Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj, one of the Vice-Presidents of the world-wide Ramakrishna Order, is my formal Guru (spiritual teacher). I am initiated by him at Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai a few years back. On the occasion of Guru Purnima*, I offer my hearty salutations to him.
* Guru Purnima is a is a festival traditionally celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists, marked by ritualistic veneration of the Guru. Hindus celebrate it in honor of the great sage Vyasa, who is seen as one of the greatest Gurus in ancient Hindu traditions and a symbol of the Guru-shishya tradition. Vyasa was not only believed to have been born on this day, but also to have started writing the Brahma Sutras on this day. The festival is common to all spiritual traditions in Hinduism, where it is an expression of gratitude toward the teacher by his or her disciple.
(Photo courtesy Vedanta in Practice blog by Swami Vimokshananda in South Africa)