Guru purnima is a certain Hindu festival celebrated all over India every year and this festival is mainly dedicated to the academic and spiritual teachers. Apart from Hindus Buddhists also celebrate this festival to show their appreciation and gratitude towards their teacher. In some places in India it is also known as the guru puja. If we go back to the ancient times then we will be able to find the meaning of the word Guru.
It is actually a combination of two Sanskrit words “Gu” and “Ru”. “Gu” in Sanskrit means ignorance or darkness and “Ru” means the remover of the darkness. Basically the person who is responsible for removing the darkness is known as Guru. Guru purnima is normally celebrated on a full moon night in the month of June or July. This year Guru Purnima celebration will take place in the month of July.
This festival has great religious importance amongst both the Hindus and the Buddhists and it is rather a thanksgiving to the scholars and teachers. Hindus celebrate this festival to honor Guru Vyasa who is a very respectable figure in the Hindu mythology. Buddhists on the other hand celebrate this festival to honor the great Lord Buddha because he delivered his first sermon at Sarnath on that very day.
Another reason why there is Guru Purnima celebration every year is because the Hindu monks and ascetics believe that it is a way to pray to Guru Vyasa who was the creator of the 4 Vedas. The celebrations of Guru Purnima are something to be seen. There are places where students or disciples gather to sing classical music as a mark of respect to their teacher or Guru. Many also perform pujas in their house on this holy day to make it a day for their teacher.