Rajasthan Cow Festival 2014

As our Hinduism Today subscribers are busy reading their recently arrived April 2015 issue, we'd like to offer you a look at some of the extra photos from the feature story. Some of these you'll recognize and others will be entirely new.

Last October our editor, Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami, received an urgent call from Swami Gopal Sharan Devacharya (Hinduism Today's Hindu of the Year, 2009) to join him and dozens of other swamis for the culmination of a nine-day festival honoring cows at the Shree Pathmeda Godham Mahatirth in Rehsil, Rajasthan, and the nearby Manorama Goloktirth in Nandgaon. The extraordinary event revealed the persistent reverence the Hindu community has for the cow, and highlighted efforts to protect the species and to craft a compassionate place for the holy bovine in a threatening modern world. Click Here to visit our Hinduism Today downloads page.

Happy Ardra!

He is the God of forms infinite in whose glory all things are--smaller than the smallest atom, and yet the Creator of all, ever living in the mystery of His creation. In the vision of this God of love there is everlasting peace. He is the Lord of all who, hidden in the heart of things, watches over the world of time. The Gods and seers of Brahman are one with Him, and when a man knows Him, he cuts the bonds of death.
Krishna Yajur Veda

Celebrating Mahasivaratri

Several days ago, the monastery celebrated our 2015 Mahasivaratri, Siva's great night. In Dancing With Siva this night is described: Mahasivaratri is the night before the new-moon day in February-March. We observe it both as a discipline and a festivity, keeping a strict fast and all-night vigil, meditating, intoning Siva's 1,008 names, singing His praise, chanting Sri Rudram, bathing the Sivalinga and being near the vairagis as they strive to realize Parasiva.

Our evening started with devotees singing bhajans followed by a Siva homa. The homa was very powerful and concluded with a short parade. Bodhinatha carried the Sivakubha out around the kodimaram and then into the Inner sanctum. We then listened to a Sivaratri talk given by Gurudeva in 1997, after which Bodhinatha gave an inspired talk about merger with Siva. We concluded the night with an abhishekam to the small crystal Lingam which sits before Nataraja as our worship of the formless Parasiva.

Siva is not a friend of fathomers,
Of those who seek a God within their ken,
Or those who dwell in twin-mind's separateness,
Or those who think of Him but now and then.

Unfathomable He, mystery untold,
Unseekable, our God, beyond all mind,
Undivided, separateness' nemesis,
Unthinkably beyond what what souls may find.

How then to fathom such raw Omnitude?
How to draw near That without breadth or length?
Perhaps just trust. Perhaps just be, and see
That He is there as life, as love's mute strength.

Better yet to know what can't be known,
Defiant Truth that flees the grasp of man,
To say, "I searched but was the searched I sought,
With not a separate thing to understand."

The Holy Day of Tai Pusam

The full moon in the month of Tai is a very holy day in our Saiva tradition. Lord Muruga receives his Vel from Mother Shakti. Here at Kauai Aadheenam we hold the puja in the evening. As always it is a very powerful puja. We bring you some photos of the milk, yogurt and vibhuti abhishekam and the arati after the alankara. We recommend you switch to the lightbox/popout image view (small icon at the bottom on the right) to go through the photos. Vetri Vel Muruganukku!

Early Tai Pongal For Young Pilgrims

During our most recent Maha Samadhi Observances, Shanmuganathaswami gave a class to all in attendance on the sacred cow with many dimensions of this most wonderful animal. In an instant all the half sleeping children in the class moved to the front and started asking many questions! This was their favorite class of the week! After class, one of our Kulamatas created a project where they could channel their appreciation and love of the cow.

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