February 8th Homa

This morning began the new phase with the usual homa. Satguru Bodhinatha is currently traveling, so his paduka reside in his place. Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami fills in to burn the written prayers to the devas, and to give a short talk after the homa. He the topic of his talk was universal love, and he read from Gurudeva's talk, Love is the Sum of the Law.

From Merging With Siva
Lesson 120:
Love may also be thought of as the full expression of the intuitive mind, a continuing flow from the source of Being. Most people would not be able to withstand the reaction to this force were it to be fully released within them. To suddenly relieve a person of all tension would be like making a poor man rich overnight. The instinctive mind feels lost and insecure under the impact of any sudden change in evolution. As the soul, the superconscious mind, or the light of God, begins to shine through the rest of the mind, the mind will either become reactionary or cooperative. Some people have a terrible fight within themselves as the soul begins to shine forth, and yet their only lasting satisfaction in life is in the outpouring of their individual soul qualities. ¶Sometimes students of Inner Being are able to control their actions or their speech when they become disturbed, but the thought force projected by their suppressed sulking is just as negatively effective. Seeking to understand the condition that has upset you will give control of the negative force and eventually lift you into the state of love which conquers all things. ¶Of course, the practice of understanding must begin at home. You must train yourself to know where you are in consciousness at all times. When you can become fully aware of the states of consciousness through which you pass, there will be no one whom you cannot understand, no one with whom you could not communicate through the medium of love. Until you learn the operation of this law as the sum of all laws, you will continue to harbor contention, to prefer argument and to walk the path of difference. Through bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion, the combative mind becomes erased, absorbed into the consciousness of the One Self, the Being permeating all beings. ¶With the help of devotion, you can soar within. You cannot only pull away detachedly from unwholesome areas of the mind, but it is possible to keep yourself in an inward state of expanded consciousness.

Kadaitswami’s Umbrella

You wouldn't think an umbrella would make a good story, but it does.

Today we bring you a great surprise (it certainly was a surprise to us) in the form of our Satguru Kadaitswami's umbrella. To which we add a little about this great siddhar from The Guru Chronicles.

As we know, he was never without his umbrella. In South India and Sri Lanka people use umbrellas more for protection from the scorching sun than from rain, and Kadaitswami carried his during his extensive and famed walks. Whether in the marketplace or teaching outside the Siva temple to devotees, his umbrella was never apart from him.

So, Jiva Rajasankar, our site manager in Bengaluru had an umbrella made for Kadaitswami, to go with his murthi which is coming soon to Kauai to be installed with seven others in our paramparai. It's a delightfully graceful umbrella made of black granite, no doubt the first ever of its kind.

Kadaitswami, born in 1810, was famed for his ever-present umbrella, was a judicial officer turned mendicant, an Indian who guided the spiritual life of Sri Lanka, a linguist who preached in the commoners' marketplace and led a renaissance of Saivism among the Tamil people of Jaffna.

Marketplace Monarch
Muktiyananda (Kadaitswami) spent his days at Jaffna Grand Bazaar, walking about or sitting under a huge, shade-giving banyan tree. The shops on the northern and western streets of this marketplace belonged mainly to the Chettiars, or trading community. Muktiyananda did not say his name, so people took to referring to him as Kadaitswami (kadai means "shop" in the Tamil language, so his name simply meant the swami who frequents the marketplace).

It is common in Tamil culture to name holy men after places, for they often do not let people know any other name. History also knows him as Adikadainathan, "Lord of the Marketplace." Kadaitswami would go to a shop and take a piece of bread. While they might object to such filching by an ordinary customer, shopkeepers were always pleased to relinquish a little of their stock to the swami, for they had come to learn that business was bountiful on days he visited. They would even pray that the tall sadhu might come and help himself to something.

People observed, and these small signs gave them faith in the swami, faith in his powers to bless and magically influence the world around him. That is one reason Chellappaswami, his future disciple, was not as popular in Jaffna, for he refused to perform such miracles.

Muthaiyar shares the following: Sometimes Swami would dance in the market and on occasion enter a stall and touch the coins. Muktiyananda was described as lean and tall, dressed in a dark veshti, carrying an umbrella under his arm.

They say he was six feet four inches tall, had curly hair, piercing eyes and a long, pointed nose; his body was gangly, but well formed and of charming appearance. K. Ramachandran provided the following description on a radio talk he gave in the mid 20th century on Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. No photograph of Kadaitswami was ever taken.

The pictures of him that now exist are, in fact, drawings by an artist who was his devotee. These drawings depict him as having broad shoulders, long hands and a radiant smile constantly shining on his face. His long nose, lightly hooked at the tip, lent beauty to his face. There was a spring in his brisk, stately walk and humor in his talk that gave charm to his personality, say those who had seen him.

A New Phase Begins

Today the monastery began another phase with its usual Siva homa. The sacred fire ritual allows for a very potent connection with the devas and Mahadevas in the inner lokas. As the monks chant Sri Rudram, Satguru Bodhinatha places written prayers into the fire to be read by the inner-world beings. The varied requests include everything from simple assistance with one's area of work, to help with complicated projects for which one may write pages of detailed instructions. This truly special connection has proven itself time and time again to monks and family people alike. Following the havana, Satguru Bodhinatha gave a wonderful talk. Reading from parts of today's Master Course lesson, he elaborated on the functioning of one's awareness through the different chakras and the importance of sadhana in closing off lower states of mind and keeping them closed.

January 25th Homa

This morning the monastery observed it's usual homa to start off the new phase. The homa was attended by the monks as well as some local members. Natyam Nandinatha performed the havana, after which Satguru Bodhinatha gave a talk about the importance of ahimsa in our everyday encounters. He detailed the subtle "himsa" acts which sometimes occur throughout our daily life, such as making jokes of the kind which can be hurtful to others, and explained ways to live a more dharmic and "ahimsa" lifestyle. Aum Namah Sivaya

January 2014 News Video

Our January 2014 news video covers events in December 2013, including: Ardra Darshanam Nataraja abhishekam, Iraivan Temple construction progress, our Media Studio renovation project and the fun, new quadcopter for shooting virtual tours, aerial survey photos and other video of the monastery.

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

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