Kauai's Hindu Monastery
February 2014 Newsletter
On January 16th morning an elaborate abhishekam was held in Kadavul Temple to Lord Murugan on the occasion of Tai Pusam. Our shrine to Lord Murugan comes to life on His special festivals days, and this year was no exception. An unusual Publisher's Desk article was finalized during January entitled "Hinduism: the Original Humanism." The need for the article is explained in the second paragraph, "Many Hindu youths leave home for college as good Hindus but, after studying the typical subjects through an anti-religious bias, come back doubting the existence of God, the Gods, the inner worlds, life after death and the mystical teachings of their parents' faith. I have heard graduates explain to their parents, as did a young man recently, 'We are trained in school to follow the scientific method and to question everything. I no longer believe in God because there is no scientific proof of God's existence.' Steeped in the university's atheistic ambience, these youth have essentially converted from Hinduism to secular humanism." General Iraivan contributions for January totaled $52,316, which is less than our minimum monthly goal of $65,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $108. We are grateful to our global family of temple builders for your continued and generous support. Aum Namasivaya!
Click here to see Bodhinatha's extended travel schedule. Bookmark the link and return for updates.
The astral plane is, for the most part, exactly duplicated in the physical plane, though it is of a more intense rate of vibration. Beings in the higher Antarloka are trained in technology, the arts and increments of culture to take up bodies in the Bhuloka to improve and enhance conditions within it. It is in this more advanced realm that new inventions are invented, new species created, ideas unfolded, futures envisioned, environments balanced, scientists trained and artists taught finesse. We function constantly, though perhaps not consciously, in this subtle plane by our every thought and emotion. Here, during sleep and after death, we meet others who are sleeping or who have died. We attend inner-plane schools, there to advance our knowledge. The Antarloka spans the spectrum of consciousness from the hellish Naraka regions beginning at the patala chakra within the feet, to the heavenly realm of divine love in the vishuddha chakra within the throat.
Explore Gurudeva's Wisdom
- Study Gurudeva's Master Course, which is filled with philosophical, practical, soul-stirring information potent enough to inspire even a skeptic to change his ways of thinking about life and the ultimate goal of existence on this planet: HimalayanAcademy.com/study/mc/
- Read Gurudeva's books online at: http://www.himalayanacademy.com/looklisten/gurus-talks
- Listen to Gurudeva's inspired talks by visiting: http://himalayanacademy.com/talks/gurudeva
News From the Home of Iraivan Temple
Lord Murugan radiates blessings during the January 16 Tai Pusam puja in Kadavul Temple.
Kumar, Lakshmi and Siddharth Gutta on pilgrimage to the monastery from Fort Worth, Texas
Top to bottom: A special puja is performed to honor our monastery dairy cows on Tai Pongal; Seiyonne Suriyakumar visited for two days, meeting here with the Ganapati Kulam along with a scholar from Switzerland, Dr. Frank Neubert; Lord Murugan receives milk abhishekam during Tai Pusam; Aysha Somasundaram and Tony Long from Chicago were married at the Marriott Hotel and then came the next morning to the monastery for blessings, joined by Kumar Gurukkal (far right) who performed their wedding rites; Makilzhan Shanmugam and his wife Priyabala with their cousin (left) visiting from Ohio; Girish Samugam arrived from Singapore and here is congratulated by the monks for taking his Supplicant Pledge; the village kolams were installed in the Media Studio ceiling this month.
Thanks for All Your Support!
As we look back over the year 2013, we feel blessed to have so many friends and supporters of the monastery. Through your generosity, the monastery seems to have a greater stability. Confidence is high that we will accomplish all the goals that Gurudeva set for us in his far-reaching vision of the future! Our main project, Iraivan Temple, carving an entire temple in India and then shipping and constructing it in Hawaii, is progressing nicely. The 2013 financial goal for this project was slightly exceeded! Our dear friends have provided for all sorts of other needs, from landscaping to acquisition of temple bronzes. Through the digital dharma fund drive, donors are helping us finish our media studio reconstruction and keep our free digital initiatives going strong throughout 2014. Thanks to everyone who has provided food and beverages and cloth for monk apparel and temple deity decoration. Thanks to all the karma yogis who donate your time—helping to host monastery guests, shipping supplies from the mainland USA, sewing kurta shirts, running little errands and undertaking research projects that move the mission forward. To those who have shipped or hand carried temple supplies from Singapore, Malaysia and India we offer our humble thanks. To those who have provided translations of our publications, transcribed the talks of Gurudeva and those who have lovingly handcrafted items as a fundraising project, we press our palms together in gratitude. We could fill this page with names of those who have provided time and gifts in kind. You know who you are! Thank you, one and all.
