By Vaughn Paul Manley, M.A.
Guru Purnima is a festival celebrated in India that honors one's teachers and gurus. Purnima means "full," and astrologically refers to the full moon phase or tithi. It takes place every year on the full moon in July, which is today! The guru represents the wisdom that dispels confusion and suffering. On the full moon in July the day is long (in the northern hemisphere) and bright with the Sun's light and the Moon is bright all night. It's, therefore, celebrated as a day of special illumination which is represented by our teachers who have shown us the light. Guru Purnima is an excellent time to give thanks to all teachers that have illuminated our paths throughout our life, including our parents.
The tradition of celebrating Guru Purnima began as a celebration of the birthday of the great sage, Veda Vyasa, author of the epic scripture, Mahabharata, and the editor of the four Vedas.
Happy Guru Purnima!