What Happened Today at the Monastery?
Bodhinatha is back again for a short respite from a lot of travel this spring…
The end of the daily Siva puja is always a precious moment when Paramacharya Ceyonswami offers the ball of rice to the sun and the birds and invokes the Grace of Goddess Annapurna. There is some magical peace and harmony between all three worlds and the elemental of the earth and creatures that descends over the Aadheenam at that moment to bless us all.
END OF PHASE
Today is the last day of our phase.
This edition of TAKA will remain posted
over our coming three-day retreat,
until Dvitiya Tithi, Sun One, Sunday, March 23th.
Today’s Pilgrims and Visitors
Jothi Patel and his family were our guests today. They had visited yesterday and were so uplifted that they decided to return today and spend the whole morning here. His 11-year old daughter, Shivani has some deep questions on Hinduism for Palaniswami.
Jothi’s wife, Kalpana and daughter Nikita also listen on.
Here they visit with Sivakatirswami and learn about the production of Hinduism Today.
Palaniswami shares with them our educational literature.
Art from India
After the Asian Odyssey Innersearch, Aran and Valli Sendan went around India and visited Mumbai. Visiting the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, they discovered this carving showing a yogi in the middle and a battle below.
But most interesting is the topmost panel. Here is a sadhu with matted hair worshipping a Sivalingam. That in itself is unremarkable. What is most interesting is the lingam itself. It is a natural Spathika Lingam, an uncut crystal! It is relevant since our own giant crystal lingam will one day be so worshipped here in Iraivan, and in fact the base, shown here, is being crafted in India at this time.
We may never have seen such a depiction, even though it is said in the Agamas that the crystal is the foremost form of the Lingam, which can also be worshipped as a lingam made of clay, wood, metal and stone.
Innersearch Asian Odyssey 2008 Retrospective
We continue with our journey on the train from Tiruvannamalai to Rameswaram island.
Our group is taking this rare opportunity to really get to know one another.
Thomas has set up his camera in the aisle to capture those special moments.
We arrive at Rameswaram station at 5:15am.
Rickshaws are hired to take some members of the group to the buses which are located outside the station premises.
The rest make their way by foot.
Our buses await us.
6 mini buses in total to transport our group within Rameswaram. Only these small buses fit within the town and on the narrow roads.
We arrive at one of our hotels. Too early to check in but not too early for a nice hot breakfast.
The group gets comfortable and await their turn for breakfast.
Then we are off to our first of three temple visits for the morning.
The first stop is the Floating Rock temple. Our group crowds into this small temple.
A five faced Hanuman statue greets us.
The floating rock temple has large rocks that float on water in tanks. Legend says that Hanuman used these type of rocks to build a bridge to Lanka.
Thomas Kelly from Kathmandu, Nepal.
Back on the buses and now we are off to the Gandamadana Parvatham. This is Panshula Ganeshan.
We make our way down a narrow lane to the base of the temple.
And up the stairs to the shrine reputedly containing Rama’s footprints.
The priest explains a little about the history of the temple.
The two-storey mandapam is on a small hill -- the highest point on the island -- with good views over the town.
It’s a also a quiet and serene place to go within.
Shanmuganathaswami makes his way to the inner shrine.
Shanmuganathaswami enjoying the beautiful view.
The roof top of the temple.
Saravananathaswami and Aran Veylan.
Our worship we head down to the little market area for some fresh coconut water.
And some shopping too…