We are standing with the tour group over by the near the flag pole. This is a new added venue we are bringing the group to because of the incredible views.
Off in the distance guests can see the Ganapathi Kulam building, "the eagles nest".
Another large gathering for "Public Tour Day". This new stop gives a panoramic view of Iraivan and also a view of Rishi Valley. It is also large enough to accommodate the larger summer groups.
As part of the tour we give a few basic beliefs of Hindus, so we always let our visitors know that our monks don't proselytize. They have no intention to convert or attempt to convert anyone from another religion, belief or opinion to Hinduism. Hindus honor all religions of the world. They do however, believe in and promote education. By understanding what our friends and neighbors believe and hold sacred we can create bridges of understanding and mutual respect and hopefully a more peaceful world for our children.
John Lydgate joined us again with some guests. He is waving from the back row.
Very peaceful and appreciative group.
Local Kauai residents. The young man (16 years old) walking in the back with the orange striped shirt wanted me to have a monk come out and teach him how to meditate.
Kandan always amazes the crowd with his speed and accuracy.
Little Harlan found magic everywhere. Here he has found the Mimosa pudica (Sensitive Plant) that closes briefly when touched.
During the walk back I took what I thought was a private detour through Rishi Valley, path of the spiritual giants. A man on the tour came up behind me and told me that 3 months ago, he would have considered almost everything I said as "mumbo jumbo."
But recently he had had a "near death" experience. I could see in his face that he was reliving this experience as he could no longer talk. We walked together in silence. No more words were needed.
The Blue Jade Vine (also called a Green Jade Vine) is a spectacular vine. The vine itself has a thick woody trunk, which branches out with leaves that are a waxy light green. The vine can quickly reach lengths of up to 75 feet.
Summer brings many little ones. An open window to the divine.
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.