Here we are in Sirkali, the birth place of Saint Tirujnanaambandar! This is the only photo we could take in the temple. The bamboo is an unusual variety for us to see. Lord Siva in the main sanctum in known as Thoniappar. This temple actually has two other shrines above main sanctum--second and third floor--very unusual.
The Kanchi Mutt has preserved the Saint’s home and turned it into a padasala for young priest’s to train. The walls of the school show Saint Sambandar’s whole life up to his mahasamadhi where he and all the guest’s at his wedding were absorbed in the clear white light.
A closer look shows an unusual tight knots on the trunk. Each temple has tree or plant associated with it. They known as Stala Vriksha. For this temple it is Bamboo.
Some photos of thresholds were taken at Sirkali’s Raja Gopuram entrance.
Another design--simple and elegant.
Day 3 takes us to Swamimalai for a meeting and inspection of Iraivan’s Avudaiyar.
The Avudaiyar will weigh about 11,000 lbs upon completion.
Kubera Sthapati is the metal work sthapati that works under very close supervision of Selvanathan Sthapati.
Yoginathaswami makes his normal Tamil light hearted conversion to put everyone at ease. Serious stuff to be discussed later…
Selvanathan Sthapati and Yoginathaswami listening to Kubera Sthapati, explaining the details to bring the Avudaiyar to completion.
Kubera Sthapati’s brother.
He is explaining to us some of detailed ornamentation he worked on.
Now to the serious stuff. Swami and Selvanathan Sthapati taking a close look at refinements that will be made.
More looks at the detail. We have high expectations for Iraivan’s work and our visit’s to India allow us to make sure perfection is clear.
These are the three silpis who worked on the Avudaiyar everyday. We explained to them the quality and fine workmanship are aspected of them and very much appreciated by the monks
More discussions between Yoginathaswami and Kubera Sthapati
A group photo of monks, Sthapathis and Tiru Nellaiappan
Our staff in India loves to welcome the monks with grandeur. Here they have made a billboard in front of the shop visible for all to see when they drive through Swamimalai temple town!
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.