What Happened Today at the Monastery?
You can expect to see some new photos of Bodhinatha on TAKA in the days ahead. Sivakatirswami went through some 200,000 digital photos and made selections of Bodhinatha photos starting in our year 2000, digital photos archives. The Bodhinatha Darshan of the day not always be related to what is happening today, but is just one of 830 interesting image of our beloved Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami.
Meanwhile Bodhinatha made it to the annual Nallur Murugan festival at the Murugan Temple in Washington and writes:
“Om Sivaya, everyone,
A crowd of about 500, more than last year. This year two buses from New York came from Flushing Ganesha Temple which significantly increased the attendance. Lots of devotion was expressed in the carrying of kavadi, milk, elaborate pujas and the final chariot around the temple. My talk was when the curtain was closed and the Deity was being decorated.
Dr. Parasivam with Paramacharya Ceyonswami following the morning puja outside the Kadavul Siva Temple. Dr. Parasivam is originally from Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He then moved to the USA in 1989 where he taught Environmental Science in Atlanta, GA. He more recently moved to Oahu where he continues to teach to the present time.
Honoring Our Silpis with a Big City Outing
Our Indian craftsmen take a day off: in Honolulu! These six master sculptors have been working month after month on Kauai. But they had never seen a real American city, never seen an 8-lane highway, never seen Waikiki or a battleship.
So to honor their dedication, Palaniswami and Yoginathaswami took them to Honolulu for an entire day, 5am to 7pm. After the 22-minute flight to Hawaii’s capital city, we went to Pearl Harbor, and took a bus to one of the great memorials in the State.
It was an unusual day, Ashtami. How unusual, you ask? This photo was taken a little after 8am on the 8th day of the 8th month of the 8th years of the third millennium, and yes, there were 8 of us on the tour!
This is Pearl Harbor, where the Japanese attacked the US on December 7 of 1945. We will be going aboard the gray battleship you see on the far left of this photo.
It’s the USS Missouri, and it holds some history. It was in the first Gulf War, Desert Storm, and on September 2, 1945 it was in Tokyo Harbor. On board were the generals of the armies of many nations, and the representatives of the Empire of Japan. The eight of us stood on the site where the treaty to end World War II was signed.
This is a 2,700 pound shell that the big guns can shoot 27 miles away. And those are the aluminum cases that hold the powder kegs. It takes six kegs to project the shell that far.
We explored the inside of the ship, the crew quarters, the weapons firing deck and more.
Those 16-inch guns are among the largest of their kind in the world. The silpis always wanted to board a ship. This was their first time.
Chelliah lifts (ok, not quite) part of the 1,100-foot-long anchor chain.
Rajendran takes the ship out for a spin.
Next, we’re off to the real work of the day: shopping. The silpis love to shop in America. On their days off on Kauai they only go to one place: Walmart, for hours and hours. To be at Ala Moana Shopping Center (the world’s largest when it was first built), is a step up in the shopping game. Walmart on steroids someone said.
They are shy to go into the stores, so we boldly march into Gucci, a high-end place if ever there was one. Manikandan loves watches, so we ask them to unlock the vault and let him try one on. He picks this. How much, he asks. “$4,500″ comes the sales person’s response. He took it off and later said “I would have to work for two and a half years in India to earn enough for that watch.”
Then off to world-famous Waikiki Beach.
And more shopping.
The silpis are bargain hunters, born and bred. They find a place offering seven T-shirts for $20. Let the shopping begin!
They each get seven shirts for their families back home.
Nearby is a silver statue.
Which comes to life and shakes Chelliah’s hand!
A cowboy boots and hats store charms them.
As does this Swatch shop.
Vellaisamy does a little surfing before we head for the airport.
Pandy says good-bye to Honolulu.
And we all head home to our little island, 110 miles across the sea.