Vyas Purnima, which is now more commonly known as Guru Purnima is celebrated in respect to all Gurus.
On Vyas Purnima, the shishya (student or devotee) offers pujan to the Guru. In Sanskrit, ‘Gu’ means darkness and ‘Ru’ is to remove the darkness. A Guru is one who removes the darkness from our life and gives us knowledge. A Guru teaches us the right path to reach God.
Vyas Purnima is celebrated in worshipping Guru Ved Vyas. His parents were Parashar Rishi and Matsyagandha. Ved Vyas is remembered on this day because he had taken on the great task of actually classifying the Vedas.
In ancient times, people passed on the Vedas from one generation to the next by word of mouth, but Ved Vyas collected them so that they could be read. He also wrote the Mahabharat and Shrimad Bhagwat. Since he provided the world with such great knowledge, he is known as the original Guru of Hindu Dharma.
We sing the shlok:
Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Gururdevo Maheshwaraha
Guruhu sakshat Parambrahma tasmai Shri gurave namaha.
It means that the Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv and through him God, or Parabrahma is present. This shlok shows the importance of a Guru in our lives. It is only through a Guru that we can reach God.
This Guru Purnima, reflect on your life and honor the wisdom that life has offered. It is a day to be grateful. When you see how wisdom has transformed your life, you feel grateful for all that has come your way. Celebrating this feeling of gratitude is Guru Purnima.