Bodhinatha has been giving a talk after every weekly homa. Each one is filled with practical advice to help us keep moving forward gradually on the spiritual path. His talks are all based on the teachings found in Gurudeva's Master Course. You can listen to them on the Look & Listen section of our website. In preparation for his youth seminar in Trinidad, Bodhinatha spent the early hours of each day (by early we mean 3am) writing and narrating a ten-hour Keynote presentation. Sadasivanathaswami helped him with the graphic side of the 1,100 slide opus!
Iraivan Temple Progress
The focus of our carvers in Bengaluru is now on the perimeter wall. They are also working on the polished stone purnakumbhas that will grace the top of the wall. The granite base for the three dimensional map of Kauai, decorated with Hawaii sea creatures, has been completed.
Dr. Frank Neubert, professor at the University of Bern in Switzerland, spent several days visiting the Ganapati Kulam swamis. He is doing a scholastic study on the globalization of Hinduism. In that regard he's been studying our Saiva Siddhanta Church, Himalayan Academy and Hinduism Today for some years, writing articles on Gurudeva's work, including one for Brill Encyclopedia in Europe. He came to meet with Bodhinatha and learn how the monks produce the magazine. Jnanideva Cevvel, from Edmonton, spent six weeks with us doing karma yoga for the media studio renovation. He finished the cove molding for the studio trim, installed kolam art on the ceiling and helped at the saw mill, thinning down thick slabs of mango for 9 desktops. Joe Zappile spent a couple weeks with us helping with gardening, fruit picking and general maintenance and repair. Thanks, Joe!
Publications and Other Activities
The Ganapati Kulam finished the April-May-June Issue of Hinduism Today and sent it off to press. It's a great issue, featuring the Waterfall Temple in Penang, Malaysia, the Cham Hindus of Vietnam, the Smithsonian yoga exhibit, and Anger Management. Gurudeva's Dancing with Siva was re-typeset in Adobe Indesign for the coming reprint. Tai Pongal was observed by offering dozens of bananas and oranges to each of the monastery cows at a special Go Puja thanking them for their generous supply of milk.
Bodhinatha's Newest Teachings Online
Satguru Bodhinatha is now turning his 15-minute Keynote presentations into movies which can be used for our personal benefit or shared at a satsang of friends. See them here. Thanks to a vibrant team of transcribers we can hear Bodhinatha's recent talks and read the transcriptions here. Read the transcriptions on line. Click here for all of Bodhinatha's talks.
Bodhinatha's weekly talks can be heard on our website:
Closing Off the Lower Chakras
Resentment; Control of Speech; Responding Kindly
Chakras In Relation to the Gods
(January 18, 2014)
Click here to see Bodhinatha's extended travel schedule. Bookmark the link and return for updates.
Top to bottom: Artist Manivel depicts a few of the fifty Chola-style pots that will sit atop the perimeter wall of Iraivan Temple, with beautiful tropical plants in them; a finished pot, crafted from rose granite and highly polished.
Follow our daily activities at Today at Kauai's Hindu Monastery (blog)
Aadheenam Secures Long-Term Lease for Agricultural Land
As of January 1, 2014, the Aadheenam has secured a 35-year lease on 312 acres of State-owned agricultural land across the river from the monastery. We first acquired this parcel in 2001, just before Gurudeva's Mahasamadhi—it was news he was very happy to hear in those last few weeks. He named it "Himalayan Acres." He had long wanted to acquire the parcel, knowing that a substantial agricultural component is much in the tradition of an aadheenam. Those in India once held thousands of acres of land, which provided a substantial part of their income. Until now, the Kauai lease was on a year-to-year basis with the possibility of losing the land at any time. Now it is secure.
The land is part of ten square miles of State-owned agricultural land behind Kelepa Ridge between Kapaa and Lihue. It had been planted with sugar cane for a century and became available with the demise of sugar as a viable industry for Kauai. It is what is known in Hawaii as "ceded land," gifted to the State by the last queen of Hawaii when her kingdom was annexed by the US in 1898. It can never be sold to private persons, and part of the rental income from it must be used to assist the native Hawaiian people. When it became available, the monastery successfully worked to assure that it was given over to local agriculturalists and not put back in the hands of a big outside corporation. It may well provide needed self-sufficiency to the island in the future.
