Yesterday the team completed the gilding of the Rajagopuram stone. Here Deva Rajan deftly fills open areas that are called "retreats" in the trade.
Did you know that all the gold ever taken from the Earth would make a cube 60 feet long, high and wide? Not all that much when you think of the thousands of years humans have been mining it.
The professional gilders' hands have done this a thousand times. They did the New York Life Insurance building, a Morman temple and a US Sikh temple, the Georgia State Capital, the Library of Congress and more. Now they can add America's only all-granite temple to their portfolio.
This team knows its gold. And they have told the swamis a dozen times how special this job is to them, and how honored they feel to be gilding such a sacred and artistic masterpiece. Jill documents the project for their website portfolio.
Jill is the best of the guilders, and a teacher in the bargain.
Jill is working with two brushes at the same time since the wind came up suddenly and the leaf was being lost. They hate to lose gold leaf, and carefully recycle all they can capture.
She is teaching Isani Alahan, Tandu Sivanathan and DevaRajan the craft.
Easani has a gift for fine work and patiently applies her concentration skills to Siva's Home.
Michael Kramer invented this roller applicator and had it made to his specifications, to make application on larger surfaces more efficient.
Check out our slideshow showing more of the gilding process along with Gurudeva's teachings on the Golden Body of the soul.
Within our Saiva Siddhanta Holy Scriptures the Saiva Agamas explain the basis of temple ceremonies and worship plus yoga and jnana. The Tirukural was considered by Gurudeva to be "the most accessible and relevant sacred text." In it are practical and helpful guidelines for our conduct in every day life. The point of family life is to gain steady improvement, forever, in self control in the midst of responsibilities in the fulfillment of family dharma. Meanwhile, not taking detachment too far but taking it in the sense of spiritually looking for happiness, not outside in other people or possessions, the world, but inside ourselves and then sharing it with family and friends. "We regard the writings of our satgurus as scripture."
Path to Siva, Lesson 20
Tirukural, Introduction and Contents
Tirukural, Chapter 15 Possession of Self-Control
"The temple enables us to feel the presence of God, Gods and devas." We use our inner eyes to see what's going on in the temple, the three worlds. In the temple we're being good dvaitists in the dimfi perspective, focused in bhakti upon God Siva. In meditation we're monists, in the shumif perspective. We claim our oneness with Siva, Sivoham, I am Siva. In surrender, shrinking the ego through devotion, we have a realization that we're not the doer, that Siva is doing it all. Siva's energy comes through our soul.