Spiritual month of Shravan / Saawan
Shravan aka Saawan (sidereal lunar) month comes at the time of Ādi (Ashadha) which is based on sidereal solar calendar. This month is denoted by the full moon (purnima) in Shravana nakshatra. It usually comes in between July and August of every year. While some cultures use the first full moon day of July as the start of Shravan some use the first new moon day (amavasya) of July as the start of the month. The full moon starters are called Purnimanta and new moon starters are Amanta.
“It is the most auspicious month for worshiping many Gods and Goddesses especially Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.”
Worship of God Shiva (overall betterment of life)
Best time - Mondays (Shravan Somvar) and Ardra nakshatra days
Shravana denotes the union of Shiva and Shakti and the birth of Lord Kartikeya also named as Sharavana, Subramanya, Muruga, Skanda. Shiva is the Panchaanana – the five elements of nature (fire, earth, air, water and ether), when these five elements united with the Shakti, the sixth element, it gave birth to Shadaanana (six headed) aka Lord Kartikeya. He represents everything related to six such as the sixth tithi, the third eye chakra (6th chakra), the six pointed triangle and more. Third eye chakra is the Guru that teaches you everything about the existence.
“Guru Tattva” as we shall see stems from the relationship between Shiva and Kartikeya. In Skanda Purana (the largest of all 18 Maha Puranas) there is a story that once Lord Kartikeya was sent to learn from Lord Brahma. He asked Brahma the meaning of Pranav Mantra (primordial sound) “OM”. Brahma couldn’t explain this properly so Kartikeya came back to Lord Shiva. Shiva questioned him why, he said what happened there and asked him if he knew the meaning of “OM”. Shiva smiled and replied no. Kartikeya said i'll explain you. Shiva was interested and said yes. Kartikeya then said, I can't tell you like this, you’ve to give me the place of the Guru. This means the student has to be at a lower place than a Guru. Education should come from the top to bottom. Lord Shiva bowed down to Lord Kartikeya and listened to the meaning of “OM”. Since then Lord Kartikeya got the other name “Swaminatha”.
“The Guru Tattva is placed even higher than Lord Shiva”
It's funny that Lord Kartikeya is depicted as just a war God in some cultures but he and Lord Ganesha, both are the representation of duality of the universe (ShivaShakti). Shakti is manifested in every living being including planets, stars, white and dark matter. Shakti has three principles i.e. Iccha (will), Kriya (action) and Gnana (knowledge). Everything in the universe needs these three things thus the saying “Shakti is the principle of life”. Lord Kartikeya represents this principle through his consorts Valli (Iccha), Devasena (Kriya) and a Spear (Gnana).
Worship of God Vishnu (balance)
Best time – Wednesdays and Shravana nakshatra days
Deity of Shravana (திருவோணம்) nakshatra is Lord Vamana (avatar of Vishnu). Read the story in the aricle section “Shravana nakshatra”.
Worship of Guru (Jupiter) and Dakshinamoorthy (Shiva)
Best time – Thursdays and Pushya nakshatra days
The above mentioned “Guru Tattva” and story of “Shravan nakshatra” are enough to understand why worshipping Guru is important. Dakshinamoorthy on the other hand is a form of Lord Shiva and the deity of planet Jupiter. He got this name when he explained the four vedas to the sons of Brahma in just few words while sitting under a tree towards south direction. Some texts say that these four sons (sanaha, sanadana, sanantana, sanat kumara) are the creators of four vedas.
Varalakshmi Vrat Pooja
Best time – Fridays (spl. Friday before Shravan Purnima)
Goddess Maha Lakshmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu and bestower of wealth and prosperity. Vara Lakshmi is a form of Mahalakshmi among her eight forms. Varalakshmi vrat pooja (fast) is conducted on Friday before Shravan purnima.
Mangala Gowri Vrat Pooja
Best time – Tuesdays
Mangala Gowri is a form of Goddess Parvati. Gowri vrat (fast) is conducted for marital bliss and harmony. Gowri vrat is conducted on every Tuesday of Shravan month.