Hanuman’s Granite Peedam

Gurudeva commissioned a giant Hanuman to be carved in India and decreed that He be installed in Iraivan's Sacred Garden, holding in His hand a small mountain on which Iraivan Temple sits. As you know, Hanuman arrived, but His base is still in progress in India.

Today we received these photos from the Bengaluru team showing the progress on this massive base. It is REALLY big, fully nine feet long and four feet high. Hanuman will stand 18 feet tall when He is installed for a thousand years.

From Chidambaram

Jiva and Kanmani Rajasankaran, our managers of the Bengaluru worksite, sent these rare photos today from Chidambaram, where they attended the annual Ardra Darshanam along with fellow travelers Mrunal and Padmaja Patel who are on pilgrimage from Texas. Rarely are people taken to this roof where the gopurams and Chit Sabha can be seen so perfectly, glowing in the sun. Jiva writes:

"We had a wonderful Darshan at Chidambaram. In spite of the rush it was well worth watching the use of the Abhishekam items over Siva Nataraja. They used over 2000 pounds of Vibhuti and 2000 gallons of milk!!!! What a delightful sight. The dikshithar took us to the first floor of the Chidambaram temple and showed us the Arkasha Lingam. They do daily puja to the Sivalingam in the mornings. On Pradosha days they allow some public to watch the puja. We went another flight of steps that took us to the open space. There, we were in level with the golden rooftop. It was a rare sight to see the golden Gopuram so closely.

I have sent some vibhuti from Chidambaram by speed post today, for all the swamis."



From the Bengaluru Worksite

Recently, Jiva sent us these photos, giving an update of the work being done on the stones for Iraivan's steps and perimeter wall.

The Story of Iraivan’s Avudaiyar

Our monks heard this miraculous story during their travels in India in November, and thought to share it on this day, as we approach Maha Ardra

You all know about the 11,000-pound Avudaiyar that was made for Iraivan, the five-metal base that will ultimately hold the crystal Sivalingam in the sanctum, the one that arrived on Kauai two months back. It seems to have some magical and mystical powers.

The masterpiece was made in Swamimalai, South India, by the great artisan Kubera Sthapati. He and his wife had remained childless, to their great dismay. But as soon as he began to work on the massive peedam, his wife, who was 48 years old at the time, became pregnant.

The avudaiyar took nine months to design, cast, carve and finish. On the day it left his workshop for Kauai, his wife delivered a baby boy. Sthapati regards this as his blessing for working on one of the most sacred parts of Siva's Citadel in Hawaii. He said his life was forever changed in that moment.

Click here to see a video of the Avudaiyar's creation

The Five Powers of Siva

We unpacked the five bronzes of God Siva yesterday, revealing their astonishing detail. No wonder it took years for the craftsmen in South India to makes these murthis. Five forms each in five metals, to be placed in five niches on the outisee of the Iraivan garbhagriham.

Meantime, we thought you would love to see them, to enjoy the high level of sculpting that was achieved and a few words about this traditional depiction of divinity.

Most Saivites understand that Siva has five powers: creation, preservation, dissolution and the dual graces, concealing and revealing. Those who read our philosophically rich July, 2012, Insight Section, "Five Powers of Siva, Sadasiva in the Agama Scriptures," will have encountered the profundity of this understanding of God (bit.ly/Panchasiva). In Iraivan Temple, these five powers are enshrined as five forms of Siva in bronze, two-foot-tall statues installed in niches around the outside of the central sanctum: Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusha and Ishana. 

Sadyojata, "quickly birthing" is Brahma, element earth, color white and denoted by Na in the Panchakshara Mantra, Namasivaya. Vamadeva, "pleasing," is Vishnu, element water, color saffron and letter Ma. Aghora, "non-terrifying," is Rudra, element fire, color blue-black and letter Si. Tatpurusha, "supreme soul," is Maheshvara, element air, color gold and letter Va. Ishana, "ruler," is Sadasiva, element akasha, color crystal and letter Ya.

These bronzes were commissioned from Ganapati Sthapati's Mahabalipuram worksite and took several years to complete under his careful direction. They finally and somewhat magically arrived on Kauai in November, 2014, right at the conclusion of the Mahasamadhi observances for Gurudeva. 

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

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