Today is Ashram Sadhana Day for the monks. It's the one day a month when they forgo their other duties and give all their time to cleaning. Today's initial focus was on Iraivan Temple. Lately the temple has been receiving a steady amount of red-dirt dust blowing in from the surrounding landscaping work, so the monks brought in a lot of water to scrub and wash away much of the build-up. When the land is fully planted and the temple is in active use, this won't be as much of an issue. Also today the monks cleaned their offices, the kitchen, workshop areas and more.
Here is a good quote from Gurudeva's Living With Siva that describes the importance of a clean environment:
Lesson 30: Cleaning the house is an act of purifying one’s immediate environment. Each piece of furniture, as well as the doorways and the walls, catches and holds the emanations of the human aura of each individual in the home, as well as each of its visitors. This residue must be wiped away through dusting and cleaning. This regular attentiveness keeps each room sparkling clean and actinic. Unless this is done, the rooms of the home become overpowering to the consciousness of the individuals who live within them as their auras pick up the old accumulated feelings of days gone by. Small wonder that a dirty room can depress you, and one freshly cleaned can invigorate. In these years, when both mother and father work in the outside world, the house is often simply where they sleep and eat. But if a home receives all of the daily attentions of cleaning it sparkly bright, both astrally and physically, it becomes a welcoming place and not an empty shell.
When the Department of Forestry and Wildlife here in Hawaii asked the monks to help host a "Landowners Workshop," we thought it would be a group of people with land who knew very little about growing crops and trees, and the workshop would be an introduction.
Much to our surprise, the group turned out to contain a broad cross section of Kauai residents including Lelan Nishek, old time friend and owner of the largest landscape company and nursery on the island, Marty Fernandez, another old time friend and our tree growing mentor who is the manager and botanist at a local Botanical Garden and tree farm. There were seasoned organic growers, neophyte land owners and representatives of several federal and state agencies involved in forestry.
The workshop was greatly enhanced by the presence of Gilles Lebbe, master forester and the head of Green Energy Team, a company that is producing electricity from biomass and which has planted and is growing thousands of acres of trees. Gilles discussed at length the complex process his company goes through to find the right variety and sub variety of trees, the right fertilizers and methods of planting to get the best growth with the least investment. An impressive presentation indeed! in addition he answered many questions from the group. With such a highly experienced group there was a great synergy with questions, experience and ideas being shared broadly.
The group used our equipment tent on Himalayan Acres for one session and then had lunch and another session in our banyan mandapam at the monastery. They visited our organic noni orchard and also our first Koa planting. It turns out that our Koa planting has become well known among local forestry and wildlife experts as the first production orchard for Koa bred specially to be resistant to a disease called Koa Wilt which kills most Koa at low altitude. This breeding program holds great promise for future reforestation of the islands and so there is much more attention focused on our little planting than we had realized.
At the end of the workshop, Sadasivanathaswami took this very harmonious and enthusiastic group on a tour of the temple and temple gardens for a perfect end to a long day.
[Words from the lexicons of all our books]
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas - What is the Nature of Life for Saivites?
" Path to Siva, Lesson 19 - Every Day Is a Day of Worship" (March 6,2017)
"Stand Strong for Saivism." The nature of life for Saivites is to turn work into worship, to turn the secular into the sacred. Each day give a little extra warmth, humanness and upliftment to others. Every day is a holy day, all day long. We want to follow our religion even in our dreams. If we help someone, we're worshiping. Wherever we are, that's a place of worship. "To the Saivite Hindu all of life is sacred. All of life is religion."
Path to Siva, Lesson 19.
Click here to go to an index of all of Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's online audio.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.