Fast, Fair and Festivals of India Fast, Fair and Festivals of India
Significance : The Worship of the Guru and Offering of Obeisance His Feet
Religion : Hindu
In the month of : July - August
Guru is the entity who dispels the darkness of ignorance and illumines our lives with pure knowledge and hence this day signifies the worship of the Guru and offering of obeisance his feet. The full moon symbolises the mind filled with delight and signifies the elimination of darkness and evil from the mind. Guru Pournima is an occasion for cleansing the mind to make it absolutely pure
A qualified spiritual master is essential to learn self-realisation. Bhagavad Gita asks one to learn the truth through a Guru or spiritual master, inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realised soul imparts knowledge as he has seen the truth. A real Guru imparts 'Gynana' (true knowledge) and teaches how to raise one's consciousness beyond material physical boundaries. He teaches meditation to attain real peace of mind, true self-knowledge, eternal happiness, and liberation from karmas, develop true love for God.
Achieving spiritual perfection by oneself through yoga (meditation) is impractical. One must learn spiritual practices under the guidance of a genuine spiritual master. We repose our faith in a Guru whose feet are roots of worship and the root of liberation. He opens our eyes blinded by ignorance and darkness and guides us to our goals.
Qualities of A True Guru
Bhagavad Gita gives guidelines and qualities of a genuine Guru. A true Guru has credentials to impart true knowledge free from speculation and never claims he is god. He knows god is supreme and we are subordinate to him. He knows the truth and lives it, is free from lust, anger, and greed. He exemplifies wisdom, peacefulness, self-control, austerity, piety, tolerance and strong faith in god. He must be from a succession (e.g. Brahma, Narada, Vyasa, Shankaracharya).
At the time of 'Deeksha' (initiation), the Guru absorbs the past sins and karmas of his disciples and reveals true spiritual knowledge. The disciple develops strong love for the Guru who delivers him from the bondage of birth and death. Bhagavad Gita shows that when Arjuna was confused about his duties, put his faith in Krishna, regarded him as his Guru and Krishna showed him the right path.
The Guru is a man of profound intellectual and spiritual sensitivity and compassion.
Celebration of Guru Pournima Day in Shirdi
The celebration of Guru Pournima began in Shirdi around 1908. One day Shri Baba told his disciple Shri Dada Kelkar, "Do you know this day is the day to approach Gurus? Bring your worship articles". Then Shri Kelkar and his friends looked up the calendar and found that the day was Guru Pournima day. They started worshipping Shri Sai Baba as their Guru, and that practice has continued till today not only in Shirdi but all over the world where prayers are offered to Shri Sai.
Guru Pournima is celebrated by devotees by performing Guru Pooja (offering prayers to the Guru) to their Lord Shri Sai Baba. Each Sai Devotee can either perform the Sai Guru Puja (prayer) at home or attend a Sai Guru Puja or sponsor a Sai Guru Puja being performed at a Sai temple by offering donation or other articles used in Puja.