The word Guru means teacher in India and as per the Sanskrit verse – Mata Pitah Guru Daivam – the role of a teacher is placed before than that of the God. Our Gurus have often helped us selflessly and this is the day to thank them for whatever they have done for us. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't be who we are today. Interestingly, the Sanskrit word Guru itself means one who removes ignorance (Gu meaning ignorance and Ru means remover). The auspicious day of Guru Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Ashadha as per the Hindu calendar. This year, the day falls on July 27.
On this day, students thank their teachers for nurturing values, morals and instilling the sense of right and wrong besides imparting education.
In ancient India, parents entrusted the responsibility of their children to the Guru because they knew only a teacher could help a child evolve holistically. The Guru Shishya Parampara which was wonderfully woven in the social fabric witnessed a beautiful bond between the teacher and a student. Even today, teachers are counted upon by parents to instil good values in the child.
Moreover, the importance of significance of a Guru has also been clearly established in our great Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The bond shared by Sage Vishwamitra and Lord Rama or Arjuna and Dronacharya are classic specimens of the Guru Shishiya parampara.
Other significant features of the Guru Purnima day are as follows:
This day, is also celebrated as Buddha Purnima by followers of Gautama Buddha. It is on this very day the founder of Buddhism gave his first sermon at Sarnath.
The author of the Maharbharata was born on this day and hence it is also celebrated as Vyasa Purnima.
Guru Purnima is of great significance for the Jains too. On this day, the 24th Tirthankara – Mahavira – made Gautam Swami (earlier known as Indrabhuti Gautam) his first disciple. He thus became a Guru and hence the day is observed as Guru Purnima.