Guru Purnima, also known as Vyasa Purnima is falling on the 31st of Ashar this year. The day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Ved Vyasa, the author and a character in the great Hindu epic Mahabharata. Also, it is believed that on this day Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh of India. According to the Bikram Sambat calendar, the Guru Purnima is celebrated on the Ashar Shukla Purnima (full moon day on the month of Ashadha), which coincides with June or July in the English Calendar. The term ‘Guru’ is derived from two Sanskrit words ‘Gu’ meaning ‘darkness or ignorance’ and ‘Ru’ meaning ‘removal’. Hence, Guru is believed to be the removal of darkness from our lives.
Guru Purnima symbolized of the Guru-shishya (teacher-pupil) tradition. Ascetics and sanyasis (wandering monks), observe this day by offering puja to their guru. Students of classical music and classical dance, in Nepal and India, which also follow the Guru shishya parampara, celebrate this holy festival around the world. On this day, disciples offer puja to their gurus and seek their blessings. The day is celebrated by thanking teachers and seeking blessings from them and also by remembering teachers and scholars from history.
Hindus celebrate Guru Purnima as the birth anniversary of Veda Vyasa. However, the festival is celebrated by Buddhists in the honour of Gautama Buddha who is believed to have given his first sermon on this day at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh of India. However, Guru Purnima is believed to be the day when Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, popularly known as Ved Vyasa – author of Mahabharata was born to sage Parashara and Satyavati. Hence the day is also called as Vyasa Purnima as well. Sage Vyasa worked for the cause of Vedic studies by gathering all the Vedic hymns and further dividing into four parts based on rites and characteristics. The four parts are namely Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva.
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