The significance of Guru Purnima

Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!


Chaitanyamoy Nanda


Gururdevo gurudharma gurunishtha parn tapah
Guroh partarn nasti, nasti tatwan guroh param.

The day is Guru Purnima. It is in the month of Ashaad (July). A pious day to offer prayer to your Guru. This Purnima's significance is described in various Smiriti Puranas and other religious texts.

Sri Sri Guru Purnima's importance in the songs and hymns are also remarkable. It is directed in the scripture that on this occasion bathing and giving donations in charity is obligatory. So, we see in the almanac "atra danam aavashyakam". It is sinful not to donate on this day. The importance and the utility of this day in the path of knowledge and faith is immense and accepted by everyone. It is natural for every Indian.

The great saint Vyasdeva, who is the pioneer of our vedic culture and tradition, who wrote Mahabharata, the eighteen puranas, Brahmasutras, Srimad Bhagavatam and who is the preserver of our ancient religion and who,  through his disciples, spread it generations after, was born on this day. This great man is the creator of traditional hindu lifestyle. He is the enlightened power of Lord Krishna. Hence, it is said,"Vyaso narayanah swayam". Vyasa is Narayana Himself.

Because he was born on an island in the Yamuna and his complexion was dark so he was called, Krishna Dwaiypaayan. Every teacher from every sect has regarded him as the greatest Guru, and payed their homage. So this Vyas Purnima is also known as Guru Purnima.

As this day is remembered as Vyas puja tithi, so every asram, math, temple, Gurupith and household perform puja and celebrate the day with prayers to the gurus. Along with Vyasdeva one’s individual Guru is also offered prayers on this day.

Among the Vaishnavas Vyaspuja is celebrated with great zeal. It is remembered by every devotee that Nityanand Prabhu celebrated Vyasa puja in Nadia, the place where the great avtar of Kaliyug and benefactor of the world, Shri Krishna Chaitanya was born.

Nitaichandra put the garland of Vyaspuja around the neck of Vrajendranandan, Jagatguru and the pure hearted Gour Sundar on the occasion of Purnima tithi and immortalised it. The sadhus and sastras all praise the  importance of Guru.  Our shastras say that to attain success you should pay homage to guru with prayers and devotion. "Mokshsadhana samgrayan bhaktirev gariyasi".

It is mentioned in the Vedas, Upanishads, Tantras, Samhita, Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharata that in the path of spiritual quest, one has to take refuge of the guru. Taitiriya Upanishad says "Acharya devo bhava".  This means the teacher or the guru is your God.

Swetaswatar Upanishad says "Yatha deve tatha gurou". Chandogya Upanishad says, "Acharyaban Purusho Veda". It means that whoever has a Guru is only liable to brahmagyan (Divine knowledge). Manu Samhita suggests " Guru shushrushyatev brahmalokam samshmute". Brahmalok is attainted when the Guru is served. Bhagawat Gita says to attain the atmagyan i.e. knowledge of the Self, one must serve one's Guru.

Tadbidhi pronipaten pariprashnen sewaya
Updeskhenti te gyanan gyaninst twadarshinah

To attain the knowledge of the Universe you have to bow to your Guru, ask him proper questions,and with your sincere service make him happy. The ideal spiritual Guru will guide you along the most appropriate path suitable to you, to gain knowledge.

Sankhya Darshan says--as the bee roams around many flowers and collects up the best honey for itself, so one has to go through many shastras and pray to the Guru to attain knowledge.

Regarding the Varnashram dharma-updesh, Sri Krishna in Bhagwat Gita's 11th chapter has said--
Acharyan mam vijaniyannabmnyet kahirchit
na martyabudhya suyet sarvodevomayo guruh

"The teacher or the Guru should be regarded as Matswarup (My form). Never think about him as a human being. Because Guru is all God. Every God is residing in him".

Skanda Purana's Guru Gita indicates :-

Gurou manushyabudhintu mantre chakshar budhikan
Pratimasu shilabudhin kurbanonrakan brajet

If one regards the Guru as human, mantras as mere words and the deity as stone, that person will be thrown into hell.

Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita has the famous shlokas from Shrimad Bhagwat Gita:

Jiber nistar lagi nanda suta hari bhubane prakash hon guru rup dhari
mahimaya guru krishna ek kori jano guru agya hridye sab satya kari mano

Jagatguru Sri Shankaracharya has said-"Nadwaitam guruna saha". which means never disbelieve your own Guru. In the words of Sri Sri Thakur Ramakrishna Parmahansa Dev "Sachidananda takes the form of Guru. If anybody is initiated by the human form of the Guru, then do not think of him as a human being, think him as God incarnate, then only you can believe in the mantras. Belief is the key to everything".

To express the complete grace and knowledge, the greatest teacher, Paramhamsa, Parivrajakacharya, Tridandiswami, Sri Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj writes these lines "Shri Krishna is the main reservoir of the Gurushakti (power). He is the supreme Guru, but Shri Krishna never directly initiates anybody, so He directly empowers His important disciples and through them the devotees are blessed. Hence, it is said "Krishna empowers the Guru with his own powers, so the devotees are actually blessed by the power of Shri Krishna”.

Without the blessings of Sri Guru one cannot attain God. Shri Gouranga Mahaprabhu himself has shown the way, to teach people, by getting initiated by his Guru. Gourang Sundar was initiated by Sri Iswarpuri and his sanyas guru was Keshav Bharati.

The avatars also recommended to have Guru. Purushottam Bhagawan Sri Rama's Guru was Vashistha and Shri Krishna's Guru was Sandipani Muni. Sant Kabir's guru was Ramanand and Mirabai's Guru was Raidas.

The Guru Gita states that the way to religion is Gurumarg. It is clearly said that gyanam nasti gurun bina "the disciple is blind, and the Guru with his divine insight, enables him to see the world". Gu means darkness and ru means to eliminate it. Hence, Guru is the Brahman(God) who eliminates the darkness (of ignorance).

Sant Kabir in his famous lines has said :
guru govind dono khare kake lagoon pai
balihari guru aapne jin govind diyo batai

Translation--Guru and Govind both are standing in front of me. Whom should I bow to? Glories to Gurudev who has shown me my God Sri Govinda.

The famous saint Pauhari Baba has said, "be like a dog at the feet of your Guru". As the dog stays at the door of its master, so also you be at the door of your Guru to do his service and get his blessings.

Guru's seat is above all. For a peaceful life you have to be at your Guru's feet. So the shastras suggest that you should first pray to your Guru, then pray to God. This is God's will. God Himself has said: "Prathamantu gurum pujay tatshaichaiv mamarchanam," “First worship your guru; after that worship Me.”

If the Lord is angry the Guru can save you, but if the Guru is angry nobody can save you.
Krishna rustha hoile guru rakhibare pare
guru rustha hoile krishna rakhibare nare

In the 11th chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam Lord Krishna says to his favourite disciple, Sri Udhava:
Nredehmadyan sulabhan sudurlabhan plaban sukalpan guru karnadharm
moyanokuleno nabhaswetritam puman bhabdhin n taret s atmaha

Those people who have been blessed with a human birth, which is the marginal potency of the Lord, are envisioned like a boat and the boat-man is Shri Guru, and they have the blessing of God. But still if they do not try to achieve the ultimate goal, the Lord says, “Udhava they are committing suicide”.

On this pious occasion of Guru Purnima let the world be free of darkness and ignorance. We pray to our Sri Sri Gurudev and for this we want his blessings. So we have only one goal to serve our Guru and to get his blessings. With the blessings of the Gurudev these following immortal lines should always be remembered:

Sriguru charanbrinda, abhay parmanand
bhukti mukti, bhakti sidhidata
aalamban uddipan trijagat rasayan
swam krishna krishnapremdata
sadhyagoner aradhya, sidhha madhye swatsidhha
upashya madhye shresthatam
data madhye shrestha dhan, prembhakti bitaran
kariya karye atmasam.


Jai Guru !!

Jai Sri Radhey !!