The Still Sadhu

The monks schedule has entered sadhu paksha, a time of year that allows us to wander about in the early morning hours and remain alone and still. There is no mandatory roll-call at 5:30am, instead there is a mandatory call to dive within among the sacred grounds we call home. Before the sun rises, we begin our day's work and rise within the spine up to our highest potential.

This is also a good time for us to test our skills and see how we meditate without a guided group using Shum. After so many years one can use Shum intuitively and use the monthly mamsani at a different pace.

In looking through the archives to make this blog post, it becomes clear that we move so much throughout the year. Activities are never departed from our life and TAKA often reflects the various projects that we are involved in. But what sustains it all? The life-giving force behind our movement is our stillness. Like a battery on its charger, we gain power in the darkness of the morning before the city wakes and then unleash that energy right into the seva we set out to do. This dance, this sankalpa is performed without fail day in and day out, and our mission would not work without an inner fire being roused and fed with heavy loads of guru-given meditation.

So where does your day begin? Do you wake up as late as possible only to rush off feeling incomplete? The wholeness of being must be sought for in the silence within. This Self-expression must be exercised in order to live a life with meaningful permanence. All else is subject to the repetitive dual nature of prakriti. While we can not, and should not, avoid karmic law, we can arm ourselves with the virtuous qualities of the soul. We can wield the soul-nature without inner practice only so much. Eventually we need to become acquainted with our real selves.

Word of the Day

An Interview with Dr. James George

In September of 2011 Paramacharya Sadasivanatha and Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami flew to Toronto, Canada, for a rare meeting and interview with Dr. James George, who spent many moments with and was profoundly influenced by Yogaswami in the early 1960s when he was the Canadian High Commissioner to Ceylon. (A lifetime scholar and diplomat, he was at other times the High Commissioner to India and Iran as well.) Here is their tale: We embarked in the morning and ended up in his apartment in a tightly-secured and upper-crust building in the city, an apartment filled with ten thousand artifacts, most of them of a spiritual nature: thankas (old ones) covering the walls, at least the walls not covered with his vast library of religious and spiritual books. We set up to interview him about his time with Yogaswami near a window in his dense office, amongst computers and printers and papers and files. We thought the morning would be a journey into history, capturing his times with Yogaswami. It was that, but far more. At 93, Dr. George is a bright light, capable of imitating Yogaswami's raucous laugh and powerful voice, inclined to take each question we asked and make it a reflection on life and truth and life's search for truth. Our queries would stop him and for a full minute he would look off, not so much into the distance as into the inner sky, then finally he would return with a gem, some insight into consciousness, some delightful comparison of George Gurdjieff, the Russian mystic who stressed the now and the Great I Am.  On and on it went, question after question, all captured on our camera for you to enjoy later. Mostly he was thoughtful and faithful to the task of describing his times with the Lion of Lanka (who did roar, he said), but now and again he exploded: his voice rising, his eyes gleaming, his body leaning forward to convey a moment when Yogaswami said something potent to him. It was so evident that those moments are still alive in this wonderful soul, that, as he told it, they changed his life and his family's too. Here is a man who can field the most sophisticated question on consciousness, who can set two spiritual traditions side by side and compare them, who can speak of presence with perfect presence, a kind of soft intensity you rarely encounter, who knows what not knowing is, who believes the universe is ultimately perfect and yet bemoans the "rise of negativity in all spheres." Fun, gracious, "What would you like in your tea?" humble, "I hope your journey here from Hawaii has been worth these small remembrances" generous "Taxi? No, let me take you back to your hotel.." Our interview with Jim, as he insisted we call him, turned out really to be a satsang of kindred souls, of those who explore consciousness and who strive as often as possible, as much as possible, to heed Yogaswami's stern yet utterly simple instructions: "Summa iru. Just be."

Blog Archives

What Happened Today at the Monastery?

Bodhinatha is receiving more and more invitations to join in various events. Many we cannot accept, so instead we are sending video's and Keynote presentations bring his message, in absentia.

At the recent Hindu Mandir Executives Conference, two presentations were made. Here, Bodhinatha introduces the Hindu Heritage Endowment. The second presentation was on the Hindu History Lesson.

This press release will give you some context for the event:

Hindu Mandir Executives Conference Concludes in Michigan, US Source: http://mandirsangam.vhp-america.org/

ROMULUS, MI, USA, September 30, 2008 (Press Release): Hindu Temple Executives representing 113 Temples and Hindu Organizations from more than 25 states of US and Canada and Caribbean converged in Romulus, MI to attend the Third Hindu Mandir Executives Conference (HMEC), from September 26, 2008 through September 28, 2008. They traveled from as far as British Columbia in Canada, Hawaii, California, Florida, and the heartland of America, with a mission to nourish, protect and sustain Hindu Dharma in America.

