Guru Poornima is the auspicious day of worshiping the Guru/Master falls on Poornima, which is the full moon day in the Hindu season of Ashada. July – August in the Gregorian calendar. This year (2016) it is on 19th July. On this day, the Pontiffs of the eight mutts will stay in one place for the entire Chaturmasa (4 months), which starts from the full moon day of Ashada, Shravana, Bhadrapada and Ashwina Hindu seasons up to the full moon day of Karthika. During this period the Pontiffs do not travel anywhere. They give discourses on purarana/punyakathe (stories of gods and goddesses), and worship god with elaborate pooja/rituals. It is believed that during Chaturmasa it is believed that god will go into yoga nidre (deep and calm sleep). It is also believed that when god sleeps, it is the goddesses who protect the earth. Hence many festivals of goddesses fall during this period. They are:
- Varamahalakshmi Vratha
- Swarna Gowri Vratha
- Mangala Gowri Vratha
- Ashada Shukravara Lakshmi Pooja (Lakshmi Pooja on Fridays during the Hindu season Ashada)
- Saraswathi Pooja during Dasara
- Lakshmi Pooja during Diwali
- Tulasi Pooja
On Guru Poornima day the followers and devotees of various Swamijis/Pontiff and Gurus/Masters worship their Guru with great devotion. They offer special poojas and aarathi and remember their contribution to the society.
Picture – (From L to R) Guru Dattatreya, Shridara Swami, Shiridi Sai Baba
In temples dedicated to Gurus like Dattatreya, Raghavendra Swami, Shankaracarya, Madhwacharya, Sridhara Swami, Shiridi Sai Baba etc., special poojas and aarthi is performed.