachings as it endures to the present day, with its numerous deity forms, enlightened philosophies, exalted teachers, and yogic paths to Self-realization that are now shared worldwide.

Veda Vyasa had Sri Ganesha as his scribe. What this means is that his teachings were embedded in the cosmic mind, not simply composed at a human historical level. Ganesha rules over all higher knowledge. So we also honor Ganesha on Guru Purnima. 

Guru Purnima represents the date on which Lord Shiva as the Adi Guru or original guru taught the Seven Rishis and seers of the Vedas. This reflects the fact that Shiva is Omkara and all the higher teachings arise out of Om as the Divine Word and cosmic sound vibration and its Yoga Shakti. Remember OM and all the mantras that arise from it as the connection to the guru within you, including all the mantras your gurus have taught you.

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Ishvara as Pranava or OM is honored as the Adi Guru of Yoga, which connects it to Shiva. Lord Buddha was said to have delivered his first sermon on this day of Guru Purnima at Sarnath, reflecting the power of this sacred time.

India’s most important gift to the world is its many great gurus. Since Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th century, a galaxy of monumental teachers has inspired humanity, and now visit all the countries of the world. Today, a new generation of gurus is arising to continue sharing the universal yogic knowledge in this new era of global communication.

We must honor the cosmic significance of the guru, guiding us back to our true Self that is one with all. Remember to honor your gurus on this date.  That is what we do. We have had many great gurus ancient and contemporary to guide us, Note picture of Adi Shankara, the great guru of Advaita Vedanta and Non-dualist Yoga Traditions, Yoga-Vedanta and its many great teachers

Our gurus extend to Anandamayi Ma, Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni, Sri Aurobindo, Paramahansa Yogananda, Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Sadguru Sivananda Murty and many more we have written about in our teachings and discussed in our programs. We rest upon their guidance and grace for all that we do.

May all the great gurus guide you in all that you do! OM Sri Gurubhyoh Namah! Hari OM Tat Sat!

Vamadeva Shastri (David Frawley) and Yogini Shambhavi.

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