Happy Tai Pongal!!!

From Sloka 100 of Dancing with Siva:

“Tai Pongal, in January-February, is a harvest thanksgiving and
invocation for prosperity. God Surya, the Sun, is honored,
and daughters are presented with gifts.”

Celebrating Ardra Darshanam

Several days ago the monk's observed Ardra Darshanam. After several days of preparation the annual, grand Abhishekam was commenced for Lord Nataraja. While the monastics observe the monthly Ardra nakshatra with an abhishekam, this annual event is supplemented by greater volumes of offerings--including 108 coconuts--and a powerful astrological alignment through which Siva's loving shakti flows unhindered. The morning began with a special Siva homa which was later followed by the elaborate puja and abhishekam, which is never photographed. Bodhinatha commented made the distinction that while Mahasivaratri is a time of intense discipline and meditation on the divine, Ardra Darshanam is a festival of love, of Siva's overpowering blessings which flow forth from the inner sanctum.

From the Tirumantiram:
The ignorant prate that Love and Siva are two, But none know that Love alone is Siva. When men but know that Love and Siva are the same, Love as Siva, they ever remain.

My God is the melter of my heart of love. Let all adore my God, the Lord of primal love, first of beings, my Siva, who again and again melts my heart. May He render me His love in foremost measure!

Praise Him but once, the Pure and Holy One, and He will be your escort to heaven. He, Lord Siva, decked in honeyed konrai blooms, sits enthroned in my love, steadfast and free.

Within Love is He, and within our outer nature too; as the body also is He; He is the past and future; the Lord of Rishis; He is the Precious One who dwells inside our Love. Only those, who in Love reside, will find in Him: their refuge of freedom.

World’s Largest Coconut?

As we approach Ardra Darshanam (tomorrow!), the monks have been hard at work to prepare. The Siddhidatta Kulam has been readying many things, including the 108 coconuts which are uniquely used for the Kadavul Abhishekam. Among them we found this one. It is one if the largest coconuts we've ever seen! It will be among the first to be poured over Lord Nataraja tomorrow morning.

Holy Days, Holy Images

On this fifth and final Pancha Ganapati festival day, Aarti Visswanathan has hunted down another collection of images of our Loving Ganesha for all to enjoy as we offer Him our praises and our appreciations for guiding us all on the path of dharma.

Happy Pancha Ganapati!!!

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.

Today, the monks celebrate the final day of Pancha Ganapati. This evening they will join Bodhinatha for a special meal, for which four monks are spending all afternoon to prepare. Many gifts for Bodhinatha and the monks have been flowing in from Ganesha's devotees. They've been sitting at the Pancha Ganapati's feet for blessings, awaiting the monastery's evening celebration.

The Five Saktis of Lord Ganesha
A Reverent Doxology by a Saiva Acharya

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.

Many blessing to everyone from Kauai Aadheenam!

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