Bodhinatha regards our parcel as a long-term agricultural endowment to be run by the monks. Three different projects have been established (after a bit of difficult trial and error): a noni orchard, a plant nursery and a hardwood tree plantation. The first two are intended to provide near-term income; the last is for long-term gains. Of the 312 acres, 233 is farmable; the rest is unfarmable valleys, river banks and ponds.
Noni, Morinda citrifolia, is a medicinal fruit brought by the ancient Hawaiians from the South Pacific as one of 24 "canoe plants." Its fermented juice is a popular medicinal drink. The monastery has sold the fruit in bulk and is developing a bottled juice under the name Wailua River Noni.
The plant nursery is focused on specimen trees—full-grown palm species that are used in projects requiring instant landscaping, such as large resorts who do not want to wait for smaller trees to grow. Presently, we are growing the most popular palms—areca, foxtail and dwarf date—plus a selection of agave and similar low-water requirement plants.
To see our nursery and noni website, visit wailuarivernursery.com.
Most of the land is being put into hardwood trees. Currently we have 30 acres planted with honduras mahogany, nara, sandalwood, koa, teak and even a few rare Brazilian rosewood trees (Dalbergia nigra, on the endangered species list). Tree selection is a matter of finding what grows well in our soil and climate. With the long-term lease in hand, a full plan is being developed to plant out the remaining acres, hopefully with the assistance of federal and state forestry grant programs. The trees will first be ready for harvest in about 20 years, when the groves will be ready to be thinned down, allowing the remaining trees to grow larger until they are ready to harvest, about in 35 years. The future value of these hardwoods is subject to much speculation, but experts tell us that quality hardwoods have been valuable for more than 2,000 years and will remain so in the future.
Estate Planning Does Not Always Please Survivors
Attorney Manon Mardemootoo began his April 11, 2008, estate planning seminar in Port Louis, Mauritius, with a warning: "I spend about half of my time dealing with family members fighting over inheritances." Such seminars, sponsored by the Hindu Heritage Endowment, are unlikely to reverse this trend. Manon explains, Mauritius is a "forced heirship jurisdiction." Parents must reserve a portion of their estate for their children according to rigid formulas which can leave parents in control of as little as one quarter of their estate. With only one percent of the population having wills, a majority of Mauritian families have no plan for the orderly disposal of their estate at death, a circumstance that encourages family conflict.
Malaysians face a similar problem, as Radha Menon, an administrator of Malaysia's Employee Provident Fund, and estate planning attorney S.P. Pasupathy pointed out to some 75 Hindus gathered at a 2009 HHE seminar in Shah Alam. Malaysian law provides formulas for distributions of estate when people die without a will. Only about ten percent of Malaysians bother to write one, trusting the state to take care of the distribution.
Lack of written estate plans forces heirs to apply for a letter of administration for final distribution. Until the letter arrives, all assets are frozen and survivors cannot access resources that may be desperately needed. The inconvenience and potential conflict suffered by heirs, however, hasn't motivated many people in Malaysia to write estate plans. "But the situation in these countries is changing," observed Shanmuganathaswami of HHE. "Asian countries are enjoying a higher standard of living." Estate planning usually accompanies prosperity.
In August, 2008, in Walnut Creek, California, some 40 participants gathered for a review of estate planning basics and to hear Bodhinatha speak on the spiritual dimensions of prudent planning.
"The challenge is to bring this kind of service to families worldwide," said Phil Murphy, HHE's planned giving consultant. "The needs are the same, but the laws differ. As people experience greater longevity and increased wealth, estate planning becomes more important."
Mauritians, who now receive free education and health care, have seen their life expectancies increase from 59.4 years in 1960 to 72.6 years in 2008. Malaysia has experienced a similar increase in life expectancies, along with strong economic growth and higher standards of living.
Seeing these trends, HHE is encouraging Hindus in these countries to protect themselves and their families by planning ahead financially and drafting estate plans early. "About two-thirds of our Malaysian seminar audience was under forty," Shanmuganathaswami observed. That meant shifting the topic to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Malaysia's backbone of retirement planning. Typically, a Malaysian worker's retirement funds are gone a few years after retirement, due to poor planning.
Swami welcomes seminar requests from Hindu communities abroad. "Each seminar is tailored to the host country's rules. Our goal is to have participants develop plans so that families will know what to do when the time comes." Though laws and traditions vary, there is one rule all countries seem to share, he notes: "If it's not in writing, forget it."
To request a printed copy or a pdf file of the estate planning toolkit, contact Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami at 808-822-3012 extension 244 or e-mail email@example.com. Donate to the endowment funds at HHEonline.org.