This successful HMEC-2008 follows the second HMEC held in Edison, NJ in August 2007 and the first held in Atlanta, GA, in 2006.

Over 225 temple representatives from different backgrounds attended. Addressing the temple executives from across the country, Swami Dayananda Saraswati of the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, who was the keynote speaker, emphasized that the Hindu Mandirs should be halls of learning for the Hindu youth besides being the altars of worship.

At HMEC 2008, Hindu Mandir executives collectively deliberated on the evolving social, religious, cultural and spiritual needs of 2.5 million strong, confident, diverse and vibrant Hindu-American community.

In the concluding session of the Conference, the delegates agreed on a series of action items. Of Special interest to Hinduism Today readers is action item number 7, determining that 6,000 schools districts in the USA should receive the two chapters of the Hindu History lessons published by Hinduism Today. You can watch our presentations on YouTube below.

 

Shiva's Light Upon Us

Nature brings us many magical moments and while we often have rainbows on Kauai, this one nearly seemed alive and moving during morning showers today. Here we are looking out the windows of our publications building.

Oh look! it's advancing our way....

Unbelievable! It appears to be just ten feet outside!

The Art of S. Rajam

These are some of illustrations from S. Rajam that has been commission for some special publications. They have not yet been used.

They are being incorporated into special memorial item being prepared to give to all the sishya for Gurudeva's Maha Samadhi

Blog Archives

What Happened Today at the Monastery?

Aloha from the Hawaiian islands!

It is Sun Two here at the monastery, an overcast day very conducive to focusing on our work.

Here is Bodhinatha during the last India Odyssey, living life joyously.




Today is October first. We begin the countdown to the seventh anniversary of Gurudeva's Great Departure, culminating on October 27th with a grand homa and an abhishekam.

This photo was taken in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, in 1981, as Gurudeva was being greeted by families there with as many flowers as they could offer.

Today is also an official Tour Day and we had Siva come in some of His manifold, ever-creative forms.

Deva and Amala Seyon were the hosts today, telling the story of Gurudeva's life and mission and introducing our pilgrims to the noble Saiva Siddhanta philosophy, so full of heart and wisdom, love and knowing that lies beyond knowledge.

 

A Day at Kauai Aadheenam: the Movie




Another fresh release from the capital of Saivite video. This is a captivating short movie of the monastery's activities that one of our swamis created recently to share with some members in Malaysia. It was taken on the day that our friend Swami Nirmalanandanatha, sucessor to Balagangadharanathaswami, was visiting the Aadheenam.

Kadavul Temple scenes

This is a traditional thombai at Kadavul Temple's entry.

Just recently a Gujarati lady, a grandma pilgrim, told the monks,

"I love the holiness of temples and I've seen a thousand in India and around the world. Of them all, this little temple on a miniature island stands out. It is the most beautiful. It is the most pure. It is actually divine. I can hardly believe it exists."

Outside resides a precious carving of our mighty Lord Ganesha, to greet and bless all who venture nigh.

In His left hand the noose, to hold us close and harness our karmas, protecting us, now and again, even from ourselves.

In His right hand the goad, to prod our slothful instinctive minds along the path.

At His feet is the humble Mushika, making an offering.

This marvelous sculpture in wood was designed by the monks and carved in North India.

Above two parrots eat berries and talk about all they see.

A mountaintop perspective of Kaua'i

A dear guest recently visited our Kaua'i island and took a helicopter ride. It is a great experience, when we can hold the perspective from up above in consciouness, observing the river of life.

Gurudeva wrote in The River of Life,

"Meditate on a river. Follow it as from its source to the end where it merges into the sea.

You can now clearly see where you have been clinging to the bank of life's river. You will plainly see just how long you have been clinging to various attachments by holding on to fears, worries, doubts of the future and regrets about the past. Looking at attachment, we see how it holds the mind down, how it submerges personality. Attachment is a stationary thing."

"As the river flows to meet the sea, it drops off many disturbances, just as our life absorbs many of its hindrances. The rapids smooth out, the waterfalls become smaller, the mouth of the river broadens, and as the river flows into the ocean we can see this esoteric symbol of life ending its manifest physical form."

Such is the beauty waiting at the end of the journey.

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

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