Celebrated to acknowledge the selfless induction of wisdom and knowledge by teachers, today, July 19, marks the 2016 edition of Guru Purnima.
The word ‘guru’ has its roots in the Sanskrit language, where ‘gu’ means darkness and ‘ru’ stands for the removal of darkness.
Hence, it becomes only understandable for an entire day to be bestowed upon the teachers who illuminate our lives with the light of knowledge and wisdom.
The festival is of paramount importance to the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist communities of the country, which indulge in festivities as a means of paying respect to their respective gurus.
Here are 5 other things you should know about the festival.
- According to the Hindu calendar, Guru Purnima generally falls on a full-moon day in the Hindu month of Ashadh (June to August).
- Hindus dedicate Guru Purnima to Maharshi Veda Vyasa, the sage who is believed to be responsible for editing the sacred Hindu text, the Vedas and writing the 18 Puranas, Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavatam–all of which form the very foundation of the Hindu religion.
- For Buddhists, the festival is an occasion to rejoice in the divinity of their guru, Lord Buddha, who is said to have delivered his first sermon at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, on this very day.
- The festival is also believed to mark the onset of monsoons, and is thus a prime source of celebration for farmers.
- The day of Guru Purnima is considered auspicious for those who are willing to give a start to a spiritual learning of any kind.