Guru Purnima will be observed on the 16th July 2019. Guru Purnima’s significance and importance is not limited to just one religion. It also includes three of India’s most popular religions. These are Hinduism (along with Buddhism and Jainism) The festival, as the name suggests, is held to celebrate the teachings and efforts of our teachers/gurus. We’d all be nothing without the knowledge that was instilled in our minds.
Guru Purnima celebrations aren’t just for sadhus and teachers. You can be a teacher regardless of whether your mother taught you to walk, or your friend taught you how to play an instrument, or sport. This is the “teacher’s day” that was first established. This is the original “teacher’s day” that was established in 1962. It’s safe to assume Guru Purnima is where all this began.
Although guru Purnima’s importance is universal across all religions, its origin stories are quite unique. Below are the original guru Purnima stories of Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism.
The Story of Guru Purnima in Buddhism –
This is the day that Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon. This took place 5 weeks after Lord Buddha had achieved enlightenment in the Bodhi tree. His sermon was delivered on a full moon and his followers have dedicated this day to him ever since. He was, after all, the first of the famous Gurus. His teachings helped to shape the country and its people for the better.
This is however the story of Guru Purnima, a Buddhist monk. Guru Purnima’s story is a little different in Jainism and Hinduism.
The Story of Guru Purnima in Hinduism
According to Hindu mythology, Guru Purnima was the day that Lord Shiva passed his knowledge on to seven disciples or “saptarishis”. Lord Shiva was then known as a Guru. Since then, Hindus have celebrated Guru Purnima to honor Lord Shiva, his teachings, and the seven saptarishis.
Fun Fact: Guru Purnima can also be called Vyasa Purnima. It is believed that Guru Purnima is the auspicious date Ved Vyasa was conceived. Ved Vyasa, the author of The Mahabharata, is what you need to know. Vyasa Purnima is the name of this author.
The Story of Guru Purnima in Jainism
Jainism’s Guru Purnima is the date that Mahavira, one of the most prominent Tirthankaras of Jainism, received his first follower. He was officially proclaimed a Guru. Since then, Jainism practitioners have been celebrating this day in honor of Mahavira as well as all the other gurus who came after him.
Guru Purnima Celebrations –
Guru Purnima, like all Hindu festivals, is celebrated with a bang. Guru Purnima is celebrated with a bang, not with fireworks, but with lots of food, lots of color, and a lot more vigor. People usually perform poojas to honor their teachers and gurus, whether they are Lord Buddha, Shiva or Mahavira, or even your mom. You can celebrate the guru pooja at home or in a temple, depending on how you want to celebrate. Any style of celebration is considered auspicious, provided that the prayers and celebrations are performed with faith and devotion. Every school across the country uses this festival to present shows featuring music, dances, and plays in memory of their teachers. Some schools also call back alumina’s to remember those who helped them get to where they are today.