The First Story of Guru Purnima

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Guru Purnima has been celebrated for thousands of years in the Indian tradition. In Hinduism, people celebrate Sage Veda Vyas’s birthday as Guru Purnima, the author of the epic Mahabharata. It is fervently celebrated across India on the full moon day of Ashadha month (June-July). People in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan also celebrate this auspicious day. Buddhists and the Jain community also observe the day by worshipping their Gurus Gautama Buddha and Mahavira Tirthankara.

Stories of Guru Purnima are explored from the Adi Guru to seven sages, to Buddha, to the seasonal journeys of Sadhakas during this time. Mahatma Gandhi revived this day by remembering his spiritual leader, Shrimad Rajchandra, on Guru Purnima.

The first story of Guru Purnima

Long, long ago, there lived four older men who were seeking answers to their life problems. The first man was miserable and wanted to come out of his misery. The second man wanted to progress and achieve in his life. The third person was searching for the meaning of his life. And the fourth man had good knowledge, but still, he felt he lacked something and could not find out what.

While they were wandering for their answers, they all landed where a young man was sitting under a Banyan tree. He was sitting with a smile. All of them thought that the young man could answer them. So, they sat near him. But the young man did not even utter a word; however, all four got their answers. All this happened on Guru Purnima, where the Guru Parampara started. All these four older people became Gurus. It is the first story of Guru Purnima.

All four got what they wanted: The first man’s misery was gone; the second one received an abundance of happiness; the third person stopped seeking; and the fourth got an inner connection with the Guru.

That’s why Adi Shankaracharya praised and saluted Dakshinamurthy (The first Guru), who explained the true nature of the supreme Brahman through his state of silence.

Moral of the story

In the story, the teacher is young, as the spirit is always young while the students are old. There are so many metaphors associated with it. “Seeking” makes one old. Seeking the world for liberation or anything makes one old. So, the disciples were old, and the teacher was young.

A Banyan tree grows on its own. It does not need any protection or care. If its seed falls inside the crack of a stone, it can grow without much water. It needs only a little mud and little water. Sometimes, the tree does not even need it. Yet, it is a tree that produces oxygen for 24 hours to us. So, its giving nature symbolizes the Guru Principle.

The other legends follow how Shiva became an Adi guru in Hinduism, Buddha’s first sermon, and the life of Mahavira Tirthankara in Jainism.

Guru removes misery and darkness from our lives and brings abundance. He can only remove the lacking and bring wisdom and freedom.

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