A Suggestion for Gurupurnima 2013

by Aranyakananda

While pondering my bookshelf last night, it occurred to me that I am likely not alone in having a large collection of books that goes unread. I am definitely not alone in being a seeker of Sanatana Dharma wisdom, always looking for for it from different angles. Maybe it would be a way for each of us to get our hands on different scriptures that we had otherwise not had the chance to imbibe. We are members of a vast, diverse family, Hindus, all sects with different perspectives to bring to the one table.

So I wrote an email to the members of my Bhagavad-Gita discussion group asking them to consider having a book exchange at our temple around Gurupurnima in July. I wanted to get people thinking about it now to see if there were any ideas as to viable ways to pull off such an event.

These books would preferably be Sanatana Dharma themed. It’d be a sort of a take-a-book, leave-a-book event in honor of God and Guru. Or take a dozen books, leave a dozen books. Give and take. Book Karma. But I digress.

There is a risk of ending up with a lot of books left behind afterword. I don’t see that is much of a problem if there is a space to keep them in the basement. Eventually over time people will take them, and the collection will dwindle away, onto new eyes, inspiring seekers anew.

Being that it will be Gurupurnima and we will all be paying homage to our Satgurus, I thought an event that would focus on knowledge, and wisdom in the form of books, many of them written by gurus we all revere, would be an appropriate way to celebrate. Books themselves are gurus of a sort. The Sikh faith considers its Holy scripture to be a Guru. The Guru Granth Sahib. I have felt a special affinity toward the Sikh community since we hosted some of its members to present at our temple on their faith after the attack on their place of worship in Wisconsin a couple of years ago. And so the shared reverence that Sikhs and Hindus have for the written word has always been attractive to me as a writer.

I was wondering what other ways we can celebrate specific festivals in a unique way that is not necessarily traditional but gets the community at large, or at least a larger part of the Hindu population in our towns, or the temple’s regular attendees involved. What say you?

Jai Ganapati Aum
Jai Saraswataye Aum

This entry was posted in American Hindus, books, Comparitive Religion, creativity, current events, dharma, Dharmic Faiths, Eastern Philosophy, Ganesh, Ganesha, God, guru, Gurupurnima, Hindu Festivals, Hindu Scriptures, Hinduism, holidays, Indian culture, inspiration, philosophy, pluralism, Sanatana Dharma, Saraswati, Sikh Temple, Sikhism, spirituality, Upanishads, Vedanta, Vedas, Western Hinduism, White Hindus and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Suggestion for Gurupurnima 2013

  1. Dhrishti says:

    I think this is a great idea! As much as I adore book wisdom, I’m not sure I smiled too much at the idea of the leftovers going to the basement, but everything else you said here definitely made me smile – including that you closed with two mantras that apply to wisdom.

    Perhaps a sweet Saraswati puja would make a nice commencement ceremony?

    • treadmarkz says:

      Pranams, bhai, to be clear the book exchange would take place in the basement which is a hall for community events non-worship type things. So its not like after it was over we’d just be stuffing them away somewhere.

    • treadmarkz says:

      You’ll be thrilled to know that about 12 hours after sending that letter/posting this blogpost, I got an email back from the man who I had originally asked about it some time ago, and he said that my email came with interesting timing, as they had just discussed this recently and were planning to go forward with a virtual library and an actual book exchange, each to be kicked off on July 15. They’ve asked for my help, so I hope I can find the time during those weeks!

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