Shirdi/Mathura, July 25 (ANI): On the occasion of 'Guru Poornima' festival, a large number of people flocked to various places of worship across India to offer their prayers to their mentors and masters in life on Sunday.
The spiritual Gurus are revered on this day by remembering their life and teachings.
A festive ambience pervaded the small town of Shirdi in Maharashtra, where a sea of believers converged at the famed shrine of the revered saint, Sai Baba, to offer their prayers.
Scores of people queued up outside the shrine since early morning just to get a glimpse of the deity, who used to be viewed as the Guru by many people.
"Baba is the central force of the universe. When Baba used to sit in the shrine, his followers used to offer prayers and worship him on the Guru Poornima (full moon day). This practice gained prominence ever since and has been followed till date, to commemorate Baba's influence on his followers," said Vidya Kshirsagar, a priest.
Devotees offered garlands and sweets to the shrine of the saint, as they sought his blessings.
According to a legend, Sai Baba who was a nameless pauper, took shelter in a mosque in Shirdi town but never asked for food, water or alms and hardly spoke.
The revered saint, who is till date revered by both Hindus and Muslims, preached of love and faith to all his disciples irrespective of caste and creed.
In Mathura, over a million Hindus converged on this occasion.
Goverdhan Parbat near Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, who is also considered a 'Guru' by a lot of people in the country.
"The Bhagawad Gita hails Krishna as the master of all worlds. He is our guide and our mentor, and that is why, we pay our respects to him on the Guru Poornima (full moon day)," said Ashok Aggarwal, a local resident.
As part of the traditional ritual, devotees performed the 'Parikrama' or, circumambulation of various temples situated in Mathura and Goverdhan.
Guru Poornima is an annual holy event, which signifies the importance of a 'Guru' (teacher) in one's life, according to Hindu believers.
"The word Guru essentially means someone who takes us from darkness to light. Someone who can clear all negativities and doubts from our minds," said Mohan Acharya, a priest. (ANI)