Guru Purnima 2024: Legends, Wishes and More

Guru Purnima is a significant day celebrated across all spiritual traditions of Hinduism. It is a time to show gratitude to our gurus, who guide us from ignorance to knowledge. It’s celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month Ashada, around July, before the monsoon. Among the lineage of revered teachers, both human and divine, the prominent figure remembered today is Veda Vyasa, So, Guru Purnima, also known as Vyasa Purnima.

Guru purnima marks the beginning of Chaturmasya (four months) Vrata, during the monsoon season when wandering sannyasis stay in one place to avoid inadvertently harming living creatures. During this time, sannyasis undertake special vows such as fasting, silence, and prayer while relying on the local community for support.

The community benefits from their teachings, moral guidance, and spiritual energy. Originally lasting four months like the monsoon, the vrata has been shortened to four fortnights. The full moon is a time for spiritual practice and symbolizes enlightenment. It is a day to honor spiritual teachers and initiate new learning journeys.

Who is Guru?

In the traditional Hindu education system, the Guru, or teacher, holds multiple layers of significance. Firstly, our first guru is considered to be our mother, who not only gives birth to us but also shapes our character and guides us towards our next teacher. This next teacher is often our father or a preceptor who assesses our needs and abilities to define our learning path. This personalized approach to education, tailored to each student, is a longstanding tradition in Hindu education.

In traditional educational institutions known as pathashalas, students still live with their gurus as integral family members. This setup, known as gurukula, meaning the Guru’s family, exemplifies the deep bond between teacher and student characterized by love, nurturing, and lifelong care.

Teachers in gurukulas are expected to lead stable and sacred family lives, as they play a pivotal role in shaping the students’ lives. When students complete their learning journey, they offer Dakshina to their Guru as a symbolic payment. This Dakshina, usually given on the full moon, symbolizes the completeness of the student’s education.

It’s important to note that Dakshina isn’t merely a material offering but a mark of respect and appreciation. It signifies that what is earned through dedication and effort is cherished more than something obtained freely. As the student departs from the Guru, they receive blessings, marking the culmination of their educational journey under their guidance.

Vedic Significance of Guru

At a higher level, gurus encompass saints and Acharyas who renounce worldly attachments in their quest for spiritual enlightenment. These revered figures, known as sannyasis, adopt the distinctive saffron attire and are bestowed with new names by their gurus. Their role is to guide and mentor us toward the pursuit of Truth.

These gurus impart teachings and prepare our minds to delve deeper into spiritual understanding. They help us recognize our strengths and weaknesses, equipping us with the necessary tools to overcome obstacles and refine our characters.

Drawing from their profound knowledge of Shastras, which include sacred, practical, and philosophical texts, gurus assist us in deciphering esoteric messages and gaining profound insights as we delve into our studies. Through their guidance, we are led toward a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world.

A guru is a perfect knower of Brahman. They are the pure souls who have attained peace and greatness. They bring good to humanity, like the coming of spring. They have crossed the dreadful ocean of samsara, and without selfish motives, they help others cross it.

It is the very nature of these great souls to work, of their own accord, to cure the troubles of others, just as the moon, of its own accord, cools the earth when it is scorched by the fierce rays of the Sun. These are the hallmarks of a guru, as elucidated by Sri Shankaracharya in Vivekachudamani.

Since ancient times, the knowledge of Brahman has been transmitted from a guru to a disciple. The first guru is none other than Ishwara himself. The sacred land of Nepal and India is blessed by the appearance of innumerable gurus who know Brahman. But there is another set of gurus who are great avatars, like Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, and Sri Ramakrishna. 

Swami Vivekananda says, ‘Higher and nobler than all ordinary ones are another set of teachers, the Avataras of Ishvara, in the world. They can transmit spirituality with a touch, even with a mere wish. The lowest and most degraded characters become saints at their command in one second. They are the Teachers of all teachers, the highest manifestations of God through man. We cannot see God except through them. We cannot help worshipping them; indeed, they are the only ones we are bound to worship.’

Guru Purnima Celebration

Guru Purnima is celebrated for worshipping these great gurus who are the special manifestations of God. It falls on on the day of Shukla Paksha Purnima (full moon day) of Ashadha month (June-July). In 2024, Guru Purnima is on 21 July 2024 (Sunday).

Tradition has it that Veda Vyasa, the compiler of Vedas, was born on this day. A child of the rishi Parasara and the beautiful fisher-girl Satyavati, his full name is Krishna Dvaipayana Badarayana Vyasa. As he was dark, he was called Krishna; Dvaipayana because he was born on an island in the river Yamuna; Badarayana because he lived in a hermitage in the Badri forest; and Vyasa because he was an author.

