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Region 1 - Merton Centre Guru Purnima Celebrations

Om Sri Sai Ram,

On Saturday 12th July, devotees all around the world celebrated the auspicious festival of Guru Purnima.

Guru Purnima is marked every year on the day of the full moon, in the month of Ashadha in the Hindu calendar, which occurs between July and August. The day is celebrated to express gratitude to our spiritual Guru for always being full of brilliance, affection and remaining unblemished like the full moon. A Guru is always filled with peace and has equanimity in his mind. He therefore leads his disciples by example and not just by words.

The meaning of Guru is as follows: ‘Gu’ means darkness and ‘ru’ means light. Therefore, a Guru is one who removes the darkness in our minds in the form of our six enemies (or bad qualities) and imparts wisdom.

We all collectively chant the Shloka, “Guru Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwara, Guru Sakshaath Parabrahma, Thasmai Sri Gurave Namaha”.

The meaning of this is – "Brahma is the Guru, Vishnu is the Guru, Maheshwara is the Guru, truly, Parabrahma is the Guru." Therefore, we should pray to the Lord present within us, who may be in the form of Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara or Parabrahman. Swami says that this is the path for spiritual enlightenment.

Swami has also said that on this sacred day, we should celebrate by praying to the Lord and not merely by fasting. Praying helps us to cleanse our minds and hearts but fasting only purifies our physical bodies. This is the day to master our senses and intellect, including emotions, thoughts and desires, through sadhana (practice). Through such sadhana, we will be able to make our minds cleaner and brighter, like the moon.

Devotees at the Merton Sai Centre celebrated Guru Purnima by singing bhajans in praise of our Bhagawan, who is our loving Lord and Guru. The evening began at 7 pm with Omkars and 108 names of our Bhagawan, which was then followed by bhajans. The celebrations concluded with Arathi to our Lord at 8:30 pm. The love of the devotees assembled at the Sai Mandir created a vibrant spiritual atmosphere enabling everyone to experience His Divine presence throughout the evening.

- Shalini Karunananthan