Every year Guru Poornima is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of āṣāḍha (around July/August). This year, it is being celebrated during July 30th/31st. This is a day when we have to pay our respects to our Gurus and spiritual teachers. This is celebrated on the birth day of Veda Vyasa. On this day, thousands of years ago, Vyasa was born to sage Parāśara and Satyavati, (Satyavati was born in a fisherman’s family). As Veda Vyasa wrote all the epics and Vedas, his birth day is celebrated not only to pay our respects to him, but also to pay respects to our Gurus. It is also said that Ādiguru (Shiva) appeared on this day and created the universe.
Ritualistically, one’s Guru and his lineage are invoked in a maṇḍala and worshiped. If guru is alive, then we have to seek his blessings. Guru dakṣiṇa is offered to Guru on this day. In Śrī Vidyā, one’s Svaguru, Paramaguru and Parameṣṭhi are worshiped. Some also worship Saptaṛṣi-s (seven great sages) on this day. Saptaṛṣi bhojana is also organised. Food is served in seven plantain leaves and after completing the servings, door of the room is closed for some time after invoking Saptaṛṣi-s and inviting them for the feast. During this time, it is believed that Saptaṛṣi-s descend and relish the food served and bless the participants. Afterwards, Saptaṛṣi ucchiṣṭa (ucchiṣṭa means remnants of food) is consumed by those who participate in the worship and also given to others.
Here are some of the glimpses from Guru Gīta, in the form of yet another conversation between Shiva and Pārvatī.
1. Guru is Conscious Self.
2. Gu represents māyā, and ru refers to the supreme knowledge that destroys the illusion of maya. (Therefore, Guru is the one, who leads a person from the deceptive world to the world of reality; he is the one who transforms a spiritual seeker from rituals to meditation.)
3. He acts as a bridge between Shiva and the worshipper. (He gradually teaches Brahma Vidyā to his disciple and ensures that he realizes Shiva Consciousness).
4. There is no need for practicing prāṇāyāma, and instead worship Guru and seek his grace.
5. One should purify one’s mind by following the path shown by the Guru.
6. One should never speak egotistically and should never tell a lie before the Guru.
7. Guru protects one from various curses.
8. One should not talk ill of his Guru.
Apart from what is mentioned in Guru Gīta, following should be borne in mind.
1. Guru should not be addressed by name or colloquial addressing such as hi or hye.
2. Guru should never be criticised. A realized Guru will be deceptive in appearance. For example, Ramana Maharishi.
3. One should follow meticulously the teachings of Guru.
4. One should not have multiple Gurus.
5. If one is not able to find a right Guru, he can have Shiva as his Guru.
But we have to remember that many of those who call themselves as gurus are not real Gurus. A true Guru cannot be induced with money. He will not demand money to initiate mantras nor take money to teach the path of spirituality. He will not hold spiritual retreats. He will not have people around him, as his teachings are always one to one basis.