Guru Purnima July 22

Source: Wikipedia, Candle,

What is Guru Purnima and why is it celebrated? Here are some links to help gain an understanding on the importance of guru (can be inner guru) as we pay our respects to all of them, from every culture and tradition. At the heart of yoga is guru.

Even though millions practice hatha yoga in the Western world, the concept of guru is understandably difficult.

Guru Tradition

Spiritual knowledge is a matter of guru parampara, guru-disciple lineage. It is handed down from guru to disciple. Study the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. You will have a comprehensive understanding of this fact. The highest spiritual wisdom experienced by the seers of truth in the ancient times has been passed down to the present day through an unbroken line of traditional teachers. 

Here are the characteristics of a real guru. If you find them in any individual accept him at once as your guru. The real guru is one who has full knowledge of the Self and the Vedas. He does not expect anything from anybody. He possesses an exemplary character. He has equal vision and a balanced mind. He is free from likes and dislikes, joy and sorrow, egoism, anger, lust, greed and pride. He is an ocean of mercy. In his presence, one gets peace and elevation of mind. He is childlike, full of joy, bliss and wisdom.

He who is able to clear your doubts, he who is sympathetic in your sadhana, he who does not disturb your beliefs but helps you on from where you are, he in whose very presence you feel spiritually elevated – he is your guru. The guru’s tender smile radiates light, bliss, joy, knowledge and peace. He is a blessing to suffering humanity. His instructions are very impressive. He can give practical, easy lessons to control the mind and the senses. He is a friend and guide to those who have surrendered to him. Whatever he says is Upanishadic teaching. The guru knows the spiritual path. He knows the pitfalls and snares on the way. He gives timely warning to his students. He showers grace on their heads. All agonies, miseries, tribulations and taints of worldliness vanish in his presence.

Source: Reproduced with permission from “Guru, the Guide” by Swami Sivananda, July 2009 issue of Yoga Magazine, published by the Bihar School of Yoga.

For the full article, please refer to

Celebration Honors Guru

For centuries the saints who wander the depth and breadth of India have made it their custom to stay in one place throughout the rainy season. During this period, which lasts about four months, they intensify their own practices, organize group practices, and sometimes offer an in-depth study—particularly open to the public—of a scripture or a particular aspect of spiritual practice. This special period is known as chatur masa or chatur masyam. It begins on the day of the full moon in the month of ashadha, which corresponds roughly to the month of July in the Western calendar. This day is called Guru Purnima and is dedicated to the guru lineage.

Many Western spiritual centers celebrate Guru Purnima at the full moon in July. The following address, given by Sri Swami Rama on the occasion of Guru Purnima in 1987, reminds us of the true meaning of this special day.

In all spiritual traditions this day is considered to be very holy. For on this day students become aware that life is not to be lived only in the external world—that there is something higher, deeper, than what they have been doing. They become aware of their internal states. But to find this something you need a guide. Then it becomes easy. Your guide shares his experiences, which have been imparted by his guide. There is a long chain of sages and traditions, and they impart knowledge to their students lovingly and selflessly.

Source: “Swami Rama on Guru Purnima” by Swami Rama, July 13, 2012, Yoga International.

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