This July 27, 2018 is a full moon day but there will be no bright full moon to see, like the other Purnima days because of the lunar eclipse. While the festival demands a Guru puja to be performed, the eclipse says, no auspicious puja should be performed on this day. What a dilemma, right? Well, we will give you a solution, read on!
Guru Purnima This Year
Guru Purnima falls on the fifteenth day of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksh) in the month of Ashadha, that being July 27, this year. The Purnima tithi will begin from 11:16 pm on July 26 and will continue until 01:50 am on July 28. On the day of Guru Purnima, which is primarily observed by the Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, a puja known as Guru Puja is performed. This puja is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Buddha and Guru Vedvyas, as per different traditions in India. However, people also offer prayers to their own Gurus, who might have played a significant role in their lives. Thus, every year, the day marks spiritual activities conducted in honour of one's Guru.
Guru Purnima And The Eclipse
This year, since the day falls on the lunar eclipse day, there is a confusion as to when should the Puja be performed, since no auspicious pujas are to be performed during the Sutak Kal (the inauspicious time period) of the eclipse. Here, it is important to note that though the eclipse and Purnima are to occur on the same day, the timings for the eclipse will be from 11:54 pm on July 27 to 3:55 am on July 28. And the Sutak Kal, which begins nine hours before the eclipse sets, will be from 2:00 pm on July 27. But after 10:00 am the Rahujkal will alos begin, because of which again, auaspicious Pujas can not be performed. Therefore, guru puja can be performed before 10:00 am, ideally between 5:00 am to 10:00 am; you may also visit the temples as well during this period, as the temples will be closed (due to Sutak Kal) later.
History Of Guru Purnima
Guru is a Sanskrit word translating comprising of two primary words- 'Gu' which means darkness and 'Ru' which means the remover of it. Thus the complete word translates to - the remover of darkness. Guru Purnima is a day dedicated to one's teacher, basically the spiritual guide. Originally it is the birth anniversary of Guru Vedvyas, believed to the first Guru ever. He is the author of the Mahabharata and had also scribed the Vedas and Puranas.
Lord Shiva As The First Guru
A story dating back to around 15,000 years says that Lord Shiva once sat in meditation on the Himalayas. People around that area, only knew him as a Yogi (one in meditation), meditating on the Himalayas who shows no signs of life except the occasional tears that rolled down his eyes. While many people came and visited him, none of them succeeded in breaking his meditation.
However, seven persevering men, could do so when they did not leave the place for years. When Lord Shiva saw them, he gave them the secret that had brought the tears in his eyes. It was consciousness of a higher level, which had brought tears in his eyes and it could only be achieved through meditation.
These seven men came to be known as the Saptarishis. Thus, Lord Shiva, having given them the secret to a higher consciousness, was called the Adi Guru. This higher consciousness is today a primary part of Yoga. Adi Guru is a Sanskrit phrase translating to the first teacher. Lord Shiva was the first to impart the secrets of Yoga to these sages, and the day is remembered as Guru Purnima.
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