Catholic Brother David Steindle-Rast from Austria, recently visited the aadheenam. He and his small group were given a tour of the grounds, after which they had a meeting with Satguru Bodhinatha. Later he sat down for a talk with Sadasivanathaswami and Brahmanathaswami. Brother David actively promotes the practice of gratefulness and was involved in past interfaith Global Forums in Moscow. He had some wonderful words to say about many topics, including the importance of religion as something which brings man into unity with God, stating that any beliefs or practices that separate people or divide the world, could not be called religion.
Yesterday the Monastery began its new phase. Sadasivanathaswami filled in for Bodhinatha at the homa, to burn the prayers and give a short talk afterwards. This phase is a shorter one, of just four days, but it's no less exciting. Sun 1 began with the usual homa, and was a day of many activities, such as the SK's garden care or the GK's work in the woodshop, creating their soon-to-be desks. Sun two, Satguru Bodhinatha and Senthilnathaswami return from their 3 week trip to Texas and Trinidad. It is also Guruthondu day, a day when all the monks get together on a single project, and push it forward with a massive force. Sun 4 will be Mahasivaratri, "Siva's Great Night." Aum Namah Sivaya
Recently we've been experiencing a thick, misty haze in our early mornings. It's actually smoke drifting to us from volcanic activity on our sister island of Hawaii.
The Monastery lives and works according to the lunar calendar, taking a few days during the full moon, half moons and new moon as retreat days. The monk's routine days of kulam duties and group sadhanas make up the other days. These phase days average five per phase. At the beginning of each new phase the monks observe a homa. Devotees from the island and other special guests also attend.
Today Satguru Bodhinatha is traveling, so Paramacharya Sadasivanatha sat in to burn the written prayers. He also gave a short talk following the homa. These last few days at the Aadheenam have seen endless downpours of tropical rain, leaving slippery mud under every step. On that note Paramacharya began with a few quotes from the Tirukkural about the importance of rain.
"No life on Earth can exist without water, and water's ceaseless flow cannot exist without rain."
Paramacharya then continued his talk from last week about the central importance of love on the spiritual path, pointing to the Nandinatha Sutras and the Tirumantirum as direct examples of this concept.
Siva's followers all believe that Lord Siva is God, whose immanent nature of love, Parasakti, is the substratum, primal substance or pure consciousness flowing through all form as energy, existence, knowledge and bliss. Aum.
The ignorant prate that Love and Siva are two,
But none do know that Love alone is Siva
When men but know that Love and Siva are the same,
Love as Siva, they ever remained.
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