Today Nigel Sivam and his family are in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, pilgrimaging to the holy source of our Guru Paramparai. It was in a thatched hut in May of 1949 that Yogaswami touched Gurudeva's soul and changed our lives forever, so we asked Nigel to take some offerings, including the traditional lime given to saints and sages (we think because in the old days they could squeeze the juice into their kamandalu, the water pot sadhus carry on their peripetatic treks). Nigel made the offering on all of our behalf.
A note and some photos today from him:
"Jai Ganesha. My dearest Swami,
It is a wonderful day. The lady who takes care of Yogaswami's Colombuthurai hut asked us to visit today---on Yogaswami's Aayliam guru puja day, which happens once a month and a priests comes over to do abishekam to His thiruvadi (holy feet) once a month.
You can see the lime that I took on behalf of all the monks, and the crystal sivalingam there too; the rudraksha japa mala is hidden behind the flowers (You can see a bead in one of the photos). After the abishekam and puja to Yogaswami's thiruvadi, the priest gave the line, the crystal sivalingam and the rudraksha japa mala to Ragavan (our son). The lady does not like to keep anything with Yogaswami's thiruvadi in the shrine (only His thiruvady, that is the way it has been ever since His samadhi, she said), that is why the priest returned everything; but, the crystal sivalingam and the rudraksha japa mala were kept with Yogaswami's thiruvady during abishekam and the whole puja after words (the lime was kept with the thiruvadi during the puja), and we have got all three with us, which makes us very blessed.
The two young boys helping there said that the lady is very strict and will not like anyone taking photos. Well, while I was sitting in front of Yogaswami [His huge photo], I asked Him first; then I asked the lady permission to take photos so that I can send them to the Kauai's Hindu Monastery. She said yes! I know that this will not surprise You; it didn't surprise me either.
In front of Yogaswami's photo, You see a small raised marble platform. At this place there was a wooden plank, and Yogaswami usually sat on this plank and did meditation (we are standing in front of this marble platform)-
We were asked to put everything on the place where Yogaswami did meditation everyday; the priest then took them inside Yogaswami's thiruvadi shrine.
There is a Ganesha temple and a school right across the street. Within the school compound, there is a small shrine of Chellappaswami's holy feet. Everyday, Yogaswami crossed the street and went to this shrine and did puja to His guru's thiruvadi.
Jai Yoga Swami! Jai Gurudeva!
The Photos of Yoga Swami’s Hut & related Photos, are the Great Reflection of , what His Holiness Swami Vivekananda had foreseen,
in early 1900s: He specifically mentioned that,
“I CAN SEE A GREENERY IN THIS AREA, WITH A VIBRATION OF SPIRITUALISM”, at the time his Welcome Procession passed , near the OLIVE Tree Junction, in Columbuthurai (Later the particular area became YOGA SWAMI’s ORIGINAL, SIMPLE HOLY AASHRAMAM !, with ABSOLUTE SPIRITUAL VIBRATION !).
Just little more than fifty years ago, I had the GREAT Opportunity,
to visit Swami’s Aashramam very frequently & performed very humble SIVATHONDU, in many ways!!! Good Old Holy Memories!!!
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.