Kauai Farm Fair

Each year Kauai holds its local farm fair, and each year the monastery participates in its own small way. This year the monks were asked to give the opening blessing for the 3 day event. Acharya Arumuganathaswami and Sannyasin Yoginathaswami attended. Following a short blessing, which included chanting and reading of quotes from the Tirukkural about farming, the monks presented Roy Oyama and his family with shawls. Roy was being honored at this year's fair for his vast contributions to Kauai's farming community. We also had our Wailua River Noni Juice on display at the Kauai Grown booth which only carries locally produced products.

KURAL 1031
Wherever it may wander, the world follows the farmer’s plow. Thus despite all its hardships, farming is the foremost occupation.
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.
KURAL 1034
Those whose fields lie shaded by abundant sheaves of grain will see many nations overshadowed by their own.
KURAL 1035
Those who eat food harvested with their own hands will never beg and never refuse a beggar’s outstretched palm.
KURAL 1036
When plowers of the fields stand idly with folded arms, even desireless ascetics will not last long.

Elders From the Kaleheo Senior Center

Today 18 elders visited the Aadheenam from the Kalaheo Senior center. Some of them have visited before with the center and looked forward to seeing the progress. Others had visited back in the days of the "Tropical Inn" before Gurudeva purchased the property. While under the large banyan tree one of Japanese decent reminisced of the days when there were many such giant trees on the island. They could swing out into the ocean on a rope tied to the branches and swim back to shore. However, during WWII, the large trees were cut down to protect the shores from potential hiding places for enemy troops along the costal shores.
It is always enriching to share the beauty of the temple with our island residents.

Through Molly’s Lens

Molly Leon, a professional photographer, poet and blogger was one of our visitors recently and shared these beautiful photos with us. Please check her out at mollyleonstudios.com

Swami Aksharananda Visits Kauai

swami visits With great enthusiasm, the monastery welcomed the two-day visit of Swami Aksharananda of Guyana. Swami has mixed with us at the annual HMEC meetings in the US and recently at the World Hindu Congress in New Delhi. Swami came with a mission, to help the  500 students in his school. He is eager to engage them more in Hindu studies and finds the Himalayan Academy books and resources the best out there for this work. Swami also has formally invited Bodhinatha to come to Guyana, meet his teachers and students, give talks and uplift the 300,000 Hindus in the nation. Swami told the monks during lunch that they probably do not know how deeply their work and life here affects the wider world. He said Gurudeva's ashram is unique in all the world, both for keeping the H-word in its vocabulary and for genuinely embracing and supporting all of the sampradayas in a truly universal spirit. We could add that Swami's own heart is of that same spirit. Swami Aksharananda is a key figure in the Hindu community of Guyana. As a Hindu scholar and Prinicipal of the Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) High School, he was honored by Vishwa Adhyayan Kendra and Keshav-Srishti on Friday January 4, 2008 during a ceremony at the Alkesh Mody Auditorium, Kalina Campus, Mumbai. Swami was honored for his work in the areas of education and social service in Guyana. He has an MA in Sanskrit from Banaras Hindu University and PhD in Hindu Studies from the University of Madison, Wisconsin.

Outing to Kokee

Over the three day retreat, Senthilnathaswami and Nilakanthanatha took our three taskforcers Adi, Vel and Roshan, and our upakurvana, Sivarathna, on an outing to the other side of Kauai. While the east side of the island is lush and green, the west side is much dryer. The group traveled to the town of Waimea, where they took the road up the mountain to see Waimea Canyon. They enjoyed lunch together in Kokee park, visited the Kalalau lookout--which was unfortunately cloudy--and then went for a hike through the mountain forests.

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