Friday, July 15, 2011

Guru Purnima

Over the course of the past 24 hours, we've entered Guru Purnima, the full moon in June and July. (Some called it yesterday, some today. It is the very definition of the inconstant moon.)

I'll defer to Eddie Stern on the weighty meaning of the day:

Sri K Pattabhi Jois (Guruji) was born on the full moon day (purnima) of the month of June-July (Ashadha) in 1915. In the Hindu tradition, this day is called Guru Purnima, named so because the sage Vyaas, the compiler of the Vedas and author of the Mahabharata was born on this day. Guru Purnima is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike, and is the traditional day for honoring one’s Guru. It also marks the beginning of chaturmas, the four months of the rainy season when sannyasis (wandering ascetics) would halt in one location to give teachings, blessings and advice to the public before commencing their wandering again. For householders, it is a time of engaging in renewal of spiritual practice, practicing austerities (such as increased repetition of mantra), giving charity, and listening to spiritual discourses.

It is very fitting that Pattabhi Jois, who was a staunch believer in adhering to traditional practices and following the teachings of ancient lineage, was born on this auspicious day. Please join us as we celebrate his birth with sacred pujas and chanting. It is not necessary to attend the entire four hours, any time that you can come is great.

At our local shala, Omkar108, Jörgen Christiansson led a Guru Puja for Guruji that was wonderful in its simplicity. The highlight, without doubt, was Jörgen's playing a version of the invocation call and response by Guruji before the Led class.

I would definitely encourage people to pick that up as a yearly, at least, remembrance of Guruji and his gift of the practice.

Note: We've moved to

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