[This photo series is coming to you from two weeks ago. Six of the silpis you see here are already back home in India.]
As CyberCadets know, we now have nine indian stone craftsmen on Kauai, and our two swamis are in India to bring three more to the island on March 28th. Then six will return to India on April 1st, bringing us back to our normal number of six here. They all stood this morning for a photo with the newly installed stone chain.
This stone chain is amazing. It is ten feet long, and all carved, yes it's true, from a single black granite stone.
Silpi Karuppiah demonstrates the links, holding one up to prove they are loose.
Silpi Karuppiah demonstrates the links, holding one up to prove they are loose. Each link is 14 inches long and 7 inches wide.
It's a temporary spot, which will allow pilgrims to see and touch this marvel during the next couple of years.
Meanwhile, the silpis are pushing hard on the rose granite flooring around the central sanctum.
And also working on the installation of the handrail that completely surrounds the temple.
This is one-half of a handrailing, which Bodhinatha loves for its diversity of shapes and forms.
Only 16 more stones to go and the sanctum will be surrounded with a completed floor.
This team is working on the "pillow edges," those softly rounded edges that mimik thousands of years of barefooted devotees walking on the stone.
Another shot of the installation of the handrail.
Chidambaram Sthapati makes all the measurements the others will follow.
He is a precise engineer who has been working on this temple for nearly 20 years.
Tools of the trade, chisels made of soft steel.
It amazes visitors to learn that this entire sculpted marvel, 4 millions pounds of the hardest rock on Earth, has been made with this simple hammer and a variety of differently-shaped chisels.
Jai to our Indian artisans. Imagine making a working chain of this scale from stone. It takes one man 6-7 months to finish such a piece.
The blessings of Lord Murugan awaken wisdom which resides in his chakra. "Pray to Lord Murugan to unravel the great mysteries of the universe." When we get emotional we lose touch with our wisdom. Murugan inspires penance to soften karmas and purify the mind, chitta-shuddhi. If you do kavadi in the right spirit, to get the full blessing, have in mind specific misdeeds, apologize to the deity, learn from it, promise to do your best. Visions are still happening. Feeling the energy of the deity is stronger during festivals such as Skanda Shashti.