Sadhu Paksha Day Eleven

“Ever present in all beings, Oh Immaculate One!
Entrancing Beauty in all art Thou too!
Permeating in pebble, rock and imposing trees
And flourishing e’en in grass and weed as well.

“Essence of Harmony, Thou divine Songster,
No other Lord will I revere but Thee.
In worship meek will I sing thy glory.
Deign to heed my garland of praise to Thee.”

--Yogaswami

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END OF PHASE
Today is the last day of our phase.
This edition of TAKA will remain posted
over our coming two-day retreat,
until Navami Tithi, Sun One, Friday, December 14th.

Kulapati Jiva Rajasankara Arrives From India

It is a joy to have our dear Kulapati Jiva Rajasankara here from India. He and Kulamata Kanmani and their two sons Senthil and Thurai have been the pillars of strength for the Iraivan temple operations in India.

Jiva is here on pilgrimage and to take the current team of silpis back to India as their Visas have expired and a new team will be sent over.

Good to have you with us Jiva!

A Visit To Selvanathan Sthapati's Home

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Selvanathan Sthapati is the chief architect now in charge of the Iraivan Temple project. We arrive at his home to inspect the five Pancha Brahma murthis destined for Iraivan Temple. They go in five niches around the central sanctum and are five aspects of Siva--Isana, Tat Purusha, Vamadeva, Aghora and Sadyojata. These murthis were made by Balachandra Sthapati (next to Selvanathan here)

They need to be properly polished for the gold leafing to be at its best.

With Mr. Kuppusamy, a former Tamil Nadu government civil engineer. He is the father of Mr. Venkatesan who works as an engineer for Kauai county. He helps the Aadheenam with various engineering consultation. Next to him is Bala Chandran Stapati and Mr. Venketesan’s brother.

Selvanathan Sthapati’s grandfather and father of Ganapati Sthapati--late Vaidyanatha Sthapati with Ramana Maharishi in 1949. This photo was just recently presented to him. The story goes that the grandfather had finished some work he had been commissioned for and reported to Maharishi that he was “done.” Maharishi told him he was not done and there was much more work for him to do.

With Selvanathan, his wife Ponni and son Mayankumar, who is studying to be an aeronautical engineer. Their younger son Mano wasn’t able to be here as it was a school day for him.

The extended family of Selvanathan

Everyone who was there to meet the swamis….

Swami's in India at Swamimalai

We visit Kubera Sthapati’s shop in Swamimalai. It is about 100 meters from the Swamimalai Swaminathan Temple.

We inspected and finalized some of the details on the Avudaiyar (Base for the Iraivan Crystal Lingam)

Selvanathan Sthapati, designer, (center) and Kubera Sthapati, master craftsman (right)

Discussing the final metal pour to connect the top section with the rest.

A group photo after a puja to Siva Nataraja to bless the completion of the work by January 25.

Next was a visit to a metal foundry also in Swamimalai. The worker in the foreground is preparing a sand mold while a fire in the back melts the metal.

Tools of the trade.

Inspecting a section of a standing lamp. It will later be welded together.

They also make this Indian cinema award, their version of the Oscars.

Sivalingams.

An ancient metal lathe.

The head of this foundry discussing making lamps for Kadavul temple with Yoginathaswami.

View of the shop.

The frames to hold the sand for the molds. We forget the name of these….

One hot fire.

The sand mold for a small tiruvasi for a home deity.

packing the sand.

preparing the mold for pouring.

Another metal lathe, this mounted at ground level.

A lamp in progress.

A visit to the vast Swaminathan and Son Brass Store. They had tens of thousands of brass items for sale.

The proprietor asked us to visit his house behind the shop. He does a three hour puja daily, starting with worship of his cows, and ending in his shrine room.

In Chidambaram we stop to buy vibhuti.

We just love signs like this, “Please don’t give rice, coconut, banana fruit to the elephant,”--who was unfortunately out for a walk at the moment.

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

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