One of the amazing legacies of our Guru Parampara that comes to us from Gurudeva is Shum: The Language of Meditation. Towards the end of his life, Gurudeva was very active in working with the shum alphabet, refining the letters, revising patterns for extending words from 2 to 6 syllables and more. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami is continuing this work and every quarter meets with the editing team to work on the Shum language. For the past week he has been working on this project. For those not familiar with shum, please see this book on line: Twelve Shum Meditations. Click the Minimela Print edition link to get a physical copy for your shrine room and personal study away from the computer.
Recently we celebrated our monthly chitra puja in honor of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, his monks and local members all gathered in Kadavul temple for an early morning padapuja to Gurudeva's granite paduka. Natyam Rajanatha and Natyam Jayanatha performed the abhishekam as other monks chanted Sri Rudram.
Read About Gurudeva in The Guru Chronicles. Download it here
Here's an excerpt:
Marching Through Sri Lanka and South India
The 1982 Indian Odyssey and the all-island tour of Sri Lanka that followed
had no precedent in history. No one, not even S. Shanmugasundaram,
the liason officer for the Church in Sri Lanka who had done the
groundwork for the journey, had an inkling of the overall magnitude of
the receptions that awaited Guru deva there.
It was unprecedented precisely because religious followings in Asia
remain exclusive, and the followers of one teacher or guru do not attend
the lectures of another. When a Rama krishna swami travels, for example,
his audience is, for the most part, Ramakrishna Mission members, plus a
few uncommitted seekers. But here was a rare soul, a guru, not from India,
but from the Wild West, from America, who had no local following and
posed no threat to any movement. After all, he would soon return to his
land and not draw devotees away from the local ashrams. Everyone was,
therefore, free to attend his talks, and they did in numbers that had not
been seen since the legendary saints of yore walked these same lanes to
speak similar thoughts to devotees centuries before.
In this remote part of the world, the village was still the center of life;
and when Guru deva rode through a village, by car or carriage, it came
alive. Thousands of Saivites lined the lanes of Alaveddy, Kopay, Karainagar,
Batticaloa, Hatton, Kokuvil and elsewhere to honor and revere the satguru
and affectionately greet the Saiva pilgrims from the West. A holiday
was declared in Kilinochchi so all the school children of the district could
join in the parade, which wound a full sixteen miles through the region
and took an entire day.
From 9am to 5pm Guru deva was seated on a tall chariot made for the
occasion, drawn through the crowded streets by hundreds of men pulling
two long, stout ropes. At the gate to each family compound, typically
just off the road, nearly every household had set up an elaborately decorated
greeting altar, with brass oil lamps called kuttuvilakku and a kumbha.
Standing around the altar, the entire family (often three generations)
would greet the tall, white-haired, orange-robed, rudraksha-bedecked
satguru with flowers, rosewater, holy ash and arati.
For most, he simply passed by and they rushed forward to throw their
garland into his hands. Now and again, the procession halted, and Gurudeva
got down, approached the family's altar and allowed them to pass
the lighted lamp before him, to pour water on his dusty feet, place the
red pottu on his forehead and garland him. He looked like Siva Himself,
they whispered to one another, so divine, so full of light and love. For
these families, stories would echo for generations.
Some highlights of the final day. October 28th.
A devotee was reflecting in the days moving toward Mahasamadhi this year, reflecting on Gurudeva's words that he had only one power, the ability to transform lives. If a shishya needed one siddi in her satguru, that would be it. Thinking thus, she penned this little ode to Gurudeva:
Only someone as true as Gurudeva could be so humble and silent about something so massive …
What a lesson in
standing in truth
irrespective of what others are doing
resisting the temptation to flaunt
responding only to love
How much have I
to learn from you,
of you …
I rejoice and bask
in the joy
of having my breath touched
by one as rare as you!
What could I do without you?!!
Infinite love and eternal gratitude
Aum Namah Sivaya!.
Today we are going to bring you days two through five of the mahasamadhi ceramonies and classes. The week was truly a special one, starting each day off with a puja to Gurudeva followed by a group meditation. A major class from a swami was held before lunch and plenty of time for the group of pilgrims to wander about the property to do sadhana or chat with others.
The slideshow takes you through one of our morning pujas, conducted by Natyams Rajanatha and Mayuranatha, then to Satguru's keynote class and our final homa and pajapuja, which was extremely intoxicating with thick, smoke-like darshan that filled the room.
The monks were able to make lunch for everyone each day and Gurudeva's devotees all ate together in our largest mandapam. Our newest publication and app were handed out to everyone as a special gift to those who gave up their time to spend it with Gurudeva.
Thank you to everyone for coming, thank you to our officiating priest Kumar Gurukkal, thank you Satguru for letting us serve in this way. Aum Namah Sivaya.
Today we celebrate the final day of Gurudeva's Mahasamadhi Celebration!
This afternoon we will enjoy an elaborate homa and a padapuja to Gurudeva's paduka in Kadavul Temple. Jai Gurudeva! Don't worry, next phase we will cover the days we skipped on TAKA.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.