Several days ago the monks and nearly 60 devotees from around the world celebrated Tiruvembavai a festive holy day for Lord Shiva. The morning began at 6:30am with a stunningly powerful homa performed by Sannyasin Yoginathaswami and followed by an abhishekam to Kadavul Nataraja. Several Rudra rounds were chanted hundreds of gallons of milk yogurt chandanam rose water abhishekam powder and panchamritham were offered and the monks performed their yearly tradition of the 108 coconut chain.
Very little can be documented after the homa is finished due to the monastery policy of not filming Kadavul Nataraja. The monks are also all busy to film the coconut chain so you must actually come to experience the magic.
Ardra Darshana is a festival honoring Lord Siva, the supreme God for Saivites and creator of all that was, is and will be. The monks, and grihasta devotees from all over the world, are gathering to watch Kadavul Nataraja receive abhishekam and blast darshan right back at them.
It is this great being that we seek, that we treasure with all our might. The formless, spaceless, timeless, limitless, un-restricted Mahadeva that dances from one plane to another will move rhythmically as he/she always does and we will be there to see it as we do every year around this time.
The sages have proclaimed that devotion to Ishvara brings samadhi. Saints have shouted His name with five letters and munis silently creep under the protection of this great God's breadth. They live for Siva's shakti, my shakti, your shakti, our shakti.
Siva is love and Siva is our destiny. From Him we came and out into the world we go, on a long path back to Him. A quote from an inner-plane being captures the essence of our journey and will make up the bulk of the slideshow captions.
It's the last day of our wonderful Hindu holiday and we have some shots to share from Kadavul temple in Hawaii, our friends in London and devotees in St. Lucia.
December 25, orange: The family sadhana for the final day is to bring forth love and harmony within all three worlds. Because of sadhanas well performed during the first four days, the family is now more open and aware of Ganesha's grace, and their love for Him is now overflowing. On this day the entire family experiences an outpouring of love and tranquility from the great God Himself. His blessings fill the home and the hearts of everyone within it, inspiring them anew for the coming year.
Quite honestly, however, many Hindus do celebrate Christmas and would ask, "What's wrong with that?" My answer is that it dilutes and weakens our noble tradition and leads children astray. Each religion educates its young in a sectarian way, for religionists believe that to learn one specific path is sufficient and necessary. Therefore, education should not be diluted by taking in all religions under one banner.
THE FOURTH SHAKTI
The fourth shakti, is an outpouring from having held fast to the first three. Green in color, it is a combination of the first two shaktis, stabilized by the third. The fourth Shakti of Lord Ganesa brings through the creative-intuitive mind--the love of culture and all that it brings, religious formalities and the respect and appreciation of discipline. Here we find the vibration of religion, which brings as a boon creativity in music, art, drama and the dance. It is through these refining rays that religious life is adhered to and congested forces are braided together in a harmonious pattern for a glorious future. It is through the fourth shakti that religious practices are performed consistently and the refinements of the past are carried into the future. It also extends to devotion toward one's ancestors and all forms of positive community participation.
The Five Saktis of Lord Ganesa
A Seasonal Doxology by a Saiva Monk
Loving Ganesha! Dear to Siva's men,
Within whose form the world of form resides,
Who earned the mango by a ponderous ken
And made the moon to wax and wane in tides.
Aum Ganesha! Loved by saints and sages,
Whose skillful arms five potent shaktis wield
To guide men now as in forgotten ages--
The seeker's shield, the farmer's fertile field.
Aum! Ganesha's first shakti is home life,
Protection, harmony, fertility--
Respect becomes the man, as love the wife,
Obedience their cherished offspring's glee.
Aum! Ganesha's second shakti's family--
By blood, by marriage and proximity.
Word and thought controlled, like minds agree,
While faithful friends preserve community.
Aum! Ganesha's third shakti's the market,
Where commerce earns the earth stability,
Where forthright, selfless merchants, free from debt,
Conceive, produce, exchange prosperity.
Aum! Ganesha's fourth shakti brings culture--
Refined expression, graceful artistry
In music, dance, in poetry and sculpture
Or common conduct performed consciously.
Aum! Ganesha's fifth shakti is dharma--
Fair merit found in virtue's charity--
Where love of God does conquer ancient karma
And Siva's slaves earn grace's rarity.
Jaya Ganesha! Come, our hearts protect
From discord in the home, from strife with friend,
From business misfortune, from art's neglect,
From soul's dark night--these griefs asuric end.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.