Guru Poornima or Vyaasa poornima

elmec elmec at GIASBG01.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue Jul 11 13:22:35 CDT 2000

Hari Om,

Shankaram shankaraachaaryam
Keshavam baadaraayanam
Sutrabhaasya kritou vande
Bhagavantou punah punah.

On the sacred occasion of Guru poornima it is our duty to offer
obeisance to our Acharya Sri Shankara and also to Sri Veda Vyaasa whose
jayanthi falls on this day.

We should also remember the Guru parampara through whom we are able to
receive that Jnaanaamrita which has been flowing eternally.

Naaraayanam Padmabhuvam Vasishtam Shaktim cha tatputra Paraasharam cha
Vyaasam Shukam Goudapadam mahaantam Govinda yogeendram athaasya shishyam

Sri Shankaraachaaryam athaasya Padmapaadam cha Hastaamalakam cha
tam Thotakam Vaartikakaaram anyaan asmath gurun santatam aanatosmi.

Poornima is the full moon day which signifies illumination. Vyaasa
poornima exemplifies spiritual illumination. The Guru poornima is always
associated with God realisation.

Sage Vyaasa is Narayana Himself who came down in the form of Guru to
dispel our ignorance through Vedas, Puraanaas, Itihaasa ( Mahabharatha
), Brahma sutras and Upanishads. Vyaasa means division. Since
Baadaraayana took up the task of dividing the huge Veda into four
convenient divisions to ease its study he came to be known as sage
Vyaasa. The Aashaada shukla poornima is considered as Vyaasa Jayanthi.
The sanyaasins take up on this day the observance of Chaaturmaasya
vrata. These two months of Chaaturmaas are considered highly potent for
any spiritual persuit and believed to bear fruit definitely.

It has been enjoined in the shaastraas that the sanyaasins or the
parivraajakaas as they are called, should not stay in one place for too
long as they fear developing an attachment to the place and its people.
He should keep moving from place to place, guiding people to regulate
their lves according to the shaastras. But this constant movement from
place to place may prevent them from devoting sufficient time to
meditate and indulge in other spiritual practises. Since the chaaturmaas
period cooincides with rainy season they are allowed to stay in one
place during this period and practise austerities.

In ancient days the monks had to travel by foot and while travelling
through thick forests during rainy season, they would come in contact
with so many creeping creatures and inadvertantly cause harm to them,
which is against their vrat of ahimsa. Also, the rainy season being
mating season in the forest,  sight of the mating animals should in no
way  upset the firm mind of a sanyaasin who had dedicated his life in
pursuance of Atmajnaana. Thus they were forbidden to travel during this

Taking Mantra diksha from a Guru and observing the japa of a previously
taken diksha are all highly yielding during this period. This year there
is also a lunar eclipse on the day of Gurupoornima which is all the more
auspicious a period for spiritual practises.

The word Guru has special meaning to it. "Gu" means darkness and "Ru"
means dispelling the darkness. Thus Guru is the one who dispels the
darkness of ignorance by lighting the lamp of Jnaana in us. "Gu" also
stands for one who is Gunaateeta and "Ru" for Roopaatiita. He is Ishwara
Himself who has come down in the form of a human to lead us to light.
Here goes a famous line in sanskrit :  " Shive rushte gurustraata gurau
rushte na kashchana " - if Ishwara becomes angry with us Guru will come
to our rescue, but if the Guru gets angry there is no one to help us !
Guru is a karunaa murthy. He strives hard to elevate the shishya. The
mantra diksha is the live connection  between the two. Through this
mantra the energy of Guru's grace start flowing to the shishya. The
diksha can also be a "sparsha diksha" - by his touch of hand or feet,
"Chakshu diksha " is just by his glance, and " smarana diksha " is just
through his remembrance imbued with grace ! The gross connection between
the Guru and the shishya is always not required. The subtle connection
made thro any of these dikshas will work wonders for shishya which will
be a life long effect. When such is the power that Guru has, one should
for ever be grateful to God for providing such a Guru and if the Guru is
not yet found, which better occasion than this day of Gurupoornima to
pray Lord to provide us one !

"Sadguro paahi  Parama dayaalu paahi"

Hari Om,
Latha Vidyaranya

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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