A unique characteristic of Vedic astrology or Jyotish is that it’s 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 2023 falls on July 2nd for those in Hawaii, the Pacific and Mountain time zones. It will be on July 3rd for the Central and Eastern time zones, for Europe and Asia.
The reason for the variance is that we calculate the timing of Guru Purnima based on the tithi or the phase of the Moon. On July 3rd, the Moon will be full at 4:38 AM Pacific time. After that, the tithi changes from Purnima to Pratipat. That is when Guru Purnima ends. The Central and Eastern time zones will have the opportunity to experience the tithi of Guru Purnima briefly on the 3td. The best time to see the full Moon in North and South America is on the night of July 2nd.
A tithi lasts approximately 20 hours. Technically, Guru Purnima starts on July 2nd. You can find the exact timing by going to Drik Panchang via this link. If it does not automatically populate your region, you can type it in. For example, in Tampa, FL, Purnima tithi runs from 10:51 AM to on July 2 to 11;38 AM on July 3. This is the most auspicious time frame for Guru puja.
If you are in San Francisco, CA, Purnima tithi is from 7:51 AM on July 2nd to 4;38 AM on July 3rd. Residents in the Chicago, IL area should do Guru puja from 9:51 AM on July 2nd to 6:38 AM on July 3rd. Sunrise is at 5:18 AM on July 3rd in Chicago.
Residents of New Delhi, India have Purnima tithi from 8:21 PM on July 2nd to 5:08 PM on July 3rd.
Guru Purnima 2023 marks the day devoted to honoring the Gurus, or sacred teachers, in our lives. The prefix Gu- means darkness. 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 is alternately spelled as Guru Poornima.
Guru Purnima is also known as Vyasa 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 all 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 on which they would pay homage to him. This way, their prayers and offerings could reach their Guru. Thus, the disciples chose the full Moon of the lunar 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. Additionally, disciples remember their teachers (both past and present), chant their name(s), and offer gifts (known as dakshina) to thank their teachers for the grace that has been bestowed in their lives.
If it’s not possible for you to be physically present with our teachers but we can honor our teachers from a distance, in our minds and hearts and by our actions.
Indians chant the name of their Guru or they chant specific mantras which honor their Guru. This way, the Guru is topmost in their minds on Guru Purnima 2023.
You may also offer flowers and sweets to photos of your Guru on your puja.
We commonly perform paduka pujas on Guru Purnima. Padukas are the sandals worn by many spiritual teachers. They are traditionally made of wood and have a round stub which separates the big toe from the others. Paduka translates as “footprint of the Gods.” The Guru’s power is said to resides in his / her feet. The Guru’s sandals are also symbolic of the teacher’s power. Hence, an abhishek or ritual bath to the Guru’s sandals is also traditionally performed, this time to revered silver, gold, or brass sandals which are imprints of the actual feet.
In Vedic astrology, Jupiter is the planet associated with spirituality, religion, teachers, and wisdom. In Sanskrit, the word Jupiter is translated as Guru. On Guru Purnima 2023, Jupiter will be situated in the nakshatra or constellation of Bharani in Aries. Bharani is known as the star of confinement. It allows us the opportunity to understand the meaning of life.
THE MOON ON GURU PURNIMA
Guru Purnima is also known as Ashadha Purnima. This year, the Moon will be full in Saggitarius with the Sun opposite it in Gemini in Vedic Astrology. This year, the full Moon is in the nakshatra of Purva Ashadha. Purva Ashadha is known for seeking self-improvement. One way of doing so is via the guidance of a spiritual teacher. It is associated with Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
Shubh Guru Purnima 2023