Please Help Finish New Temple Construction
You can sponsor Iraivan's entry steps and elephants.
The entry to Iraivan will be imposing, leading the pilgrim up to the Nandi Mandapam. The eight 30-foot-wide steps comprised of 64 individual stones are flanked on each side by the ornate yalli handrails—though "handrail" doesn't adequately describe these massive carvings. Walking up to the landing at the base of these steps will be three stone elephants, one hoisting a globe of the world above its head—signifying "Iraivan, where the world comes to pray."
- Any stone(s) of the entry steps at $2,500 each
(you can sponsor a partial stone, e.g., half for $1,250)
- Elephant with globe: $55,000
- Mother and baby elephant: $55,000
Study the Master Course
Building Fund Donations
Thanks to Our January Temple Builders in 16 Countries
SUMMARY:For the five months of September to January, our minimum monthly goal was $325,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $326,149.63.
|Building Fund Donations|
|Marie & Ramudu Bhanugopan||US$108.00|
|Subramanaim & Malathy Nirmalananda||101.00|
|Essen Subramanian Valayten||3.28|
|Ron & Jennifer Burke||50.00|
|Anand & Maya Naidu||51.00|
|Naguleswary & Manickam Senthivel||50.00|
|Thambimuttoo & Thavam Sivagnanam||51.00|
|Sayanthan & Anupama Sivanathan||11.00|
|Sara K. Sivasurier||122.05|
|Nagula & Sutha Suthaker||101.00|
|Paramanathan & Shanthi Thamilvaanan||101.00|
|Leela Mohan Krishna Ayodhya||101.00|
|Tharsika Chelvarajah Vasanthan||10.00|
|Thanesh Kumar & Leelawathy Aianarappan||14.67|
|G. Apparao & Devi & Family||179.81|
|Arulmani Devi Arumugam||89.74|
|Thinageri & Kumaresh Batumalai||29.32|
|Rathidevi & Veerasamy Batumallah||29.88|
|Arulmani Chandra Kumar & Sujith Arulmani||29.91|
|Yoga Rubini & Chandra Ganth||14.94|
|R. Jayakumar & Yoga Bhavani Family||14.94|
|Uma Dewi & Dinesh Kumar Jayaram||8.79|
|M. Shanmuganathan & A. Kamalambikai||29.88|
|Amaraysh, Kumutha & Jerry Lai||14.96|
|Wasantha Devi Murugan||14.94|
|Thambiah Murugesu & Chandravathani||29.88|
|M. Suranthiran Naidu||29.91|
|Mohanavilashiny & Navukarasu||14.96|
|Yehanthini & Siva Taranee Navukarasu||14.96|
|Kaveta Supramaniam Ramoo||29.91|
|Supramaniam Ramoo & in Memory of Neelavathy Thangavelu||29.91|
|Ambikabathi Shanmugam Pillay||29.88|
|Saraswathy & Ramesh Sivanathan||15.00|
|Mohana Sundari & Sivasekaran||29.91|
|A. Sockalingam & Chandrasekari||29.91|
|Devi & the late Selvadurai Subramaniam||14.96|
|Abbhirama & Lavitra Thilageshvaran||14.67|
|Remalah & A. Thinathayalan||14.96|
|Thanavinthan Siva Thirumalai||15.63|
|Vikneswaran A. Vinsent||14.96|
|Darrshan Letchumanan & Yuvan Letchumanan||29.91|
|Amrit Singh Jaypal||8.20|
|Seedha Lutchmee Moonesawmy||3.28|
|Siven Barlen Mootoosamy||1.64|
|Vimaley Chellen Mootoosamy||1.64|
|Clive & Puvaneswary Roberts||175.00|
|Anil Ananda Badhwar||118.00|
|Fremont Lawrence & Toshadevi Nataraj||61.00|
|Vaiyapuri Kamala Devi||50.00|
|Sivakumar & Lavanya Saravan||400.00|
|Darmaguhan & Shivali Satgunasingam||100.00|
|Golden Gate Mission||43.50|
|United Way of The Columbia-Willamette||66.67|
|Hotranatha & Punita Ajaya||25.00|
|Purnachandra & Karuna Akkineni||500.00|
|Alagappan & Saroja Alagappan||251.00|
|Adi & Asha Alahan||25.00|
|Vel & Valli Alahan||25.00|
|Mike & Ila Amin||51.00|
|Uma & Kumar Chandrasekaran||108.00|
|Kaika & Nilufer Clubwala||101.00|
|Rajesh & Poonam Damodharan||108.00|
|Shyamadeva & Peshanidevi Dandapani||51.00|
