The purnima that falls in the lunar month of Ashadha (June–July). This year it is on July 12. Guru Purnima is the day the first guru was born. In the yogic culture, Shiva is not seen as a god. He is the Adiyogi, the first yogi. Guru Purnima is that full moon day when Adiyogi became the Adi Guru – the first guru. This is the time of the year when his attention fell upon the now celebrated Saptarishis – his first seven disciples. Over 15,000 years ago, when the solstice had shifted from summer solstice to winter solstice – that is, the Sun’s run in relation to earth shifted from the northern to the southern run, known as Uttarayana and Dakshinayana – on that day, Adiyogi looked at these seven men. For 84 years they had done sadhana and they had become shining receptacles of knowing. Adiyogi could not ignore them anymore. He observed them closely and when the next full moon rose, he decided to become a guru. That full moon day is known as Guru Purnima. He turned south and the transmission of yogic science to the seven disciples began.
In the yogic culture, Shiva is not seen as a god. He is the Adiyogi, the first yogi
The yogic science is not about how to bend your body or hold your breath. This is the science of understanding the mechanics of the human mechanism and to be able to dismantle or put it together. Adiyogi made a dimensional change in the way people perceive and understand the existence and the source of creation. And he made himself a bridge between a simple piece of creation and the source of creation. He said, “If you walk this, there will be no distinction between you and that which you refer to as the creator.” The journey is from creation to the creator.
When Adiyogi spoke, he was not speaking religion, philosophy or dogma. He was talking about a science, a scientific method through which you could undo the boundaries that nature has set upon human life. To start with, every boundary has the purpose of protection. We build a fence around our house with the intent or protection. But once you become unaware as to why you set up these boundaries, the boundaries of self-preservation also become boundaries of self-imprisonment. And these boundaries are not in any one form. They have taken on so many complex forms.
I am not just talking about the psychological boundaries that you set for yourself. I am talking about the boundaries set by nature for your protection and wellbeing. But human nature is such, you cannot experience true wellbeing unless you transcend the limitations of boundaries set upon you. This is a human predicament. You want fortresses around you when you are in danger. But you want it all to collapse and disappear the moment the danger is gone. But if this boundary which you have set for your self-preservation does not go down when you wish, you feel suffocated and imprisoned because once you have come with a discerning intellect, a limitation or that which confines us to something is the worst thing. Human beings will suffer confinement more than torture. The moment a human being feels confinement, their suffering is untold.
How do you build this magical fortress which only the forces dangerous to your existence see, but you yourself don’t? This was Adiyogi’s work
Shiva’s work was to bring the tools of awareness that will allow you to transcend these boundaries – tools that will allow you to keep the fortresses to the extent they serve their purpose and make them vanish when you don’t want them. How do you build this magical fortress which only the forces dangerous to your existence see, but you yourself don’t? This was Adiyogi’s work. Using the basic illusory nature of nature itself, he came up with many incredible methods to build that magical fortress that you can walk through but no enemy can penetrate. Guru Purnima is in celebration of this sophisticated phenomenon which began for the first time for humanity.
The most significant day
For the very first time, on this day, human beings were reminded they are not a fixed life. Every door in the existence is open if they are willing to strive. So this day is the most significant day for the human race. It was held that way in this land till recently. Guru Purnima was one of the most important festivals in the nation. People celebrated it irrespective of caste or creed because in this country, the most important thing was not wealth or money. Knowledge or knowing was considered the highest value. A teacher or guru was considered the highest entity in society because knowing is the most important thing. But then for some reason, we chose to celebrate ignorance instead of knowing, and in the last sixty-five years, Guru Purnima has lost its significance because the Government of India did not declare a holiday.
Guru Purnima was one of the most important festivals in the nation. People celebrated it irrespective of caste or creed
Before the British came to India, there were three days of holidays around Amavasya or new moon day, and two days of holidays around Purnima or full moon day. So there were five holidays in a month that were meant for you to go to the temple and work on your inner wellbeing. But when the British came, they made Sunday a holiday. What is the purpose of that? You don’t know what to do on those days so you eat a lot and watch television!
So, this celebration has slowly died across the country. It still lives in a few ashrams here and there, but most people are not even aware that this is the most significant day because before the idea of religion entered anyone’s mind, Adiyogi put the idea that a human being can evolve beyond his present dimensions of existence; and he gave the tools to make that into a reality. This is the most precious idea that has entered the human mind: that he can evolve beyond his present limitations and go into a completely different dimension of experience, existence and access into the existence.