Varanasi/ Allahabad/ New Delhi, July 18 : A large number of devotees across India thronged temples to celebrate "Guru Purnima", coinciding with the full moon day.
Hindus observe the day in praise of "Guru" (teacher).
In the national capital, devotees gathered at a temple of Shirdi Sai Baba. They offered garlands and sweets to the saint.
"The day is observed to celebrate the teacher-student relationship. Spiritual gurus are regarded as God. It is believed that the guru can enlighten a person. They play an important role in one's life. They help their disciples to come out of the whirlpool of life", said Parmanand, a devotee.
According to a legend, Sai Baba who was a nameless pauper took shelter in a mosque in Shirdi town, but never asked for food or water, He hardly spoke.
Curious villagers took pity on the feeble and sparsely clothed man and donated fruits and clothing. But to their surprise, the "fakir" shared whatever he got with the destitute and even animals.
Soon "Baba" and "Sai" both words associated with saints were prefixed to his name and the poor, needy and the destitute from far off began pouring in to hear him.
People paid respects to their gurus in Varanasi that houses innumerable religious schools.
Devotees chanted hymns and made long queues to pay respects to their gurus.
"The student has a tendency to emulate the guru. There is a reflection of the guru in the student. It is the guru who provides the student with knowledge and guides the student to tread the correct path," said Saraswati, a resident.
In Allahabad, people made offerings to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, well known as the Beatles' guru, who took transcendental meditation to the West.
This was the day when Krishna-dwaipayana Vyasa - author of the Mahabharata - was born.
The spiritual Gurus are revered on this day by remembering their life and teachings.