Asadh Sud 15
Guru Purnima is traditionally celebrated by all Hindus on the day of full moon in the month of Ashadh (July-August). Guru Purnima is also referred to as Vyas Purnima, as the great sage and first Guru of Hinduism was Ved Vyasji. Vyasji translated the Vedas, wrote the 18 Purans and the Mahabharat. On this auspicious day the Guru is offered poojan (worship) and aarti by their disciples. In life one can have numerous Gurus ranging from a mother and a father to a school teacher, but on this day we must offer worship to our spiritual Guru, ultimately the Acharya of our Sampraday. The uniqueness of the Swaminarayan Sampraday is that Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan blessed us whole heartedly with a male Guru, the Acharya, for the male devotees and a female Guru, the wife of the Acharya- Her Holiness Gadiwalashri, for the female devotees.
The word Guru originates from two Sanskrit roots: "Gu" meaning darkness or ignorance and "Ru" meaning the remover of that darkness. Therefore, one who removes the darkness of ignorance is referred to as a Guru. One who removes our ultimate darkness (maya), inspires, imparts true knowledge, and spiritually guides us to the path of God realization is the true Guru. We are blessed that our Acharya not only displays all of those qualities, but also displays much, much more.
The glory of the Guru is exemplified in a verse of the Skand Puran:
Gurubrahma Guruvishnu Gururdevo Maheshwaraha | Guruhu sakshaat Parambrahman tasmai Shrigurave namaha ||
Meaning the Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, the Guru is venerated as if God is manifesting through him, and the Guru is Parabrahman.
Therefore, on this day let us celebrate and offer poojan and aarti to the Acharya of our Sampraday.