SRI Guru Poornima, which is also called Vyasa Poornima, is an occasion of great significance and sanctity for us. It was the great sage Vyasa who classified and organised the vast storehouse of knowledge, the Vedas. He highlighted the sublime virtues and values of life evolved in Bharat Varsha over the ages and offered a beautiful synthesis of the thought and practice embedded therein. His work stands as a lighthouse of guidance not only for our countrymen but for the entire humanity. Veda Vyasa, therefore, is rightly called Jagad-Guru, and world preceptor. It is because of this, that Guru Pooja is also known as Vyasa Pooja.
Read this article in Hindi : श्री गुरु पूर्णिमा
On this day, we offer our worship to our Guru, whoever he may be, and place at his feet our humble offering. We seek his blessings and resolve to march ahead on the path of our life-ideal in the light of his guidance.
So far as our organisational set-up is concerned, we have not looked upon any particular individual as the Guru. Our scriptures have eulogised in glowing terms the qualities of the Guru and placed him on a pedestal equal to God Himself. Naturally, it would be impossible to find such a Guru in the person of any human being. No mortal can ever be expected to be perfect, without any blemish or shortcoming. And, after all, a human being is a fleeting entity. He can’t be a permanent guide for a nation from generation to generation.
We, in Sangh, have therefore chosen a symbol, which would at once reflect the highest and the noblest in our national heritage. And that is the sacred Bhagawa Dhwaj.
Yajna sacrifice – occupies a pivotal position in our cultural heritage. The term Yajna carries several meanings. Offering one’s individual life in the cause of social regeneration is Yajna. To offer as oblation all that is unworth, undesirable and unholy in us in the fire of virtues, o, is Yajna. And to take to a fiery path of dedication, sacrifices, service and penance is the very essence of Yajna. The presiding deity of Yajna is fire. Flame represents the fire and the sacred Bhagawa flag is the symbol of the orange-coloured sacrifice flames.
Flag of Bhagwan
We are the devotees of Shraddha – faith – and not of superstition. We are the devotees of knowledge and not of ignorance. Our seers and sages did severe penance to get rid of ignorance and to attain the light of true and everlasting knowledge. Darkness represents ignorance and the sun represents the light of knowledge. In our ancient literature the sun – Suryanarayana – is described as sitting in a chariot drawn by seven horses. And before he arrives on the sky, the saffron-coloured flag fluttering from his chariot appears on the eastern horizon in shining colours. It is symbolic of the saffron hue of the eastern effulgence at the sunrise, dispelling darkness and heralding the coming of daylight. That flag of Bhagawan Suryanarayana is the flag of Bhagawan – God – Himself. That term later on became Bhagawa Dhwaj.
The highest stage of human development is represented by the fourth and the final ashrama – the sannyasa -, which demands a spirit of total renunciation and service. The sannyasi has to tread unflinchingly on the fiery path of self-sacrifice. And as a constant reminder of his sacrificial life the sannyasi wears the Bhagawa.
Thus “Bhagawa” has been the symbol of the highest principles and practices evolved over ages in this sacred land. Now, what is the attitude that we cherish while worshipping such a Guru? Offering flowers, sandal paste, waving lights form only the externals. The true import of worship, however, lies in trying to assimilate in our life the qualities symbolized by the Guru. Thus, to become more and more identified with the Guru himself would be the real worship. There is an old command, which says that he who worships Shiva should become Shiva himself – Shivo Bhutva Shivam Yajet.
The offering that we make on this day of Guru Pooja in the form of money is to remind ourselves that the earnings that we make all our life is made possible because of the co operation of society around us. Not only the financial earnings but our entire security and happiness is a thing vouchsafed by society. As such it becomes our duty to pay back that social debt, to the maximum extent possible for us. In fact, the daily one-hour Shakha wherein we offer our body, mind and intellect is intended to fulfil that social obligation in our daily life. It is in tune with this spirit of self-offering nurtured in Sangh that the system of Guru Dakshina also has been evolved.