A Unique Photo from Sri Lanka

This is the Chellappaswami shrine and this elderly man is Chellappaswami's great nephew.

Bodhinatha’s visit to Vethantha Madham

On January 31st, Bodhinatha visited the Vethantha Madham in Jaffna, where he was
greeted by Sri Vidyasagar Swami, the head of the madham and devotees.

A brief history of the Vethantha Madham

Kadaitswami was considered a Moola Guru (Source Guru or Source of all lineages)
in Sri Lanka. He started several guru lineages and established several Mutts to
serve Hinduism. One of these, Siva Gurunatha Peedam (popularly known as
Vethantha Madam), is located near Jaffna University in Sri Lanka. There is an
interesting story behind how this Mutt was founded...
Kadaitswami, one of the well known gurus and siddars, lived in the mid-1800's in
Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Even though he roamed around in Jaffna bazaars like a mad
man, he performed many miracles and guided many on the spiritual path.
Kadaitswami had once worked as a judge in India but he renounced that life,
became a swami and traveled to Jaffna. His name was actually Swami Mukthianantha
but because he roamed around Jaffna bazaars, he came to be known as Kadaitswami.
(Kadai means shop in Tamil).

In those days, the British ruled Sri Lanka. One day, one of the British officers
saw Kadaitswami roaming around like a mad man. He ordered the police to arrest
him, and so they put him in jail in the Jaffna fort. The person in charge of the
prisons at that time was a Tamil sergeant named Sinnathamby. That night,
Sinnathamby was on duty; he heard a loud noise from Kadaitswami's prison cell.
When he went to check on him, the cell was empty. On the next morning, Sergeant
Sinnathamby set out in search of Swami. He was looking for him at the Jaffna
marketplace. Swami was seated under a banyan tree and shouted, "Hey Sinnathamby
- Are you looking for me?" At that moment, Sergeant Sinnathamby renounced
everything and became a disciple of Kadaitswami. Later, he became known as
Sergeant Swami among the Jaffna people. And his disciple, Kanagaratnam Swami,
founded the Vethantha Madam.

The head of the Vethantha Madham was a young swami named Sri Vidyasagar Swami
whose guru attained samadhi in 2006. There are many samadhi shrines in the
Vethantha Madam for the previous gurus and you can feel the powerful darshan of
the great gurus at this place.

Siva Gurunatha Peedam Guru Lineage:
Sergeantswami (Chinnathamby swami)
Kanagaratnaswami (founded the Vethantha Madam)
Mahadevaswami (his disciple Vadivelswami founded the Mahadeva Ashram in Kilinochi)
Somaskandaswami ( attained samadhi in 2006)
Vidyasagarswami (current swami, he is 28 years old)

Celebrating Mahasivaratri

Several days ago, the monastery celebrated our 2015 Mahasivaratri, Siva's great night. In Dancing With Siva this night is described: Mahasivaratri is the night before the new-moon day in February-March. We observe it both as a discipline and a festivity, keeping a strict fast and all-night vigil, meditating, intoning Siva's 1,008 names, singing His praise, chanting Sri Rudram, bathing the Sivalinga and being near the vairagis as they strive to realize Parasiva.

Our evening started with devotees singing bhajans followed by a Siva homa. The homa was very powerful and concluded with a short parade. Bodhinatha carried the Sivakubha out around the kodimaram and then into the Inner sanctum. We then listened to a Sivaratri talk given by Gurudeva in 1997, after which Bodhinatha gave an inspired talk about merger with Siva. We concluded the night with an abhishekam to the small crystal Lingam which sits before Nataraja as our worship of the formless Parasiva.

Siva is not a friend of fathomers,
Of those who seek a God within their ken,
Or those who dwell in twin-mind's separateness,
Or those who think of Him but now and then.

Unfathomable He, mystery untold,
Unseekable, our God, beyond all mind,
Undivided, separateness' nemesis,
Unthinkably beyond what what souls may find.

How then to fathom such raw Omnitude?
How to draw near That without breadth or length?
Perhaps just trust. Perhaps just be, and see
That He is there as life, as love's mute strength.

Better yet to know what can't be known,
Defiant Truth that flees the grasp of man,
To say, "I searched but was the searched I sought,
With not a separate thing to understand."

Logs Become Art

In a recent TAKA post (February 16) we showed the Siddhidatta Kulam removing a fallen Paperbark tree. Not all of it was destined for mulch in the Garden however. Nirvani Nilakanthanatha took part of it and used it for wood turning. As you can see, this raw log became a beautiful wooden bowl.

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

September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
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