Siva held His own celebration last night at sunset, filling the sky with an amazing and rarely seen display of vivacity. This iPhone photo was taken from the monastery courtyard as several monks gathered to silently witness it.
Another miraculous sky event occured during our full moon retreat. Here is the report:
We had a surprising spectacle last night, right after night fell, a rainbow caused by the rising full moon shining on a drizzle-shower moving toward Waialeale.
The spectrum was very pale, so it looked like an albino rainbow, shining there, in the night. Billions of tiny raindrops each reflecting back an image of the moon. Billions of little moons shining over Waialeale and Iraivan.
None of us had ever seen or even heard of such a phenomenon.
It is in Wikipedia under Moonbow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonbow. But all the references and photos there are of moonbows caused by spray at the foot of a waterfall and none of them is a full arc. Whereas ours was a rain rainbow and it was a full arc.
This little bridge is new. It crosses the stream and waterfall in Rishi Valley.
Tandu Sivanathan helped Palaniswami to build it over the retreat, giving pilgrims a new way to walk over to Iraivan Temple.
The letter "Ya" in the Panchakshara Mantra, Namasivaya, stands for the soul. Bodhinatha uses the Panchakshara Mantra to show how the soul is initially drawn by Siva's veiling grace, which leads the soul to maturity through experience in the world. Then comes Siva's revealing grace. When we've had enough of the world, Siva's grace pulls us toward God. The mantra also has the simple, two-syllable form. Si- Reflecting on God the Transcendent Absolute, Va-God as the All Pervading Consciousness