We present photos from Satguru's recently completed visit to the United Kingdom from start to finish. Our full story today was written by Arulsishya Ramai Santhirapala of London.
Between 28th June and 5th July, London had the immense boon of welcoming Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. This was His first official visit since 2005 and one that was much anticipated. London has been gently walking towards Satguru's Holy Feet over the past decade, and inner doors opened as Hinduism Today reported on London's Saivite temples last year. A somewhat unanticipated and delightful sequelae of reporting this article were the many stories which emerged from those who had met Paramaguru Siva Yogaswami , Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami and Satguru Bodhinatha Himself. In short invites were aplenty requesting earnestly for the presence of Satguru in London bringing joy to the hearts of the Saivite community and beyond.
The visit was a gracious opportunity to visit a selection of London's Saivite Temples whilst spending time with the growing Europe satsang group of Himalayan Academy students and sishyas. Cordially Kulapati and Kulamata Veeragethiyar, London's only kulapati, held a satsang at their home to commence this blessed visit. The pada puja was vibrant and Satguru's talk on our Saiva Samayam was enjoyed by all. That evening heralded the start of the temple tour across London, first being London Sri Murugan. Satguru and Shanmuganathaswami received a warm vanakkam with a powerful Guru mantra chant with good friend Pitchai Kurukkral in attendance. Sri Murugan Temple and the close by Saiva Munetta Sangam have previously received Satguru Bodhinatha and Sivaya Subramuniyaswami in the past and this was a beautiful moment to build on this acquaintance. Satguru Bodhinatha's talk on ‘Saivism is Not Well Understood' was received with immense thanks from devotees, especially as it was read out in English and Tamil.
The next morning the Europe satsang group organized a visit to Kew Royal Botanical Gardens which provided an opportunity to stroll through the tree-lined vistas, find a little Kauai in London in the Palm House and visit the newest feature entitled ‘The Hive', the latter being an educational and audio-visual delight mirroring a real beehive at Kew. That evening Satguru and Shanmuganathaswami visited Enfield Nagapoosani Amman Temple where currently in construction is London's first all granite temple to which Satguru has been invited to its Mahakumbhabhishekam next year.
Continuing on this journey the following morning was a visit to ‘Shanti Nilayam'; a small building dedicated to Siva Yogaswami established by long term devotees. The owners sought Yogaswami's tiruvadi and most humbled as Satguru blessed them with a wonderful puja. Natchinthinai were sang and we heard a beautiful poem from an elder, now in his 80s, who spoke of the wonders of our Guru parampara. Lunch was served at the Jananayagam home, most well known for their multiple generation association with Siva Yogaswami. Yogaswami seemed the common thread as that evening, Highgate Hill Murugan celebrated its monthly katthigai puja in Satguru's presence ending with an auspicious inauguration of a picture of Paramaguru Siva Yogaswami. The Ganesha murti at this temple was gifted by Gurudeva and it was interesting to hear of devotees connection with Gurudeva, Satguru Bodhinatha and Kauai Aadheenam.
The unique and boon of a workshop on Saivism was held at Shree Ghanapathy Temple on the third day of the visit. This was immensely well received as Satguru Bodhinatha gave a talk he has written on ‘What is Saivism?', Participants found it very useful to flow from the mystical aspects of Lord Siva and Saivism through to pragmatic wisdom on implementing this to everyday life in a city. We flowed onto visit the home of London's Thiruchendur Murugan, the first Hindu murti in London, at Sri Rajarajeswari Amman Temple that evening where we witnessed a wonderful abhishekam, violin and mridangam recital.
The musical theme continued as the next morning Satguru was invited to London Sivan Kovil. London's othuvar, Samy Thandapani, amazed us with his precise recitals of Tamil thevarans and songs dedicated to Lord Siva and the Nayanmars. Interspersed were recitals by London's Pan Asai group alongside a flute recital. All the while Lord Siva received a wonderful abhishekam. This was a suitable close to the temple visits, all of which received a beautifully worded upadesha on Saivism by Satguru Bodhinatha and gifted with gems from the writings of our our beloved Gurudeva. To close five days of dynamic travel across London filled with activities, a satsang was held at the Santhirapala home where vratas were taken under Satguru's brilliant radiance. Prior to departing London, Satguru and Shamuganathaswami blessed the satsang group with an Aloha Dinner which took place in the riverside and greener side of London, Richmond-Upon-Thames.
Overall a blessed and vibrant time as all felt immensely grateful and blissful in the light of Satguru's grace. His words of wisdom and joy in His smile captured the hearts of many who look ahead to the next visit whilst also planning a visit to Siva's little island of Kauai. It is with the humblest of nandris to the love and dharsan from Kauai Aadheenam that this visit manifested and we very much felt the love from the international family; Siva's Sambandham. All is indeed His Dance.
Aum Namah Sivaya
We had a blast with Swami Ramana Swaroopanandaji, but Swami had to keep going on his mission across the mainland US. We hope to see Swami visit us soon.
We hosted the wonderful Suresh and Nisha Rajamanickam family the other day, visiting all the way from Florida.
Thanks to Kaivalyanathaswami for keeping in close contact with the family, we were able to hear so many insights and reflections from them.
