Wishing Vel a Nice Journey Home

Tomorrow, Brahmachari Vel leaves Kauai to return home to Mauritius. He's been here for about three months and we are very thankful for all the seva he has done during his stay. His humble service to the monastery and to his guru has been a great example.

"What is Saivism? We are devotees of Lord Siva and we are doing Sivathondu - that is Saivism." Siva Yogaswami

In Green Pastures

Recently, several monks moved our three holstein cows from our nearby pasture to our retirement pasture across the river. There they have a many acres of grassland and join several retired cows already there. Now the only cows in the main Aadheenam pastures are our three Jersey Cows, who are all small, very calm and, when milking, produce rich and healthy milk. Yesterday one of the monks went out to the pasture and took some photos of these happy bovine.

Recent Visitors and Happenings

Above are photos of some of our recent guests and pilgrims that have visited the monastery over the last few weeks.

A New Phase Begins

Today the monks begin their new phase, continuing their unified routine of worship, meditation, and their seva. Following a few days of retreat, the phase begins as usual with the weekly homa. Attended by monks, local members and visiting guests, this ritual of offerings and prayers culminated in that passing of flames and was followed by an inspired talk by our beloved guru. Bodhinatha discusses, in very clear terms, the nature of our karmas and our responsibility in their creation. He also gave practical advice for the mitigation of heavier, negative karmas, in a talk which will be online soon.

Here is a look into the importance of this yajna, this ancient fire ceremony, from the first verses of the Yajurveda:

Be vibrant as the winds and thank the Lord
Creator, Savita, for the gifts of food and energy, light
and life, for the body, mind and soul. Pray that you
dedicate yourself to the noblest action, yajna, and play
your part in the service of the Lord. Be blest with the
best of health and wealth in plenty, cows, healthy, strong
and fertile, sacred, not to be killed. No thief to rule over
you, no sinner to boss over you! Growing in power and
prosperity, be firm and loyal to this Lord of the land
and protect the wealth and honor of the yajamana

Yajna is sacred. It is the light of the sun, the life
of the earth, the breath of air, the holy warmth of life
that sustains and sanctifies existence. Go on, expand
and raise the joy of life to the heights of heaven. Neglect
not yajna. May the Lord of yajna never forsake you.

Yajna is the sustainer and purifier of countless
worlds. It is the sustainer and purifier of the universe in
countless ways. May the lord creator Savita sanctify
yajna. May the Lord purify and sanctify us with yajna
and the knowledge of the Veda. What message do you
hope to receive?

Yajna: it is the life of the world. It is the science
and structure of the universe. It is the law and sustenance
of the system. It is the very act of the Lord of Creation.
I stand by it fast and firm with the light of knowledge
and the joy of life.

Lord of the fire of yajna, Lord of Law and vows
of faith, I take to the vow of commitment to truth and I
give up the untruth. Bless me that I may be able to keep
the vow. Bless me that I may realize it.

A Homa, Vratas and Rainbows

As the title suggests, Sun One was a pretty special day at the Aadheenam. We started with our first Homa in about a month, following Sadhu Paksha. During the homa Aarti and Mayuresh Visswanathan took their brahmacharya vratas and vidyasishya pledges, and Saroja Manickam took hers shortly after in ceremony in the guru peedam. Throughout the morning the monastery witnessed countless rainbows as periodic showers passed overhead.

The vrata includes chastity until marriage, and the in their pledges the youth agree to follow the yamas and niyamas as best they can, while also maintaining a 10-minute spiritual practice on weekdays.

"The first stage of life, brahmacharya ashrama, or studentship stage, corresponds roughly to ages 12 through 24, based on a foundation of training in culture and religion from the time of birth. It is the time for the acquisition of skills and knowledge that will serve in later life. It is a time to learn respect and obedience to teacher and family, loyalty to family and friends, service to humanity, proper manners, good habits, philosophy and culture. It is a time to learn the control of desires and to make a part of one's life our basic religious principles: the yamas and niyamas, the pancha nitya karmas and more. While still pliable, youth are molded by parents and all members of the community to a life of purpose, contribution and duty through a sound system of education. It is also the time of awakening creative faculties, enlivening spiritual aspiration and developing religious attitudes."
-Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

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

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