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Guru Purnima is celebrated on the first full moon day of Shravan month. According to the Hindu calendar, the Monsoons or the rainy season officially starts with the commencement of Shravan. This happens somewhere in the middle of July. The first full moon day or Purnima of Shravan is a festive occasion for both Hindus and Buddhists. Yes, that is right, Guru Purnima is celebrated by both Hindu and Buddhist communities.
This year Guru Purnima will be celebrated on 24 July. The Purnima Tithi begins at 10:43 AM on Jul 23, 2021, and Purnima Tithi ends at 08:06 AM on Jul 24, 2021.
Significance Of Guru Purnima: Buddhism
Guru Purnima is one of the biggest festivals in Buddhism. This is the day on which, Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon as the influential spiritual leader at Sarnath. This was the day where the first Buddhist spiritual teachings were administered by Buddha after his enlightenment. Thus, Guru Purnima is a celebration that installs, Gautama Buddha as the teacher who started a new spiritual sect.
On this day, Buddhists pay their homage to Lord Buddha by visiting His shrines. It is officially the day when Buddhism was born as a religion.
Significance Of Guru Purnima: Hinduism
In Hinduism, Guru Purnima is celebrated as the day when the great sage Vyasa was born. Vyasa was the author of the Hindu epic Mahabharata and also the Brahma Sutras. He is famous for being one of the most learned men to walk the earth. Therefore, his birthday is one of the holiest days in the Hindu calendar. It is also believed that on this day, Vyasa finished writing this Brahma Sutras which constitute the fifth Veda in Hinduism.
Significance Of Guru Purnima: Teacher-Student Relationship
Guru Purnima has more to it than just spiritual significance and historical importance. It is an integral part of the Indian system of education or Gurukul system. It is a day on which, all the students are supposed to honour their teachers with a token of their respect and regard. This system is still followed by many spiritual groups who follow a guru, and also in the classical musical gharanas of India.
These were the three special reasons for celebrating Guru Purnima. Many people fast on this day because it is the first full moon of the Shravan, the month of Lord Shiva.