Today was another day of intense activities at the Aadheenam.
The Ganapati Kulam — our publications team — reported. The list is typically long: assessing potential Insight sections for Hinduism Today; an upcoming video for Hinduism Today’s january issue; organizing and digitizing our photo and video archives; a pamphlet to help fundraisers in Malaysia; writing new articles for the magazine and, of course, this TAKA!
Today is the last day of our phase.
This edition of TAKA will remain posted
over our coming two-day retreat,
until Sun One, Friday, November 28th.
Though today was not an official Tour Day, about 50 people thought it should be and came to see the Iraivan.
The sun shone for them, and they learned all about the monastery and its work around the globe.
They looked in on the silpis, here carving a stone for the entry gate.
And of course the on-going work of installing the rose-granite flooring. There are a total of 788 stones, most of them two by two feet and 3-4 inches thick. The floor sponsorships are being engineered by devotees in Malaysia and Singapore.
The massive tiles are laid on a bed of sand.
This morning the team placed these four in the final position, setting them on a bed of mortar.
It’s an important process, requiring more exactitude than many of the other fittings, as the water runoff is critical and there is zero tolerance for having water pool up.
At the Southern end of the temple, Kannan works on a stone for the entry tower.
Outside the visitors check out the Rudraksha trees, and were seen hugging them.
Yesterday’s TAKA received this thoughtful comment describing the building of Iraivan Temple in a way we have all though of but never articulated: “It’s really inspiring to see the process of building Iraivan; very much like the process of building a spiritual life, and the way we would like to build our society--everything is meant to be beautiful, long-lasting, consciously planned and thought out at every level, like a meditation.”
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.