The Ganapati Kulam is hard at work on the July/August/September, 2009, edition of Hinduism Today. This issue's feature article will be about Iraivan Temple. It is a beautiful, colorful article penned by our correspondent Lavina Melwani in New York. The worshipful image of Iraivan Temple, the maha sphatika Sivalingam, figures prominently. Out of our archives we dug this image, painted by artist Manivelu in Chennai, updating it with Photoshop magic to show the avudaiyar (base of the lingam) in panchaloka, a special type of bronze that is a blend of five metals prescribed in the Agamas for certain temple murtis. As you have seen on TAKA recently, this massive, 10,000-pound metal base has recently been cast by sthapatis in Swamimalai, Tamil Nadu. It is now getting its final touches before it is shipped to Kauai.
In our teachings we're both monistic and theistic. In the beliefs of Saivism the idea of the three worlds is the basis and key to understanding temple worship, theism. The inner worlds are there to help you. The essence of the soul is already the same as the essence of God Siva, monism. You just have to find it.