Sadasivam Gurukkal Visits from Vancouver

Sada Sivam Gurukkal with his wife Priti and sons Vikrant and Lokesh. Gurukkal came to the island to perform a wedding. He’s the founding priest of the Subramaniya Swamy Temple Of British Columbia in Richmond, BC. He’s been a dear friend of the monastery for over 20 years. Bodhinatha visited their temple in 2006.

Innersearch Day 2

We begin our retrospective coverage of our innersearch. While we may can bring you photos and highlights it is hard to describe the intensity and energy that was experienced throughout. Each day was “action packed” with both inner and outer excursions, all centered around Kadavul and the Guru Peetham of Kauai’s Hindu Monastery.

Many participants gave testimony at the Aloha breakfast saying that if felt as if the monastery had opened up to bring everyone in to one big spiritual family. It was a satsang of like minded souls that felt like it was occurring in the Devaloka.

Day 2 began with a Siva Homa.

Bodhinatha gave talk to the group afterwards

After the temple activities, everyone adjourned for a quick breakfast and then we were all back in the temple again for the powerful monthly, rahasya (“secret,” because it can never be photographed) Ardra abhishekam of Lord Nataraja. The darshan and shakti of Nataraja all covered with milk and yogurt, with so many devotees present, all of one mind, was an amazing experience, “liquid bliss” powering from the Third World, blessing all the innersearchers.

After the morning Siva puja everyone went for a casual guided walking tour “wandering” around Iraivan and San Marga before lunch.

After lunch Acharya Kumarswami conducted a class at 2:30 on the Preparation for Meditation.

In between events participants had the opportunity to help with our interactive art board, using color chalk to fill in the outlines of art by S. Rajam.

Traditionally Innersearch conducted in Asia or India is fast paced, moving from one place to another. Our Kauai Innersearch was packed with events, sometimes as many as 10 programs in a single day!

We stretched our minds and nervous systems with high intensity input… the Innersearch Way!

After a short tea break. Bodhinatha gave his afternoon class.

Then we were off to the hotel for dinner.

At mealtimes the seating was carefully managed by the monks to keep everyone sitting with someone they had not sat with before as much as possible with one or another of the monks sitting at different tables. Meals were a great chance to ask the swami’s questions, share testimony and make new spiritual friends.

Innersearch Day 3

On day three everyone rose early and we had a meditation outside the hotel by the sea and then everyone piled into the bus to travel western, stopping for lunch in Kalaheo and then on up the mountain road to Kokee to finally settle in at Camp Sloggett in Kokee.

Here is our dining room and class space if it rained. The mountain air was crisp and cold and many of our innersearch switched to sweaters and jackets.

In the afternoon Bodhinatha began in in-depth classes on Vedanta and Siddhanta, diving deep into the finer points of these philosophies.

It was a remarkable scene, as innersearchers testified later, “Having Bodhinatha there under the trees in the mountain scenery was something rare and felt like we were with Rishi giving Upanishads.”

In the background our, caterers from Gaylords had taken on the difficult task of catering meals for over 60 people. Here is Gaylords’ head chef, Andy Althouse who has come up to Kokee to supervise the preparation of vegetarian fare.

Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami had been coordinating with Gaylord staff for over two months prior to innersearch. They all did a fabulous job in Kokee and serving breakfast and lunches at the Aadheenam.

While Bodhinatha conducted his classes, Sivakatirswami held a special held class for our two youth participants. Acharya Arumugaswami joined to watch and observe and take notes to refine our teaching materials development. It is a rare chance for the monks to directly interact in an edu context with young people.

For the class we prepared a special study book for young people including learning modules for Ganesha and Muruga Bija mantras, pranayama for children, color meditation, several Vedic slokas, bhajans and a simple Yamas and Niyamas study.

Mayuresh is 8 1/2 years old and Aarti is 10 years old. We had them read the new, yet-to-be published Yama and Niyama story books that Acharya Arumugaswami has been developing. Aarti was a great help, point out words that she did not understand like “croissant”!

Mayuresh is a bright student and he could recount the details of the story and moral therein in amazing detail after his sister finished the reading. He is also a fun lad and kept us in stitches with his youthful humor.

Happy faces everywhere. Pooja Patel with Kailash Sivam Dhaksinamurthi.

Pooja, at age 13, is our youngest, formally enrolled Master Course Student in the whole world! She has completed Level 1 with her parents and will be moving on to Level Two. The Patel family try to read their master course together every night.

Kailash is our indefatigable, every bright amazing tour master for this and previous innersearches. He manages all the travel, hotels, fees, excursions, transport from one events to another and deals with the each participant with such care and loving attention. He’s always running here and there taking care of many small details. Thank you Kailash! He said Innersearch is easy compared to his professional work which is arranging for tours for disabled and special needs people.

We had three toddlers with us. Here is Lyla Tanzi.

And Aran Malhotra with his father Gaurav.

Having little ones with us on innersearches makes it feel like a real extended family with an age group extending all the way from 2 years old to over 70. Little children elicit gentleness, sensitivity and a lot of love and joy from the group, adding a sweet element to the whole program.

At just 2 years of age, Aran can talk more than any one we know. Sometimes we have no clue what he is talking about, but he will hold entire conversations with himself and then quite unexpectedly come out with whole complete sentences “Good morning Swamiji, nice to see you!”

Thanks for coming Aran!

We were blessed with a light shower in the afternoon. Paramacharya Palaniswami held a Question and Answer Katha… in between each question and answer, Kulamata Selvon Mardemootoo led the group in a rousing bhajan.

Our evening brought the first cultural event. A very special and rare performance by an all male Hula Halau. Hula Halaus consist of a leader, who may after been the lead chanter, several musicians and dancers.

The sun had set and our lights were low. The dancers had prepared for several hours, fetching the traditional plants from the forest to hand make-prepare their headdresses and leis.

It was a powerful performance.

We all felt as if the halau had magically invoked the presence of their Hawaiian ancestors and devas, turning our little mountain plateau into a temple in nature.

Afterwards we talked with the young male dancers. Mayuresh gifted them with our “All About Kauai’s Hindu Monastery” booklet. The young men were curious, asking if we believed that Kauai was once a special, sacred mountain in ancient Lemuria. We chanted Sanskrit for them before they left and felt a kinship with these our Hawaiian brothers.

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

September 2010
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