In India today dozens of stone craftsmen are working on Iraivan projects, and other sculptures for the monastery. Here the YA step, one of the NAMASIVAYA steps up to the sanctum, is being carved. The finished side is away from us.
Meanwhile, the major project in Bengaluru is the carving of the Nandi Mandapam, shown here (though the 45-foot-tall flagpole is just barely seen at the top of the drawing). This little temple within a temple will have some of the most elaborate and detailed sculpting of all, and a charming Nandi will sit contentedly within his stall.
Nandi the bull represents the ego or personal identity of each soul and also the desire for realization of God. He sits in front of the flag pole, beholding Siva night and day.
This is the top of one of the 12 pillars.
The pillars are small, as you can see.
Part of the roof stones.
It's a large project that most of the silpis in India are now focused on under the able direction of the Jiva Rajasankara family.
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.