Chaturthi Puja in Kadavul

Natyam Nandinatha is on the 3am temple vigil for August and celebrates Chaturthi for Ganesha with exuberance and flair. Kadavul Ganesha has Nagaraja alankaram on His trunk in honor of Naag Panchami which begins as soon as Chaturthi ends. Naag Panchami is the annual serpent worship festival.

Iraivan Day for the Wailua Mission

We recently received these photos from the Wailua Mission, whose members gathered several days ago at the home of Tandu and Uma Sivanatha. Each month the Wailua Mission gets together to clean rudrakshas and string malas and jewelry to be sold at the Mini Mela in support of Iraivan Temple construction. Aum Namah Sivaya.

"What is Saivaism? We are devotees of Lord Siva and we are doing Sivathondu - that is Saivaism." - Siva Yogaswami

Next Shilpi Bronze Arrives

The latest addition to the shilpi memorial arrived a last week and the monks uncrated the piece and delivered it for display in the Banyan Mandapam. Artist Holly Young has again done one of her incredibly beautiful and accurate-to-life master pieces.

Silpi Bronze Tribute

The next in the series of bronzes which will give tribute and honor the art and craftsmanship of building Iraivan Temple by hand out of hard granite has been completed and will soon be crated for the journey to Kauai. This is among our favorites, two silpis on a stone, doing what silpis were born to do, bringing raw stone to life with simple tools.

This slideshow presents the fifth and so far the largest of the masterpieces carved by Holly Young, showing some of its evolution. Once Holly has done her wax sculpting, she makes molds and ships them to Loveland, Colorado, where the finest of America's bronze craftsmen have assembled.

A copy of hers is made in wax, then a special mold for the molten metal is made, several actually. These molds are cast with 1,900-degree metal, and once cooled welded back together into a single piece. Yes, the entire original wax is broken apart, duplicated, cast and put back together by the skilled men and women in Loveland.

Enjoy the visual story.

The Secret of Chidambaram

Yesterday's TAKA post on the special puja at Chidambaram Temple inspires us to offer some background for the event that provoked asking Siva Nataraja for His Profound Grace to fall upon Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami on his nakshatra day, Purvashada. So here we go….
Chidambaram. The very word sends subtle shockwaves down the spine!
Ananda Nataraja Rajamurthy and Sivakamasundari preside over the innermost shrine, Ponnambalam or Golden Dome. And, yet the main deity here is Siva as Space, formless, unbounded, immeasurable. Symbolically, He who abides here as Space, is represented by strings of golden bilva leaves. And, that is the Chidambara Rahasyam or the Secret of Chidambaram. 

So, picture yourself standing before the main shrine. In the center is Nataraja at the end of His Ananda Tandavam, where His locks fall to His shoulders, not flying around as found in most murthis, His glance pours out love, His smile so compassionate, His raised foot offers everything your heart desires and much that you don't even have knowledge enough to desire, His right hand showers blessings .... He is unbelievable! To his right, are the bilva strands and to His left stands Sivakamasundari. The Sphatika Lingam, Ratna Sabapathy ruby Lingam and Swarna Akarashana Bhairavar, all are present here. Patanjali and Vyagrapada stand worshipfully at His Feet. 
The temple, spread over 51 acres, has surely seen better days. The four gopurams or towers at the 4 entrances really do tower over this quiet town. It appears that all the activity is centered around the Temple, along the four Veedhis or streets. It is along these lanes that Nataraja comes out in procession twice a year and hence these are called North Car Street, East Car Street and so on. After 28 years, repair, renovation and reconsecration of the main towers and the numerous smaller shrines in the Temple concluded with Mahakumbhabhishekam on May 1, 2015. The ceremonies started 10 days prior and will conclude one mandalam or 48 days later. Various pujas and homas are conducted each day, invoking, restoring and amplifying the energies of this sacred space.
 The Diksithar community, comprising 366 priests now, conduct these proceedings as one body, decisions taken after meetings every afternoon. All expenses are born by individuals or organizations that step up and bear costs. They do not advertise or ask for donations. They send out invitations, on receiving which, one may be prompted to ask, "How may I participate?" Options are then presented and you may choose what stirs your heart and fits your pocket!
Forty-five of the Mandala Puja days, starting May 4, were open to individual sponsorship of Rs.400,000 per day (that's about $6,300). A small group of Satguru Bodhinatha's devotees contributed and chose Day 5 to dedicate the Mandala Puja to Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, because his janma nakshatra Poorvashada prevails on that day, with the prayer that Nataraja of the East and Nataraja of the West pour forth blessings on him, so he may fulfill the sacred, massive mission he has dedicated his life to. What you saw in the photos yesterday are scenes from this puja. 

May all who helped make this happen be blessed again and again, and then again! As Yogaswami said, "Eppavo mundintha kariyam!" Yes, those present said it did feel like witnessing an event that had happened long ago.

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

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