Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Importance of Guru Purnima (July Full Moon): When grace is at its peak, what can you do for maximum benefit?
Full moon day during the month of July (Hindu Calendar - Ashada) is known as Guru Purnima day.
Traditionally, this day is reserved for the worship, remembrance of the Guru. On this day disciples pay respect to their Gurus in many different ways. #Guru refers to the Spiritual Guide, an Enlightened/Self-Realized Being, who helps the disciples, students through his/her wisdom teachings and #Shakti (Divine Power) to pursue the sacred journey of finding oneself and the ultimate truth. Guru Purnima is also known as #Vyasa #Purnima and this day is commemorated as birth anniversary of Veda Vyasa. Veda Vyasa was the author as well as a character in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. #GuruPurnima is also celebrated by Buddhists in the honour of Gautama Buddha to commemorate the day when Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Many times in my life I have been the recipient of Divine Grace in different ways or you can say that in a way whole life is nothing but Grace.
This day of Guru Purnima holds a very special place in my heart. I was in the small and highly religious town of Mathura (UP), India with my parents. Whole town was decorated and was full of pilgrims from all around, preparing for rituals & worship on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima. Roads were full of people walking for Pradakshina (Circumambulation), traffic was diverted and celebrations were going on everywhere. That's when I was rushed to the hospital and was graced with #Motherhood, on this day, my son was born. In a million ways the young woman that I used to be meta-morphed into a Mother on this day. It was a deep transformation that I went through when I first held my newborn son in my arms and looked at him and he looked at me. The profoundness & joy of that moment can never be explained in words. It felt as if I blossomed to my fullest potential as Human Being.
Little did I know that one day I will blossom into the ultimate potential of Being Human.
The day of Guru Purnima I hold into my heart, my breath every moment also because on this day in the year 2015, first time my past life Guru Lahiri Mahasaya (Great grand guru of Yogananda) appeared in my vision during late evening Samadhi, and I learnt all about my Sadhana (Spiritual Practices) and my connection to him. The roaring fire of my devotion for him engulfed me, consumed me and took me all the way to Self-Realization in 2016.
When one is open and is in a high state of receptivity then this Guru Purnima day, full moon night can be truly miraculous, magical. Many spiritual seekers were Enlightened on this day. Many more found their Guru on this day. Universe/Divine truly delivers the profound transformation to so many on this beautiful day. All you have to do is "be receptive". How can you be highly receptive? Here are a few things you can do: Take day-off from work.
Take shower early morning, have clean quiet surroundings, home.
Eat light and keep your spine straight, sit upright, do not lie down or sleep. Straight Spine, keeping the body vertical aligns it with the enhanced power of moon, sun, earth. It's like tuning in your radio to the invisible radio-waves for a particular radio station. If this is a lunar eclipse as well then do not eat during eclipse hours and take shower afterwards as well.
Meditate if you can, else keep yourself thoughts free, harsh emotions free to an extent possible. Sanctity is needed not only in your surroundings and physical body but in your mind and emotions as well.
Sit or lie down on your back, outside the house, not on Asphalt or Concrete insulation but on the grassy ground or soil directly or on a cotton/natural-fibre sheet. Do not stand, increase your contact with Earth for some time.
At night be quiet & awake for however long it is possible and sit with back straight and burn a lamp or candle by your side. You can meditate, chant a mantra, or do Pranayama.
Visualize & bow down to the Guru if you have one, if not then the Guru within you and clearly intend and say - "Oh my inner-guru, please guide me towards the ultimate potential, towards ultimate freedom/moksha and let me fulfil the responsibility of Being Human". You don't have to say these exact words, you can improvise. If you have like-minded friends & family members then all of you together can meditate, pay reverence and participate on this day. Make sure to light one lamp/candle for each person.
Remember one thing, its not an obligation, not a business-transaction, not a mind-game. Its something you do by heart. If your heart is not into it, don't do it, but also don't cry or crib later about life, guru & everything else. Grace is not received "through efforts", grace is received "through allowance". You have to be deeply relaxed and calm to allow grace to function in your life. All the above activities are to relax your body, mind, emotions and energy. All layers of your body must be relaxed, tension-free, peaceful.
Also, when grace descends, sometimes it is disguised as an "unfortunate event". We label it as "unfortunate or bad" due to our small, limited understanding of life, and our incapability to see life years later. When I was 14 years old, grace descended through one of the cruellest Dance of Death. But that grace truly forced me to ask bigger questions about life & death, made me a renunciate and kick-started my transformation. The same thing is true about the Guru as well. Anyone, anything in this Universe could play the role of your Guru. If you are ready to learn, ready to receive then a bird, a stone, a river, a fish, any person around you, any situation/event can teach you one thing or the other about yourself, about the direction you need to take. You just have to maintain a state of high-awareness and you will be shown the way.
Whether it is your Spiritual Journey or Life Journey, its all about finding the True Self, knowing who you truly are, beyond those 99 masks/identities. And for that matter, anything & everything in this Universe can be your Guru/Teacher/Guide if you allow it to be so. If you do not allow, means if you do not keep yourself into the state of receptivity then you may be around the world's most powerful Guru and yet you may not receive anything at all. It would be like staying thirsty near the Fountain of Life. When you are so full of you, nothing else can be given to you. Only when you are a little empty, Universe can pour into you.
May you all become receptive and allow Guru & Grace to unfold your life!
Happy Guru Purnima 2018
तस्मै श्री गुरवे नमः