Guru Purnima, 2012 – June 30 2012

The purpose of the Guru Purnima celebration is to turn back and review and see in this last one year how much one has progressed in life. For a seeker, Guru Purnima is a day of significance. It is the day to review one’s progress on the spiritual path and renew one’s determination and focus on the goal. As the full moon rises and sets, tears of gratitude arise and repose into the vastness of one’s own self.  

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

  

Tuesday, July 3rd, is Guru Purnima, the annual celebration of the lineage of gurus in the Vedic tradition.

 

The word ‘guru‘ means ‘the teacher who removes the shadow of ignorance.’ ‘Purnima‘ means ‘full moon.’ This is the night of the full moon of the Vedic month of Ashadh. This is the once yearly celebration of the lineage of gurus in our tradition..

 

Sometimes ‘guru’ will be defined not as ‘remover of shadows,’ but rather as ‘bringer of light.’ These would seem to be the same thing, for indeed, a shadow is removed by the bringing of light to that place that had been shadowed. However, to look at it a bit more closely, the idea of a shadow implies that the light already is there and merely is being occluded. This of course is the teaching of the Veda. Light is. Consciousness is. All is consciousness. There is nothing but consciousness. All that we are is consciousness. Yet here we are, so many of us, looking everywhere for this thing we are, never realizing that what we are looking for, we are looking with.

 

So the guru, rather than bringing light to the student, is helping the student to remove what stands in the way of his own light. A fine distinction, but an important one.

 

What is it that is being removed? Ignorance. This word, too, is very telling. Ignorance is not the quality of not-knowing. To be ignorant of something means that we are ignoring that something; and in order to ignore anything, we first must know that thing. The guru helps the student to remove his habit of ignoring what he already knows.

 

Guru Purnima really is a celebration of consciousness Itself, and of all the extraordinary exemplars of consciousness who have passed down to us through the years access to this consciousness.

 

In our Vedic tradition, we celebrate this full moon night with stories, Indian sweets and chai tea, a moonlit stroll and, the height of the evening, a group performance of ‘puja’, that beautiful ceremony that we do in  gratitude to these teachers who have given so much to us.

 

For the puja, we ask that every meditator brings a few flowers to share and one to offer.

 

It is part of the mythos of Guru Purnima that a boon is granted in response to a wish offered with one’s flower at the culmination of the puja. Some people like to write down their wish and to sign it, offering it with their flower as a symbol of surrender to the organizing power of nature. Others prefer a silent & unmanifest (mental) offering as a more fitting personal gesture.

 

It will be important to give our wish some worthy consideration. After all, this is an exercise in expansive thinking. What is it I actually want? How can I gain fulfilment of this desire in a way that helps the evolution of many others? What is a creative way to incorporate my own individual fulfilment into my wish and be mindful of the needs of all others, now and for the future?

 

If you live in our area, please come along to the Studio City Meditation Center and enjoy an evening of camaraderie with other meditators, to be together, eat together, and enjoy the richness of the meditating life together.

 

The place:

4544 Ethel Ave.

Studio City CA 91604

 

Please RSVP to: adeleslaughter@mac.com so that we know how many sweets to buy. And please park on one of the side streets so as not to upset our non-celebrating neighbors.

 

Tonight I will walk in the light of the moon, soaking in the pure soma of consciousness represented by that light, grateful for all the growth that has come and for all that is yet to come.

 

 

          Moon, Dark, Studio City, CA

 

 

All Material Copyright © 2012 Jeff Kober

 

 

 

2 Comments
  1. Hi Adele and Jeff!
    Just a few questions:

    I won’t be out of a meeting til around 9:30.Is 10:00 too late to arrive?

    What is the ideal time to get there?

    Is this celebration open to people NOT meditating in the Vedic tradition?

    Thanks!
    ~ Tony

  2. Hey Tony, crazy, but I just got this…Glad it all worked out. Smiles…