After nearly four years without Narmada Stream flowing, it's waters can once again be heard throughout the monastery. And it all auspiciously happened one day before the beginning of Gurudeva's 2013 Mahasamadhi Celebrations. This truly is a well-planned Universe. Arriving pilgrims can now perform abhishekam to the Narmada Lingam, using the water that flows by its side. Jai Gurudeva! Aum Namah Sivaya.
This first photo is a hoya vine which was planted five years ago on a coconut tree next to the Kadavul Temple pool. Today it finally bloomed and greeted the tropical sun.
The following photos are of a blooming Giant Dutchman's Pipe or Pelican Flower:
Aristolochia gigantea is a robust, twisting climber that can grow around a sturdy arbor or a tree up to 30 feet tall or higher. Giant Dutchman's Pipe has developed an ingenious way to make the flies do all the pollination work. First, the fly, which is already coated with pollen from another flower it has recently visited, is attracted to the sight and smell of the open flower. As it follows the scent down to the main chamber of the flower, it is prevented from exiting by the stiff hairs from inside the pipe, which traps the insect inside. Since the hairs point downward, the fly must move in that direction. Deep inside the flower, the pollen-covered fly brushes up its head against the flower's receptive stigma, depositing pollen from the previous flower. The next day the flower stops producing the scent that attracted the flies and releases pollen on the captives. Only then does the flower relax the stiff hairs and release the flies to carry the pollen to another flower. The flower is about the size of an open hand.
When walking through the Aadheenam's gardens, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the fantastic views, and larger then live encounters, but in doing so, we sometimes miss the beauty that exists in the smallest of our experiences.
For two years the silpi team in India has been quietly working on a small project, a granite map of the island which visitors can explore and enjoy. The top section was uncrated yesterday and placed temporarily in Siva's Sacred Garden. It's quite heavy and took three strong monks to lift into place.
The base is completed, and will be shipped in January, so meantime a simple block of stone was found to provide support for the months ahead. The 3-D terrain is not to scale. If it were scaled properly, the tallest peak of mount Waialaale would be only one inch tall. So, we intentionally had it exaggerated, five hundred percent, making the peak five inches high on this model.
It has been placed amidst the plants out near the flagpole where visitors gather. They will be able to see just where the temple is on the map, and look above the temple to see the top of Mount Waialeale.
There is a water-loving palm tree that is growing quickly, in fact a pair of them. At the base is an amazing cluster of red roots that are reaching out and diving into the moist soil.
This is Raphia ruffia, a palm famous as having the longest fronds or leaves in the plant kingdom, fully 60 feet long when they are mature.
They are also called Vegetable Ivory Palm, since the seeds are so hard and pur white they are used by carvers to make things normally made from real (and highly illegal) ivory.
Enjoy one of Siva's marvels.
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