Guru Purnima, also known as Vyasa Purnima, is celebrated as the birthday of Ved Vyasa. The day is celebrated in the honor of our mentors. Ved Vyasa is considered as the Guru of all Gurus. Let’s know the 5 rare facts about him along with some highlights of this festival.
5 Rare Facts About Ved Vyasa
- Ved Vyasa is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
- The full name of Vyasa Ji was Krishna Dwaipayan.
- He got the name Ved Vyasa because he segregated the knowledge of Vedas as per their relevance. After division, the 4 parts that came out were - Rig Veda, Atharva Veda, Sama Veda, and Yajur Veda.
- He is also the author of the great epic Mahabharata.
- He is the son of Maharshi Parashara and Satyavati, a fisherman’s daughter.
About Guru Purnima
Guru Purnima is a nation-wide festival, which is dedicated to pay tribute to our spiritual and intellectual teachers. The festival is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Ashadh (June-July). Traditionally this festival is celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists. Know about this festival in detail from here: Guru Purnima 2016
Guru Puja Vidhi
On this auspicious day, a Guru Puja is performed for Ved Vyasa or the Guru you believe in. Your Guru can be a person, a book, or anything that has a contribution in guiding your life. If your Guru is not available with you physically or you consider Ved Vyasa as the Guru, following rituals can be performed for the celebration:
- A clean environment is maintained at the place of worship. Baths are taken and clean clothes are worn.
- An alter is created with the image of the Guru on it.
- The offering of fruits is placed on the alter. The fruits are a representation of the attainments we achieve by the grace of the Guru.
- Puja begins by invoking the Guru’s grace.
- First Aarti (auspicious hymn with praises) is performed with the fragrance of incense.
- Second Aarti is performed with a Puja tray carrying Ghee lamp, turmeric or sandalwood powder, rice, Kumkum, and flowers. The flowers should be placed facing the image of the Guru. The turmeric or sandalwood powder is a representation of knowledge and radiance. The Kumkum represents Shakti and auspiciousness. Rice is for purity and nourishment and the flowers denote innate goodness.
- After the Aarti, prayers are offered and gratitude is expressed.
- After offering your prayers, you can bow down to your Guru and sit in silence for a while with an open mind to receive blessings from your Guru.
- The Guru Puja can be followed by meditation to increase your sense of awareness.
About Ved Vyasa
Parashara had left on his journey to spread knowledge and awareness immediately after the birth of Vyasa. By the time he returned, Vyasa was six years old and had been told of his great father and his knowledge & wisdom in those six years.
Vyasa was greatly intrigued by his father. He requested his father to take him along on his travels. Upon hearing this, Parashara said that Vyasa can travel with him as his disciple and not as his son; to which Vyasa agreed.
As Vyasa grew under the guidance of Parashara, his ability to grasp knowledge became tremendous. By the time he was sixteen, he grew into a man of immense knowledge and intelligence.
The Vedas remained in the form of the oral tradition, until the Gangetic plain were struck by famine that lasted for over 14 years. It is said that there was not a single drop of rain all those years. During this time, people forgot to recite the Vedas because they were busy gathering food wherever they could find it. When the rains returned, Vyasa noticed the loss of Vedas that had occurred in the civilisation, and thus, he decided to write them down.
The four Vedas that were classified by Vyasa are considered to be one of the greatest documents ever created by humanity.
Guru Purnima in Buddhism
Buddhist history tells us that on this day, the Sangha (the community of the enlightened ones) was formed. Buddha gave his first sermon at this time at Sarnath. The Sangha then grew to sixty in number and Buddha then sent all in different directions to travel alone and teach the world the Dharma. The 60 monks of the Sangha were known as Arahants.
We hope that this little piece of information will help you in making your Guru Purnima an enriching experience this year. If you have any feedback, please write it down in the comments.
Happy Guru Purnima!