Recently the monastery's new CAT 301.7D mini excavator arrived. Thanks to an anonymous someone's wonderful generosity, we now have a reliable tool for landscaping in places that larger machines can't go. While we previously had another mini excavator, it was old and prone to disrepair. This new one is roughly the same size but with much more horsepower. It has been given the nickname of "Rajendra Chola," as this south indian king was known for his building of temple gardens. This little excavator will have that as its primary purpose, especially now while we are making ample progress on the landscaping around Iraivan Temple.
This lovely Yucca recently bloomed in our sacred gardens, near the flagpole. Yuccas are members of the large agave family and are native to the southeastern U.S. and in arid parts of the Midwest or Southwest, depending on the species. Noted for their long, strap-like leaves that form a single large rosette, yuccas also produce showy white flowers in clusters at the end of tall spikes. They only bloom once a year.
It took 13 years, a thousand (really!) emails, hundreds of conversations, sketches and new sketches and revised sketches, hundreds of chisels, journeys to India, changes even after completion, crating and shipping across the globe, and now it is (almost) done. The arrival and permanent placement of the eight major Satgurus of the noble Nandanatha Parampara.
Two months back eight concrete pads were poured, to be the locations on the 1,350-foot path which winds around the Aadheenam's lotus and water lily ponds, ready to receive our eight hand-carved Satguru statues. In order, walking clockwise, you now encounter: Nandinatha, Tirumular, Rishi from the Himalayas, Kadaitswami, Chellappaswami, Yogaswami, Gurudeva and Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. Each has a precious and unique darshan, yet each is also the same One Illumined Soul.
Over the last few days, and with the help of master machine operator Dennis Wong, the monks, lead by Sadasivanathaswami, moved the eight Satgurus from their temporary locations around the Swayambhu Lingam to their new permanent homes in the Narmada Velley. Now when one walks the path around the ponds, they are greeted by the great sages of our lineage, each in a unique and sacred spot. Currently only four have their peedams completed, so they were placed permanently while the other four were placed just next to where they will finally reside. In December the final four bases will arrive and will be placed in Siva's Sacred Garden. Pilgrims of the future have some sweet moments awaiting them. We share some insights from Gurudeva:
"Hindu temples sustain Hinduism around the world. Scriptures keep us always reminded of the path we are on and the path we are supposed to be on, but only from the satguru can you get the spirit, the sakti, the sustaining spirit, to make it all come to life in you, to make the temple meaningful and to complement the scriptures with your own sight, your own third-eye sight. Otherwise, it’s just words. Nathas are not on the path of words. The Rishi wandered down from the Himalayas to Bangalore. What did he say? Nobody knows. Whom did he talk to? Nobody knows. Did he influence crowds of people? Perhaps, but he only had to influence one individual, Kadaitswami, to speak out to the world. Kadaitswami caught the spirit of the Rishi, who had caught the spirit of the previous rishi, the previous rishi and all the ones that preceded him. It is that spirit of sampradaya that makes the traditional teachings meaningful, that gives you the power to discriminate between what is real within those teachings and what is superfluous or just plain nonsense, that gives you the power to blend Siddhanta with Vedanta, Vedas with Agamas. The irreversible spirit of the guru carries through all of the sishyas. It is basically the only gift a guru can give—that sustaining spirit. He doesn’t have to give knowledge, because that has already been written down. He doesn’t have to build temples, because there are more than enough temples for everyone. The rare and precious gift that he can convey is the inner spirit of his religious heritage. That is his unique gift to the world.."
Its Aloha Friday here on Kauai and that means its time to enjoy the beautiful landscape. Aloha Friday is a time for the Hawaiian Islands to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. The tradition officially began in 1966 when Wilson P. Cannon Jr., a Maui boy who was president of the Bank of Hawai‘i, started wearing tropical flower shirts to the office. The monks have one more day before our time out of the office but sometimes the island vibration permeates into our walls! Ke Akua pu a hui hou
Yesterday we harvested this betel leaf from one of our vines. It's the biggest any of us have every seen, roughly two or three times the average size.
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