“Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwara;
Guru Sakshat Parah Brahma,
Tasmai Shri Guravay Namah”.
Guru Brahma – The teacher is Brahma, the creator,
Guru Vishnu – The teacher is Vishnu, the Organizer,
Guru Devo Maheshwarah – The teacher is Shiva, the Destroyer,
Guru Sakshat Parabrahma – The teacher is the supreme god
Tasmai Shri Guravay Namah – homage to the teacher.
This shloka tells us that the teacher is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The teacher is the almighty or the supreme god and so I give homage to the teacher.
In the Sanskrit language, the word “Guru” is made up of two root words “Gu” and “Ru”.
“Gu” – means darkness
“Ru” – means remover
“Guru” means the teacher, who removes his student from the darkness, by imparting knowledge and guides the student to the state of enlightenment.
The Guru plays an important role in a student’s life. He / She is the source of all the solutions and cures for the problems and pains in life.
“Guru Purnima” is celebrated as a festival all over India, Nepal and Bhutan. “Guru Purnima’’, falls on the full moon day. It is celebrated to give homage and to thank the gurus (teachers) for their guidance and knowledge.
The day of the “Guru Purnima” as per the Hindu calendar, is the full moon day, in the month of Ashadha. It is observed that the blessings gained by the Guru on this day, is a thousand times more active than on any other day.
There are many stories related to the origin of the “Guru Purnima” concept. Some interesting beliefs are: –
Guru Purnima is also known as “Vyasa Purnima”.
It is believed that on this day, “Ved Vyasa”, the author of the epic Mahabharata, was born. He was the son of the fisherman’s daughter, Satyavati and sage Parashara.
Veda Vyasa had done an intense study of the Vedas. He gathered all the Vedic mantras and divided them into four parts. He divided the Vedas into four parts – Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda.
He was named ” Vyasa” for his work of editing and segregating the Vedas.
Lord Buddha imparted knowledge on this day
Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. After 5 weeks of enlightenment, Buddha went from Bodhgaya to Sarnath, in Uttar Pradesh. It is believed that Lord Buddha gave his first teaching on this day, which was a full moon night. So, the followers of Lord Buddha celebrate “Guru Purnima” to worship him.
Lord Shiva – From the yogi to Adi guru
There is a story, which states that a long time ago, there were seven sages who did intense sadhana, as directed by Lord Shiva(yogi), for 84 years.
After 84 years, on a full moon day, the yogi (Lord Shiva), imparted knowledge to these seven sages, which are also known as “Saptarishis”. Lord Shiva became the first guru, and hence he is also known as “Adi guru”.
The “Saptarishis” after gaining knowledge, started going across the world, to share this knowledge. This knowledge was shared with the people so that they evolve consciously to attain enlightenment.
Lord Dattareya’s teachings
A Guru is a person who guides or gives us solutions during our challenging times. Today, we are suffering because of the excess pollution spread in the environment.
Lord Dattatreya is also known as the ” Guru of Environmental Education”. His teachings should be learnt and imbibed by each one of us.
Lord Dattatreya said “Nature” was his teacher.
If you see Lord Dattatreya’s picture, he is always surrounded by nature. He is sitting under a banyan tree. There is a cow, who provides food (milk and dairy products) and four dogs, who are his protectors.
He has described his 24 observations or learnings from nature which are so insightful and knowledgeable.
His 24 teachings about nature and the values he learnt from them are: –
1. Earth – patience.
2. Wind – the breath of life.
3. Sky – gain infinite knowledge
4. Fire – heat / spreading/ gaining knowledge
5. Water – cleanse, purify your heart
6. Ocean – Stillness by achieving deep and vast knowledge
7. Sun – be a giver, gives light as well as helps in forming clouds for the rains
8. Moon – phases of the moon – reveals that nothing lasts forever.
9. Pigeons- not to be obsessive
10. Bees – be active and work hard to gain success(honey)
11. Hawk – the power of letting go.
12. Beekeeper – not to be materialistic
13. Butterfly – was once a caterpillar, small steps lead to larger goals
14. Snake – moulting, change is the only constant
15. Python – eats whatever it gets, be content
16. Moth – it dies because it is drawn to fire, control your senses
17. Elephant–sensory fulfilment leads to deception
18. Deer – to not surrender, not to be in a hurry
19. Fish – not to be greedy
20. Spider – do not get entangled, abandon
21. Arrowsmith – the power of concentration.
22. Courtesan – do not be dependent on external factors.
23. Child – be happy and carefree
24. Maiden – does her work in solitude
Everything around us teaches us something!
A Guru is a true friend, philosopher and guide. My spiritual guide is my father-in-law, Dinesh Shrotriya.
Please go through my blog on – Dinesh Shrotriya – A Spiritual Guide.