New Phase Begins

We began our phase with a bright homa. Bodhinatha's talk at the end about "Staying Cool and Calm" was a jewel. Stay tuned for this upadesha to come on line in the days ahead.

Sweet Potato Ganesha

Today one of our monks was inspired to create this little Ganesha from some of our morning's sweet potato harvest.

From Merging With Siva:
The Hindu enjoys all the facets of life as transmuted into a religious expression in art. The Hindu's art is a religious art--drawing, painting and sculpture of the Gods, the devas, and the saints of our religion. The music is devotional and depicts the tones of the higher chakras, echoes the voices of the Gods; and the dance emulates the movements of the Gods. We are never far away from sights, sounds and symbols of our religion. A mountaintop represents Lord Siva; a hill represents Lord Murugan, Karttikeya; and sugar cane fields represent Lord Ganesa. Everything that one sees on the planet represents something religious. Art is not merely for egotistical and existential self-expression, but for spiritual expression, done consciously in service to the Divine. That is why one seldom sees or even knows the name of the artist of the great Hindu artistic creations. The artist is not creating in order to become famous or rich. He is surrendering his talents, serving his Gods and his religion through his art, and his art takes on a certain sacredness.

September 3rd Homa

Today the monks begin the new phase. Natyam Nandinatha was the pujari for this morning's powerful havana. The monks chanted Sri Rurdam while Bodhinatha offered written prayers to the sacred flames, followed by the chanting of "Aum ham haum Sivaya svaha" 108 times. Back from his long journey, Bodhinatha gave a wonderful talk about the nature of dualism and monism, dvaita and advaita.

This is a five day phase with tour day on Sun 3. In the days ahead Acharya Arumuganathaswami and Sadhaka Jayanatha will take a short trip to Denver, Colorado, for this year's Uberoi Conference.

Aum Namah Sivaya

"How do we practice contentment? Simply do not harm others by thought, word or deed." Gurudeva

Odissi Dance Performance

Recently the aadheenam was blessed with a deepy devotional dance performance. Odissi dance is traditionally performed for the Deity in the temple. The lead dancer and teacher, Colleena Shakti, is a masterful and unusually disciplined exemplar of Odissi dance, an art originally from the state of Orissa. She lives most of the year in Rajasthan and performed during last year's Ganesha Chaturthi. This year she brought a group of students with her, who have been on the island for a dance retreat. She danced four numbers, the first to Lord Ganesha, as tradition requires, and the last was called Moksha. The Banyan Mandapam was infused with a deeply spiritual energy during the dances, and a great joy afterwards as Sadasivanathaswami gave her a golden shawl and our last poster of the 108 tandavas of Lord Siva, and told some Gurudeva stories in the bargain.

Beautiful world. Dance! Dance as you like. Be as a child. Do as you please. Siva Yogaswami

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