This is Ashvin the egret, the new resident of our property. He seems to have hurt his wings and was seen warily walking around in the first weeks, but by now he has figured out that we practice ahimsa.
Ashvin cannot fly far, but he is quite a wanderer. We see him in many parts of the monastery. We were not sure if he was getting any food, until we saw him sending some geckos down his throat — that part of ahimsa he has not figured out yet.
Ganapu is another common sight near the temple. He dutifully takes a nap there while Ceyonswami, his person, is on the 9am vigil.
A small gecko. We have not been introduced, so he was really trying to be discreet and blend with the color of the brown pot.
A bee, her legs full of polen. Bees are so monastic in the way they live, dedicated, selfless, unstoppable. We really get along well.
Siva's exuberant creativity is everywhere, in you—and me.
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.