By Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati
Just as you have Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, Gurupurnima is Guru’s Day. This is also called vyasa-purnima, the anniversary of Bhagavan Vyasa who occupies an exalted position in the hierarchy of teachers.
A guru is one who unfolds the knowledge that you are the whole, non-separate from the Lord. The wholeness, which you seek, is not separate from you. The very seeking is because the whole is you; you want to be yourself. The one who teachers that is a guru. That is the final destination. Praise of the guru is praise for the truth of the teaching.
In one text, it is said that the guru must be a person with an ounce of extra compassion. Ordinary compassion is not enough. The guru is more like a super-therapist. He must re-orient a student over a period of time, directly or indirectly, so that the student sees through the fallacy of his or her ingrained self-beliefs and helps the person see that the self is totally acceptable.
It is also very important to have an insight about you as totally lovable and acceptable. That is what the guru does; he helps you see yourself as lovable. He frees you. That is why the guru-sisya relationship is entirely different from any other relationship and the reason why the guru is given so much praise in the sastra and in the tradition.