Guru Purnima
Shirdi Sai Baba's followers celebrate Guru Purnima in full swing Pictured: Devotees throng Har-Ki-Pauri on Guru Purnima in Haridwar, on July 31, 2015.IANS

Hundreds of followers of Sai Baba are celebrating the festival of Guru Purnima across several parts of India.

A three-day event is being organised in Shirdi, which is Sai Baba's abode and houses a huge temple to his honour.  Followers of Sai Baba also took out a procession in Rajgarh, Madhya Pradesh in celebration of Guru Purnima on Sunday.

The festival at Shirdi, the town visited by thousands of followers every day for a view of the saint, will go on until July 20. More than three lakh followers are expected to visit during the occasion. The three-day mega event has been organised by the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST), the Times of India reported.

Guru Purnima is one of the four annual festivals celebrated by Shirdi. Devotees across the world consider Sai baba as their Guru. They visit the temple during these three days to offer prayers and seek blessings," Bajirao Shinde, the CEO of SSST, told TOI.

"We have identified three villages on Ahmednagar-Shirdi road where temporary shelters have been installed for devotees coming in the procession. All three shelters are water proof and comfortable," said Shinde.

The trust will be celebrating the 100th death anniversary of Sai Baba during 2017-18.

What is Guru Purnima?

The Hindu festival is celebrated in India and Nepal on the full moon day during the Hindu month of Ashadha. Students are supposed to felicitate their teachers or gurus on this day. The guru-shishya (teacher-student) relationship was a much celebrated bond in the sacred texts of Hinduism. In Sanskrit, the word guru denotes someone who dispels the darkness of ignorance. 

Apart from religious celebrations, it is also the day when students honour teachers or mentors. 

It is believed that the sage Vyasa was born on this day. It is also supposed to be the day when he began writing Brahma Sutras on Ashadha sudha padyami.  

Who else celebrates Guru Purnima?

Buddhists also celebrate this day as the first day that Lord Buddha gave his sermon in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh. 

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