Importance of a Guru & Guru Purnima
Who is a Guru?
Upanishads, the most ancient and sacred Hindu Scriptures, define Guru as:
The syllable gu means shadows. The syllable ru, he who disperses them, Because of the power to disperse
darknessthe guru is thus named.
— Advayataraka Upanishad 14—18, verse 5
In the Bhagvad Gita, one of the greatest spiritual and sacred Hindu Scripture, Lord Krishna speaks to Arjuna of the importance of finding a Guru:
Acquire the transcendental knowledge from a Self-realized master by humble reverence, by sincere inquiry,
and by service. The wise ones who have realized the Truth will impart the Knowledge to you.
Guru in Sanskrit refers to a person with knowledge and expertise, who wisely, generously and selflessly imparts knowledge to all. Hence, a Guru is the one, who dispels the darkness of ignorance and leads the aspirants on the path to enlightenment and thus shaping the lives. A true Guru is a link between the individualand the Supreme Power. In Hinduism, Guru or a teacher is equated with God. That is why Guru puja is performed in respect of the Guru on the day of Guru Purnima.
It is especially a very important day in the life of those people learning music and other arts and to seek the Guru's blessings. Knowledge is imparted by the Guru to the student, typically, under the Hindu guru-shishya tradition – an oral tradition transmitted from teacher to student. Through the student's respect, commitment, devotion and obedience in this relationship, subtle and advanced knowledge is conveyed and received. Complete and whole-hearted surrender to the knowledge and art including music and the Guru is fundamental and essential for the student to be able to receive the knowledge, skill and blessings of the Guru. It’s only through following the Guru with dedication, faith, and surrender can the student strive to grow and prosper in life.
What is Guru Purnima? Why should one celebrate it and how?
The full moon day in the month of Ashadha (July-August) is known as Guru Purnima. Guru Purnima, is considered to be an auspicious day in the Indian tradition and is dedicated to teachers, to thank the teachers. It is marked by ritualistic respect to the guru - Guru Puja. The great sage, Veda Vyasa, who compiled the four Vedas, 18 Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagvad Gita, was the one whose inspiration gave rise to this celebration of Guru Purnima, a celebration in honor of the Guru. The significance of this day is that the Guru holds the most essential position in one's life and to give him or her, respect and honor people celebrate Guru Purnima.
The day of Guru Purnima is traditionally the time when the shishya (or the students) thank the Guru, offer their gratitude and receive his or her blessings. Guru Purnima is celebrated by conducting diverse programs and special cultural performances by the shishya (students) for the Guru. As part of the celebration, student present gifts including sweets and flowers.
Guru Purnima – 12 July 2014
Students of PJSM School, Atlanta pay humble tribute to their Gurus
For Bade Guruji – Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj ji : from all Students of PJSM, Atlanta
Sooraj ki mahima ka kaise
Deepak kare bakhaan?
Guruji, tum sab gyan nidhaan ||
Mewati deepankur hum sab
Sumiran tumako karte jab jab
Hovat saara jag ujiyara
Mite timir agyan ||
Abhilasha tava kripa-drishti ki
Trisha tihare gaan-vrishti ki
Charanan ka darshan paane
Utare nainon mein praan ||
Charan kamal par karte arpan
Bhaav-suman Guru Poonam ke din
Dhannya hua yaha jeevan paakar
Tumsa Guru mahaan ||
How can a humble lamp describe the grandeur of the luminous Sun? Bade Guruji, you are the very abode of all knowledge!Every time and anytime, we modest small lamps of the Mewati heritage think of you, the ignorance and the darkness surrounding us is dispelled, and our world lights up brightly.We yearn for your blessings, we are ever thirsty for the showers of your music. With anxious and eager eyes, we long for a mere glimpse of your holy feet.On this auspicious day of Guru Purnima, we humbly offer at your feet, fragrant flowers in the form of our sentiments filled with gratitude, respect and admiration. Our lives are indeed blessed to have a Guru as great as you, dear Bade Guruji!
For Guruji Pritam Bhattacharjee and Guruji Prithwiraj Bhattacharjee
Individual Quotes from students – a glimpse
“The only word that comes to mind when I think of Guruji is gratitude... gratitude for his immense knowledge that he so willingly and freely shares with us all... gratitude for his patience and forgiveness through the numerous repeated mistakes we make as we learn... gratitude for his immaculate skill at knowing our exact pitfalls and stumbling blocks and the care and elegance with which he helps us overcome them... most of all, gratitude for the blessing of being his disciple! Guruji's luminous presence has made my musical world more radiant that ever! My humble prayers to the Almighty for his long and blissful musical journey... "
With my Guru in mind and heart everyday, Guru Purnima is a chance for me to reflect upon the deviations away from routine complacency my life has taken, because of the presence of my Guru. This is a day to remind myself that, as Guru is God, without surrender, there is no progress. Prithwi Dada and Pritam Dada began their musical dive, perhaps many life times ago; I am blessed to have the opportunity to start my descent into the musical ocean with their guidance. If currents and waves are the music that a Guru creates, we will be lucky to even make bubbles in this lifetime.
