April 2015 News Video

Our April 2015 News Video covers events in March 2015, including: Paramaguru Yogaswami’s mahasamadhi celebration, our recent progress on the Path of the Saiva Saints as we ready to move our lineages satguru statues to their final locations, recent additions to the Iraivan Temple landscaping project and news of Sivarathna’s return home after six month of our taskforce program at the monastery.

Visitors from Maui

A few days back we had 11 visitors arrive at the monastery gate, the friends and family of Woody Harrelson. Woody is an enormously talented actor, first on the last-millennium sitcom "Cheers" and more recently in the Hunger Games series (and lots more). He and his family live on Maui and this was their first visit to the monastery. Amazingly, Woody is deeply immersed in spiritual work and nearly every word he said was of the inner kind. Example question: "Swami, what difference is there, if any, in your tradition, between enlightenment and samadhi?"

Starting The New Year

Today we celebrate the beginning of the Hindu Year of Manmatha, 5117. Sadhu Paksha ended yesterday for the monks and following this morning's homa, monks and local devotees paraded out to the flagpole. The coral pink flag of the Moksha Ritau was replaced with the bright orange flag of the Nartana Ritau. The parade then continued around Iriavan Temple and inside for arati.

Nartana Ritau, the season of Dancing with Siva, begins on Tamil New Year. This is the period of creation, the warm season, from mid-April through mid-August. The key word of this season is planning. The colors are orange, yellow-gold and all shades of green–orange for renunciation, yellow-gold for action and green for regeneration.

High above, the main flag flies the color orange, heralding the Nartana Ritau throughout this season, symbolizing sadhana and self-control. The other colors adorn smaller flags. This is the season of giving special attention to those in the grihastha ashrama. It is a time of awakening, renewal, review. The emphasis is on seeing ahead, planning for future years. It is a time of planning retreats and other activities for youths and adults for the entire year. During this time of looking forward, the Church's six-year plan is updated by the Guru Mahasannidhanam and stewards and another year added.

The Saiva Dharma Shastras are studied; and any needed additions in supplementary manuals, representing new growth, are made. The practical focus is completion of unfinished projects. Secular holidays to observe among the families include Mother's Day in May, Father's Day in June and Grandparent's Day in August.

This season of harvest and new growth is also the time to review and reestablish picking and planting routines for the gardens. It is a time for ordering seeds and plants for the year, of planting trees, fragrant vines and the annual crop. Review is made for scheduling the care of all realms of the Aadheenam's acreage. Kadavul temple and the Guru Temple are cleaned and renewed during this season and the adjacent grounds receive special, abundant attention. Karma yogis are invited to help in this and other areas with planting and weeding, digging, fertilizing, fence repair and more.
The daily sadhana is the Sivachaitanya Panchatantra: experiencing nada, jyoti, prana, bhakti and darshana. In Sanskrit, it is a time of learning new slokas and mantras. In the family community, prasnottara satsanga is held for one and all to attend. Families plan for their annual pilgrimage. Shrine rooms are renewed and redecorated for the year, and the clothing of all is renewed in the Hindu style of the current fashion. It is a time of doing things for others, religious outreach. It is a time of hatha yoga and philosophical teaching.

Mathavasi of the Day – Natyam Rajanatha

Natyam Rajanatha serves in the Ganapati Kulam, helping with the monastery's publications work and learning from the kulam's sannyasins. He is responsible for seven article pages of Hinduism Today magazine each quarter and is also a big part of our digital world, focusing mainly on updating and improving our Himalayan Academy site. His work in the kulam is supplemented by his familiarity with web coding and his love of words. On retreats, Natyam helps Kumarnathaswami in the woodshop and also assists in our agricultural work on Himalayan acres. Natyam is one of the monks who performs the monthly Chitra pada puja honoring Gurudeva's mahasamadhi and is also one of the those who chant Sri Rudram during the weekly morning fire ceremony. He is often found on the 12am or 3am vigil rotations in Kadavul Temple, an austere but delightful responsibility. Today Natyam is working on Hinduism Today, as this is the last month of this production cycle. Here he is working on the next Global Dharma section, gathering and writing stories to keep Hindus informed about events around the world.

Loving Ganesha

This morning was Chaturthi, an astrological period which occurs twice a month, four days after the full and new moons. This is the time when Ganesha's shakti can most easily be felt. At such a time we thought to bring you this short message from Loving Ganesha:

The Second Letter from Lord Ganesa

Keep track of your paces, for your walk makes marks. Each mark is a reward or a stumbling block. Learn to look at the step you have made and the step you have not made yet. This brings you close to Me. I'm not doing anything. If I were any place, I would not be. You are someplace, doing something. You are not.

Insofar as this is a fact, there then is some semblance of Me in you. If you are not what you apparently are and you keep track of your paces fore and aft in your mind, the karma balancing out the dharma is nothing.

Always live as nothing, and your mission is fulfilled immediately. You do not have to live long, but live well while you live. Be sum total at any point in time.

The mind through which you think you travel, or of which you think you are, is not. The awareness of which you think doth travel, or which you think is aware, is not. Therefore, what is?

That is a mystery, to the mind, to awareness, but can be solved by you and Me coming close together. Let's do it now.

Love, Lord Umaganesh

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
Subscribe to RSS Feed
Audio Video Slideshows Images Publications Web pages