During their trek across North America, Senthilnathaswami and Sadasivanathaswami visited the hilltop home of Suriyakumar and Rushika in Diablo, California. This family from Sri Lanka has been instrumental in moving Gurudeva's mission forward, and the day with them was full of puja, conversation, sharing of progress at the Aadheenam and more.
One of their loves of late is growing grapes, and their hilltop home is almost surrounded by vines, almost 3,000 of them. They are young (last year was the first harvest), but they are prolific, with clusters dangling every foot or so. They took the swamis into the vineyard, and each of the six varietals was clipped so they could taste the grapes and see the subtle differences in them.
Two years back, Senthilnathaswami and Sadasivanathaswami planted the only two white grapes in the vineyard, a Sauvignon blanc, and were thrilled to see how sweet they are.
A few days after the swamis left for Toronto the entire hill was harvested, yielding some 6 tones of grapes.
In Siva's Sacred Gardens this morning the bamboo forest looks spectacular. This special is Guadua angustifolia, one of the major reforestry species in South America. It is regarded as among the finest construction bamboos and is said to resist rot and termites, but our experience on Kauai would not agree. You may need to pan to see the entire photo.
This morning the monks began the new phase with their weekly homa. Satguru Bodhinatha has returned from his recent travels. He attended the homa and afterwards gave a talk about how Hindus relate to those of other faiths, emphasizing the importance of building others up rather then tearing them down so that you may stand higher.