Last night, Satguru, the Monastics, local members and visiting pilgrims gathered together to celebrate Mahasivaratri in Kadavul Temple. The night began at 7:00pm with some bhajans followed a half an hour later by a Siva Homa. All the monks were present and chanted an energetic Sri Rudram while Natyam Nandinatha performed the Homa and Satguru gave offerings into the flames. The buttery smell of ghee being offered to the fire and the smell of incense filled the air. Following the homa everyone listened to a recording from 1990 of a talk that Gurudeva had given on Sivaratri night. After Gurudeva's words had finished, the temple fell into silence as the group of staunch devotees closed their eyes in meditation on Siva's formless perfection. Their innermost Self. Next, the Siva Kumbha from the homa was paraded outside and around the flagpole by Satguru before being placed in the inner sanctum with an arati. By now it was 10:15pm. Time for a short break.
Upon reconvening in the temple, Satguru gave a wonderful talk about the original subtleties of Yoga as found in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and in Gurudeva's writings. Upon concluding his talk, the final Rurdabhishekam began. Beginning with milk, six different pairs of monks were responsible for pouring each abhisheka item over the small crystal Sivalingam that resides just in front of Nataraja. In a grand finale, Satguru poured the Siva Kumbha over the Lingam. After the Nataraja and the lingam were decorated and the final arati was performed. The Final Puja ended at exactly 12:00am. A perfect end to a perfect night in a perfect Universe. Om Namah Sivaya. Sivaya Namah Om.
Enjoy these slightly belated images from Thai Pusam. These are kavadi that two of our monks prepared. Kavadi is a penance offered to Lord Karttikeya, especially during Tai Pusam, consisting of carrying in procession a heavy, beautifully decorated, wooden object from which pots of milk hang which are to be used for His abhisheka. The participant's tongue and other parts of the body are often pierced with small silver spears or hooks, though our monks did not observe this part. Vel Muruga!
We recently celebrated Thai Pusam at the Aadheenam, honoring our beloved Lord Muruga with a powerful and piercing abhishekam in Kadavul Temple. With the mathavasi and all sincere, mindful devotees present, it made for a special event shared by all. As stated in Dancing With Siva "Thai Pusam occurs on Pushya nakshatra in January-February. During this festival we fast and perform public penance, called kavadi, seeking Karttikeya's blessings to dispel our selfishness, pride and vanity."
After the offering of fresh milk from our aadheenam cows, Muruga is offered Yogurt, fresh citrus juice, panchaamritham, Vibhuti, a select and sacred blend of herbs, rose water and more. At the Aadheenam, we typically use the panchaamritham recipe of Chidambaram Kovil--fresh bananas, ghee, milk, honey and jaggery.
After a beautiful Alankaram, the final arati is offered. It is at this point where all temple bells are rung, mantrams chanted their loudest and the focused intensity of the pujaris are at their greatest. It is here when the darshanam of the Deity pours forth, where the Lord Murugan decongests muddled karmas of the devotee, removing unmindfulness and fear and replacing them with wisdom and courage. Veils are lifted, limitations released, and minds cleared at that exact point. Om Saravanabava Om.
Om Namah Sivaya
Today is our monthly celebration of the Ardra Nakshatra at the Aadheenam. With Siva's star coming into alignment for the day, Nataraja's divine energies can easily be felt as they radiate out from Kadavul's inner sanctum. As is our tradition for this day, the monks are performing an Abhishekam to Nataraja throughout the morning.
"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."
"That which is neither internal consciousness nor external consciousness nor both together, which does not consist solely in compact consciousness, which is neither conscious nor unconscious, which is invisible, unapproachable, impalpable, indefinable, unthinkable, unnameable, whose very essence consists of the experience of its own self, which absorbs all diversity, is tranquil and benign, without a second, which is what they call the fourth state--that is the Atman. This it is which should be known."
During the Maha Ardra festivities, devotees found themselves having an informal chat with the Ganapati Kulam monks. We decided to round everyone up in the same place at the same time, talk story and eat chocolate!
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