Sunday, July 9, 2017

Guru Purnima: The teacher within us

Today is Guru Purnima, the day Hindus, Buddhists and Jains pay respects to their spiritual and academic teachers. It is also one of the most significant days in the Hindu calendar. A Guru does not necessarily have to be a spiritual master: he or she can be anyone who has made a positive difference to your life; someone who has guided you on the path of wisdom, compassion and righteousness — your school teacher, your parent or your mentor at work — and helped you to become a better person.

I want to share this lovely Guru Purnima message from the late Indian spiritual teacher and author, Eknath Easwaran, who established the nonprofit Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in California in 1961. It is from Easwaran's The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living: Volume 1. I recommend all his books.

"The word guru means "one who is heavy," so heavy that he can never be shaken. A guru is a person who is so deeply established within himself that no force on earth can affect the complete love he feels for everyone. If you curse him, he will bless you; if you harm him, he will serve you; and if you exploit him, he will become your benefactor. It is good for us to remember that the guru, the spiritual teacher, is in every one of us. All that another person can do is to make us aware of the teacher within ourselves."



  1. I loved learning this. I had never heard what guru meant. I just always thought teacher. India's people have brought so much to this world. I will look into the works of Eknath Easwaran. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Nan. I'm glad you liked this post. Guru Purnima is a big day in India, though, unlike religious festivals, it is mostly celebrated in private and at a personal level. In a spiritual sense, the Guru is a self-realised soul, one who has attained salvation, and is considered to be God — to worship one is to worship the other.