Guru Purnima is a day dedicated to teachers. Guru Purnima is celebrated in India, Nepal and other countries with Buddhism and Jainism influence. In Nepal, people celebrate this day as Teacher's Day. Guru Purnima date this year is July 27. The festival is celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashadha, between June and July. This day marks the first peak of the lunar cycle after the peak of the solar cycle. Guru is a teacher, master, a guide, who directs the student to the right path. The word Guru is derived from two words, gu and ru. The Sanskrit root gu means darkness or ignorance, and ru denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore, a Guru is one who removes the darkness of our ignorance.
Many Hindus celebrate the day in honor of the great sage Vyasa, who is seen as one of the greatest gurus in ancient Hindu traditions. He is the considered symbol of guru-shishya tradition (Teacher-Student). In yogic tradition, it is said that Guru Purnima was the day that saw Shiva become the Adi Guru, or the first Guru. It is believed that he began the transmission of yoga to the Saptarishis on this day. Buddhists celebrate the day in honor of lord Buddha who gave his first sermon on this day at Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh.
People observe fast on this day to show their respect to their Guru. The students of Indian classical music and Indian classical dance, which also follow the Guru shishya parampara, celebrate Guru Purnima festival around the world. Public discourses and puja is also held to offer prayers to one's guru.
Happy Guru Purnima!