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Guru Purnima celebrated at Shri Ram Mandir
July 22, 2008
Guru Pooja or Vyaasa Poornima dedicated to the devotional worship of spiritual Guru or teacher was celebrated at Shri Ram Mandir, on Guru Purnima day. Over one hundred students utilized this occasion to worship their Guru Pandit Roopnauth Sharma. Elaborate arrangements were made by our own Dr Janaki and her Baala Vihaar teachers. The students offered arati to their guru amidst enchanting shlokas, and Mantras. Baala Vihaar students after paying their obeisance to their Guru, recited chapter 12 from Bhagavad Gita to the delight of the parents who were present on this occasion. This festival, considered one of the most touching and elevating features of Hindu cultural tradition, has been inspiring millions of those seeking spiritual knowledge or realization of God under the guidance of a spiritual teacher.
Guru Purnima is a day when we pay obeisance to the guru-shishya parampara or mentor-protege lineage Vedanta, the science of self-management, was kept alive by generations of great visionaries. The word 'guru' means 'dispeller of darkness'. The guru removes ignorance and gives us the light of knowledge. Knowledge of who we are, how to relate with the world and achieve true success. Most importantly, how to transcend the world and reach the abode of infinite Bliss.
On this day we rededicate ourselves to human perfection. To study, assimilate and live Vedanta so that we may be able to pass it on to future generations. Vedanta makes us rajarishis kingly without, sagely within. Minus the rishihood, even material success eludes us.
Right from the morning devotees start making physical surrender to their respective spiritual Gurus, signifying the worship of preceptors of all times and are busy in offering their worship to the spiritual Guru.
A combination of the teacher's wisdom and the energy of the student go towards making a vibrant, progressive society. Today, students tend to undervalue the teacher and this day helps restore the balance. It stresses on the importance of the guru in every walk of life. A sportsperson's natural gift acquires direction under the expertise of the coach. A musician's talent is honed by the dedication of the mentor. In the spiritual path it is the enlightenment of the guru that removes the ignorance in the seeker's mind.
The teacher-student relationship is of paramount importance. The guru is revered as God. Spiritual growth is impossible without the help of a guru who is Brahmavit and Brahmajna established in the state of God-realisation and who has the skills to impart subtle spiritual concepts.
Pranipata or total surrender to the guru is one of the foremost qualifications of a student. This does not imply blind following. The seeker must question, probe and analyse the truths taught so as to understand, absorb and transform his personality to the higher realms. This is called prasna. And finally, an attitude of service or seva is the hallmark of an outstanding student. For it is unconditional service that makes the student learn the value of humility that makes him receptive to the guru's wisdom.
Guru Purnima is also referred to as Vyasa Purnima. Vyasa codified the Vedas. The seat from which any spiritual or Vedic teaching is imparted is referred to as Vyasapeetha in acknowledgement of Vyasa's stellar contribution to Vedanta. All teachers bow to Vyasa before taking the seat. He is revered as the first guru although the guru-shishya parampara started long before his time.
Vyasa was the son of the sage Parashara and a fisherwoman Satyavati, and the grandson of the renowned sage Vasishtha. He personifies the combination of sagely wisdom of his father and the practical approach of the fisherwoman. It is essential to cultivate both to excel in life. Vyasa was born on the full moon day (Purnima) of Asadh, a month of the Hindu calendar. 'Purnima' denotes illumination and Vyasa Purnima points to spiritual Enlightenment.
Vyasa was the author of the epic Mahabharata. The Mahabharata is not only a work of art and poetic excellence, it has inspired generations of Indians through the ages with its useful instructions on life and the immortal message of the Bhagavad Gita.
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