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.”
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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.