The story of Lord Shiva becoming the Adi Guru and Rishi Ved Vyasa documenting his knowledge to share with future generations and imparting his learnings to his disciples so that they can further share them with the world defines the significance of Guru Purnima.
While we must always show our loyalty, gratitude, and respect to our teachers, this day has especially been set aside for students to visit their teachers, thank them for sharing their knowledge, for adding value to their lives, for widening their horizons, and for making them capable of dealing with the world and the many curve balls that life may throw at them. For example, it was Dronachraya’s teaching that helped Arjun prepare for the war with the Kauravas.
Apart from celebrating Gurus, this day also marks the importance of learning. The bridging of the gap between ignorance and knowledge, the sharing of knowledge, and setting foot on the path to developing our minds, emotions, and spirits to become a better version of ourselves.
Guru Purnima also celebrates the meeting of minds - one that of a teacher and the other of a student. The saying, 'When you are ready to learn, a teacher will appear' is the true essence of Guru Purnima. This day also reiterates the belief that just as a student comes in many forms, so does a teacher. A Guru is not necessarily someone who teaches you in school or college, but it can be anyone who teaches you life lessons, takes an active interest in your growth and development, encourages you to become a better version of yourself, gives you the courage to do the right thing, even if it may be the difficult thing, and helps you find the meaning of your life and walk the path. This is why Sai Baba, Gautam Buddha, and Jain and Sikh Saints are revered as Gurus.