On the land across from Iraivan that we call “Himalayan Acres” or in Hawaiian, “Kalepa” the monks have entered into a collaborative agreement with a professional nurseryman, Scott Young, who will use some of the land to nurture his own collection of specimen trees, while training the monks and caring for more trees that will belong to the monastery.
This phase, Acharya Arumugaswami and Sadhaka Satyanatha have been working shoulder to shoulder with Scott, soaking up all his expertise along with Jonathan Anderson who also helps us on Kalepa projects. Together with Scott and his workers, the team are planting over 350 trees over a period of about 8 days.
This area is protected by a wind break of iron wood trees we planted years ago. It has been mowed and prepared for tree planting.
The auger on our case tractor is gigantic. Nearly 3 feet wide it makes a massive hole, perfect for planting large trees.
There is Jonathan Anderson standing by.
That is a row of areca palms, highly prized by landscapers.
Jonathan signals the tractor operator that the auger, after digging the hole, is up, clear and ready to move to the next spot.
A picture perfect hole for a specimen tree.
We have hauled over 200 trees so far from Scott’s nursery to our land.
These are various species of palms that are prized by land developers and landscaping professionals. After a home or building project is complete, these trees are planted, some of them nearly full grown, to provide instant landscaping.
More trees arriving. These have been raised so far in large plastic bags. Now they will get to spread their roots into Mother Earth without constriction.
This is yet another increment in the monastery’s effort to build up its agricultural endowment in order to sustaining this important property immediately across from Iraivan temple and also to just be an example of Earth-Friendliness. Gurudeva said everyone should plant 12 trees a year, if possible.
After a few years, this palm will have a good solid trunk and be ready for sale.
"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