July 16, 2011
Ashadh Krushna Pratipada, Kaliyug Varsha 5113
Islamabad, Pakistan —Guru Purnima – festival of paying respect to the ‘Gurus’ (spiritual guides) was celebrated by the Hindu community living across the world including minorities in Pakistan on Friday. Dedicated to pay respect to the spiritual guides, the devotees first clean Sadhu Vaswani’s samadhi as a service for their guru, and then light havan fires and perform 108 havans, which is a form of worship around a sacred fire and repeat the Maha Mritunjaya Mantra Jaap 108 times as well.
Bhajans and Kirtan sessions are the main feature of the day for Hindus while some Buddhist communities also celebrated the day in honor of lord Buddha who gave his first sermon on this day at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is a time to express respect and gratitude to the great sage Vyasa, who is seen one of the greatest gurus in ancient Hindu traditions, and a symbol of Guru-Shishya Parampara, the Guru disciple tradition. Sage Vyasa is said to have compiled the four vedas, the 18 puranas, the Mahabharata and the Bhagvat Gita, said Patron of Pakistan Hindu Council, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani while talking to APP.
The festival traditionally falls on the day of full moon, Purnima, in the month of Ashadh (June-July) of the Shaka Samvat, Hindu calendar. Vyasa was not only believed to be been born on this day, but also to have started writing the Brahma Sutras on ashadha sudha padyami and ends on this day, hence their recitations as a dedication to him, are organized on this day, which is also known as Vyasa Purnima.
Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) also supported the celebrations of the festival and facilitated Hindus living in Pakistan to ritualize the day with zeal at their temples and in small groups through worship and exchanging greetings. According to an estimation by PHC, more than 7 mln Hindus are currently living in the different states of Pakistan, but majority of Hindus is settled in the province of Sindh, Dr Ramesh said.
The festival is common to all spiritual traditions in Hinduism, where it is dedicated to the expression of gratitude towards the teacher by his/her disciple.