Each tour group brings a special presence and personality with their visit. You never know what questions will come up, but it is their questions that make each tour unique and meaningful for all of us. Many questions this week about how the monks come to be monks, how they enter the monastery. Others included, are the Hindus in Bali similar to what you practice here? How do Hindus look at political conflict, what is the difference between Buddhism & Hinduism? What do you do inside a Hindu Temple? Do the monks see Gurudeva walking on the property now that he has made a transition? (Then added that he has!) How do Hindus look at family life and can they also reach these goals of merging with God?
This is a beautiful family from Michigan (3 daughters). They are devotees of Chinmayananda and were amazed at the progress since their last visit. They met Gurudeva the first time they came and then Bodhinatha came to their mission in Ann Arbor..
Citrus laden trees demonstrate the self sufficiency of the monastery gardens.
Wailua River from the Ritau Flag Pole.
Jack fruit are beginning to ripen!
They are getting huge!
These beautiful children came with grandparents, and parents. Three generations sharing this experience.
Iraivan comes into view. It is always a mesmerizing experience.
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.