As always, the Global Dharma pages have some interesting small stories from around the world.
The world continues to “wake up” to the huge legacy that Hinduism left throughout Southeast Asia. Here is a little known story from Vietnam:
UNESCO Protects My Son
In 1999 unesco designated the My Son sanctuary in Vietnam a World Heritage site. This is good news for Hindus, who can now rest assured that this treasure will be preserved. The site represents an ancient settlement and sanctuary area; eight groups of tower temples have been singled out. All are constructed in fired brick with stone pillars.
The Hindu architecture of Cambodia and Indonesia are well known, but not many know that a Hindu kingdom also reigned along the Vietnamese coast from the 4th to the 13th centuries. My Son, a small valley flanked by mountains, was the capital and religious center of the Champa Kingdom, which originated in 192 ce and was deeply influenced by the Saiva Agama tradition. Between the sixth and tenth centuries, fine temples were built for Krishna and Vishnu, but above all for Siva. Champa was eventually absorbed by the growing power of Vietnam to the North. Read more at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/949
Within our Saiva Siddhanta Holy Scriptures the Saiva Agamas explain the basis of temple ceremonies and worship plus yoga and jnana. The Tirukural was considered by Gurudeva to be "the most accessible and relevant sacred text." In it are practical and helpful guidelines for our conduct in every day life. The point of family life is to gain steady improvement, forever, in self control in the midst of responsibilities in the fulfillment of family dharma. Meanwhile, not taking detachment too far but taking it in the sense of spiritually looking for happiness, not outside in other people or possessions, the world, but inside ourselves and then sharing it with family and friends. "We regard the writings of our satgurus as scripture."
Path to Siva, Lesson 20
Tirukural, Introduction and Contents
Tirukural, Chapter 15 Possession of Self-Control
"The temple enables us to feel the presence of God, Gods and devas." We use our inner eyes to see what's going on in the temple, the three worlds. In the temple we're being good dvaitists in the dimfi perspective, focused in bhakti upon God Siva. In meditation we're monists, in the shumif perspective. We claim our oneness with Siva, Sivoham, I am Siva. In surrender, shrinking the ego through devotion, we have a realization that we're not the doer, that Siva is doing it all. Siva's energy comes through our soul.