Guru Purnima 2020: As the name suggests, Guru Purnima is celebrated in reverence of the guru or the teacher, mainly by the Hindu, Jain, Sikh, and the Buddhist communities around the world. In India, the guru is respected because they impart knowledge and enlighten their disciples, and guide and steer them towards the right path in life. As such, it is believed the life of any human being in incomplete without the presence of their gurus.
The day is also celebrated as Vyasa Purnima, or the birthday of sage Veda Vyasa who, it is believed, wrote the epic Mahabharata and was also a part of it. The sage was born to Satyavati and Parashar on this day. Hindus believe him to be the imparter of knowledge and learning. It is also said that Vyasa was the one who classified the Vedas into Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. He also had four main disciples — Paila, Vaisampayana, Jaimini and Sumantu — who were entrusted with carrying forward his legacy.
Buddhists honour this day because Lord Buddha had given his first sermon on this day, after getting enlightened, at Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh. He is, therefore, considered to be the guru whose teachings are worth celebrating. In the yogic tradition, however, Lord Shiva is seen as the first ever guru. It is believed he had appeared to the saptarishis, or the seven sages, in the Himalayas on this day as a yogi himself, to give them an understanding of Yogic learnings. This is the reason that Shiva is also hailed as Adiyogi.
The Sikhs also honor their ten spiritual gurus on this day. But irrespective of how you see it, or which guru you bow to, as long as you have someone in your life to revere, you can commemorate them.
This year, Guru Purnima will be celebrated on July 5. It is observed on a full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashadha, which coincides with the months of June-July, as per the Gregorian calendar.
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