Guru Purnima, celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists, to thank their teachers has often been a day of Buddhists but of late, Shirdi Saibaba temples are overwhelmingly visited by devotees on the auspicious day.
Today, Saturday being Guru Purnima, is also a major occasion for Buddhists who consider Lord Buddha gave his enlightened semons on the day.
Otherwise, the day is marked by ritualistic respect to the Guru, Guru Puja as gurus or teachers are believed by many to be the most necessary part of lives.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the people on the occasion: “गुरु पुर्णिमा के पावन अवसर पर हार्दिक शुभकामनायें !” (Guru Purnima ke paavan avsar par hardik shubhkamnayen)”
On this day, disciples offer puja (worship) or pay respect to their Guru (Spiritual Guide). It falls on the day of full moon, Purnima, in the month of Ashadh (June–July) of the Shaka Samvat, Indian national calendar and Hindu calendar.
Buddhists celebrate the day in honor of the lord Buddha who gave His first sermon on this day at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Otehrwise, in the yogic tradition, the day is celebrated as the occasion when Shiva became the first Guru, as he began the transmission of yoga to the Saptarishis. Many Hindus celebrate the day in honor of the great sage Vyasa, who is seen as one of the greatest gurus in ancient Hindu traditions and a symbol of the Guru-shishya tradition.
Vyasa, believed to have been born on this day, had written the Brahma Sutras on “ashadha suddha padyami”, which ends today. The recitations are known as Vyasa Purnima.
The festival is common to all spiritual traditions in Hinduism, where it is an expression of gratitude toward the teacher by his/her disciple. Students of Indian classical music, who follow the Guru shishya parampara, celebrate the festival today.