Happy Jivana Ritau!

During Jivana Ritau, the rainy season, from mid-August to mid-December, Living with Siva: Hinduism’s Contemporary Culture is the primary text. The key word of this season is work. The colors are rust, copper-maroon and all shades of red--rust for earthy preservation, copper-maroon for fulfillment and red for physical energy. The Aadheenam’s 60-foot flag pole flies the rust-colored dhvaja, symbolizing environmental care. Copper-maroon and all shades of red adorn our smaller flags. This is the season of honoring and showing appreciation for those in the vanaprastha ashrama, life’s elder advisor stage.

The focus is on preserving what has been created, manifesting goals and fulfilling plans made in the past. Inwardly the emphasis is on direct cognition and caring for the practical details of the external world. Practicality is a word much used this season. In the monasteries and the missions, there is a big push on studying the sutras of Living with Siva and the Shastras. The format of the mission satsanga changes into one that in fact helps everyone live and breathe with Lord Siva through personal adjustment to the aphorisms of Living with Siva, which define tradition, culture and protocol.

Find That

At some point of time, whether in their current life or in a future one, everyone starts to figure it out. The endless ramifications of this external world begin to lose their shiny draw. The many many paths one could take become less interesting, because most have been walked before. You've eaten all types of food, owned all kinds of homes, large and small and have been every kind of person, the drunkard and the greatest of kings. You've had all relationships, been a wife, a husband, child, brother, sister and more. You've walked to every mountaintop, swam in every sea and river. you've laid down upon the shady grasses, walked through the pristine snow, and looked up through the treetops. You've felt pain, hunger, hatred, betrayal and death, again and again you've suffered yourself. You've been joyous, excited for the future and humbled by life's beauty. You've won victories and sustained losses, you've seen good and bad, bright light and shadows. You've known the freedom to dance, and the fearlessness of your singing voice--self-expressions you'll love forever. You've laughed with friends, giggled with loved ones. Upon you're Earth you've seen the stars unveiled as the world begins to sleep, and you've awoken, inspired by the dauntless warmth of the rising Sun.
Again and again you are born, you live and you pass on, to live again. Until, it is suddenly not so interesting anymore. The ups and downs of life are not the fun ride they used to be. They're not much of anything really. They begin to fade from your vision, as something else takes their place. Something you did not expect. An understanding bigger than most people know. Broader, deeper, all-encompassing and so very, very real. Like nothing else you've seen, and yet you recognize it. Losing interest in the World around you, you begin to take interest in yourself, realizing that the external is painted by your personal thoughts, feeling and attitudes. But these inner layers of the mind are still not the ultimate discovery. If you were you're attitudes and emotions then how could you be thinking about them. And if you can witness your thoughts, what is it that is observing them? Find that.

Lord Ganesha

Today Lord Ganesha was looking extra nice, bedecked in golden konrai flowers.

"The God with the elephantine visage I shall never forget--Shankara's son, with massive belly and the thodu in His ear, the Lord who gave His grace to Indra, of whom mantra is His very form." Yogaswami's Natchintanai

A Brother Monk Sails Our Way

The monastery was fortunate to host Swami Advaitananda, a Chinmaya Mission Sannyasin carrying forward the work of Swami Chinmayananda and Swami Tejodevananda. Swami has recently been appointed to head the San Jose, California center. He also is presently the resident Acharya of Chinmaya Vibhooti in Kolwan. He has served Mission centers in Indore, Allahabad, Kolkata, Durban and Mumbai. He is an outstanding teacher with great spiritual and intellectual depth. Swamiji has taught two batches of students in the arduous Vedanta Course in Hindi at Sidhabari and one batch in English at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Mumbai, as the Acharya-in-charge. His visit brought great joy, as he is a Sivabhaktar to his core.

Learning Hydroponics in California

Recently Sannyasin Yoginathaswami and Nirvani Tejadevanatha returned from a trip to California. The two travelers were there to attend a two day seminar presented by AmHydro of Eureka, CA. The seminar focused on bringing a total beginner in Hydroponics up to speed with strong knowledge and practical experience. The first day of the seminar was held at the Ingomar Club, a victorian style building in the Bay Area. This building was ornately constructed with amazing wood work. While there, our monks were given an overview of the Hydroponic industry, general plant growth and the science behind growing. As well as information on the components of a successful greenhouse.

The second day took place at a working greenhouse (Humbolt Hydro farms). This Hydroponic Greenhouse was truly amazing. It has a fully automated nutrient feeding system and a fully automated climate control system that opens and closes cooling vents as needed. Our monks were given step by step hands-on experience in planting seeds, transplanted seedlings and harvesting lettuce. Nutrient managements with discussed at great length. The final presentation was quite interesting and was focused on marketing and starting a hydroponic business. In our case we simply plan on producing food for the monastery. Our thanks to Am Hydro for educating and inspiring Yoginathaswami and Tejadevanatha.

Before returning to the monastery Swami and Nirvani had the opportunity to see some huge red wood trees in Humbolt Redwood state park, feeling very small when standing next to these majestic trees. The two then walked on the Golden Gate Bridge.

That evening Swami performed a Siva Puja for the Golden Gate Mission church members. Everyone enjoyed a short meditation and then Swami gave an update about Iraivan temple construction. Swami touched on the importance of daily puja and the esoterics behind it. The members cooked a vegan feast. Thank you Golden Gate Mission for taking such loving care of our monks. Mahalo Nui Loa Aum Namah Sivaya.

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

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