“Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru devo Maheshwara,
Guru sakshat, param Brahma, tasmai shri guravay namah”
Hindus attach a great significance on the role of what is now popularly known as a ‘guru’. Although a guru is popularly substituted for a teacher in the modern day, its meaning is connected more to that of a devotee. A guru exists to help others realise their own importance and their own role in their life thus they provide and educate others so that their disciples may reach a higher consciousness within this life time.
Every year, on the day of the full moon between the months of July and August ‘Guru Purnima’ is celebrated in honour of the services rendered by our gurus around the world. This sacred day is dedicated to the memory of the sage Vyasa who was both author and editor of the four Vedas, Mahabharata (also known as Panchama Veda), 18 Puranas and the Srimad Bhagavata. All disciples perform a puja on this day of their own respective gurus and spiritual teachers.
On this day, the teacher must be meditated upon while their advice should be reflected upon. It is also a common practice to take fresh resolves on this day to take on the challenges laid out by your guru. Irrespective of religion, Indians celebrate this day by thanking their teachers. Many schools have events in which they thank their teachers and remember past scholars by bringing them gifts as a gesture of gratitude.