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.
"Stand strong for Saivism." The nature of life for Saivites is to turn work into worship, to turn the secular into the sacred. Each day give a little extra warmth, humanness and upliftment to others. Every day is a holy day, all day long. We want to follow our religion even in our dreams. If we help someone, we're worshiping. Wherever we are, that's a place of worship. "To the Saivite Hindu all of life is sacred. All of life is religion."