The day of celebrating the gurus of our lives falls on July 13 this year. Guru Purnima is the day when we show gratitude toward our teachers and gurus. It is celebrated on a full moon day or purnima in the month of Ashadha, according to the Hindu calendar. On this day, many worshippers of Lord Shiva as well as Buddha observe fasts in which non-vegetarian food as well as grains are prohibited. The prasad usually comprises a simple mix of curd and fruits while khichdi is eaten along with sweets after the holy puja.

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While the prasad consists of humble treats, those observing fast are required to abstain from certain foods. Those observing a fast on this day are required to abstain from non-vegetarian food. Even grains and cereals are not allowed for consumption. Regular salt is also prohibited during the Guru Purnima vrat. A sattvic diet is followed throughout the day, in which fruits and yoghurt or milk can be consumed by those who are fasting.

Guru Purnima is also celebrated as the day Ved Vyasa was born. One of the most intellectual and highly-learned men from his time, Ved Vyasa has written well-accepted scriptures like Mahabharta and Puranas which are read and followed to this day. To free oneself of ignorance and enlighten oneself with the abundance of knowledge that the great Lords have to offer, Guru Purnima vrat is observed by many Hindus.  

After the prayers and rituals are performed in the evening, the fast is broken by offering the lord bhog or prasad at the temple. This holy offering usually consists of Panchamrit or Charanamrita. The prasad offered to one’s gurus is called so because it is made of five ingredients, where panch means five and amrit means elixir. This is made using sweetened curd, milk, honey, ganga jal, and fresh fruits.

Post the rituals and bhog, a strict vegetarian meal is prepared which usually comprises a range of sweet and savoury dishes. These include khichdi, poori and choley as well as halwa. Several sweets are also prepared as part of the Guru Purnima meal, including ladoos, kheer, and soan papdi.