December 6: We attend the Monday morning Sri Rudra Abhishekam presided over by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and conducted by the ashram padasala. Here Yoginathaswami and Arumugaswami join the padasala boys in chanting Sri Rudram.
Group photo with our hosts on top of the lotus-shaped worship and meditation hall where the puja was held.
Presenting youngest padasala boy with a copy of the Agamas.
Now we’re back on Dec. 10, visiting the craftsman who will do the doors of Iraivan temple. This is a chariot they made for a temple in Florida.
Ganesha’s vahana, Mushika, takes shape in one corner.
Other projects in the shop, including the adding of wood frames to the metal tiruvasi at right.
Yoginathaswami with the first teak wood plank of Iraivan’s 7’7″ tall, 4′ 6″ wide doors.
This is a wax mold of a design which will be used to mass produce part of the brass covering for the door.
The door design includes ten forms of Siva
Discussing the casting of the pattern. Also quality of the material and quality of the casting needed to allow for proper gold leafing once brought to Kauai.
Ganesha puja to bless the project and the carver’s tools.
Aarati to the teak plank. The rest are currently being milled.
One of the carvers, a Vaishnavite, performs a puja to remove the “evil eye” from the project, the swamis and everyone present. He’s waving an ash gourd with camphor on it.
The ash gourd and any adverse influences are taken to the side of the road and broken open. One is not supposed to step on or over the broken gourd, now smeared with kumkuma. The camphor is still burning at right.
The road on which Loganathan sthapati’s patrai (carving place) is located.
The yesthi or “hand rail” which goes beside the steps from the ground level up to the foundation top. From here the steps go down to the river. This is the cement model from which the granite will be carved.
A magnificent Narasimha Deity in the shop.
Examining other work.
The outline is made for the Nandi for Iraivan temple.
Work has just begun to release Siva sacred bull mount from this granite block.
This is Varaha Deity.
Makeshift shrine at the base of a neem tree in the middle of the workshop compound.
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Religion needs to be of the present. Mankind is evolving spiritually; mass consciousness is rising. When we go to the temple, in the right spirit, contributing devotion and prana, being open to the blessings of the Deity; it purifies the mind. The Hindu religion focuses on the mind; purifies it; controls it, subdues the ego, makes us more humble.