Teacher’s Day: Guru Purnima, Byas Jayanti & Ekalavya story (2021)
People celebrate Teacherâ€™s Day all over the world. In Nepal, the Teacher’s Day is called Guru Purnima. This year, in 2021 it is on July 24. As the festival is being celebrated on Full Mood day, it is Purnima. Traditionally Guru is the person who teaches the scared Mantra and ways of life. They used to be the Rishi Muni, the learnt men of the ancient time. A tradition of Bratabandha is the way of sending kids to Guru Asharm for learning things.
In Bratabandha of an adolescent male child, the Guru teaches Gayatri Mantra, a sacred thread (Janai) is worn to indicate that the kid is tied to the Dharma rules.
The term Guru in Sanskrit is a person who removes darkness of ignorance from one and sheds light of knowledge. “Gu” means darkness and “ru” means light. On this day, schools, colleges, training institutions and other institutions celebrate by organizing programs to pay respect to the elders and teachers. This day is celebrated as a opportunity to consolidate the bond of teacher-student relationships.
It is believed that the day is also Byas Jayanti. Ved Byas is believed to have written all the 18 puranas and 18 upapuranas that explain the four vedas.
This is the shlok to celebrate Guru Purnami with.
Teachers’ Day is celebrated all over the world. I had compiled the dates and the details of the celebration all over the world in 2017 (Teachers’ Day in Other Countries).
There is a story of Eklavya in Mahabharat. In the story, Eklavya practices archery skills all by himself by keeping a mud statue of Guru Drona as a reference. He learnt all the skills and he became one of the most skilled person in the field. Once, Eklavya stopped a barking dog by ramming seven arrows in it’s mouth. The dog belong to Pandava’s team. When the dog arrived gagged with arrows, Pandava started looking for the skilled archer.
The skills of Eklavya proved that he was better than the real students of Drona. When Acharya Drona found out about Eklavya and his skills he went to Eklavya to asked for Guru Dakshina. He asked for the thumb of his right hand as the Guru Dakshina. The reason to choose the thumb was to degrade his skill and keep Arjun the best of all in the world.
Here is the full story of Eklavya (in Nepali):