In India, the teacher is referred to as the Guru (the one who sows seeds of knowledge and eliminates darkness).The Sanskrit verse – Mata Pitah Guru Daivam – clearly positions the role of a teacher before that of the God.
Interestingly, the Sanskrit word Guru itself means one who removes ignorance (Gu meaning ignorance and Ru means remover). The auspicious day is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Ashadha according to the Hindu calendar. This year, the day falls on July 9.
Guru Purnima is a day to pay ode to the selfless contributions of a Guru.
On this day, students thank their teachers for nurturing values, morals and instilling the sense of right and wrong besides imparting education.
In ancient India, parents entrusted the responsibility of their children to the Guru because they knew only a teacher could help a child evolve holistically. The Guru Shishya Parampara which was wonderfully woven in the social fabric witnessed a beautiful bond between the teacher and a student.
Moreover, the importance of significance of a Guru has also been clearly established in our great Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The author of the Maharbharata was born on this day and hence it is also celebrated as Vyasa Purnima.
This day, is also celebrated as Buddha Purnima by followers of Gautama Buddha. It is on this very day the founder of Buddhism gave his first sermon at Sarnath.
Guru Purnima is of great significance for the Jains too. On this day, the 24th Tirthankara – Mahavira – made Gautam Swami (earlier known as Indrabhuti Gautam) his first disciple. He thus became a Guru and hence the day is observed as Guru Purnima.