I quote from the following page of Prof VK., in which he lists the achievements of Vyasa, whose Birthday is celebrated as Guru Purnima.
If any single person in the entire long history of the Hindu religion has to be credited (or blamed!) for its multifarious facets that extend over a wide spectrum from extreme superstition on the one side to a ruthless intellectual dialectics on the other, it is the
‘faultless sage Vyasa, son of Sage Parasara,
grandson of Sage Shakti,
great grandson of Sage Vasishta
and father of the boy-sage Shuka’.
Vyasa has six achievements to his credit, each one of which alone could have conferred on him the stature of a Vyasa to such an extent that on one day in the year, called Vyasa Purnima day (this year 2005, on July 21), all religious and vedantic organisations and individuals in India, irrespective of the school of thought to which they belong, pay reverential tribute to him in all possible ways. The six achievements of Vyasa are:
· At the beginning of the Kali-yuga Vyasa codified the Vedas and Upanishads into 1180 branches (shAkhas) and thus preserved for the weak and satanic Kali age the age-old tradition.
· He codified the philosophical excursions of the Upanishads into a single treatise called Brahma-sutra of 555 terse statements or aphorisms – for the comprehension of which several high-level commentaries have been written till today.
· He produced the greatest book on Earth, the Mahabharata, an epic one hundred thousand verses long, the dimensions of which for the cultural panorama of the country are still being explored.
· He wrote the seventeen purANas (together equivalent to more than a Mahabharata) which constitute an encyclopaedia of all the mythological stories, legends and history of Hinduism.
· The eighteenth purANa, the Shrimad Bhagavatam, is his fifth achievement – because it is the monumental work of Bhakti without which, inspite of the other Puranas, it is doubtful, whether the Bhakti tradition would have attained to such a supreme status in Hinduism.
· Last but not least, he must be given special credit for the 700-verse-long discourse of Bhagavadgita, – even assuming he just heard it straight from the Lord’s mouth -- a single compendium covering the entire spectrum of Hindu religion and philosophy, almost replacing the Vedas; even though it is a part of the Mahabharata, it has a separate status for itself and Vyasa has to be given extra credit for recognising its strategical place and context in the great epic; the two fit each other so perfectly that it is not clear whether the Mahabharata was made for the Bhagavad-Gita or the Bhagavad-Gita for the Mahabharata.
From this site.
Of course, the eternal Guru is Shri Dakshinamurthy, who enlightens the first lamp of awakening in any person.
May the ever eternal Guru save us from the darkening world of ignorance. May He who has saved countless people, beginning with the Sanaka etc. including warriors like Arjuna make us see the Light behind the clouds.
May we always feel that Light, that is ever effulgent, the invocation of which spreads fear in the heart of fear.
It is the Narayana, in his form of Lord Krishna that removed the ignorance of Arjuna.
and it is the same Shankara who incarnated as Shri Adi Shankara to drive away the ignorance of everyone.
We Bow to all the above, as well as all our Gurus.
Here are some links:
Guru Paduka Stotram