In Hindu culture, a guru holds a very significant place in the life of a student. This is so as it is via the shared wisdom of a guru that a disciple or a student becomes ready to face the world.
The word Guru is a combination of two specific words Gu and Ru. Gu meaning darkness or ignorance and Ru means the remover of darkness. Thus, the guru is someone who removes darkness from the life of their students and disciples.
To celebrate the teachings of a guru, the festival of Guru Purnima is celebrated by the Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists all across India along with Bhutan, and Nepal as well.
As the name suggests, this festival is traditionally celebrated on a full moon day. In many places, Guru Purnima is also known as the Vyasa Purnima as it marks the birthday of the great rishi Ved Vyasa.
Although it is celebrated all across the country, Varanasi is one place where you will get to experience the true nuances of the Guru Purnima celebration. Guru Purnima 2021 will be celebrated on July 24th.
According to the Hindu legend, Ved Vyasa, who was also the author of Mahabharata was born to sage Parashara and a fisherman’s daughter named Satyavati on this day. Due to this, Guru Purnima is also celebrated as Vyasa Purnima. The great sage is majorly known for dividing the Holy Vedas into four distinct parts namely Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Veda in the Hindu culture.
After Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment, he found his five former companions, who had left him in between while seeking the ultimate nature of life, and taught them the true meaning of dharma. With this, he passed on his teachings and made them enlightened.
With this, the Buddhist sangha was established on the full-moon day of the Asahdha month. It is said that soon this Buddhist sangha grew to 60 members. This was when Lord Buddha sent them in every direction possible for spreading the divine message of Dharma.
The celebrations of Guru Poornima include various spiritual activities as well as rituals. Guru Pooja is also conducted at various temples and places. Along with this, many cultural performances are also held at various places as well. In several ashrams and monasteries, chanting and prayers are offered by the students and disciples in the honor of their respective gurus. Many disciples recite Vishnu Sahatranam a thousand times.
Many people also keep a fast on this day. At temples, feasts are organized which include the Charnamrit (a combination of sweet curd and dry fruits) along with other simple yet delicious delicacies which include Ladoos, Gulab jamuns, khichdi, Puri Choley, Barfi, and few other things.
Varanasi is the place where devotees visit year on year in the search of the ultimate truth and liberation. There are several temples in Varanasi where the celebrations of Guru Purnima are held with great fervor. To reach here you will need to cover an approximate distance of 850, 1,830, 1,400, 700 km from major Indian cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Kolkata respectively. Check out the following modes of transportation on how you can reach here without much hassle.
By Air. If you plan on visiting Varanasi by air, then, you will need to deboard at the Varanasi Airport aka Lal Bhadur Shastri Airport. This airport is quite well connected with other Indian cities thus, you can board a flight from most of the major metropolitan cities to Varanasi. And as you get off the flight, consider booking a taxi or some other means of public transportation to reach your respective destination.
By Train. Deboard at the Varanasi Railway Station also referred to as the Banaras Junction (BSB). The station has considerably good railway connectivity with other Indian cities. From the station, avail some local means of transportation to reach your respective destination.
By Road. If your budget allows then the best way to travel to any place can be via roadways. Varanasi has been fairly well-connected by an accessible network of roadways and national highways to other cities and towns. For travelling by road you have three major choices - travel via your own car, book interstate/private buses, or take a cab. Taking into account your budget, convenience, and overall comfort you can choose either of the three.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here.