He became known as Veda Vyasa because he rearranged the Vedas into its current four parts. He also authored the Bhagavatam and the eighteen Maha Puranas, a repository of pre-Itihasic Hindu history, geography, and cultural practices. Vyasa is said to have completed his monumental mission on the full moon of Ashada. We worship this fountainhead of culture on Guru Purnima.

Again, on this day, the Saptarishis received instruction from Adi Guru Shiva. On this day, Bhagawan Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath near Varanasi. The day is observed by puja, adoration, and offerings to gurus.

The day is dedicated to the gurus or one’s teacher who bestows the Gayatri Mantra for the first time during one’s Upanayana or the sacred thread (Yajnopavita) ceremony, initiates one to reading and writing, reads out the Vedic hymns during the religious rituals, and other teachers in general.

‘Gu’ means darkness and ‘Ru’ means light. The person who destroys the darkness with the light of knowledge has been called the Guru. Hindu scripture considered such gurus as the form of Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar. Like the parents, the guru is also considered a deity.

Let’s chant Guru Mantra

In English

Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu
Gurur Devo Maheshwara
Guru Sakshat Parabrahma
Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah

In Sanskrit

गुरुर्ब्रह्मा  गुरुर्विष्णु  गुरुर्देवो  महेश्वर: ।
गुरु: साक्षात् पर ब्रह्म तस्मै श्री गुरवे नम: ।।

English Translation

The Teacher is Brahma, the Creator
The Teacher is Vishnu the Protector
The Teacher is Maheshwara, the Destroyer
The Teacher is truly Brahman, the Supreme Reality
To this Teacher, I offer my salutations.

Guru Purnima is celebrated to show the importance of Guru in human life. Guru Purnima is an important festival in Hindu tradition to show gratitude and importance to great theologians who teach society to walk on the path and direction of progress even after enduring self-suffering.

This tradition of remembering and honoring the glory and contribution of the Guru has been going on since time immemorial. The relationship between master and disciple is always full of intimacy, respect, harmony, and love. The importance of the Guru in Eastern philosophy i.e. Sanatan Hinduism is unique and incomparable.

Birth Anniversary of Veda Vyasa

The birth anniversary of Vedavyasa (वेदव्यास) the author of the Vedic scripture Mahabharata is celebrated since Vedic times as Guru Purnima. Veda Vyasa is the 28th Vyasa or compiler of the Vedas going back to Manu in this human cycle. Vedavyasa has made a great contribution to Hindu culture by compiling the Vedas as passed down to us for thousands of years. Guru Purnima means honoring the Vedas and the Vedic Rishis whose inner vision revealed the profound cosmic mantras of the Vedas.

Vyasa is the son of sage Parasar and Matyasagandha (she who smells like fish) Satyavati. As requested by his mother and at the request of the Bhisma, Krishna Dvipayana lawfully became the father of three sons of Vichitravirya. After the birth of Dhritarashtra, Pandu, and Vidura, he returned to his hermitage to pursue the path of austerity. Vyasa is considered to be the first Guru in the Guru-Shishya tradition.

Mention of Roles of Guru in Hindu Literature

In every scripture, the first teacher is considered to be the parents. Just as parents always teach their children the lessons of high morals and knowledge and help them to be identified as good people, the teacher always teaches his disciples the lessons of good character building and intellectual knowledge. It is said that a good disciple is the proof and recognition of the superiority of the master.

The Guru seems to have made a special contribution in making a person worthy and capable since ancient times. Guru’s place is also found to be supreme in Ramayana and Mahabharata which are considered holy texts for Hindus.

The role of the gurus was at the forefront in advising on the affairs of the state. In addition, there was a tradition of appointing gurus with respect to teaching skills, knowledge, and skills related to politics. The contributions and teachings of many gurus like Guru Valmiki, Guru Vashishta, and Guru Dronacharya are famous and revered among Hindus. The education and knowledge that Arjuna acquired from Guru Drona made him disciplined, dignified, and even proficient in archery.

The contribution of the gurus in making the princes moral was incomparable. Apart from the pleasures of the court, the princes have a tradition of staying in the Guru’s ashram regularly for the development of their ability to face the difficult moments of life with skill and discipline.

The importance of the guru in the scriptures is compared to the kalpavriksha (a wish-fulfilling divine tree) of heaven. Like the way kalpavriksha gives the things imagined, the guru has the capacity to mold his/her discipline to achieve anything that seems impossible.

The Guru should be the one who always wants to see his/her disciples and students reach a higher position and role than him/herself. The quality of seeing one’s own success in the success of students is rarely found in anyone other than the teacher.

