Today Earth Day was celebrated at Lydgate Park. The Friends of Kamalani (with Yellow shirts) worked all morning cleaning the beaches of Lydgate, create giant burn piles of wood that recently washed in from sea during a huge storm.
At noon after lunch they joined Sivakatirswami and Sadhaka Rajanatha and Jasmine Schaeffer, Chairperson for the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai to hold a dedication of the recently installed Peace Pole.
The monks opened with a chant. Kulapati Vel Alahan and Kulapati Deva Seyon were with us.
Jasmine Schaeffer explained the purpose of the Interfaith Round Table of Kauai and its work on Kauai, one of which was to arrange to install these peace poles
Prominent community member John Lydgate whose ancestors were responsible for the establishment of this beautiful park gave a short touching speech saying that the genius of India was its ability to harmonize and synthesize so many spiritual paths and this peace pole was an expression of that synthesis.
Sivakatirswami explained how he felt he should use a tree from Kauai and how he crafted the pole. It then took a year of patient waiting and the help Thomas Noyes and Annaleah Atkinson, who handled the communications with the county departments for approvals to install it on public property.
He then explained that the importance of the peace pole was not those who installed it by the message it carried
“May Peace Prevail on Earth” and he told the story of the modern day Japanese sage who inspired this Universal Message and Prayer: “May Peace Prevail on Earth”
Today, there are over 200,000 peace poles planted all over the world.
"Temples with multiple deities can be confusing, especially for today's Hindu youth. For clarity, we need to bring forward a more precise understanding of the different Hindu denominations and how the different Gods are viewed from within each denomination. For spiritual advancement it is best to focus on one deity and get to the vibration that deity. When we hear teachings from various Hindus, it is important to understand and identify which denomination they are speaking from. This will avert confusion when that teaching gets contradicted in a different context where someone is talking about the same subject but from a different philosophical background."
Bodhinatha reviews the main characteristic of Saivite philosophy and practice with an indepth focus on the four stages of religions evolution, chariya, kriya, yoga and jnana. He highlights how this shows that Saiva Siddhanta is unique and quite from the modern practice of Hinduism as Vedanta