[Slide your mouse up and down. Click the full screen icon on the right above to see large images of this artwork.]
Today marks a special anniversary. It is the 37th year since Gurudeva had three potent visions of Lord Siva that lead to the founding of Iraivan Temple. There are many ways to start a temple. A committee can do it. A wealthy family also. A devotee honoring his tradition. But the most powerful temples begin as a spiritual vision. They are, in a real sense, not begun by man, but by God through man. That is how Iraivan Temple came to be. It all happened on February 25th, 1975.
We will let Gurudeva tell the story as we honor that moment in time, which is still being made manifest decades later.
"Early on the morning of February 15, 1975, I experienced a three-fold vision of Lord Siva. First, I saw Him walking in the meadow near the sacred Wailua River on our fifty-one acre Aadheenam land. Suddenly His face, composed of billions of tiny, hair-like quantums, was looking into mine. I remember this perfect face of all faces clearly today, and with each year the details of this vision become clearer and clearer. Then He was seated upon a great stone. Astonished, I was seated on His left side.
Upon reentering earthly consciousness, I felt certain the great stone was somewhere on our land and set about to find it. Guided from within by my satguru, I hired a bulldozer and instructed the driver to follow me as I walked to the north edge of the property that was then a nearly impenetrable tangle of buffalo grass and wild guava. I hacked my way through the jungle southward as the dozer cut a path behind me. After almost half a mile, I sat down to rest near a small tree.
Though there was no wind, suddenly the tree's leaves shimmered as if in the excitement of communication. I asked the tree, "What is your message?" In reply, my attention was directed to a spot just to the right of where I was sitting. When I pulled back the tall grass, there was a large rock, the self-created Linga on which Lord Siva had sat.
The bulldozer's trail now led exactly to the sacred stone, surrounded by five smaller boulders. San Marga, the straight or pure path to God, had been created. All this happened on February 15, 1975.
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.