Happy Pancha Ganapati!

December 21, yellow: The family sadhana for the first day of Pancha Ganapati is to create a vibration of love and harmony among immediate family members. The day begins early, and the entire family works together to design and decorate the shrine with traditional symbols, rangoli, lamps and more. Then a grand puja is performed invoking the spirit of Pancha Ganapati in the home. The sadhana of the day now begins. The family sits together for the purpose of easing any strained relationships that have arisen during the year. They make amends one with another for misdeeds performed, insults given, mental pain and injuries caused and suffered. When forgiveness is offered to all by one and all, they speak of each other's good qualities and resolve that in the days ahead they will remember the futility of trying to change others and the practicality of changing one's self to be the silent example for all to witness. Gifts are then exchanged and placed unopened before Pancha Ganapati. As family harmony is important to all Hindus, this sadhana must be taken very, very seriously.

Moksha Ritau Begins at Kauai Aadheenam with Chitra Puja

It was a most auspicious day as the monks completed their Sadhu Paksha retreat by honoring Gurudeva with a Chitra puja in the morning followed by our flag raising.

A Panchaganapati Story

ganesha Dear swamis of Kauai Aadheenam! Last night Savitri and I stepped outside to watch the Geminid meteor shower and, indeed, saw a few nice ones. This morning at breakfast, we told our 5-year-old daughter, Meena, about it and she literally broke down crying. With tears streaming down her face she timidly said that she has never seen one in her "whole life"! I told her we will go out tonight when it's dark and look for them. Of course, the Geminids would have already past and at the time before she goes to bed, Gemini will have barely risen. Nonetheless, as promised, this evening, we went outside at 6 pm and sat on the bench looking at the skies in the direction of Gemini, begging the sky for a shooting star. Twenty minutes passed in the freezing cold with no shooting stars. Then I said, "I know, let's ask Ganesha." Meena turned her head back to the house in the direction of the shrine room and softly called "Ganesha"  looking up in the sky in the opposite direction of Gemini. Instantly, a spectacular meteorite shot high in the sky lasting over two seconds. We both gasped! Later, Meena kissed the ornament on the Panchaganapati shrine with Ganesha's image and said, "thank you."  We thought you would all appreciate our holiday story. Jaya Ganesha!

Krittika Deepam

Several days ago, the monastery held a humble observance of Krittika Deepam. It is a day when God Siva is worshipped as an infinite pillar of light. Many Murugan temples also celebrate this festival as it is tied to the Krittika nakshatra. In many cases, bonfires are a lit to represent the divine and all permeating light of Parashakti. Just after sunset, several of the monks decorated Kadavul and Iraivan temple with hundreds of small candles. Instead of lighting a bonfire, a large camphor lamp was lit in front of Kadavul Temple's kodimaram.

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.
Tirumantiram 274-275

Skanda Shashthi – Muruga’s Divine Radiance
Invoked Into the Bhuloka

After the Mahasamadhi observances each year, the week of Skanda Shashthi follows and we are blessed with the power of Lord Murugan's presence. This year's Skanda Shashthi abhishekam was as magical as always. It is an amazing experience, one that always seems new -- to feel the from-another-world life-altering actinic power of Lord Murugan's rays of grace.

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