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Guru poornima festival was celebrated here on Wednesday by local branch of Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, a spiritually oriented service mission, and tributes were paid to great Rishi Ved Vyas on his birthday today for his contribution in preserving the Vedas.

The function was presided over by Parikshit Raj Agnihotri and the message of Nivedita Bhide of Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari by Dr. Naveen Sharma, Nagar Pramuk of the local branch. The speakers during the program said that festivals are for cultural continuation, for expressing the joy of life, strengthening the collectives like family, community, society, and nation and for expressing the gratitude towards the nature.

They said that 'Utsarati iti utsava' – Festival is that which elevates. India is full of various festivals. The characteristic of our festivals is that no festival is without pooja. No festival is just for merry-making though in every festival we do enjoy and celebrate life. The festivals are to make us relevant in time as well as to continue our tradition. That is what made Hindu Dharma and our nation as Nitya Nootan Chira Pooratan – that is ‘ever new and most ancient’. They said that Guru Poornima is festival celebrated on Ashadhi Purnima which is Jayanti - the birth anniversary of Maharishi Veda Vyasa - a son of a Rishi Parashar and a fisherwoman Satyawati. What was his work that made him so exalted a being that on his birthday Gurupurnima is celebrated? He did a fourfold work.

Firstly, when he saw that the Vedas – Ananta Vai Vedah – a voluminous store of knowledge discovered by seers over the ages was in the fear of getting extinct, he collected and compiled it. Secondly, to protect Vedas, he allotted its Shakhas-branches to various families to be preserved by Guru-Shishya tradition. That is in a family, father would teach to his son and along with that to some other willing and deserving children. It would also happen that the children would come from far off places and stay with the reputed Guru who would treat them as part of his own
family. Gradually, the famous Gurukula system of India developed. Thirdly, it was not just the Vedas but all the other branches of knowledge called as Upavedas like Ayurveda including Surgery, Sthapatya Veda which means sculpture including everything related to construction with metals, stones, mortars and wood; Gandharva Veda covering music,
vocal and instrumental, dance, drama etc; Dhanurveda all skills and knowledge related to military warfare were also systematized by Veda Vyasa allotting its branches to various families and communities. Thus, each family of every community in the society became a repository of a branch of knowledge and so continuing the family tradition got equated with continuance of knowledge.

Fourthly, for the common man to understand the Vedic truth he also composed Puranas, Mahabharat so that the application of Vedic truth in life is clear to all. Dharma is not just in believing but in being and becoming, not just the information about one’s religion but realizing the truths and then expressing it in our lives was the aim of Sanatana Dharma. 

Therefore, traditionally this is the day to remember our whole tradition of Guru starting with Bhagwan Siva and to offer our respects to the Guru who guides us in life, who has handed over the traditional knowledge and wisdom to us. This is also a day to express our gratitude and commitment to the Guru for carrying forward our culture vibrantly, with the vision of ‘Krinvanto Vishwam Aryam – let us make the whole world noble.’ In Vivekananda Kendra, we are doing the Ishwariya Karya of ‘Man-making and Nationbuilding’. For this Ishwariya karya, we have Ishwara as our Guru. Thus, Omkar is our Guru. It is because of Vyasa that our Vedic knowledge survived and also the importance of Guru-tradition got established.

At the end floral tributes were paid to Maharshi Ved Vyas.

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