Guru Purnima:Guru’s Day July 15

On Father’s Day and Mother’s Day we acknowledge and honor our fathers and mothers. There are social ways in which appreciation is expressed for all that they do. It is the same for Guru Purnima.

In the yoga tradition, parents are the first gurus. Guru means remover of darkness or ignorance. We all have several “gurus” during our lives who help, mentor, and guide us. There is also the inner guide or inner guru. Some have a spiritual guru.

In the yoga, Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain tradition, there is Guru’s Day called Guru Purnima to acknowledge and honor all gurus. On this day, it is believed that the blessings of the guru grow a thousand times.

Purnima means full moon and this day falls in the lunar month of ashad in the Indian calendar, around June/July. This year it is July 15. There are many traditions and rituals to celebrate this day and to honor the guru within and without. People celebrate individually and in their groups to support each other in their spiritual journeys. It is a way of bonding with our spirituality.

What can people here do on their own in their own private and personal way? Here are some suggestions:

Rise early, at dawn, if practical. Observe silence. Hear or sing some chants of any tradition for 10 minutes. For guru mantras and guru strotas, visit www.rikhiapeeth.net and go to Tapowan Sangeet or other chants. Use CDs, if you have them.

Use the bathroom, shower, change into fresh clothes.

Do a short practice of asana and pranayama in the mental presence of your inner guide and your outer guide (only if you have a strong relationship with one).

Spend some time doing candle flame trataka or trataka on the photo of your inner guide. Then meditate on your mantra–this means being attentive to the mantra’s sound vibration and it’s meaning. Repeat it with your body, mind, and spirit totally engaged in the mantra. Be wary of mechanical repetitions. Acknowledge the guru and dissolve the ego, the I-ness, in its light.

Have a simple breakfast quietly. Spend the day feeling the presence of your guru close to you, as close as your breath.

End the day with meditation of mantra japa (repetition of your given or chosen mantra).

In peace and light, a joyful Guru Purnima to everyone.

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