At a young age, Pritamji and Prithwiji have already established themselves among the most elite exponents of the North Indian classical music. They epitomize what a complete musician is. Both are excellent Gurus, outstanding performers and very creative and prolific composers. I am extremely fortunate to have them as my gurus and on this occasion of Guru Purnima I want to wish them continued success in their musical journey.
Dr. Nitin Mayur
I have been a student of Pt. Jasraj School of Music foundation for over 7 years and have been learning table with table maestro Prithwiraj Bhattacharjee. I learned table in the past with three different gurus but learning with Prithwirajji was a very different and enjoyable experience. He always teaches with lot of passion and as per the ability of the student. I am always overwhelmed as he has so much to offer. He is a professional table player and has performed with many maestros but still connects with me very well when he teaches. I have noticed tremendous experience in my table skills after I started learning from him. I strongly feel that our school is incomplete without our gurus Prithwirajji and Pritamji.I really feel very fortunate to have guru like Prithwirajji.
I feel very blessed to have Pritamji as my Guru. His depth of knowledge, his passion for teaching is just amazing. "Tasmai shree gurave namah".Every time I think of Pritamji or am with him, only one thing comes to my mind that how lucky and blessed I am to have such a knowledgeable and versatile Guru in him. On this Guru Purnima occasion, I seek his blessings and guidance, and offer my commitment to more rigorous riyaz and sincere efforts to follow his footsteps.
Every time I think of Pritamji or am with him, only one thing comes to my mind that how lucky and blessed I am to have such a knowledgeable and versatile Guru in him. On this Guru Purnima occasion, I seek his blessings and guidance, and offer my commitment to more rigorous riyaz and sincere efforts to follow his footsteps.
Your dedication to music has proven to us that it should be embraced as an integral part of life because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul. Thank you for your timeless efforts in building our and our kids musical foundation and your guidance and blessings to us, your students.
“They say not everyone in life is blessed with the grace of a Guru and even after seeking, may never find one to take them from the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge. I consider myself to be amongst those select few, who have the good fortune of having such enlightening Gurus as Pritamji and Prithwiji. The wealth of knowledge they have in their respective fields is beyond par...even to someone who is not well versed in North Indian Classical music. It is both an honor and a privilege to be one of their students.”
"Pritamji is truly, an exceptionally gifted and talented individual. His vast knowledge of Indian classical music just makes one feel that a mere few years of training would not justify learning and understanding our rich heritage of Indian Classical Music. I feel humbled and honored to be one of his students and it is a moment of pride for us here in Atlanta, to have both Pritamji and Prithwirajji as faculty members of PJSM, Atlanta."
“Music is an ornamentation of Silence”, a beautiful quote by Swami Chinmayanada ji. The purpose of an art form is to connect the self to the inner self and the guru directs us to experience the silence, a state of thoughtlessness which is the ultimate form of connecting to the supreme conciousness.
I feel extremely blessed to have the privilege of experiencing this meditative state when my Guru Pritam ji sings. His pure mind reflects in his soulful singing. Pritam ji has been extremely influential in helping me understand the true meaning of music that is merging with the divine. I have no words to express my gratitude to Pritam ji for guiding me on the spiritual path through music. Thank you Pritam ji!"
Pritamji is a very patient teacher. He makes sure that everyone understands before moving on and never gets angry or upset when someone doesn't understand. He adjusts to every student's level of understanding and skill and pushes them to the next. Every time I go to class I get this "Man, now I have to go to class." feeling but he makes it so that I come back saying "That was actually fun!"
Avnee Mhaskar (11 yrs)
Prithwiji is a very inspiring teacher who provides a great learning atmosphere. I have learned a lot not only about tabla but also about being a good student.
Aditya Mhaskar (14 yrs.)
“I feel extremely blessed and fortunate to have Guruji Pritamji in my life. I remain eternally indebted and grateful to him for accepting me as his student, for imparting his divine music and vast knowledge so generously and selflessly, for leading and guiding me so patiently & kindly as I stumble through my own musical journey, and for showing me the path to spirituality through his music. As a Guru, through his versatile, accomplished and soulful music and teachings, he has not only helped me to better understand and appreciate music, but also to recognize the healing, meditative and spiritual power of music to realize oneself and attain the divine Supreme Power. On this auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima, I offer my gratitude & Pranam to him and pray that his blessings continue to shower on me throughout my life, through his music and presence in my life as a Guru.”