Bodhinatha once said on a satsang, “Meditating alone in a cave can be a wonderful part of the spiritual path, if you are ready for it, but seva and worship are just as important.”
In days like today, when the monastery is creatively alive, this rings very true.
Today, finally, the Koshta Devatas — directional murthis of Siva — went up. The silpis are ready, raincoat and all.
Rajendran waves for the photographer.
Much scaffolding and preparations have to happen before any stone goes up. This structure is for the Rajagopuram, which is moving forward, but was not part of today’s lift.
Our ground team, the always efficient and precise Siddhidata Kulam, ties the ropes.
Because few temples face south as Iraivan does, scholars and agamic experts had to carefully research how the directional murthis would be arranged. In Iraivan Temple’s case, Tatpurusha will face south. Here He comes.
Careful and slow.
The vimanan looks beautiful with these new additions.
The Dancing with Siva lexicon explains,
“The fivefold manifestation or expression of God’s activity in the cosmos is depicted in Hindu mantras, literature and art as the five-faced Sadashivamurti. Looking upward (the vimanan itself) is Ishana, “ruler” (the power of revealment). The others are Tatpurusha, “supreme soul” (the power of obscuration); Sadyojata, “quickly birthing” (the power of creation); Vamadeva, “lovely, pleasing” (the power of preservation) and Aghora, “nonterrifying” (the power of reabsorption). The first four faces revealed the Vedas. The fifth face, Ishana, revealed the Agamas. These five are also called Sadashiva, the revealer; Maheshvara, the obscurer; Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Rudra, the destroyer.”
Meanwhile, Keoki continues the landscaping. The changes are too wide and magnificent to be captured fully by the camera.
This is the view of Rishi Valley Lake seen from the flagpole.
We can see both the lake and Iraivan from the flagpole now.
Rishi Valley Lake seen from the road that goes to Iraivan Temple. Keoki leveled much of the slope.
And it was also tour day! A small group was mesmerized at all this activity and the beautiful results it creates. Aren’t monks just supposed to meditate?
Well, we meditate, too. That’s why we can do all this, using the energy we find in our core, Siva’s power.
Aum Namah Sivaya.
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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.