Gurus are always regarded as a link between the individual and the Immortal.
Just as the moon shines by reflecting the light of the sun and glorifies it, all disciples can dazzle like the moon by gaining from their Gurus.
What is Guru Purnima? The full moon day in the Hindu month of Ashad (July-August) is observed as the auspicious day of Guru Purnima; a day sacred to the memory of the Great Sage Vyasa.
Significance of Guru Purnima
On this day, all spiritual aspirants and devotees worship Vyasa in honor of his divine personage and all disciples perform a puja (worship) of their respective spiritual preceptor or Guru. It is a good time to begin your spiritual lessons. Traditionally, spiritual seekers commence to intensify their spiritual sadhana (practice) from this day.
The period Chaturmas (four months) begins from this day. In the past, wandering Spiritual Masters and their disciples used to settle down at a place to study and discourse on the Brahma Sutras composed by Vyasa, and engage themselves in Vedantic (holy texts) discussions.
The Role of the Guru
Swami Sivananda asks: "Do you realize now the sacred significance and the supreme importance of the Guru's role in the evolution of man? It was not without reason that the India of the past carefully tended and kept alive the lamp of Guru-Tattva (Guru Essence). It is therefore not without reason that India, year after year, age after age, commemorates anew this ancient concept of the Guru, adores it and pays homage to it again and again, and thereby re-affirms its belief and allegiance to it. For, the true Indian knows that the Guru is the only guarantee for the individual to transcend the bondage of sorrow and death, and experience the Consciousness of the Reality."
God and Guru are in truth not different. Just as the prey that has fallen into the jaws of a tiger cannot escape, so those who have come under the glance of the Guru’s grace will surely be saved and will never be forsaken; yet one should follow without fail the path shown by the Guru.
It is written in the Guru Gita:The Guru's form should be meditated upon
The feet of the Guru should be worshipped
His/Her words are to be treated as a sacred Mantra
His/Her Grace ensures final liberation. One traditioin recommends: Wake up at Brahmamuhurta (4 AM) on this most holy day. Meditate on the lotus feet of your Guru. Mentally pray to him/her for his/her Grace, through which alone you can attain Self-Realization. Do vigorous [Practices] in the early morning hours … Worship the lotus feet of your Guru or his/her image or picture with flowers, fruits, incense and camphor. Fast or take only milk and fruits the whole day. [Share] with other devotees of your Guru and discuss with them the glories and teachings of your Guru. Alternatively, you may observe the vow of silence and study the books or writings of your Guru, or mentally reflect upon his/her Teachings. Take fresh resolves on this holy day to tread the spiritual path in accordance with the precepts of your Guru. At night, assemble again with other devotees, and [reflect upon the Teachings of your] Guru. The best form of worship of the Guru is to follow his/her Teachings, to shine as the very embodiment of his/her Teachings, and to propagate his/her glory and message.
The Online Ashram is like any physical Ashram and holds its sadhakas (students) to the same standards and expectations of any serious spiritual path or worship center. Guru Purnima is not for the sake of the Guru, but for the sadhakas (students) to deepen their commitment to that Path, Practices and Guru, as well as paying respects to the Guru that is living a life of Seva (service to humanity) to lead the seekers to Full Liberation.