Today is Ashram Sadhana Day for the monks. It's the one day a month when they forgo their other duties and give all their time to cleaning. Today's initial focus was on Iraivan Temple. Lately the temple has been receiving a steady amount of red-dirt dust blowing in from the surrounding landscaping work, so the monks brought in a lot of water to scrub and wash away much of the build-up. When the land is fully planted and the temple is in active use, this won't be as much of an issue. Also today the monks cleaned their offices, the kitchen, workshop areas and more.
Here is a good quote from Gurudeva's Living With Siva that describes the importance of a clean environment:
Lesson 30: Cleaning the house is an act of purifying one’s immediate environment. Each piece of furniture, as well as the doorways and the walls, catches and holds the emanations of the human aura of each individual in the home, as well as each of its visitors. This residue must be wiped away through dusting and cleaning. This regular attentiveness keeps each room sparkling clean and actinic. Unless this is done, the rooms of the home become overpowering to the consciousness of the individuals who live within them as their auras pick up the old accumulated feelings of days gone by. Small wonder that a dirty room can depress you, and one freshly cleaned can invigorate. In these years, when both mother and father work in the outside world, the house is often simply where they sleep and eat. But if a home receives all of the daily attentions of cleaning it sparkly bright, both astrally and physically, it becomes a welcoming place and not an empty shell.
The blessings of Lord Murugan awaken wisdom which resides in his chakra. "Pray to Lord Murugan to unravel the great mysteries of the universe." When we get emotional we lose touch with our wisdom. Murugan inspires penance to soften karmas and purify the mind, chitta-shuddhi. If you do kavadi in the right spirit, to get the full blessing, have in mind specific misdeeds, apologize to the deity, learn from it, promise to do your best. Visions are still happening. Feeling the energy of the deity is stronger during festivals such as Skanda Shashti.