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.
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.