In yogic traditions, Guru Poornima is celebrated every year on the full moon day in July. In 2014 it falls on Saturday 12th July. This auspicious day gives us an opportunity to pay our respects and offer our heartfelt gratitude to all spiritual masters, past and present. The guru (giver of light or spiritual teacher) may be embodied in a living person or may be the principle that exists dormant in all of us – the inner guru.
What is it we are to know about Guru Poornima? It is an opportunity for a spiritual stocktaking, a chance to renew and strengthen ourselves through coming together as a ‘sangha’ or group of people interested in rededicating ourselves to spiritual practice and inner growth. Whether you have a guru or you don’t, whether it is inner or outer, whatever tradition, you are most welcome to come to join us in this celebration.
The programme includes a simple havan. Havan is a time-honoured deeply symbolic practice that is used in domestic settings for particular purposes. It utilises the power of fire (agni) to have a subtle but palpable effect on the individual, community and environment. As the fire is lit and fed, mantras are chanted and samagri or rice grains are offered to the fire. It is believed to develop spiritual purity and transformation as we discard old unwanted attitudes. Yajna is also a type of fire ceremony but it tends to be for larger gatherings and to have a more universal theme.
Havan and yajna are both rooted in ancient Vedic history, for example in the Katha Upanishad when Yama, the god of death, says to Nachiketa:
“Dear Boy, that sacred fire which is the means
To heaven and is the support of all the worlds,
Actually burns deep within the hidden cave
Which is in the heart of each person.
And after the havan we have a feast!
Venue: Dechmont Memorial Community Hall
More information to follow