Saturday, May 19, 2012

Vyas Poornima (Guru Poornima)

Vyas Poornima or Guru Poornima falls on the full moon day in the month of Ashadha, the fourth month of the lunar Indian calendar.  Men and women worship their spiritual Gurus or teachers on this day. 

As Gurus, in the earlier days, did not accept money from their students as fee, the students after having settled down in their life used to make annual offerings in accordance with their earnings.  The scholars also present their newly published books and take the blessings of their Guru on this day.  In a way, it used to be an old student’s day.

It is said that in each Dwapar yuga, some great scholar re-arranges the Vedas and the Puranas and is called Vyas.  The 28th Veda Vyas (author of Mahabharata) born to Rishi Parashar and Matsyagandha, is known as Krishna Dwaipayana Veda Vyas.  He is called Krishna because he was dark in color, and Dwaipayan as he was born in a dweep or an island in a river. 

Veda Vyas spent a large part of his life in Haryana.  The  village Bilaspur (near Chhachhrauli-Jagadhri) is old Vyaspur, where on the bank of river Saraswati, It is believed that those who worship their Gurus are blessed by Saraswati, the goddess of learning.  They become sharp-minded and men of knowledge and are also ways held in high esteem.

Maharishi Veda Vyas was the greatest scholar of the Dwapar Yuga.  Besides scholars like Vidhura, he had a large number of disciples. To show their reverence to their Guru, these great scholarly students decided to meet their Guru every year on Ashadha Poornima day (the first day of Chaturmasya).  This being the rainy season in India, the Sanyasis or the Spritual Gurus settle down at a particular place and do not travel for four months and are said to  deliver scholarly discourses to their disciples and devotees. Another reason for selecting the Poornima day, is the belief that, like the moon which shines by reflecting the light of the sun and glorifies it, the disciples can shine like the moon by gaining knowledge from their guru.

Even though God is extremely simple, our minds being so complicated, we need a Guru -- not to teach us about our path, but to teach us about our mind, and to get us through the mind to that absolute simplicity, which is God.

On Vyas Poornima, people still observe this day as Guru Poornima day and recite Guru Gita (said to be a part of Skanda Purana) written by Veda Vyas. In this Lord Shiva explains to his consort Parvati the significance of worshipping the Guru.

Dhyaana moolam guror murtih;
Pooja moolam guror padam;
Mantra moolam guror vakyam;
Moksha moolam guror kripa
The form of the Guru is the object of meditation, the feet of the guru are the object of worship, the words of the Guru are the mantra and the grace of the Guru is                the means of liberation. (Guru Gita)
Om Tat Sat

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