Today we being our Jivana Ritau with flag raising and the traditional excerpts from the Saiva Dharma Shastras.
Beginning with Hindu New Year in mid-April, three seasons of the year divide our activities into three great needs of humankind--the learning of scripture in the first season, Nartana Ritau; the living of culture in the second season, Jivana Ritau; and the meditating on Siva in the third season, Moksha Ritau. Thus we are constantly reminded that our life is Siva’s life and our path to Him is through study, sadhana and realization. In ritau one, we teach the philosophy; in ritau two, we teach the culture; and in ritau three, we teach meditation.
117 The Second Season: Jivana Ritau
During Jivana Ritau, the rainy season, from mid-August to mid-December, Living with Siva: Hinduism’s Contemporary Culture is the primary text. The key word of this season is work. The colors are rust, copper-maroon and all shades of red--rust for earthy preservation, copper-maroon for fulfillment and red for physical energy. The Aadheenam’s 60-foot flag pole flies the rust-colored dhvaja, symbolizing environmental care. Copper-maroon and all shades of red adorn our smaller flags. This is the season of honoring and showing appreciation for those in the vanaprastha ashrama, life’s elder advisor stage.
The Nartana Ritau flag to come down…
“The focus is on preserving what has been created, manifesting goals and fulfilling plans made in the past. Inwardly the emphasis is on direct cognition and caring for the practical details of the external world. Practicality is a word much used this season. In the monasteries and the missions, there is a big push on studying the sutras of Living with Siva and these Saiva Dharma Shastras. The format of the mission satsanga changes into one that in fact helps everyone live and breathe with Lord Siva through personal adjustment to the aphorisms of Living with Siva, which define tradition, culture and protocol.”
“Gurukulams are established or renewed to teach the 64 kalas for boys and girls. All work hard to perfect and strengthen Saivite culture in the life of each member. Kulamatas, grihinis and their daughters should think ahead and make plans to send talented children to dancing, singing and art schools for special courses, and ponder ways to make this possible through scholarships and special funds.”
“It is a time of building and repairing and caring for what has been built, planted or created in any realm of life. It is a physical time, of exercise and exertion in the Bhuloka, a magnetic time for action and willpower, of finishing all jobs started since the first ritau. On the farm, there is harvesting of the land’s fruits as we celebrate abundance.
“In the missions during Jivana Ritau, the shishyas can form tirukuttams, and thereby visit students’ homes, see how they live and meet their families.”
119 Festivals, Realms of the Second Season
“Krittika Dipa is the major festival of Jivana Ritau. This grand event, conducted by the family missions, is open to members, Academy students and to special guests by invitation, including honored dignitaries of the island, neighbors and friends of the Church. Ganesha Chaturthi and Skanda Shashthi are also conducted by shishyas on the Island.”
“The Aadheenam Realms of this period are: 1) San Marga, the straight path to God, with its rudraksha, neem, konrai and bilva forests, and Agni Mandapam. 2) The Wailua River, with its Nani Kaua Waterfall and Pond, Bali Hai Falls and Ganga Sadhana Ghats. 3) Pihanakalani Trail--legendary Hawaiian path toward the volcano, beginning at the Aadheenam and continuing past the Orchid Pavilion of Religions to the Teak Tree Turnaround at the edge of Rainbow Amphitheater.”
Lord Siva is the Supreme Being of the universe, not one of many gods. To Saivites Siva is the supreme being; to Vaishnavites Vishnu is the supreme being. The soul starts with experiencing the world. On one side the soul is pulled by veiling grace toward the world. On the inside the soul is pulled by revealing grace toward God. Resolving karma, maturing in the world, fulfilling dharma, we move toward imperturbability, realization, moksha.