On February 15 of 1975 Gurudeva had a series of early morning visions of Lord Siva that were to become the founding moment, the spiritual seed, for Iraivan Temple. The next day he set out to find the spot where Siva had sat in the vision. At one point in his search, he stopped to rest on a stone. Though there was no wind, a nearby wild guava tree shimmered and shook in a dramatic way, as if it wanted to tell Gurudeva something. He listened, then got up and looked around. Just a few feet away, hidden in the bushes, he found the six stones, one of which Siva had sat upon.
To tell this story, we drew this sketch and then looked far and wide to find a masterful artist to render it in his style.
This is the Kerala muralist's interpretation! Just received today. In fact, it is not quite finished but Palaniswami was eager to see how it was going, so the artist photographed the four-foot-wide canvas.
Note the magical details. Gurudeva is seated on a mini Mount Kailas, to subtly convey Siva's presence in the moment. The artist said he drew the tree as though it were dancing its message, again betokening Siva's part in the moment.
The Wailua River flows by, replete with fishes and turtles.
And these? These are, of course, the ridgeline of the volcanic mountain range we see from the monastery, their fiery birth captured in this stylized form.
The bushes behind Gurudeva provide a kind of nimbus and aura.
There are nine such paintings in the series, to be completed by the end of 2010. Ultimately they will be presented on the ceiling of this Swayambhu Mandapam which will be build around the stones Gurudeva discovered that day. It is common in Hindu temples to have visions, deities and stories painted on the ceiling for pilgrims to explore, enjoy and learn from. Jai Gurudeva!
"Temples with multiple deities can be confusing, especially for today's Hindu youth. For clarity, we need to bring forward a more precise understanding of the different Hindu denominations and how the different Gods are viewed from within each denomination. For spiritual advancement it is best to focus on one deity and get to the vibration that deity. When we hear teachings from various Hindus, it is important to understand and identify which denomination they are speaking from. This will avert confusion when that teaching gets contradicted in a different context where someone is talking about the same subject but from a different philosophical background."
Bodhinatha reviews the main characteristic of Saivite philosophy and practice with an indepth focus on the four stages of religions evolution, chariya, kriya, yoga and jnana. He highlights how this shows that Saiva Siddhanta is unique and quite from the modern practice of Hinduism as Vedanta