The Story of Gurupurnima

Gurupurnima is an ancient Indian celebration. It goes back to the time when the four Vedas were established as the foundation of the Indian tradition. The great sage Veda Vyasa, who compiled the Vedas, was also the one whose inspiration gave rise to this celebration of Gurupurnima—a celebration in honor of the Guru.

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Illustration of Veda Vyasa and disciples

The disciples of Veda Vyasa were pondering the immense nature of the gifts that he had bestowed on the world. Not only had he compiled the four Vedas, but he had recorded the Mahabharata and the thirty-six Puranas—masterpieces of the Indian spiritual tradition. In addition to these great bequests to mankind, he was their teacher and had bestowed his grace and his spiritual knowledge upon each one of them.

By following his guidance, the disciples of Veda Vyasa grew to spiritual maturity and were filled with gratitude and reverence for their teacher. Uncertain what form of homage could possibly be adequate to express their gratitude and deep respect, they asked Veda Vyasa, “How can we honor you, the source of divine wisdom?”

With great compassion, Veda Vyasa told his disciples that they could choose one day of the year to be especially dedicated to honoring Shri Guru. On this chosen day, disciples, for all time, would honor the Guru with offerings and gifts.

The disciples of Veda Vyasa followed his guidance. They chose the day of the full moon (purnima) in the month of Ashadha, as it was considered the fullest and brightest of all the year's purnimas. This day became known as "Gurupurnima"—the full moon of the Guru.

The tradition of Gurupurnima has continued through the ages. As Siddha Yogis, we take part in this tradition of expressing gratitude to the Guru. We honor the Siddha Yoga Gurus, their grace, and the priceless gift of shaktipat diksha; their immense love, compassion, and blessings; and the life-transforming teachings and practices of the Siddha Yoga path.

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