Back in India the team continues work on Iraivan. Here they sharpen the chisels in the forge.
Chisels are such a key to the creation of this temple.
Carvers can use a single chisel for a mere 4-6 minutes, then must reach for a sharp one. That’s about 10-15 chisels per hour, per carver.
This is an old photo of one of the yalli entrance pillars, which has since been shipped to Kauai and installed.
Marking is another task that is not much seen, but so critical to the creative process. There are only one or two markers for the entire team, men specially gifted and trained. One man will guide 50 or more carvers.
He will mark a stone using his engineering and sculpting skills, then leave the worker to carve out the indicated areas, which might take an hour or a day.
Then the marker will be called back to set the course for the next day.
His work is incessant, quite, and oh-so-important.
Truly it is a team effort to create something as elaborate, sophisticated, artistic and technically challenging as Iraivan Temple. Which is one reason pilgrims stand before the temple in silent awe, wondering how, in this 21st century, such an artifact can be fashioned. Aum Namasivaya!
Within our Saiva Siddhanta Holy Scriptures the Saiva Agamas explain the basis of temple ceremonies and worship plus yoga and jnana. The Tirukural was considered by Gurudeva to be "the most accessible and relevant sacred text." In it are practical and helpful guidelines for our conduct in every day life. The point of family life is to gain steady improvement, forever, in self control in the midst of responsibilities in the fulfillment of family dharma. Meanwhile, not taking detachment too far but taking it in the sense of spiritually looking for happiness, not outside in other people or possessions, the world, but inside ourselves and then sharing it with family and friends. "We regard the writings of our satgurus as scripture."
Path to Siva, Lesson 20
Tirukural, Introduction and Contents
Tirukural, Chapter 15 Possession of Self-Control
"The temple enables us to feel the presence of God, Gods and devas." We use our inner eyes to see what's going on in the temple, the three worlds. In the temple we're being good dvaitists in the dimfi perspective, focused in bhakti upon God Siva. In meditation we're monists, in the shumif perspective. We claim our oneness with Siva, Sivoham, I am Siva. In surrender, shrinking the ego through devotion, we have a realization that we're not the doer, that Siva is doing it all. Siva's energy comes through our soul.