July 5th, 2020 marks an important day for Hindu culture with the celebration of Guru Purnima. A festival celebrated in India, Nepal, and Bhutan by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. On the occasion of Guru Purnima, students express gratitude to their 'gurus' or teachers.
Guru Purnima is celebrated in the month of Ashadh according to the Hindu calendar on a full moon day, which this year coincides with 5th July 2020. The day is alternatively called Vyasa Purnima, after the renowned sage who narrated the Mahabharata.
The significance of Guru Purnima
Guru Purnima often celebrated by Hindus, often falls on a day in June or July as per the Georgian calendar. Incidentally this year the festival coincides with Chandra Grahan or lunar eclipse which will not be visible in India this time.
Historically in Hindu culture, the day marks the birthday of Ved Vyasa, therefore it is touted as 'Vyasa Purnima'. On this day the sage was born to sage Parashara and Satyavati. In Buddhist culture, Guru Purnima marks Gautama's first sermon in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh.
On the day disciples offer their gratitude to their teachers. Many visit temples on this auspicious day and offer their prayers and seek the blessings of their spiritual guides. However, people have been advised to stay home on the day this year due to the pandemic. Regardless of religious significance, many academic institutions observe the day as a day of gratitude towards teachers.