Guru purnima is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Ashad according to the Hindu calendar which corresponds to the month of July. Since great importance is given to the relation of a guru and a disciple in the Indian culture on this day the discipline expresses his gratitude to the guru. The word "Guru" in Sanskrit is translated as dispeller of darkness.The syllable gu means darkness and ignorance and ru means one who disperses them. It is the guru who removes the darkness of ignorance and leads us on the path of enlightenment.
Hindus celebrate this day in honour of great sage Vyasa who was the author of the epic Mahabharata. Vyasa who was the son of the sage Parashara and a fisherwoman Satyavati was born on this day. Hence this day is also called Vyasa Purnima. Sri Veda Vyasa is called the guru of all gurus because of his unforgettable service to all humanity for all time in the form of his compositions. It was he who edited the four Vedas and systematically divided them into four parts – Rig, Sam, Yajur and Atharva Veda. He also wrote the eighteen Puranas and the Bhagavad Geeta - the thrilling and devotional story of Sri Krishna. Apart from that he composed Upapuranas and Vyas Samhita. He also has the credit of composing the authentic treatise of Brahma-sootras to explain the background of Vedas. The students of Vedas thus express their gratitude to the great sage on this day.
This day is also of special significance to framers since Ashada Purnima also heralds beginning of the Chaturmasa (four months) or the setting in of the eagerly awaited rains that bring new life everywhere. It is also believed that in the past during this time spiritual masters and their disciples used to settle down at a place to study and discourse on the Brahma Sutras which was composed by great sage Vyasa,
How is Guru Purnima Celebrated?
This day is of great significance to all Hindus because of the importance of guru is one’s life. Guru in the Hindu tradition is looked upon as an embodiment of God himself. On this day the guru or the preceptor is worshipped by the disciples. Several programs and cultural performances are organized by spiritual organizations and ashrams. Guru Purnima is celebrated on a grand scale at the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh every year.