By Vibhuti King & Swami Nirmalananda
Using every opportunity to bring the mind and lifestyle back to the Divine is an ancient spiritual practice in authentic system. In India, each day of the week is a Divine day, an occasion for worship. With each day dedicated to an aspect of the Divine, Thursday is Guru Day.
It began with Bṛihaspati, a great sage born from the first great light, to drive away darkness. Bright and pure, he carries a special bow whose string is “.rta” or cosmic order. With revered knowledge and character, he is the Guru of the many celestial divinities (gods).
Bṛihaspati has a golden body and wears golden or yellow clothing. He was worshipped by the Greeks as Zeus, by the Egyptians as Ammon and by the Romans as Jupiter. Just as Sunday is named for the sun, and Monday for the moon, Brihaspati’s name is the root of the word for Thursday, Bṛihaspati-vara. It is also known as “Guruvara,” with “vara” meaning day and “Guru” meaning spiritual teacher. Bṛihaspati or Guru is also the name of a planet, cited in the Vedas as the auspicious and benevolent Jupiter. In Vedic astrology, a sister science of yoga, Jupiter is known as a great giver or granter of fortune.
On Thursday, the Guru is most accessible. Devotees often wear yellow and offer yellow flowers. Swami Nirmalananda says, “I know other swamis who observe a fruit-and-dairy fast every Thursday. I do not, as my Baba recommended that we do not fast. Yet I think of my Guru more on this day as well as make special practices and teachings available to Ashram members and residents. It makes it a very sweet day!”