One of the most important festivals celebrated in India is the Guru Purnima. It is a festival for the Hindus as well as the Buddhists. Guru Purnima is basically a way by which students show their love and gratitude towards their Guru or the teacher. The festival is celebrated according to the Hindu calendar which is on the first full moon day of Asadh or according to the English calendar, the month of July.According to what Indian shastra says, the word Guru is derived from two Sanskrit words “Gu” and “Ru” of which the former means ignorance and darkness in a person and the latter means someone who removes that darkness from the person. So the word Guru means the person who removes the darkness and ignorance from someone. According to the Hindu shastra the festival of Guru Purnima is celebrated to mark the birth of Guru Vyas. Guru Vyas is the person who wrote the 4 vedas, 18 puranas and the Mahabharata.
Celebration of Guru Purnima is something that should be seen by people. There are many schools that celebrate this festival in the traditional way by washing the feet of the Gurus which in Hinu terms is called as “Padapuja”. After that there are many programs organized by the disciples which include classical songs, dance, havans, kirtans and the Giya recitation. Various gifts in the form of flowers and “Uttariya” (a kind of stole) is given to the Gurus.
The Buddhists on the other hand celebrate this day to honor their leader Lord Buddha who delivered his first Sermon on this day at Saranath after having migrated from Bodhgaya with 5 of his disciples. They meditate on this day and read the teachings of Lord Buddha. They also observe “upostha” which is a Buddhists tradition followed on this day.