Today the monastery began its new phase with an early morning homa. This phase is a short one, of only four days, and it's followed by Sadhu Paksha. Sadhu Paksha is a time when the monks take a several week retreat, without the normal morning temple routine and instead practice their personal sadhanas. The two weeks are followed by the Ratau change. Today there were some new guests at the homa, all on pilgrimage to the aadheenam.
Following the homa, Satguru Bodhinatha read from Living with Siva lesson 344:
"I believe that this oldest religion of the farthest past is also the religion of the future, the religion best suited to the technological age. I think we should present Hinduism as it is today, as a vibrant religion of the present. Then it will survive into glorious futures. We need inspired people to serve Saivism with a strong will and a positive mind. In this effort, all differences must be set aside so we can work together on powerful programs that will bring progress; and that progress will inspire others, make them enthusiastic, show them that Saivism can be brought into the technological age for the good of the next generation, the next and the next.
What happens when a religion is lost in yesterday and not brought forward to guide its followers today and on into the future? All kinds of problems arise. The youth begin to think religion is obsolete, abandon it and become immersed in worldliness, often in activities that are adharmic. They leave the Saivite path, the Saiva Neri. Families break up, friends argue, and people fight within themselves and with one another. Poor citizens are raised in the absence of ethics. Unrest and discontentment reign, and the entire nation suffers. So many problems arise when religion is lost, when people don't know the right things to do. They become unhappy, restless, unstable. They have nothing to lean on, no place to turn in difficult times. This leads to abuse, to divorce, to suicide, to disease, to murder and dozens of sad experiences and hellish states of mind."
Then, in a very positive and inspiring way, Bodhinatha elaborated on the power of the temple and the ways in which Saivism is relevant to our current age of technology. We'll have this inspired talk online soon, available on our "Guru's Talks" page.
Our March 2014 news video covers events in February 2014, including: The monastery's celebration of Mahasivaratri, Satguru Bodhinatha's travels to Trinidad and Texas, including his participation in the 2014 Midland Interfaith event, improvements to the monastery's vegetable gardens and new decor in Kadavul Temple.
Recently, the monks have been milling logs of monkeypod wood. The logs were gifted to the monastery by local tree trimmers. Monkeypod has long been prized as a quality carving wood and Nirvani Nilakanthanatha in particular, has recently been using it for turning beautiful wooden bowls.
Recently the monastery had a public tour day. Every few weeks, these tours are offered as a chance for people from all walks of life to see the monastery, its sacred gardens and of course, Iraivan Temple. The tours are led by some of our local island members, who all do a wonderful job and to whom we are very thankful. The tour groups have grown over the years, to the point where our guests have to book a space months in advance. Gurudeva was very careful about keeping the monastery a monastery, and not allowing it to become another "attraction" on the tourist-saturated destination of Kauai. Thankfully, more and more, we are seeing that the visitors that come on these tours are generally very kind, respectful people, who often tell us of the profound effect that their visit has had on their lives. This group loved Iraivan Temple and the bright sunny day on which they visited. The rudraksha trees and other rare plants were also well enjoyed.
Today is the beginning of a new phase and also happens to be Ardra Nakshatra. On this day of the month, Siva's divine energies are more easily felt. The morning began with the usual homa, to be followed a few hours later by the 9:00am puja and Abhishekam to Lord Nataraja. This is a six day phase, so the monks will have some extra time to put into their kulam related projects.
Unequalled, free from pain, subtle, all-pervading, unending, unchanging, incapable of decay, sovereign--such is the essence of Siva, Lord of the summit of all paths.
Svayambhuva Agama 4.3. SA, 56
Now have I realized the path of Hara. In the past I sought Him in narrow paths and strayed. Lo! All the while He stood before me like a beacon light in firmament, guiding my voyage across the sea of my soul's longing. The path of Siva is the proven path. It led them to Hara. It is the royal path that renowned souls have walked, the path divine that took the devout to cosmic space. That path do seek, enter and persevere. Still your wandering thoughts, chant the sacred syllable Si and so persevere on the path of Hara. You shall envision primal light effulgent.
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