Ashad sud poonam is the auspicious Gurupoornima, one of the 3 main annual festivals of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. On this day, devotees gather and pay homage to our beloved Gurudev Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa.
Jeevanpran Swamibapa explains the precise meaning of the Sanskrit word “Guru.”
“Gu” means andhkaar (darkness).
“Ru” means prakash (light).
Thus, he who enlightens the ignorant, i.e. shines light to those in darkness, is called a Guru. It is only Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa that can enlighten us ignorant souls to the supreme bliss of eternal happiness, the endless peace of the supreme Lord. Thus, our supreme Guru can only be Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. Jeevanpran Swamibapa says, "Guru veenaa gnaan nahi." Without a Guru, knowledge cannot be attained. Lord Shree Swaminarayan Himself showed the importance of a Guru in one’s life by taking Shree Ramanand Swami as His Guru.
This year, the auspicious day of Gurupoornima fell on Sunday, July 5, 2020. The disciples of North America celebrated Gurupoornima this year by watching live streams happening from local temples due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Gurupoornima celebrations consisted of guru poojans to Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree. The program then finished with dhoons and aarti as viewers watching the live stream performed darshan of the Gurupoonam aarti.