Guru Purnima is a day dedicated to the teacher: it is a kind of ‘Teachers’ Festival’. On this day, students pay respect and express gratitude to their Gurus. Our Gurus rid us of ignorance and transform us into wise (or skilled or learned) beings, capable of finding our own path in life. The Gurus’ hard work and dedication in elevating our lives, by sharing and transferring knowledge and wisdom, deserves acknowledgement.
Guru Purnima falls within the Indian calendar month of Aashad, on a day when it is believed that the Vedas, the literary texts of knowledge, were recited by God to the sage Ved Vyas. The day has been heralded as a time to commemorate those that have the knowledge of things that they would like to share.
Most believe that the ultimate Guru is God. Knowledge has essentially been handed down from God and it is our duty to uncover all the information that has to be found. As Indian mathematical genius, Mr Srinivasa Iyengar Ramanujan FRS, once remarked, “An equation for me has no meaning, … unless it expresses a thought of God.”
The Shirdi Sai Sansthan Melbourne Inc. celebrated Guru Purnima at its Sai Baba Mandir in early July. Thousands of devotees filled the premises keen to pray and thank their Gurus for the learning they have absorbed from them and for the love and peace they have received.
The Mandir celebrated the day with traditional bhajans performed by Amitabh Singh and his troupe of Om Music Group Australia, 108 kalasha pooja, Baba’s palaki, abishek and delicious prasad. Devotees were encouraged to pray and sing along whilst the processions continued throughout the day.
Mr. John Pesutto, State Member for Hawthorn, attended the event. In his address, he talked about compassion and noted that those less fortunate in society should continue to receive comprehensive education. As knowledge is handed down over generations through time, it is the best measure of society’s development. Any lapses in knowledge will have an impact on our future, he noted.
Mr. Paresh Valob, member of the Mandir’s committee, explained how teachers should be respected and deserve commendation because they improve the lives of those they teach. They not only transfer academic information but share insights into moral and humanly values. Dr Janardhan Rao, a founding member of the Mandir, pledged to continue to support the Mandir in its endeavour to provide a place for peace, worship and reflection. He congratulated the Mandir for its growth as a fully charitable organisation.
Mr Chidambaram Srinivasan, Commissioner at the Victorian Multicultural Commission, congratulated the Mandir for its ongoing efforts in strengthening the community and encouraged devotees to share their experiences with others and help others with their learning and development. He noted that the Mandir embraces multiculturalism and encourages members of all faiths and backgrounds to attend and join.
Educating people is one of the best forms of service to others. We should not let our competitive attributes or other characteristics prevent us from helping others to succeed in their pursuits. Although we might not all have the title of being a teacher, as we continue to support and guide others we can, at a certain level, embody the fundamental features of a Guru.