Beginning a New Ritau

Today is the beginning of not only a new phase, but a new season. This is the first phase after the monk's two-week Sadhu Paksha retreat. It will be a six days and tonight two of our swamis will arrive back from the east coast. On Sun 3 the monastery observes Kadavul Ardra Abhishekam. Following this morning's homa, everyone paraded to the flagpole to raise the colors of the Jivana Ritau.

About the New Season:

Nature
Gurudeva describes this season as a natural time for work, that it is a physical time, a time of exercise and exertion in the physical world, a magnetic time for action and willpower.

The focus is on preserving what has been created, manifesting goals and fulfilling plans made in the past, finishing jobs already started.

It is a natural time for caring for the practical details of the external world including the environment.

Special Sadhanas
There are a number of special sadhanas for the Jivana Ritau.

The main study is the Nandinatha Sutras both at home and at the Mission Satsang. Specifically go through  the sutras as well as review your daily sadhanas looking for the ones that have been neglected or totally ignored. Strive to make improvements in those areas. Bring up to date all vratas and sadhanas in which you have gotten behind.

The  Jivana Ritau is the season we emphasize culture. Thus it is a time for putting more emphasis on teaching the traditional 64 kalas to children, for learning new Natchintanai songs of  Satguru Yogaswami and for improving our Sanskrit puja chants.

It is also the time for honoring those in the vanaprastha asrama including asking them to share their wisdom.

112 Introduction
Beginning with Hindu New Year in mid-April, three seasons of the year divide our activities into three great needs of humankind--the learning of scripture in the first season, Nartana Ritau; the living of culture in the second season, Jivana Ritau; and the meditating on Siva in the third season, Moksha Ritau. Thus we are constantly reminded that our life is Siva's life and our path to Him is through study, sadhana and realization. In ritau one, we teach the philosophy; in ritau two, we teach the culture; and in ritau three, we teach meditation. 

117 The Second Season: Jivana Ritau
During Jivana Ritau, the rainy season, from mid-August to mid-December, Living with Siva: Hinduism's Contemporary Culture is the primary text. The key word of this season is work. The colors are rust, copper-maroon and all shades of red--rust for earthy preservation, copper-maroon for fulfillment and red for physical energy. The Aadheenam's 60-foot flag pole flies the rust-colored dhvaja, symbolizing environmental care. Copper-maroon and all shades of red adorn our smaller flags. This is the season of honoring and showing appreciation for those in the vanaprastha ashrama, life's elder advisor stage. The focus is on preserving what has been created, manifesting goals and fulfilling plans made in the past. Inwardly the emphasis is on direct cognition and caring for the practical details of the external world. Practicality is a word much used this season. In the monasteries and the missions, there is a big push on studying the sutras of Living with Siva and these Saiva Dharma Shastras. The format of the mission satsanga changes into one that in fact helps everyone live and breathe with Lord Siva through personal adjustment to the aphorisms of Living with Siva, which define tradition, culture and protocol. Gurukulams are established or renewed to teach the 64 kalas for boys and girls. All work hard to perfect and strengthen Saivite culture in the life of each member. Kulamatas, grihinis and their daughters should think ahead and make plans to send talented children to dancing, singing and art schools for special courses, and ponder ways to make this possible through scholarships and special funds. It is a time of building and repairing and caring for what has been built, planted or created in any realm of life. It is a physical time, of exercise and exertion in the Bhuloka, a magnetic time for action and willpower, of finishing all jobs started since the first ritau. On the farm, there is harvesting of the land's fruits as we celebrate abundance. In the missions during Jivana Ritau, the shishyas can form tirukuttams, and thereby visit students' homes, see how they live and meet their families.

August 2014 News Video

Our August 2014 news video covers events in July 2014, including: our 2014 Innersearch travel-study program, held on the island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean; and the initiation of our newest monastic, Sadhaka Dayanatha.

Weathering Weather’s Beauty

In light of the two hurricanes headed towards our lovely chain of islands, we'd like to share this photo collection of some of the world's most beautiful weather systems.

It's likely that by the time the Hurricanes reach Kauai, they will have degraded to simple "tropical storms" with high winds and heavy rains. The monks at the monastery are doing some basic preparation, such as covering our more vulnerable windows with plywood, removing tarps from quick-tents, which would likely tear in the heavy downpours, and sharpening chainsaws to deal with downed branches. The monks have picked extra vegetables from the garden, to both relieve the plants of weight before getting battered by wind and to also insure that the monks have an extra stockpile of food.

August Chitra Puja

Last night, the monastery celebrated the chitra nakshatra with our monthly padapuja to Gurudeva's granite tiruvadi in Kadavul temple. Natyam Rajanatha and Sadhaka Jayanatha performed the abhishekam for Bodhinatha, the monks and members to observe in silent contemplation. Gurudeva's loving energy permeated the temple and the hearts and minds of those present. Jai Gurudeva! Aum Namah Sivaya!

The following poem is from an Indian devotee who watches TAKA and loves the pada puja slideshows.

We gather at his feet
like the many different flowers
each one unique
each one true
so many colors, so many forms
some in full bloom
another just a bud
when will it unfold?

each has lived
for just that moment
instant and eternal
when all is surrendered
all is done
all is offered in gratitude

short or long, a mere illusion
a life fully lived
is all that has happened
each trial experienced
each lesson learned
each smile treasured
each word measured

we gather at his feet
we meet
in that hallowed space
filled with his grace
and then we return
to live, to serve
to claim his legacy
do we truly deserve!

Infinite love and eternal gratitude

Aum Namah Sivaya!

A New Photo of Our Saiva Swamis

Today we took this new portrait photo of Kauai Aadheenam's sannyasins of the Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order.

Center: Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. From left to right: Acharya Arumuganathaswami, Kaivalyanathaswami, Brahmanathaswami, Acharya Kumarnathaswami, Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami, Yoginathaswami, Saravananathaswami, Paramacharya Sivanathaswami, Siddhanathaswami, Muruganathaswami, Shanmuganathaswami and Senthilnathaswami.

From Holy Orders of Sannyas: First, the Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order is a sangam, a spiritual community or brotherhood of Saiva swamis assembled together to continue the work of the Siva Yogaswami Guru Parampara and to live and teach Saiva dharma and Saivite culture. It is, then, an order of vagmis, or contemplative teachers, and not of munis, or solitary ascetics and wandering sadhus. Its members dedicate themselves to the mutual objectives of the whole Order, forgoing, especially in their younger years, any personal or individual interests or activities which might detract from the effort of the entire sangam of renunciates.

“All that I have and all that I am I now give unto my God, my Gods and my guru. I have no family except the Divine Father Siva and Mother Sakti who dwell in Kailas and on Earth the sangam of Saivite devotees. I have no home except the stillness of Being. I have no possessions except my faith and dedication. I have no desires except my desire to serve and to realize God. I, wishing for mukti, take refuge in this sacred Order and in God Siva, who created the world, who breathed out the Vedas. The purpose of my life is to cultivate dispassion, to become pure, to attain union with God Siva and be immersed in Divine Love. I do fully and of my own volition accept these Holy Orders of Sannyas, now and for the remainder of my life, and bind myself in the fulfillment thereof to the ancient Order of sannyas, to my satguru, to my Saivite Hindu faith and to the devas, the Mahadevas and Lord Siva Himself. I am the Atman, the non-dual Parasiva, pure and free.”
Aum Namah Sivaya.

Click the "popout image" button in the bottom-right of the frame for a larger version, available for download.

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