The Sanskrit word Guru, translated simply implies the remover of darkness. One translation of the root “Gu” is darkness, and “Ru” dissolver or remover. Guru Purnima occurs on the full Moon in the Indian calendar month of Asadha (July15-Aug 15). This year, the date falls on July 15, in North America.
The significance of Guru Purnima is profound. The great Sage and compiler of the Vedas, Vyasa, is believed to have been born on this auspicious day. Vyasa was the son of the great sage and vedic astrologer Parashara. Many believe that Vyasa compiled the 18 Puranas, and wrote the Mahabharata and Srimat Bhagavata.
It is also believed that the Lord Buddha gave his first sermon on this day in Northern India. Some historians also note that it was this day that the great Jain Avatar Mahavir initiated his first disciple. This Guru Purnima has a beautiful astronomical configuration, for the Moon is aspected, and participates in an intimate interlink with both Jupiter and Venus. The Moon is in the first drekkana of Sagittarius. The ninth house, and the first drekkana of Sagittarius both represent the Guru.
Without the Gurus of the past and present, the light of Vidya and Atma would not be within our grasp. The Guru illumines the darkness and shadows of the human mind and spirit. Without the Guru, we would be like a rudderless boat thrashed about in a hurricane. Without the grace of the Guru we would fragment like shadows on a dark Moon night.
The Guru illumines our world like the full Moon at night. On the night of the full Moon the dark world becomes accessible to us. We are able to make out colors, objects, shapes and trees. When the Moon is full, we are able to walk in the jungles and forest, see the ocean and mountains. Like the full Moon that allows us to see and access nature at night, the Guru allows us to access our own illumined nature that is hidden in the night of our ignorance.
The Guru is like the stars in the sky. Through trillions of miles of darkness, the light of stars breaks through the darkest shadows of our galaxy to color our skies with drops of light, that reveal a profound universe to us all. The stars have helped mankind orient and navigate his/her direction for thousands of years. It has recently been discovered that even certain birds may use the stars to navigate the world at night. The guru helps us illumine our direction, see through the darkness, and navigate through the howling storms of ignorance.
The Guru is the shooting star. When an asteroid enters our atmosphere it begins to burn as it encounters our world, and hence, for a short time, we are illumined by its presence. As the Guru enters the friction of our ignorance he/she glows brighter and brighter to halt our perilous descent, and the inevitable crash that occurs through the blindness of ignorance and the ghost of our past actions. We begin to burn off our karmas in the presence of the Guru, and in turn, we begin to glow brighter and brighter as well.
Tears of joy, and countless pranams, thanks, and praise to the Guru.
Jai Guru Ki Jai
Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru devo Maheshvara
Guru Sakshat, Para Brahma, Tasmai Shri Guruvai Namah