Bodhinatha has been having a long and fruitful trip to the mainland. Yesterday he flew back to California after a visit to Midland, Texas, and today a donor reception event was held in Palo Alto, California. We will continue to post news of his travel events in the days ahead.
Back here on the homestead, over the retreat two island residents visited, a couple working with seed sharing initiatives that aim to gather and give away food seeds to island residents, so people can become more self-sufficient. The monastery is assisting with their work in simple ways. Palaniswami showed them our little meditation cave, and they took this photo from inside. Looks like something from Lord of the Rings.
Also on the retreat, the YWCA of Kauai held a special luncheon to honor three women who have made a difference on the island.
Palaniswami and Sadhaka Satyanatha were invited to attend. Sadhaka was able to meet our former island mayor and a number of leaders in our community from government, education and business, all of whom know and love the monastery.
Why? Because the monastery had printed 200 brochures for the event as a gift. We received a little ovation from the stage thanking us for our contribution.
It’s a 12-page booklet that honors the founder of the YWCA on Kauai and the three honorees. The monastery gave each of them some plants from the garden.
One is a children’s expert who works with new mothers, the second is a leader in the visitor industry (and a neighbor of the monastery who trades mango chutney recipes with us) and the third is a teacher/recycler who shows kids how to save the planet, one island at a time.
A hula was performed.
And some marvelous Hawaiian chanting.
This morning yogi Jivanandanatha, recently returned from California, conducted the homa.
All in the presence of Ganesha, who got a new Tiruvasi three days back, the golden archway seen here.
It is intricately designed.
Every part a work of art.
Murugan also got a Tiruvasi, witrh a different design.
Thanks to our beloved and mighty deities for all they do.
While Palaniswami burned notes in the sacred fire…
Sadhaka Nandinatha rang the bell to alert the devas of incoming messages and prayers.
Afterwards Palaniswami gave a short talk on change and changlessness, two major themes in Gurudeva’s teachings.
He spoke of how change is of two kinds: that thrust upon us by external events, and the intentional changes we create through our sadhanas, our will and intent.
Most people only change when outer circumstances intervene, while spiritual souls bring about change on purpose, thus intensifying their evolution.
Swami asked each one present to go home and implement one small change in life, something that they have wangted to do but have never gotten around to: wash the car, clean out a closet, lose one pound, exercise for a long life.
He ended with a story about how Gurudeva had told a visitor that Yogaswami said, “The whole world can be changed by a glance.” That glance was the look Chellappaswami gave to Yogaswami at Nallur Temple, a look that drove Yogaswami into the Clear White Light, a look that transformed his life, and later transformed Gurudeva’s life. Swami said, “All of us here today are on this Precious Path because of that glance, given so long ago, so far away. We are all changing from deep inside because a single man who transformed himself into a holy being, then one day looked graciously upon a seeker in Sri Lanka.”
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Oh wonderful and beyond imagination. Saiva Siddhanta Yoga order is all in all. Twenty two years now since I first wrote to Gurudeva and quietly absorbing the teachings. Faith,loyalty,sincerity coupled with integrity and patience are the inner qualities that have been projected to us by the Monastery. And one day in the future of the futures we be blessed to serve our Order.
"Temples with multiple deities can be confusing, especially for today's Hindu youth. For clarity, we need to bring forward a more precise understanding of the different Hindu denominations and how the different Gods are viewed from within each denomination. For spiritual advancement it is best to focus on one deity and get to the vibration that deity. When we hear teachings from various Hindus, it is important to understand and identify which denomination they are speaking from. This will avert confusion when that teaching gets contradicted in a different context where someone is talking about the same subject but from a different philosophical background."
Bodhinatha reviews the main characteristic of Saivite philosophy and practice with an indepth focus on the four stages of religions evolution, chariya, kriya, yoga and jnana. He highlights how this shows that Saiva Siddhanta is unique and quite from the modern practice of Hinduism as Vedanta