What is Guru Purnima 2024 – How to Benefit from it ?

The first full moon after the summer solstices celebrated as the brightest full moon of the year, called as guru pUrNimA. This, along with the darkest new moon night,called as mahA shivarAtri are celebrated as two of the most important days of the year for the profound impact they have on the human system, and as a consequence, the spiritual-possibilities that they offer.

But what is the meaning of the word guru exactly?

Why is this particular night called as gurupUrNimA?

What is the astronomical and spiritual significance of this night, and how can one make the best use of it? Let explore all these aspects in this Article,with the help of original Sanskrit references. The Sanskrit Channel is an effort to explore a vast variety of topics, from Original Sanskrit Literature. If you wish to support this effort, consider becoming a sponsor on Patreon, or make a one time contribution, through these options. Your support will help us create more of these Articles more frequently on more number of topics. Do check out all the links, in the description below.

the 16th shloka of advayat Araka upaniShadsays gushabdastvandhakAraH syAt rushabdastannirodhakaHandhakAranirodhitvAt gururityabhidhIyate 16 The meaning of this shloka is gu-shabdaH=thesound ‘gu’, andhakAraH syAt=represents darkness; ru-shabdaH=the sound ru; tat nirodhakaH=representsit’s cessation or removal. andhakāranirodhitvāt=due to to the property of removing darkness, guruH iti abhidhIyate=the name guru is given. So the word guru is used to denote somethingthat removes darkness. It is also used as an opposite word for laghu=which means short or small.

story of guru purnima

Guru is also used to denote something large,and great. So the word guru-pUrNimA literally means large,darkness dispelling moon! Even astronomically, it is quite literally the brightest full moon night of the year! In order to understand why this phenomenon occurs, we need to take a closer look at how the moon reflects sun’s radiance, and how it is impacted with the sun’s northern and southern runs. Due to the earth’s axial tilt, in the northern hemisphere, the duration of the day keeps increasing in the first half of the year,gradually increasing the level of Sun’s rays available to the planet. As a result of this, sun’s radiance reflected from the moon too keeps growing throughout the first half of year. This phenomenon, peaks on the day of the summer solstice, and then starts to gradually decrease, ushering in the winter season during the second half of the year.

This… results in the first full-moon-night,after the longest-summer-day to be the brightest. As a consequence of this enhanced impact of the moon, the water element within the body, which is the major component of our physical constitution, and one of the aspects of mind, called manas, which is directly correlated with the moon, are in a heightened state of receptivity. The spiritual significance of this day is such, that it is said, that it is on this day, that lord shiva, as Adiyogi trasmittedthe science of yoga to his seven disciples. It is on this day, that sage veda vyAsa thecompiler of the 4 vedas is said to have been born. This day holds enormous significance in buddhistand jain traditions as well! With the birth of hundreds of spiritual traditions,and thousands of gurus, what is actually one of the greatest possibilities of this culture,has turned into a major problem. There are serious questions that arise today regarding the role of a guru in one’s life, if such a title is really apt all, and if yes, then how does one make a distinction between who is a real guru and who is not! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Purnima

The answer is, it simply depends on what one is seeking in one’s life, and how one is within oneself… This is beautifully demonstrated in shrImadbhAgavatam,where lord dattAtreya explains to king yadu, that he in fact has 24 different gurus, explaining how he is able to learn something unique and immensely valuable from something as simpleas a moth, to something as vast as the ocean! Lord Shiva explains this very concept even more elaborately to devi pArvatI, in around 300 shlokas of skanda-purANa, called as guru-gItA. Anybody, or anything, or any experience, thatdestroys the darkness of ignorance and leads one towards the brightness of clarity and knowledge, is ones guru.

This is the reason, the brightest presence of the new-moon in the vast darkness of sky, is also a perfect symbolic representationof what a guru signifies. By staying awake through this night, staying outdoors under the brightness of the full-moon and by contemplating on what one truly seeks in one’s life, one can imbibe the energies of the night, and move from darkness to light,which is seen as the highest pursuit of human life. I’d like to conclude with a simple shloka which re-inforces this concept. This is the twenty-eighth mantra from thebRhadAraNyaka upaniShad, which goes as follows: asatomA sadgamaya tamasomA jyotirgamayamRtyormA amRtangamaya AUM shAntiH shAntiH shAntiH This shloka, is infact a request. The word gamaya literally means “make me move”! When a sAdhaka recites this shloka, he isaddressing someone, and seeking their help in one’s progress.

What is Guru Purnima 2020 – How to Benefit from it ?

Who is the sAdhaka addressing?

That is not specifically mentioned in this shloka. One can address it to one’s parents, teachers,one’s deity of worship, anything or anybody one considers to be one’s guru, or simplylooking at the full-moon on gurupUrNimA. The literal meaning of this shloka is, asataH=fromuntruth, mA=me. In this shloka, the word mA is used in the context of referring to oneself in the singular, gamaya=take-towards, sat=truth. tamasaH=from darkness, ma=me, gamaya=take-towards,jyotiH=brightness and light. mRtyOH=from death and decay, ma=me, gamaya=take-towards,amRtam=immortality and eternity. The shloka ends with an emphasis, of all of us being established in an atmosphere of peace. I hope you enjoyed watching this Article, and found this information useful.

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