The day of Guru Poornima has been revered by every spiritual tradition in the East. The yogic tradition, the Hindus, the Buddhists and the Jains have held this as a valuable day. The word ‘Guru’ in Sanskrit can be translated as ‘dispeller of darkness,’ and Poornima means the full moon day. This day is dedicated to the Guru and is celebrated to honour the ancient lineage of enlightened beings that graced the world with their presence, imparting the knowledge of the Self to those seeking inner transformation.
On this day, over 15,000 years ago, Shiva — the Aadhi yogi or first yogi — transformed himself into the Aadhi Guru or first Guru, and began the transmission of yogic science — a conscious way of evolving human consciousness. This first transmission of yoga happened on the banks of Lake Kantisarovar, in the upper parts of the Himalaya, a few miles beyond Kedarnath. Shiva had found his first seven disciples who are today celebrated in this country as the Saptarishis, and he expounded the whole mechanics of life making — how this life is made — knowing life from its origin to its ultimate. From there, the whole system of yoga evolved.
Guru Poornima is also the first Poornima after the Sun’s run with relation to this planet shifts from the northern run to the southern run, which in this tradition is known as Uttarayana and Dakshinayana. The southern run is the phase of intimacy or the feminine; the earth is acting out her role as a woman. It is from the day of Guru Poornima that all the festivals related with the feminine begin in India. The whole culture of this land is attuned to this. Every month there is some festival and especially those festivals that are concerned with the feminine energy are celebrated only in these six months.
These two aspects of the sun’s run in relation to the planet have a significant impact on how the human system functions — the next six months are the time of receptivity. Shiva chose to teach in this season because this is the time when all beings get more receptive.