Girish Samugan, from Singapore has known Gurudeva since he was just a small child. Originally his parents hoped he would become a monk. Of course one never knows what the prarabda karmas will be until someone grows up and makes their own choices. As young boy, Girish went to India with a number of other young men to stay at Kailas Ashram as part of their earlier training toward possible future monastic life, if that were to be their choice. Sadhaka Tejadevanatha was their chaperone at that time in India.
Girish came to Kauai Aadheenam with his parents on pilgrimage several times through the years and the idea of monastic life as his life choice began to gel in his mind. But getting a visa for a young man in Asia to come to America is challenging, and his father also wanted him to finish his education. And then, once you come of age in Singapore you are bound by law to serve in the military for two years. So one obstacle after another came up. During those years, Girish became educated as a sound engineer, worked in the Singapore Police force, and even started his own business providing event/presentation services for people want to put on a show. He and his team would set up the hall, install audio-video screens etc.
But he kept his eyes on the path all along and last year finally was able to see a way through after finishing is military service to come to Kauai. The immigration and visa process was a daunting gauntlet, but finally he made it yesterday to Kauai.
Congratulations to Girish for staying focused all these years on the end game of life! One advantage for the monastery is that he arrives as a fully competent highly trained, disciplined soldier of the within!
Four of Gurudeva's most long time devotees from Malaysia and Australia arrived yesterday. Brahmacharini Barathy Sockanathan, her sister Sarkunavathy Sockanathan are from Klang, Malaysia. Sornavanita Sutherman, Thamilmani Visakhan, originally part of our Singapore Mission, now live in Perth, Australia. They are all traveling together on pilgrimage for Ardra Darshana.
Today a group of 125 pilgrims from the Chino Hills BAPS temple arrived in 3 buses. Many were present there when Bodhinatha spoke to the group at the opening of their new temple in Chino. So they were all looking forward to going to a sacred space on Kauai.
Sharing the beauty of our island and Kauai Aadheenam is challenging. A normal camera can only begin to capture what the eye sees. Aerial photography is famous for giving us big dynamic views of the world. In the old days it would cost a mini-fortune to hire a helicopter, professional photographer just to go up for a few minutes of video or still shots.
Well that's all changed in the 21st century. For a few-hundred dollars anyone can buy a small drone and send your camera up. The monks only realized this recently when a local man showed us amazing footage he was taking with a small helicopter only about 18 inches across! We decided to invest in this ourselves instead of paying big bucks for professional photographers. Now Sadhaka Mayurnatha and Siddhanthaswami are taking the lead in our aerial photography initiative.
Today we bring you some ove views of the land we have across the river called Himalayan Acres, which is an agriculture endowment for Kauai's Hindu Monastery. Pan around to see everything.
Divali Nagar (City of Lights) is an annual exposition of Hindu culture and celebrations of Diwali since 1986. It is staged at the permanent Divali Nagar site, located in the borough of Chaguanas. There is a great variety of religious and cultural displays and performances to be enjoyed. And it is a time of meeting the many celebrities and dignitaries who visit the site over the week it is active. The chief guest opening this year's festivities was Captain Pratima Dharm, the first Hindu chaplain of the US armed forces who was featured in the cover story, January-February-March 2012 issue of Hinduism Today.
Ashwinee Ragoonanan, her daughter Kashika and her team of sevaks have, for the past 20 years, maintained a prominent booth at the Nagar that displays Hinduism Today and Himalayan Academy publications along with the annual Kashika Panchang for the island of Trinidad. Ashwinee has, during these same past 20 years, also managed a lively Hinduism Today distribution center from her home.
At the booth, Bodhinatha's upcoming visit to Trinidad in February, 2014, was broadly announced.