Thirugnana Sambathar Guru Pooja

English meaning of the festival
Sambathar, also referred to as Thirugnana Sambathar was a Saiva poet-saint. According to the Tamil Shaiva tradition, he composed more than16,000 hymns in complex meters. This day is dedicated to Thirugnana Sambathar as the Guru.

How the date is decided annually
Thirugnana Sambathar Guru Pooja is celebrated in the month of Vaikasi.

Significance of the festival to Hinduism
A Guru dispels darkness or one who is the giver of light. The Guru has also been taken as PARABRAHMA, which turns a person’s soul towards the light without attributes. The Guru is God manifesting in a personal form to guide the aspirant. The Guru is expected to lead a life of high moral principles and is considered an embodiment of DHARMA for the disciple to emulate. Thirunavukarasar Guru Pooja is the celebration of such a Guru.

How to observe/practice
The day is observed with Abhishekam, alankara, and deeparadhana of Lord Ganesh. This is followed by Abhishekam for Thirugnana Sambathar. There is chanting of the Sambathar Thevaram. The day is spent in prayer, sathsang, and listening to discourses.