Vedic sages dedicated the full moon each month to a different Divinity, reserving the fullest of every year’s full moons for the Guru. Every July the moon is closest to the earth, so the full moon is the brightest, the biggest and the most beautiful of all! Not only does this speak to the Guru’s state as the culmination of human potential, but the moon’s sweet light shows the way that Grace shines through the dark.
There’s something special about moonlight. Its silvery light is so soft, making everything it touches glow as though it’s shining with its own light. Yogic texts talk about the “nectarean light of the moon.” The moon’s light is reflected light, meaning it works the same way your mind works. You only think that your mind functions under its own power; yoga describes that your mind shines with the light of consciousness, which is reflected from its source within yourself. The Self loans its light and power to your mind. This is why you love the full moon — it’s the way your mind will work when it’s been yogified.
Yet July’s full moon is even more special, for this is the night that the Grace flows most fully. Grace is the Divine power of Revelation, revealing your own svaroopa to yourself. When you are bathed in the flow of Grace, you know your own Self even without having done all the deep practices that yoga prescribes. This is the value of the Guru, who serves humanity by shining the light of consciousness within. This means the Guru doesn’t shine the light into your eyes from an outer source, but brings up your own inner light for you to experience within.
This weekend Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram is celebrating Guru Purnima on the night of the full moon, Saturday July 12 at 7:30 pm at the Desmond Hotel, Malvern PA. Our free satsang is in the middle of a weekend retreat, part of our year-long “I Am Shiva” course, so you’ll come in to a room and a group who have already warmed it up for you!
If you’re celebrating at home, you’ve got choices. The fullest point of the full moon happens at 6:45 am (Eastern Time), so you could chant “Srii Guru Gita at that time (just as we will be doing in the retreat). Or you could wait until evening and go take a moonbath — sit in the moon’s glow while doing japa. Or put some flowers and a candle on a table with your Guru’s photo and give some time to contemplation, reading His or Her teachings, listening to an audio or chant and meditating. You decide! Anything you do on Guru Purnima will give you the fruits 1,000 times over!
Blessings on Guru Purnima,
Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati