Nandi Mandapam Commencement Ceremony

We step back the auspicious event of yesterday afternoon when the ceremony to begin construction of the Nandi Mandapam was conducted by the ritual placing of the first stone in the Northeast corner. Here is Bodhinatha going out to Iraivan

Selvanathan Stapathi gives Bodhinatha a shawl and prostrates.

Next Stapathi performs a short puja. Gurudeva is in a small picture presiding over the event.

In the foundation is the traditional small hole opening in the Northeast corner into which are place precious metals and gems.

Bodhinatha place a magnificent huge gold medallion and other items.

Then vibhuti and kumkum.

Mortar is at hand to fill the whole.

Bodhinatha performs arati.

Next all monks and devotees participate by placing some mortar in the area where the first stone is to be placed.

Now the silpis do their magic, moving this giant stone with metal bars into place.

There is much discussion in Tamil as we all watch the fascinating process.

Stapathi, having previously marked all the locations stand by as the silpis meticulously make sure this all important first stone is precisely in position.

and perfectly plum, level of course.

Tad Astu! It is done. Gurudeva was observing from within.

Stapathi gave the honorary gift to Bodhinatha including a magnificent jeweled tripundra for Lord Nataraja in Kadavul.

With our silpis

The Bodhinatha gives a gift to each of the silpis.

Selvanathan Stapathi asks for a group photo with all the monks. He says Iraivan is special “There are stone temples being done in India, but they are not necessarily completely in stone and not in all granite.

“And to think that we have carved this temple in India, transported it all the way to Hawaii and assembled it here. This is unique and there is nothing like it in the world.”

Chola Fire Cauldron

For years now hundreds of visitors have been burning their problems in a funky Chinese pot at the entrance to the monastery. We thought, "Why not change the pot?" And so we did. Selvanathan Sthapati gave us a Chola design, and Jiva Rajasankara's team in india carved it to perfection.

It's made of rose granite, and the polished parts turn the deep color, and the unpolished parts remain pink.

It is being put into a container in India and will arrive in a couple of months, to be installed at the center of the Pua Kenikeni Mandapam as a new artifact and a tool for all working to get rid of confusions, regrets, negative recollections and hampering feelings and attitudes.

Innersearch Kauai 2010 Diary Day 9

Our Innersearch journalists report on June 20, 2010: Another day full to the brim with activities. Each day brings its surprises--we all wonder how a new day will unfold. And as it unfolds, we marvel at the extraordinary events that we are blessed to witness and participate in. Our hearts are full of gratitude for the wonderful organisation of the monks. It feels like they have invited us into their home for this very special Innersearch. Day 9 begins with pada puja to our beloved Gurudeva, a silent and moving puja as we again feel the presence of the founder of this sacred place. After breakfast, we met with the swamis in the Guru Pitham for a question and answer session. Each swami spoke of their duties and responsibilities, including their hobbies and pets. It was great to learn more about the work that is performed and the lives that "our" swamis live. The swamis then answered questions that had been submitted during the previous days. Our youngest Master Course student--Pooja, who is 13 years old--screened and selected the questions and chose an Innersearcher to read each one. There were great questions, many about karma such as, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Palaniswami then took us into the Aadheenam grounds near Rishi Valley to plant two trees. Several of us had never planted a tree before, and so got to hold the trees as they were placed in the ground. Arati to the trees was performed by Arumugaswami and these blessings together with the tropical Kauaian weather will ensure that the trees grow well. We moved from there to the Rainbow Amphitheater for an Odissi dance performance by Sri Vishnu Tattva Das, a talented and powerful Odissi dancer and teacher. The Innersearch organising team had sought out Vishnu to perform for us, and asked him to research and perform traditional dances for Siva, though he is personally a Vaishnavite. He enjoyed this very much and, upon arrival at the Aadheenam, commented how wonderful it was to have a dancing guru leading devotees to a dancing God. The Rainbow Amphitheater was magnificent, surrounded by Rainbow Gums still glistening from the morning rain. Gurudeva wanted this space to be instrumental in bringing dance back into the temple, and he danced here himself. Vishnu performed a transcendent dance program that brought tears even to the eyes of those who had seen hundreds of Odissi dances. The dappled light from the trees and the refracted light from the white stage added to the wonder of the performance. The program included Mangalacharam (Invocation to the Lord of the Universe), Siva Panchakshara Stotram (an offering of salutations to Lord Siva), Ardhanarishwara Stotram (a 16-minute performance depicting Siva and Shakti), and Moksha (an incredible dance in which the dancer elevates himself to a state of ecstasy and bliss). As if that was not enough (!) many of us took the opportunity to take a helicopter ride over the island. It was an incredible trip. After the thrill of takeoff, we relaxed into a contemplative state, letting the rivers and waterfalls, the impossible green that is the interior of Kauai surprise as and then, as if floating, pass by us. We rode the ridges and floated into valleys. Music tailored to the ride and suiting the sights was played into our headphones. To end the day, we changed into our finery for a semi-formal dinner. Our entertainment for the night was Larry Rivera and his family. Larry performed at the Tropical Inn (on the same site as the current Aadheenam) in the late '60s during Innersearch, prior to the purchase of the site by Gurudeva. It was wonderful that he could complete the circle and play for us this night, some 42 years later. Aum Namah Sivaya.

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

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