Guru Vandana means “Reverence for the Teacher ” – it is the thanksgiving from a student to a teacher, expressing his or her gratitude. The Guru Vandana program provides a platform for students to honor their teachers for imparting knowledge and wisdom to them.
The concept of
Guruis as old as humanity itself. Primarily, the word Guru means a 'teacher' and as such it is a universal concept based on the idea of transmitting knowledge from a person, who knows something, to an ignorant student or disciple. In an extended view, a Guru can also be a priest, a rabbi, a master, a school teacher, even a father or a mother.Guru does not mean a teacher imparting formal training but a person who contributes to the overall development and learning of an individual
Guru transforms his disciple through his presence and spiritual knowledge.According to
RamaKrishna PrarahamsaSpirtual knowledge can not be attained completely by reading books.But for obtaining complete spiritual enlightment Guru’s presence is a must.Only when there is a strong bond between Guru and Shishyaspiritual enlightenment might takes place.
Thus our great
SANATHANA DARMAtradition has been enriched by the GURU-SISHYA relationship. Lord Rama's greatness lay in His relationship with His most loyal disciple HANUMANwho taught the essence of RAMANAMAMRITIM. Lord Krishnagave us the Bhagavad Gita, thanks to his devoted and most trusted disciple Arjuna. Saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsagave to the world Swami Vivekanandawho in turn gave to the world the Ramakrishna Mission, embodying the soul of India. Saint Thyagaraja, an avatar of Sage Valmiki, composed hundreds of soulful Krithis in praise of God. Two Krithis, in particular, refer to the GURU'S role in guiding the seeker on the right path. Guru leka in 'Gowrimanohari' raga is a Krithi in which the Saint of Thiruvaiyarsings how one who is trapped in the jungle of desire, can come out of it with help of the right GURU. Saint Thyagaraja says however learned and good a person might be, life would be meaningless without the guidance of a Satguru. In another Krithi, Sri Naradamuni Gururaya ganti in Bhairaviraga, Thyagaraja explains how Satguru Smaranamhelps one in getting rid of ignorance.
In modern times
Hindu Education Foundation(HEF) had conducted the program in Houstonin which over 30 teachers and a principal were honored by students. Children from Houston Balagokulams area picked up their favorite teachers.Acharya Premchand Sridhar of Arya Samaj Houston presided over the program. The program started with Sridhar lighting the lamp and it was followed by cultural programs and with the explanation of Hindu Concept of Gurus.After the felicitation of teachers Veda Vrinda group chanted the section of the Taittariya Upanishad known as the Vedic Commencement Address. Columbus chapter of HEF is planning to conduct similar program in October 2008.
Guruvandana is also performed by disciples to spiritual masters.During GuruVandana program
GuruGitais recited by disciple to honor his guru. GuruGitaforms section of Skanda Purana. In BangaloreGuruvandana was offered to Sankaracharyaof Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi.Despite rains lots of people gathered in Malleshwaram to felicitate their Spritual Guru. In ISKONtemples Guruvandana is performed for spirtual Guru Srila Prabhupadathroughout the year.
In other religions
Apart from Hinduism Guru-Shishya concept is followed in other religions like Jain, Sikh, Buddhism. In fact the word Sikh has orgins from sanskrit 'shishya'. Jains celebrate Guru Vandana as part of their rituals.
* [http://www.hindu.com/2008/07/15/stories/2008071554270400.htm Kanchi seer felicitation]
* [http://www.hindueducation.org/newsflash/hef-hosts-guru-vandana-in-houston.html Guruvandana in Houson]
* [http://www.hssus.org/content/view/207/1/ Guruvandana in Houston]
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