Guru Poornima

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Guru Poornima is a special day in India. For the last fivethousand years in India Guru’s Day has been celebrated, and it has become an integral part of the Indian culture and society. Guru Poornima is dedicated to all the luminaries who have come to guide us to findour peace and harmony within.

What is the meaning of the word ‘guru’? What is the meaning of the word ‘professor’? What is the meaning of the word ‘teacher’? A teacher is somebody who teaches something. A professor is somebody who is an expert and professes a subject and explains it. A guru is a catalyst to discover different dimensions of our own mind and consciousness. In Indian spirituality we have not seen the guru as a person, as an individual, as it is not our belief or idea – it is the luminosity of the spirit that can shine in the life of one individual.

The luminosity of that spirit that shines in the life of one individual becomes the inspiration for others to attain and experience the same luminosity. Therefore in India we believe guru to be a tattwa. The guru tattwa is the guru element. It is this guru element that has to be discovered within each one of us.

Those luminaries who have been an inspiration to discover this guru element within us are the people who are remembered on Guru Poornima for they are the people who have found a way to integrate the material and the spiritual. By balancing the material and the spiritual there is completeness, there is the experience of completeness and wholeness in life. That is the teaching of the masters. The process to attain the experience which they convey is a practical method. That method is known as sadhana.

Sadhana will be the subject of the Guru Poornima program. What can we do to create a change in our perception, in our mind, in our aspirations, in our efforts, to discover the guru element within us?

—15 July 2016, Paduka Darshan, Munger