On Friday, Acharya Arumugaswami and Yoginathaswami went to the Kauai County Farm Fair. The annual fair is the biggest event of the year for the island, with some 40,000 attendees (out of an island population of 60,000). Here Yoginathaswami meets Tsajon, a jewelry dealer on Kauai.
We meet Bill Cowern, Kauai’s largest tree farmer.
And Les Milnes, our neighbor
Jothi Sendan and his mother, Valli run a booth for Jothi’s tropical flower business.
Some of the exotic flowers Jothi is selling. There are dozens of others merchants at the fair selling everything from flowers and orchids to solar panels.
Yoginathaswami admires Roy Oyama’s first-place cabbage.
Fruits and vegetables give a sense of Kauai’s bountiful potential.
Blue ribbon to locally grown asparagus.
The bonzai exhibit is always a special feature of the fair as Kauai has a number of outstanding bonzai growers, famous even in Japan. This is a miniature suriname cherry tree, with fruit.
An extraordinary lei made of cloth ribbon.
A banyan bonsai. The word just means “tray planting.”
And one of the top trees of the fair.
The fair is a favorite of politicians, coming as it does just before elections. Here our monks are with Kauai’s mayor, Bernard Carvalho (left) and Honolulu’s ex-mayor, Mufi Hannemann, who is running for governor of Hawaii.
The blessings of Lord Murugan awaken wisdom which resides in his chakra. "Pray to Lord Murugan to unravel the great mysteries of the universe." When we get emotional we lose touch with our wisdom. Murugan inspires penance to soften karmas and purify the mind, chitta-shuddhi. If you do kavadi in the right spirit, to get the full blessing, have in mind specific misdeeds, apologize to the deity, learn from it, promise to do your best. Visions are still happening. Feeling the energy of the deity is stronger during festivals such as Skanda Shashti.