Yesterday was 'Guru Purnima'. Always heard about it but never got a chance to take part in such rituals or can rightly be said that never really bothered to know about it. Just knowing it as an auspicious day we offer special offerings to God. But, this year was something special. Akanksha was asked by her dance school to be present on this particular day as the school was going to celebrate 'Guru Purnima'.
On enquiring if we needed to take something with us, we were told that we can take flowers and sweets if we wish. So the father came home early loaded with lovely white fresh flowers, garlands and sweets. The ceremony was to start at 6.30p.m. and we managed to be just on time.
As we entered the venue the atmosphere was mesmerizing. On the left side of the entrance the portrait of their 'Guru'(Guru Bipin Singh) was placed on an alter.
All the students ore white colored tops and peach color phanek(a Manipuri wrap around). The students who ever came inside first offered the flowers, garlands, sweets, fruits and some even brought gifts and paid their respect to Guruji and went inside where all the students- young and aged stood together to start the occasion. The program started with the Guru Pranam, the performance of Chali and then the chanting of the Guru Shloka by all the students:
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Saakshat Para Brahma
Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha
The senior students started the performance and the juniors were also not lacking behind. All the performances were dedicated to their Guru.
Also, there was a solo performance by Bimbavati Devi whose dances are always a delight to watch.
The young girls and the boys were also not behind. They too performed brilliantly. As such numbers of items were performed which were very colorful.
At the end, all the students again gathered together and paid their respect to their Guru by performing the Guru Pranam.
That marked the end of the occasion, after which all the parents, students and guardians were served with refreshments.
Witnessing the occasion made me realize that this day is dedicated to the Gurus or a Guru who is a trusted counselor and advisor or can rightly be called a mentor. 'Guru' is a Hindu term for a spiritual or an academic teacher.
Guru Bipin Singh, a world renowned Manipuri dancer was the founder of Manipuri Nartanalaya, a dance institute where Akanksha is persuing her dance training and I am really thankful to Manipuri Nartanalaya and Guru Mata Kalavati Devi for making the students aware of this day from such a young age, so that they do not remain ignorant of such an auspicious day like I was till now.
I, too, paid my respect silently to all my teachers and elders on this auspicious day.
(The pictures could not be taken properly as all the performers were constantly in motion)