The Power of Nature

Henry David Thoreau spent two years of his life alone in nature. He left society, built his own shack from lumber and grew his own food. His reflections have been archived in his short book, Walden, and can be accessed by anyone thanks to the internet.

The profundity of his realizations aren't solely that he himself had them but also because of who he was. Thoreau's education level--being a Harvard graduate with a masters--was far beyond what most people imagine a woodsman to be. His renunciation for a short time, sheer handyman ability and spontaneous farming mission is nothing short of mysteriously divine. An avid follower of the Vedas, Thoreau credited Eastern wisdom of the Hindu to be supreme.

Since our word of the week is Abstemious, Thoreau comes to mind as a man who cultivated a massive amount of moderation in his life. He says of his time alone in the woods,

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever."

The awe and fascination that nature can deliver is something we all need to observe and experience at some point in our incarnation. Nature can be thought of as the honey produced by the honeycomb of creation. If we are to fully understand why we should even be moderate, then we must explore the deeper caverns that life has to offer.

I suppose these mushrooms that glow in the dark have spurred some sort of awe in myself. Such a fragile creature of life has come from something that has died. In this way we see a full circle and can step away from the myopic day to day of everyday life. As the monastics enter our short retreat from the world, we suggest you also retreat and use the weekend to get away from it all and, as Thoreau would say, "Not till we are lost, in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations."

Growing Shitake Mushrooms

After several months of trial and error, the monks have learned a system to successfully grow Shitake mushrooms. Shitake mushrooms have many great health benefits as well as being quite tasty!

Tour Day

A large group of visitors came for tour day, hosted by Vel Alahan and herded by Dasaan and Shakti Mahadevan.

Last Day of Our Phase

Aloha and Namaste, the monks are wrapping up another dynamic phase of activities and enjoying some nice weather. The monastery has had non-stop overcast and rainy conditions for the week but now are embracing the sun! As I walked around the monastery this afternoon I was surprised to find so many monks doing things outside and even a group of church members holding a meeting for the future activities on their busy calendars.

We hope you get a glimpse of our "aloha Friday" and are having a great week yourself. Aum Aum

Digital Dharma Drive Launch

donate A Message from Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami November 1, 2017 Namaste, and welcome to our website, through which we endeavor to provide accurate, useful and contemporary information on Hinduism. Clearly our broadest reaching digital initiative is our five-part “History of Hindu India” YouTube video series. The pace of the addition of new viewers is impressive. Part One has added an impressive 750,000 views over the last twelve months to reach its current total 2.2 million views. The more recently added Parts Two and Three each have an over a million views. Clearly the series is fulfilling a need for accurate and well-presented information on Hinduism’s history. Parts Four and Five of the series are almost complete and will be posted to YouTube in the months ahead. For our quarterly magazine Hinduism Today, a major task accomplished is the new and improved HT mobile app. One of its valuable features is that when opened on a smart phone the app defaults to the text version and thus is immediately readable. Other accomplishments include a redo of the Publisher’s Desk archives to present all the articles in chronological order. Also starting with the July 2017 issue the video and the recorded keynote have been combined into a one movie with a professional opening and closing section. For our digital resources on Saivism, much of our professionals’ time during the year was devoted to the SivaSiva mobile app. The app provides mobile access to a wealth of material on Saivism for individual of all ages, has gone through beta versions and was recently released to the world. We also reorganized the presentation of the Saiva Agama documents and updated them to include the most recent translation work received from India. Our Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, envisioned all the material on our websites and now our new mobile apps as well to be available for free online. However, to upgrade and expand our digital initiatives we do incur significant professional fees. To cover this expense we follow the model of Wikipedia and ask for donations during the last few months of the year. For seven years running, you have responded generously, and after another year of working to enhance the site, we are back again with this appeal. In our "How Your Donations Were Used," we detail what we did with your past generosity. Your contribution this year will go to the enhancement of our websites and their content and the development of mobile apps. A portion of this DDD will again be used to pay down the construction loan taken to complete the renovation of the Media Studio. The funds do not pay staff salaries or administrative overhead, since these sites are created and maintained by selfless monks who work for free and live simply in our remote monastery on the island of Kauai. Ten percent of your tax-deductible contribution goes into the permanent Digital Dharma Drive Endowment, which now stands at $115,000 after seven years of fundraising. This follows Gurudeva’s vision that all major aspects of our work ultimately be supported by endowments. As that endowment accumulates, it will provide an ever-increasing income for decades to come, protecting the digital future of Hinduism, your religious heritage. Donate today, and improve our presentation of Hinduism to the world—for the benefit of this and future generations. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami Guru Mahasannidhanam of Kauai Aadheenam Publisher of Hinduism Today Click here to donate

Subscribe to RSS Feed
Audio Video Slideshows Images Publications Web pages