Tag Archives: Guru Puja

Revival of Rashtriya Utsavs – The Antidote for Commercialization of Culture

  • By Ayush Nadimpalli

guru-purnimaFrom the Vedic period to contemporary history, we find great seers and scholars articulating the fact about how and why this is one nation. However, in his maiden speech on Independence Day 1947, Pt.Nehru said India i.e. Bharat is a Nation in the making. By this he meant that we have not been One nation in the past. This has been the policy since then. Nehru’s own contemporaries like Sri Aurobindo & Sri Radha Kumud Mukherjee have written in detail about our national ethos quoting profusely from history.

Unfortunately, policy is laid down by those who wield power. In order to further their own theory, Pt. Nehru and successive Congress governments used the government machinery to try and erase the native historical timeline from minds of educated people. This they felt was necessary to show that Bharat’s culture was not Hindu but was a composite ( Mishrit ) culture. They thus pursued Macaualay’s plan of “Creating a class of people Indian by blood and colour, but British by morals, opinions and intellect.”

An attempt in this direction was by celebrating “Days & birthdays” from either recent history Or ideas centred around Western ethos. This was meant to neutralise the cultural affinity Hindus have with their past. These ideas were also popularised by a large section of English media and wide scale advertising.

Commercialization of Culture

A cursory glance at what is being promoted in the name of modernity and how commercialization of culture is taking place is given below.

– In the last few years a blitzkrieg is being done to popularise “Valentines Day”. Today it is a 1500 crore business in Bharat. It has the potential to drive wedges in relationships and is making the concept of love a market. Events such as Single-Parents Day, Gay & Lesbian Day are also slowly being promoted.

– New Year’s Day as 1st Jan 1st was a Roman tradition which was later promoted as the day Jesus was supposed to have been circumcised. A survey conducted in major cities by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) states that the consumption of liquor among teenagers in the last 10 years has increased by 100% on 1st Jan ( New Years Eve ). It is not surprising that liquor companies are investing heavily to keep this alive.

When we celebrate an event which is rooted in Hindu ethos, the type of celebration is very different to that whose roots are in the West. A clear case in contrast is the celebration of the Hindu Nava Varsh against New Years Day.

Calling a young lady as “behanji” is treated as derogatory in urban circles and slowly Raksha Bandhan which was a social festival of togetherness and a guarantee for social protection has been relegated to only immediate family members. In its place we have “Friendship day” and Friendship bands. This is another example of commercialization taking over a socially relevant festival.

Vyaasa Paurnima & Guru Puja Utsav:

Ideas of unbridled liberalism like Charvaka’s are not new to our nation. However, our Rishis devised the method to ensure people are rooted to Dharmic values. They knew the importance of connecting festivals with great events and great people. What and how we celebrate an event has a tremendous impact on our psyche.

The practise of honouring the Guru has been there for 1000’s of years in our country. By recalling the Guru parampara, the youngsters of this land get connected to the hoary past and wisdom of our seers. Original thinking, innovation, and values like sacrifice, valour, compassion are imbibed by the lives of our great gurus like Vyaasa, Chanakya, Shankara , Samartha Ramdas, Vidyaranya and so on. Unfortunately, celebrating Vyaasa Paurnima & recognising contribution of our Gurus is treated as a religious activity and in its place we have Shikshak Divas in modern India celebrating only the mundane and ignoring the spiritual elements of life.

Our nation runs on the principles of Dharma. Celebrating “Utsavs” like Guru Puja uphold the principles of Dharma & inspires generations to live a life of nobility. This is the only guarantee of peace, harmony and holistic progress of our nation.

  • Courtesy VSK Bharat

Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa – Guru Par Excellence


Veda Vyasa


Vyasa was one of the principal builders of Hindu(Vedic) knowledge system, culture and religion. He was born in a dvipa or island. He was of dark complexion(Krishna). Hence he was called Krishna Dvaipayana. Later, when he systematized the Veda which was in a single body into four parts,( according to the use to which the mantras are applied), he was called Veda Vyasa- the one who classified or divided the Veda. The Veda constitutes total knowledge available to man.

According to the Mahabharata, Vyasa was the great grand son of Rishi Vasistha, grandson of Sakti Rishi, and son of Rishi Parasara and Satyavathi. Vyasa’s son was Muni Suka. Vyasa fathered Dhritarastra, Pandu and Vidura on the wives of Vicitravirya, the son of Satyavathi and Santanu. This was done on the command of Satyavathi to keep alive the kuru lineage. In those days ie.,Dvapara-yuga, the custom of niyoga or devara-nyaya was allowed by custom under certain specific conditions. Issueless married woman begetting children through her husband’s brother was called niyoga. Such a custom is prohibited in the Kali-yuga.

After dividing the original single Veda into four parts called Rik, Yajus, Saman and Atharvan, Vyasa entrusted each Veda to one of his chief disciples for memorization(ie.,storing)and propagation with the help of elaborate and complicated Svara(intonation)and Patha(recitation) rules and methods. This is because the meaning of Veda is dependent on Svara.

Rishi Paila was entrusted with the Rigveda.

Rishi Vaishmpayana with  Yajurveda.

Rishi Jaimini with Samaveda.

Rishi Sumantu with  Atharvanaveda.

These four rishis in turn taught the respective Vedas to their disciples so that the Vedic teaching and learning has spread through number of branches(Sakhas) all over the Greater India-the area over which Vedic culture has spread like the present day Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South-East Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, Central-Asia etc.,

Study and preservation of the core Veda is a highly technical, and specialized task. It is difficult to access the Veda and its contents in a meaningful way for people who are not directly engaged in the Vedic studies. Therefore Vyasa collated eighteen chief Puranas including the Mahabhagavata and eighteen subsidiary Puranas which bring out the message of Vedas within the popular reach. They are encyclopaedic works containing the Vedic truths in the form of parables, stories, stotras, sayings etc., and also a host of subjects like history, geography, sciences, arts, customs, needed by the people at large.

Then Veda Vyasa conveived the Jaya or Bharata which was later swelled into the great Mahabharata which contains the famous popular philosophical guide Bhagavadgita. It is the story of his own progeny playing out the great real life drama of the conflict between Dharma and a-Dharma. For the first time in the history of Vedic people, Vyasa got the Mahabharata committed to writing through the divine scribe Ganapathi. While the Vedas are purely oral texts transmitted through Svara and Patha rules, Puranas are also oral texts conveyed through narration in story form.

The Mahabharata and the Puranas contain everything a Vedic Hindu should know from the Vedas and Upavedas and much more. In a way, the Mahabharata is a summary of Vedas and Puranas. Hence it is said that whatever is not in MBH will not be found elsewhere, meaning it contains all the knowledge. Veda Vyasa created all this stupendous body of knowledge to cater to all classes and all levels and all tastes of Hindus five thousand one hundred years ago! There are reliable astronomical, literary, archaelogical, epigraphical and other evidences to fix the date of Mahabharata and with it the date of its creator Veda Vyasa. And since then it is guiding the followers of Sanatana Dharma through thick and thin. Hence Vyasa is considered as Vishnu Avatara- Vyasaaya Vishnu ruupaaya. It is said that all the knowledge in the world has been wetted by Vyasa’s mouth or touched by Vyasa – “Vyaasochhistam Jagat sarvam”. He is the GURU par excellence.