Guru Purnima (observed on the full moon of Sunday 9 July in 2017) is a day of experiencing the energy of gratitude for the wisdom of ancient Masters who have walked this path before us, and continue to share their insights and teachings in our daily lives and experiences. This day is known in ancient Vedic traditions as the “Day of the Masters” – a high holy day where all the great Spiritual Teachers come down and bless the planet.
Guru Purnima is a day when we can express our gratitude in devotion to a force greater than our own; in recognition of the blessings of having a spiritual perspective on our lives and the capacity to cultivate our spiritual experience whilst walking the human journey. As we navigate this path of a spiritual being walking the human journey, we come to feel a sense of appreciation for the continued source of wisdom that keeps us grounded, stable and balanced – particularly in the face of adversity, challenge and change. Living the human journey is a challenging experience, and no one said it would be easy, so to benefit from a rich spiritual practice and experience of life is a great gift. For me, life without it can seem meaningless and hopeless; and yet with a spiritual practice my life is rich with many blessings and miracles that I know could only from a Divine source.
The word Guru can come with many meanings and connotations. When we break down the meaning of the word, the letters ‘Gu’ means darkness and the ‘Ru’ means light. A Guru is not always specifically related to a person, it can also refer to any teachings and/or teachers in our lives that guide us from the darkness to the light, from misunderstanding to understanding. These can be family, friends, colleagues or anyone who helps us evolve, transform, grow and rise to our highest level of being.
These teachings, reflected to us through the words and actions of others, cultivate our first Guru – the inner teacher that dwells within each and every one of us. Through the practice of Bhakti (devotion) we create the time and space to hear that wisdom from within. This is ultimately the true purpose of our yoga practice, our dedication to a daily Sadhana – to cultivate our spirituality and give us the capacity to refine our inner teacher, our Satguru. Traditional teachings acknowledge that the Guru does not refer to the body, but to the wisdom and light that lives within us as a spark of the Divine Atman. When we walk our journey interwoven with this wisdom, the path of the Guru awakens.
Guru Purnima ultimately acknowledges the wisdom of the Ascended Masters, the blessings they bestow and offers a holy day for us to celebrate this Divine union – which we can observe with any or all of the following practices:
- Awaken at the time of the Brahmamuhurta. In the Yogic tradition the Brahmamuhurta, or “Hour of the Creator”, is recognised as the most auspicious time for engaging in spiritual practices and when the Amrit (nectar of life) is at its highest. This revered period begins exactly 1hr 36mins before sunrise and lasts for 48 minutes.
- Devote your Sadhana (spiritual practice) to the Divine presence in your life, for the gifts you have received and wisdom that reaches you each day.
- If you have an altar at home, or a designated area for your spiritual practice, offer fruit, flowers or light your incense from a lit candle and honour the presence of light in yourself, in others and in your daily life, and give thanks.
- Meet up with your tribe – the people in your life that light you up and allow you to be your authentic self, no matter the circumstances or situation.
- Organise a Satsang – a lunch or dinner where everyone can come together in a space of truth and bring a plate of food made with love to share.
- Allow time for stillness, reflection and silence or make time to journal your experiences. This might be a perfect day to start journaling and commit to allocating time each day for reflection and gaining deeper understanding of your life experiences and interactions, whilst awakening a richer perceptive of the teachings coming into your life.
- Read inspirational texts that inspire and motivate you to tune into your Puruṣārthas, the callings of the Soul, and reignite your connection to your purpose.
Whatever way you choose to celebrate this auspicious day, remember the connection with a spiritual path is a never-ending journey – and through your devotion, all things are possible.
Namaste and with Love