Yesterday the monks enjoyed Thai Pongal. Boiling a pot of sweet rice in the morning, and savoring a delicious lunch together, the monks celebrated the consistent harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables that the monastic gardens produce. KURAL 1032 Farmers are the linchpin of the world, for they support all who take up other work, not having the strength to plow. KURAL 1033 Those who live by the plow live in self-sufficiency. All others lean on them to simply subsist.
The monks recently observed Hanuman Jayanti. Although celebrated at different times of year in different parts of India, the monastery honored this Great Hero according to Tamil custom. That is to say, on Moola nakshatra during Amavasya (new moon) in the month of Margashirsha, falling in December-January. This year it took place on December 31st in Hawaii.
Gurudeva explained that Lord Hanuman is highly instrumental in bringing Iraivan Temple into the First World from the inner worlds, in bringing the stones from India to Kauai. Gurudeva also had several profound clairvoyant and clairaudient experiences with this great Being. Because of this, we love and honor this Great God who reminds us that true greatness and strength is achieved through mastering humility and selfless service.
Ganesha was central to Gurudeva's life, from the day he met Him in a temple in Sri Lanka, to the day he prayed with Kandiah Chettiar at the little tree-Ganapati at Elephant Pass as he entered Jaffna for the first time in 1949 to the day he had a river vision of Ganesha that established our Spiritual Park in Mauritius.
On this penultimate festival day, we offer a little poem at the Feet of Pancha Ganapati, inviting Him into our lives to guide and inspire.
Born of Siva to command the mind,
His manger deep within the cranial cave,
Ganesha reigns the heavens and mankind
With tender heart, with visage stern and grave.
This winter season called the Mass of Light,
This sacred season celebrating 'That,'
Was ancient when the Buddha saw man's plight
And older still when Mary Christ begat.
In the beginning 'twas Ganesha's time
For He is time itself, existing now.
That rotund, bright-eyed saint of northern clime,
Bedecked in red and green with hoary brow,
He is Ganesha, giver of all wealth.
Aum, may He grant you grace, contentment, health.
Here at the monastery the monks have set up a beautiful Pancha Ganapati shrine in Kadavul temple, replete with flowers, lights, gems, and the sparkles the Lord Ganapati so greatly adores. And one can't forget the many gifts which his beloved devotees have placed at his feet. Tomorrow Lord Ganapati will display Emerald Green as we draw forth the vibration of joy and harmony that arises from music, art, drama and dance.
A mother, Niki Whiting, in Washington is observing Pancha Ganapati with her children for the first time this year. She writes: "Pancha Ganapati is a modern holiday invented by the people at the Hindu Academy in Hawaii. The idea is to give Hindus in North America something to focus on while the over culture is celebrating Christmas. It reminds me of Hanukkah: a legitimate but minor holiday that took on increased focus as mainstream American Christianity increased its observance of Christmas. I love holidays and completely support people creating alternatives to give certain seasons meaning and/or to diffuse the over culture's influence, particularly for those people raising kids.
My family has observed both the solstice and Christmas for several years. Last year I discovered Pancha Ganapati. This will be our first year observing it. Ganesh is my family's ‘patron saint,' so I think this holiday will fit right in. It consists of honoring Ganesh through daily pujas for five days, beginning on December 21 and ending on December 25. Families are encouraged to move their murtis of Ganesh to the main living area, decorating Him with a different color for each day, observing a daily puja, and discussing each of the five Hindu values."
To read her entire blog with day-to-day instructions, go here:
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