Popular Saying about Guru (Teacher)

Saying (Quote)Who Said This
The enemy is a very good teacher.Dalai Lama
I bow at his feet constantly, and pray to him, the guru, the true guru has shown me the way.Guru Nanak
He alone teaches who has something to give, for teaching is not talking, teaching is not imparting doctrines, it is communicating.Swami Vivekananda
Find the teacher, serve him as a child, open your heart to his influence, see in him God manifested.Swami Vivekananda
Let no man in the world live in delusion. Without a Guru none can cross over to the other shore.Guru Nanak
Guru and God both appear before me. To whom should I prostrate? I bow before the guru who introduced God to me.Kabir
A man should first direct himself in the way he should go. Only then should he instruct others.Gautam Buddha
Guru is the creator Brahma, grew is the preserver Vishnu, and Guru is the destroyer, Shiva. Guru is directly the Supreme spirit – I offer my salutations to this Guru.Adi Shankar

Guru Purnima Wishes

With the use of social media, Students also celebrate Guru Purnima by updating social media status or sharing messages with teachers on social media. To share your emotions in words with your gurus, here is a list of some wishes, quotes, and messages that may represent your feelings towards his/her contributions. You may try to rephrase the sentence by combining multiple quotes to make them complete before sending your teacher. You can share such messages with us at too.

If you have already achieved some level of success in your life, you can still message your teachers who had the greatest impact on your life by texting;

Dear Teacher, I couldn’t have gained the knowledge and skills which are helping me to live a quality life. The lessons that you imparted went on to build a strong foundation for my life. I thank you for guiding and showing me the right path. Happy Guru Purnima!

Dear Guru, you are my only lamp. In a dark night of pain, your thoughts, your words, and your actions with me shall always remain. Happy Guru Purnima.

If you had a rough start and get proper counseling from a teacher which changed your life, this message is for you;

I have been blessed with your presence who showed me how to find happiness in my adversities, who showed me how to be calm in the face of turmoil. I do not know what I would have done had I not found you. Happy Guru Purnima!

If you are just starting a session or a class with a teacher (say, you are a first-year student in an Engineering, Management, or Medical school, this message may be more appropriate for you).

On the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima, I hope and pray that I always get guided by you, and may you always shower me with your unconditional love. Happy Guru Purnima!

Guru is the divine source of wisdom, compassion, and eternal peace. The grace of Guru paves the way to a meaningful and blissful life. Greetings and blessings on the holy occasion of Guru Purnima!

Below are some of the general greetings which you can send to any of your best teachers.

  1. It is an incomparable journey where the Guru leads you from the visible to the invisible, from the material to the divine, from the ephemeral to the eternal. Thanks for being my Guru. Happy Guru Purnima!
  2. When one finds the true Guru, one conquers half the world. You came like a light in my life and showed me the right path. Thanks for taking me as your disciple! Happy Guru Purnima!
  3. You are the inspiration who made me fight every hurdle in life. It wouldn’t have been possible without you. Happy Guru Purnima!
  4. You introduced me to myself and showed me the right way. Thanks for making me who I am. Wishing you a very happy Guru Purnima!
  5. I bow to the one who has inspired me, I bow to the one who has taught me the right way of life, you have been my role model. Happy Guru Purnima!
  6. You have been my living inspiration, giving me lessons of truth and discipline. Wishing you, joy and happiness on this auspicious day of Guru Purnima.


On Ashada Purnima, gurus will appear to those seeking spiritual upliftment. On Guru Purnima, one should approach the Guru with reverence, carrying offerings of fruit, clothing (traditional unstitched cloth), and Dakshina—a cash offering. However, no material gift can genuinely compensate a teacher for sharing knowledge and nurturing our intellect.

Equally important is the mindset with which we approach our Guru. The scriptures emphasize the importance of coming with an eager and open mind. We are encouraged to think independently, respectfully question our Guru, and strive for growth in all aspects of life. This approach fosters a dynamic and enriching teacher-student relationship, leading to personal and spiritual development.

Why Hindu

We, a group of youths born into Hindu families, were raised in the rich culture of Vedic Sanatan Dharma, embracing its cultures and traditions. Post-graduation, recognizing the immense value of our Sanatan Dharma for humanity, we initiated the "Why Hindu" project. With guidance from our elders, we aim to create awareness about Hindu Dharma, delve into Vedic scripture, explore Vedic mantras, and elucidate the significance of festivals. Through this endeavor, we strive to share the profound teachings of our heritage, fostering understanding and appreciation for the timeless principles of Sanatan Dharma.

Recent Posts