Yesterday, March 7, was a magical day, the 36th anniversary of Gurudeva’s vision of Lord Siva, the visions that became the spiritual seed for Iraivan Temple, that brought together a worldwide community of temple builders to manifest a remarkable sanctuary.
Gurudeva instructed the monks to create a bronze memorial that shows the ancient skills that built this temple. He realized future pilgrims would not have the benefit of seeing the silpis at work, and this would give them a visualization, and since it would be in bronze, it would last as long as the temple itself.
At the center stands Gurudeva, who is sharing with the master architect his visions and instructions for building Iraivan.
Around them seven stone sculptors are working on the various stages, from quarrying to rough shaping, marking, fine sculpting and chisel sharpening.
So, on the very day of Gurudeva’s vision 36 years later, Holly sent the monastery the two photos below showing her progress. What great timing she has. It was only in January that Palaniswami asked her to proceed, and we were not expecting such progress (though Holly herself says this is only the early stage, called the “work-in phase.”)
Last year, Holly submitted this sketch, with stapathi standing in a traditional gesture of humility, the architectural plans rolled under his arm.
Here is the rough wax work! Rough? It looks to us like it could walk out of the studio and into the Big Island forest where Holly lives.
Holly’s husband just finished the new studio (well, almost) and this is the first major work to be done in the space. It is hard to imagine what she will finally create. And it is hard to imagine a more perfect artist for the work. She once told the monks, “I was born to do this project.” Yesterday Holly wrote in her note, “I am in love!” Her way of saying how Gurudeva and this project are reaching into her innermost self. Stay tuned for what she has in store.
It’s all possible because of the support of K. Suriyakumar and Rushika. They knew Gurudeva for decades, and when they heard about the bronze memorial they came forward to sponsor it. We sent them the photos yesterday and Suriyakumar wrote back just now:
“Wonderful to see the progress, Swami…..
It’s so heartwarming to see our Gurudeva in life-like form……
I can’t wait to see the final. (Holly…what a blessing!)
And the timing is incredible…
Thank you so much for sharing.”