Guru Purnima - Honoring the Teacher
Why and How to thank our teachers and strengthen our commitment to our growth and fullness on an auspicious day called Guru Purnima.
What is Guru Purnima and its significance?
In the western countries, we lovingly celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in appreciation of parents. On these days, we go or call to our parents to greet them and bring gifts for them. We express our gratitude to them for bringing us on this earth and nurturing us, guiding us, motivating us and being with us. The feeling of gratitude fills our heart and brings lot of love in the relationship.
Similarly for several thousands of years in India, people have been celebrating Guru Purnima – Master’s Day - festival dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers to thank and respect the teachers. It is a day dedicated specially to the divine guru who has dedicated his or her life to the spiritual evolution of the disciple. On this day, disciples come to the guru and offer thankfulness with love and devotion for what has been bestowed on him or her through the grace and unconditional love of the master and his teachings. It is marked by ritualistic respect to the Guru, Guru Puja. “Guru is a tatva - an element, a quality; inside you. It is not limited to a body or a form. The Guru Tatva is a thousand times more active on the day of Guru Purnima than on any other day.” – Sri Sri
This day is celebrated on the full moon day of a particular month - Ashadha Full Moon of the Indian National calendar. It falls on 12th July 2014 as per English calendar. Ashadha Full Moon is dedicated to the memory of masters – Guru (Master) Purnima (Full Moon). Mind is connected with moon. Full moon is completion, the pinnacle. On Guru Purnima the student or the disciple wakes up in full gratitude. Disciple or the Devotee becomes like an ocean moving in itself. It’s the time to come in fullness. It’s a time to celebrate. On Guru Punima we remember all Gurus of the past. It is a day to remember and honor the light-the tireless guidance, compassion and encouragement we have received from all our teachers.
The Sanskrit word ‘Guru’ means spiritual teacher; however it is also often used to refer to teachers of all kinds. “Acharya (teacher) gives knowledge and Guru gives height of awareness and makes you alive. Acharya gives information, Guru gives intelligence, an awakened intelligence.” – Sri Sri
The word Guru is derived from two words, 'Gu' and 'Ru'. The Sanskrit root "Gu" means darkness or ignorance. "Ru" denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore one who removes darkness of our ignorance is a Guru. Gurus are believed by many to be the most necessary part of lives.
A Guru is someone who is so filled with bhakti(devotion) or love for the Highest Cause—and therefore love or compassion for all living beings who he understands are part and parcel of the Highest Cause—that he sees himself as the ‘servant’ of everyone and dedicates his life to helping everyone find true happiness. He has realized the truth that happiness comes from rendering selfless service.
“Guru purnima is the day to feel grateful for the great knowledge you have received from your master. It is time to review how much knowledge you could ingrain in your life in past one year. This may bring about a realization for scope of improvement which in turn will bring humility in you. Be grateful for the way this knowledge has transformed you. It is the day to renew one’s determination and focus on the goal, and to resolve what one wants to do in the coming year. Gratitude and humility together blossom a genuine prayer inside you!” – Sri Sri
Guru Purnima Celebration at Art of Living:
Guru Purnima has always been one of the important celebrations at the Art of Living since its inception. This year Art of Living will have week-long Guru Purnima Celebration at their retreat center in Boone, USA. The retreat center is nestled in a quiet forest on top of the beautiful Heavenly Mountains of Western North Carolina to give you a feeling that you are almost meditating amidst the clouds!
The Guru Purnima celebration on July 12th is free event and open to every-one! The unique union of the hearts of the Guru and disciple on this day manifests exquisite and unimaginable changes for the growth of the disciple. The subtle process of removing karmic blocks, fears and doubts are deeper compare to other times. Being in the physical presence of the Guru on this day holds deep and special value. Come, witness and soak yourself into ocean of gratitude and devotion.
The celebration will be marked by Week-long Silence Retreat from July 6-13. We have a side of us that’s full of unshakable confidence, joy and peace. The Silent Retreat helps us uncover this “enlightened side” and make it a part of our daily lives. Open to everyone age 18 and above, this true vacation starts with the cleansing Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique of our flagship Art of Living Happiness Program and then moves on to silent observation and advanced meditations of the Art of Silence Retreat - for a life changing blissful experience. Immerse yourself and emerge renewed for the year ahead.
As a special feature, deep meditations will be led in-person by Sri Sri - A world-renowned spiritual teacher, ambassador of peace and thought-leader on meditation. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, also the founder of the Art of Living has impacted the lives of millions world-wide through his profound techniques and wisdom. Take advantage of this rare opportunity at the Art of Living Retreat Center to spend the holiday diving deep into yourself in Sri Sri's peaceful presence.
What to expect at the Silent Retreat
- Wisdom and Q&A with Sri SriM
- Daily yoga at sunrise
- Unique guided meditations
- Powerful breathing techniques
- Soul-stirring ‘kirtan’ music
- Breathtaking scenic beauty
- Fresh, delicious, vegetarian meals
- And much more…
Bring the whole family... and unwrap your inner joy together!
Looking to the needs of different age groups, customized Programs like YES! – Youth Empowerment Seminar (For ages 14–17), ART Excel (For ages 8–13) and CHILD CARE (FOR AGES 4-7) will also be offered as a part of this celebration.
“Ayurveda and Yoga for Optimum Health” conference – 4-6 July
The week-long Guru Purnima Celebrations will be preceded by “Ayurveda and Yoga for Optimum Health” Conference on July 4-6. This event promises to be the region's premiere holistic wellness conference of the summer. We invite you to join us and not miss out on this opportunity to discover a wealth of knowledge and experience. This will be inaugurated by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and many world renowned speakers like David Frawley, Mother Maya Tiwari, Yogi Amrit Desai and many more will be presenting their original thoughts.
More information about The Art of Living can be found on its website – ww.artoflivingretreatcenter.org
- Dr Sejal Shah, Happiness Program and Yoga Teacher
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