|Banu Devi & Chellappa Deva||25.00|
|Amarnath & Latha Devarmanai||101.00|
|Demo & Genevieve Di Martile||108.00|
|Raymond & Josephine Duvauchelle||25.00|
|Suketu & Mita Gandhi||51.00|
|Meena & Natesan Ganesan||151.00|
|Chaturbhuj N. Gidwani||40.00|
|Ajit V. Gokhale||108.00|
|Saraswathi Devi & Hiranya Gowda||515.00|
|Kamala & Toshadeva Guhan||36.00|
|Laxmi & Urmila Gupta||150.00|
|Prabodh & Jean Gupta||100.00|
|Lalita Devi Gurumurthi||501.00|
|Kumar & Lakshmi Gutta||1,008.00|
|Kriya & Sharyn Haran||25.00|
|James L. Haynes||50.00|
|Russell & Karel Holcombe||101.00|
|Raj & Vinita Jha||101.00|
|Srinivas & Shanthi Karri||40.00|
|Kisan & Veena Khandelwal||251.00|
|Radha & Ganesh Krishnan||108.00|
|Gerard & Zhena Linsmeier||108.00|
|Shakti & Dasan Mahadevan||108.00|
|Rohan & Girija Malkhare||202.00|
|Dave & Cindy McGonagle||25.00|
|Jennifer Gigi Moser||33.70|
|Palani & Selvarany Nadarajah||15.00|
|Nitya & Becky Nadesan||141.00|
|Changam & Nirmala Naidu||51.00|
|Manish M. Naidu||11.11|
|Ram & Rema Nair||1,001.00|
|Mohan & Sutha Narayanan||100.00|
|Sanjaya K. Nath||11.00|
|Emma & Narendra Nemivant||25.00|
|Easvan & Devi Param||101.00|
|Janaka & Bhavani Param||25.00|
|Praful & Ranjan Patel||251.00|
|Sagar Kanti Patel||11.00|
|Vinay & Hansa R. Patel||101.00|
|Mr. & Mrs. Pranavan||25.00|
|Sailaja Sudhakar Radhakrishnan||11.00|
|Deva & Gayatri Rajan||1,001.00|
|Mohan Deepak Ram||1,127.00|
|Jeyashree & Venkat Ramakrishnan||50.00|
|Kasi & Vidya Ramanathan||101.00|
|Jai & Laxmi Reddy||81.36|
|Cliff & Kathy Runge||200.00|
|Aran & Valli Sendan||25.00|
|Rajnikant & Hina Shah||250.00|
|Makilzhan & Priyabala Shanmugam||2,001.00|
|Praveen Y. Sharma||101.00|
|Nilani & Iraja Sivadas||108.00|
|Dharshi & Sivasothy Sivakumar||150.00|
|Nathan & Sulena Sivananda||50.00|
|Uma & Tandu Sivanathan||50.00|
|Soundaram & S. Somasundaram||101.00|
|Raja & Anita Srivastava||101.00|
|Sashi & Gayathri Subramanian||150.00|
|Nandi Deva Sundaram||50.00|
|Dora Kovaks & Rudy Tanzi||108.00|
|Prashanth & Kanthamani Vallabhanath||1,008.00|
|N.M. & Mythili Varadarajan||25.00|
|Satya & Nirmala Vij||21.00|
|Tsajon & Kamalia Von Lixfeld||100.00|
|Total Building Fund||$52,091.69|
|Iraivan Temple Endowment|
|Victoria Lynne Johnson||11.00|
|Mahesh M. Mehta||87.18|
|Total Endowment Funds||$224.18|
|Special Project Donations|
|(Gold Leafing Project)|
|Gail La Mar||108.00|
|Total Special Project Donations||108.00|
Your support is deeply appreciated!
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Personal checks in certain currencies can be accepted by our bank (Euros, Pounds, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars.)
Iraivan Temple is a punya tirtha, a sacred destination for devout pilgrims. The vision of Lord Siva on San Marga that Gurudeva was blessed with in 1975 is sustained and made manifest by the daily sadhanas of 21 resident monastics from five nations. Kadavul Hindu Temple and the many sacred areas of San Marga are available to Hindus for worship, meditation, japa and quiet reflection. It is best, if you are planning to come to visit us, to email us in advance to make sure the days of your visit coincide with our open times. And, if you want to have darshan with Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, to check if he is in residence and to make the necessary appointment. Please see our visitor information pages for more details.
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