Vedic astrology or Jyotish is a lunar based system. The full Moon (purnima) is considered to be quite auspicious. Certain full Moons are highlighted in the Indian calendar as they are linked to special holidays or festivals. The very propitious full Moon of Guru Purnima 2014 falls on July 12 for those in the Mountain, Central, and Eastern time zones of the U.S, as well as for India, Europe, and Australia. For those residing in the Pacific time zone in the U.S, Guru Purnima 2014 is on July 11. These dates are based on the information found on mypanchang.com.
Many of the Vedic months are named according to the nakshatra (or lunar constellation) in which the full Moon falls that month. This is the month of Ashadha. The full Moon falls in the nakshatra of Purva Ashadha in the sign of Sagittarius in Vedic astrology. One theme associated with Purva Ashadha is ongoing refinement of one’s skills and abilities.
Guru Purnima marks the day devoted to honoring the Gurus, or sacred teachers, in our lives. The prefix Gu- means darkness , and the suffix –ru means light. Thus, a Guru is one who leads us from the darkness of ignorance of our inner self to the light of self-awareness. In India, it is widely thought that the Gods incarnate in human form as Gurus to instruct humans and to lead them to the path of knowledge.
Guru Purnima 2014 is particularly auspicious in Vedic Astrology. The planet Jupiter, which is known as Guru in Sanskrit, is now exalted in Cancer. Jupiter will be in the nurturing and supportive nakshatra of Pushya, and its highest point of exaltation. Spiritual practices can be profoundly deep and divinely sacred during Guru Purnima.
Guru Purnima is also known as Vyas Purmina. Veda Vyasa was the great Indian rishi or sage who is said to have compiled the four Vedas, the ancient books of Vedic knowledge. Vyasa also wrote the 18 volumes of the revered spiritual texts the Puranas, the Mahabharata, and the Bhagavad Gita. Additionally, Veda Vyasa instructed Dattatreya, who is thought to be the Guru of Gurus.
As the story goes, Veda Vyasa’s disciples were so full of gratitude for all that they had received from him that they asked him how they could repay him for all the profound knowledge that he had imparted.
Vyasa told his disciples to choose one day of the year in which to pay homage to him. This way, their prayers and offerings could reach their Guru. The disciples chose the full Moon of the month of Ashadha to honor their Guru, as it was the fullest and most luminous Moon of the year. They named this special day Guru Purnima.
On Guru Purnima, students honor the occasion by having the darshan of their living teachers. Disciples also remember their teachers (both past and present), chant their name, and offer gifts (known as dakshina) to thank their teachers for the grace that has been bestowed in their lives.
This Guru Purnima 2014, the Moon is at its peak at 7:25 AM Eastern time on July 12. The Moon will be full in the sign of Sagittarius, with the Sun opposite it in Gemini in Vedic Astrology. An exalted Jupiter in Cancer will be in the ascendant gracing us with its blessings for the day. In India, the Moon is full at 4:55 PM locally. Jupiter is exalted there in the 9th house of spirituality, teachers, and religion.