Guru Purnima is a special day observed mainly in India and Nepal honouring teachers thanking them for their altruism. The day is celebrated traditionally to pay respects to teachers and also has religious significance. In some parts of the country, it is also known as Ved Vyas Puja or Buddha Purnima. The day is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists in India and Nepal. According to the Hindu calendar, the day falls on a full moon day in the month of Aashad. This year, Guru Purnima falls on July 27.
In Sanskrit, gu means darkness and ru means removal of darkness. Hence, guru or teacher is believed to be the one who removes darkness from our lives. On Guru Purnima, people take blessings from their teachers and show gratitude towards them. In Nepal, Guru Purnima is celebrated as Teachers Day.
Here are the puja timings (mahurat) for Guru Purnima, according to drikpanchang.com
Purnima Tithi Begins = 01:46 on 27/Jul/2018
Purnima Tithi Ends = 04:20 on 28/Jul/2018
According to mythology, the author of Mahabharat, Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa was born to Parashara and Satyavati. Hence this day is also called Vyasa Purnima. He contributed to the cause of Vedic studies and gathering of the Vedic hymns into four section, and he taught these to his four disciples Paila, Vaisampayana, Jaimini and Sumantu. This earned him the name Vyasa. He divided the Vedas into Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva.
Buddhists celebrate the day as Buddha Purnima as it is believed that Lord Buddha gave his first sermon on this day. Five weeks after achieving enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, Buddha went from Bodhgaya to Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh where he gave the sermon on the full moon day.
Some Hindus observe the Satya Narayan Vrat on the full moon day and worship Lord Vishnu. Devotees decorate the entrances of their houses with mango leaves, garlands and tulsi hangings. They worship God by offering fruits, betel leaves, milk porridge and rice dishes.
On Guru Purnima, students give flowers and greeting cards to teachers as a token of love and appreciation towards their work. Celebrations are also held in schools and colleges. Most cultures hold high value to teachers in their life. Teachers have helped us form our opinion between the right and wrong that help us become a better form of ourselves. Let us celebrate the work of teachers and show gratitude towards them.