Last week, Kaua`i Aadheenam was honored and blessed to have a most sincere, disciplined group of Satya Sai Baba devotees visit us. Months ago, their coordinator, Sandhya Kanade, contacted us with a request. In fact, her original note to us is the body of this post, as she thoroughly describes everything which took place.
"We are a group of devotees of Sri Satya Sai Baba, who are passionate about helping promote 'World peace' and well-being through the chanting of the Vedas. The Rudram is known to elevate the energies and accord expanding peace and love in the world. Where better to chant, than in the auspicious grounds of the Kauai Hindu Monastery where preserving and providing a firm foundation of Sanathana Dharma is one of its missions.
"The world is now a global family with many friends and relative from various cultural, variant religious practices and family backgrounds. We desire to perform this Sahasra lingarchana as a group and enjoy Siva Anandam all together under one roof, with the coming together of all people from various castes, creed, sex and age groups to worship Lord Siva. Bhakti and devotion always plays a pivotal role in all our prayers at all times. It is well said that any puja performed as a group gives more vibration and good results to all the participants and the society. Group participation will also provide good understanding and opportunity to all of us and our children to learn more and more about Sanathana Dharma .They can adopt and carry it forward to future generations.
"Sahasra Lingarchana is a unique vedic ritual to worship lord Siva in the name of 'Uma Pardhiveswara Swamy.' It is performed by making 1,116 mruthika siva lingas also called as Pardhiva lingas made out of well prepared and sanctified clay. All these siva lingas are arranged in the form of Kailasa prastharam which is a depiction of Siva Kailasam with 16 avaranas and 1,116 Rudra swaroopas. They are placed in this particular formation on a wooden plank. Roughly, an area of 9x9 is required. Devotees sit around this arrangement to pray and chant. Siva Shakti is invoked into each Siva lingam through vedic mantras during Shodasa Aavarana puja and worshiped with great devotion and bhakti to seek the blessings of Sri Uma Pardhiveswara Swamy for health, wealth, prosperity, bliss and ultimate mukthi.
"According to our Siva Maha Puranam, it is said that our lord Siva and goddess Parvathi reside in Kailasam, which is surrounded by 16 aavaranas. Each avarana contains a set of Rudra swaroopa devata ganas. There is a well-defined name for each aavarana and the respective devata ganas in the Sahasra Lingarchana kalpam . Shodasa Avarana puja is the process of invoking Rudra swaroopa devata shakti in all 1,116 mruthika sivalingas arranged in kailasa prastharam with 16 avaranas by each ones name and respective mantras. We invite them into the kailasa prastharam with all shodasa upacharams to worship them. Once this is complete, we'll have 1,116 Rudra devata swaroopams with Maha Linga swaroopa Uma Pardhiveswara swamy in the kailasa prastharam. This becomes the pivotal point of the entire universal energy and universal consciousness. What a great opportunity for every one participating in such event to receive the universal energy as blessings. The mahanyasam is the process to tune your mind and body to absorb this high frequency universal energy present in Kailasa Prastharam which is invoked thru vibrant vedic beejakshra mantras during prana prathistha. This is followed by the Lingaarchana and then Rudraabhishekham.
"The main component in Sahasra Lingarchana is to make 1,116 mruthika Siva lingas, which we usually do in advance at home and bring it safely to the venue.
The main program details and rough time estimates are as follows
1. Ganapathy puja (30 min)
2. Sankalpam (30 min)
3. Mahanyasam (1.5 hrs)
4. Sahasra Lingarchana (1.5 hrs)
5. 1 round of chanting of the Rudram ( 30 min)
"Our hope is to perform it on July 2nd 2016 - Saturday morning and if possible, along with the swamis, yogis and sadhakas of the ashram. We have performed this Archana and chanting in other towns and cities in the US with a dedicated group of volunteers who work tirelessly for a seamless process, starting from setting up for the event to clean-up after the event. It can either be performed indoors or outdoors based on the number of chanters.
"To be able to perform a Sahasralingaarchana and chant the RUDRAM In this auspicious and highly energized Island of Kauai, especially in the precincts of the Monastery is indeed a blessing. We would like the Monastics and board members to kindly consider this proposal."
We just today received a beautiful message from Sandhya reflecting on the aftermath of their visit:
My humble pranaams to Satguru and all of you. We had an inspiring, uplifting and devotion-filled week. Yourself and the entire Monastery showed us what it is to 'share and give selflessly.'
Starting from opening the doors of the monastery for this event to having the group experience the whole divine land of the Monastery- go into the garbhagudi of the Iraivan temple, do Abhishekha to the Narmada Linga , experience the spiritual energy on the grounds- has been a touching experience. You thoughtfulness in simple tasks such as providing bug spray, provide the buggy to take people around etc was an inspiring experience.
The icing on the cake was the Ardra pooja and Abhishekha to Lord Nataraja . It was indescribable and was an out of the world experience. The whole group had tears of Bliss flowing incessantly. What a spiritually elevating weekend that was.
Thank you is such a small word that does not express the gratitude we all feel..
Samastha Lokaah Sukhino Bhavantu.
The Sai group"
Summer bring many visitors. Aran Sendan conducted a recent tour on June 18th
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.