Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Spiritual Life : GURUPURNIMA

Today is Guru Purnima. 

Guru Purnima  is an Indian festival dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers. This festival  is traditionally celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists, to thank their teachers. It is marked by ritualistic veneration of the Guru, Guru Puja.

 The Guru Principle is a thousand times more active on the day of Gurupournima than on any other day.

  The word Guru is derived from two words, 'Gu' and 'Ru'. The Sanskrit root "Gu" means darkness or ignorance. "Ru" denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore one who removes darkness of our ignorance is a Guru.
In addition to having religious importance, this festival has great importance for Indian academics and scholars. Indian academics celebrate this day by thanking their teachers as well as remembering past teachers and scholars.



Traditionally the festival is celebrated by Buddhists in honour of the lord Buddha who gave His first sermon on this day at SarnathUttar Pradesh,India. Hindus celebrate it in honour of the great sage Vyasa, who is seen as one of the greatest gurus in ancient Hindu traditions and a symbol of the Guru-shishya tradition. Vyasa was not only believed to have been born on this day, but also to have started writing the Brahma Sutras on ashadha sudha padyami, which ends on this day.

What is it about Spirituality that has attracted man since civilization? be it the Greek Gods, the Egyptian Gods or the Indus valley civilization.  The presence of God and veneration of the Almighty is as old as civilization.

 Man has been drawn to Great Saints like Buddha or reincarnation of Lord as Ram or Krishna or the eternal Lord Shiva.

A bent towards spirituality can happen at any age of a person's life. It is said that every Saint has a past and every sinner a future.

Today is Monday, a day dedicated to Lord Shiva. Today is also Guru Purnima, which makes this day very auspicious. In my neighborhood temple a vendor was selling packets of flowers, bhang leaves, dhatura and otther leaves which are offered to Lord Shiva, especially on Mahashivrtri. I too offered flowers fruits, milk and other leaves dear to Lord Shiva.

But the surprise of the day came towards the evening. A friend  who had lived unhappily and   distress most of he life, successfully completed Vipassana  course at the  ripe age of 55.  In her words,

 "It was a life changing experience"

What is it that drew religious leaders like Jiddu krishnamuty , Osho,  Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,   of ISKCON movement towards spirituality?

Why is it that whenever we enter a place of worship we are overwhelmed  by a sense of awe, veneration and  peace and calm?

In today's time the Gen X has multiple issues. Life has become complicated unlike what it as for us when we in our twenties. Perhaps the two major issues facing h Gen X is career an relationships.

What  Gen X needs is Spirituality as an anchor. Dalai Lama was absolutely right is saying that 

"If we teach our children to meditate , we can eliminate violence in one generation"

We need to revamp our school curriculum

Issues like Secularism, Gender equality and Spirituality need to be taught form the tender age and reinforced till higher classes.

For me the reward of the day was the good news about my friend. It has rekindled my own faith in the 
Almighty. As long as there is Spirituality on Earth there is hope for Humanity..

Happy Guru Purrnima to all.