Monks On Mission News
Bodhinatha spent a day in Rajapalayam deep in the heart of Tamil Nadu and is on his way to Madurai. Our three teams are on the move and no news has come in today.
END OF PHASE
Today is the last day of our phase.
This edition of TAKA will remain posted
over our coming two-day retreat,
until Dvitya Tithi, Sun One, Friday, February 8th.
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Today’s Pilgrims and Visitors
Vatsala and Jambunathan are visiting from Chidambaram, India; (they are originally from Mumbai). Vatsala stated that they had initially heard about the Kauai Aadheenam and the Iraivan Temple from their daughter, Sujatha Ramani.
Here they pose with another guest, Suma Prakash, and the six temple and artisans in front of the entrance of the Iraivan Temple.
Vatsala and Jambumathan and Suma Prakash high above the Wailua River and in the background (right) one can see the Iraivan Temple.
Suma Prakash is a practicing Nephrologist who resides in Toronto, Canada. She read about our temple in a travel guide book, “Lonely Planet.”
Our guests were amazed that a “Chola-style hand-carved temple was actually being built outside India and talked at length with the silpis about their sacred work.
Jambunathan and Vatsala are long time readers of Hinduism Today. Sivakatirswami gives them a tour of our publications facilities. V. Bala is here too, typing Agamas.
Vatsala is a teacher and has created award-winning educational programs in India.
Yoganathaswami and Rishi Thondunatha (both Tamil-speaking) sit quietly in front of Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami’s shrine as they review a compilation of songs from “Natchintanai” in the Tamil language by Sage Yogaswami. These sacred songs had previously been translated into English and are now being carefully and loving arranged into a new Bhajan Book in both languages by Sivakatirswami.
Sat Guru Sage Yogaswami resided in a humble hut in Jaffna, Sri Lanka (1872-1964). He was the Sat Guru of Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, “Gurudeva.”
This song is titled:
“Know thy Self by thy self.”
thannai thannaal arinthida veyndumey
my Self -- by myself -- to know -- should want indeed
This new song book is unique for its literal translation: each Tamil word has an exact English equivalent phrase underneath it. The order of the words and phrases remains the same as the Tamil order. This way, when singing Tamil and looking at the English, one can also learn and visualize the meaning of what you are singing. This also aids in memorizing the songs in a way that a normal translation will not do.
puviyin aasaiyai neekkida veyndumey
land -- desire -- to remove -- should want indeed
Would normally be translated as “We should want to remove the desire for land.” But this order of words has no relationship at all to the original Tamil. “Puviyin” means “land” not “we should.” So the songs can also serve in a small way as an aid to learning the Tamil.
We hope to also later do some English lyrical versions and having the literal translation will serve authors of Natchintanai in other languages to keep their versions from straying too far from the original meaning.
Pages of devotional heart-melting songs from such a great and Enlightened Soul who had attained the Ultimate.
Seventy-two popular Natchintanai have been chosen and the work has been in progress for nearly 2 years, with the help of Manickavel in Chidambaram, Sheela Venkatakrishnan in Chennai, Mrs. Meena Thavaratnam in Toronto and Rishi Thondunathan who has helped with the proof reading and making sure the translation is correct.
We will be publishing the song book soon. Meanwhile, a web site for this project, still under construction is here:
where you can go and listen to MP3 audio of songs. There are some PDF’s there too, but these will be replace with new final ones soon.
Stay tuned for more as we work to bring the legacy of Paramaguru Siva Yogaswami’s songs to life for generations to come.