Smaller Articles of Hinduism Today

A smaller portion of Hinduism Today rarely talked about, is a collection of pages given to a beginning editor monk consisting of: Global Dharma, Letters to the Editor, Quotes and Quips, Did You Know?, Basics and the Agamas page. All of these articles are used as training because within them holds the foundation of all good articles: Who, What, Where, Why and Who Cares. In other words, why is someone going to want to read this. What are we reporting on that has not been said on another news site or blog. Check out the captions for more detail.

Kauai Firemen Visit the Monastery

Kauai Fire Department's latest recruits made their first visit to the monastery with their lieutenant. This is part of their training to get familiar with large facilities on the island. They came in the afternoon of September 11th. All morning they were going through various lectures and training remembering 9/11. Their lieutenant thought it would be good way to end their training for the day by visiting a facility that was calm and peaceful to see "the other side of the spectrum" as he put it.

Kindle-Version der deutschen Vereinigung mit Siva Jetzt bei Amazon!

The Kindle edition of the German language Merging with Siva (Vershmelzung mit Siva) can now be purchased on Amazon.
Other epub versions of Vershmelzung mit Siva can be downloaded (for free) at the Other Languages page of the Read & Learn section of our website. Erleben!

Chidambaram Kumbhabhishekam

Above are some recently received these photos of the completion of the Chidambaram Sri Nataraja Maha Kumbhabishekam

Bearing Ganga on spreading, matted locks, the forehead eye sparkling, the breath spirating as tempestuous wind, the immaculate form shining radiant as the clear sky, the holy feet stretching to the ends of Earth, the blemishless heart serving as pedestal, the Vedas chanting aloud of themselves, the right hand that grants refuge and the left hand that grants favors both appropriately gesturing, the nada sound of drum filling the air all around--thus Siva dances.
Tayumanavar 15.4-5.

A Master Carver

Two days back, while going through our archives, we came across these photos of Neelamegham, the master carver who created Kadavul's Nandi, Ganesha and Murugan. Back in the late 1970s he also carved our statues of Saint Tirumular and Tiruvalluvar. His work was historic for the Aadheenam, and set a high bar for black granite murtis at Kauai's Hindu Monastery.

He was a powerful force in the silpi community during his life, but physically lithe and thin, his body contrasting strongly with his prodigious skills and massive creations. He once told the monks that the 16-ton Nandi he did for Gurudeva was one of the most difficult carvings of his life, not because of the intricacy of detail but because at that scale it was difficult to keep a three-dimensional picture in the mind while working on one side, not seeing the other.

One day the King of Nepal visited his carving site near Mahabalipuram and saw the 6-foot-tall Murugan that was almost finished, commissioned by Gurudeva for Kadavul Temple. The King fell instantly in love with the murti, understood the incredible art that sat before him and asked for a price. Neelamegham Sthapati said it was not for sale, that it was being carved for a Guru's temple in Hawaii. The King then told Neelamegham that he would pay twice what the Hawaii swami was offering. Neelamegham explained that he could not disappoint a holy man, and thus he disappointed a Hindu King.

That same murti profoundly impressed another man, our own Shanmuga Sthapati who spent two years on Kauai assembling Iraivan. One day, during a Skanda Shashti puja, the monks were doing abhishekam and had just poured milk on Murugan's head and face. Sthapati was standing before the shrine, and began to weep. Sadasivanathaswami later asked him about the tears of joy, and Sthapati explained, "It was such a profound darshan, seeing the milk on the face. The way the milk flowed down the stone revealed the perfection of Neelamegham's carving. One can work lifetimes and not achieve that perfection, and seeing it brought a feeling of wonder. It is a divine face, without a flaw."

Today we honor Neelamegham Sthapathi and thank him for his amazing and sacred works of artistry.

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

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