Guru Purnima is considered to be one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar. This festival is dedicated to one’s Guru, mentor, or teacher. Also known as Vyasa Purnima, Guru Purnima falls on the full moon day (Purnima) of the Hindu month of Ashadha. This year, India is celebrating Guru Purnima on July 24.
It is widely believed that Lord Buddha gave his first sermon on Guru Purnima in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, after weeks of achieving enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. The day also holds significance in The Mahabharata and other holy books of the Hindus.
The word Guru is derived from two words, gu and ru. The Sanskrit root gu means darkness or ignorance, and ru denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore, a Guru is one who removes the darkness of ignorance. In addition to having religious importance, Guru Purnima also has great importance for Indian academics and scholars who celebrate this day by thanking their teachers as well as remembering past teachers.