Gurudeva Interviewed by Loni Petranek, Part 1

This is a radio interview conducted by Loni Petranek with Gurudeva. The interview gives an overview of Gurudeva's worldwide mission. In the first part today Loni introduces Gurudeva to her radio audience and asks Gurudeva to tell a little about the journey that brought him to where he is today.

Unedited Transcript:

Loni: Aloha and welcome to 'In Spirit'. It is my great pleasure to welcome my guest today and he is Gurudeva from the Hindu temple. His formal name is Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. I hope I did that correctly, Gurudeva?

Gurudeva: You pronounced it really, really nice. It is nice to be here, Loni. Thank you for inviting me.

Loni: Thank you, thank you. I was looking forward to it. As we mentioned before, we actually started the program, the first day that I met you. The first time that I actually met you at the temple, I was so taken with your beautiful, lovely hands and I said to myself, being a dancer, "He must have been a dancer." Can we speak about your past?

Gurudeva: Well, dancing ... led me to dancing with Siva.

Loni: Oh, perfect ... perfect metaphor!

Gurudeva: To learn the Asian or Hindu dancing of Siva took me to Sri Lanka. That took me to my Guru. That took me to sannyasin initiation and back to the United States, where I started the first writings 50 years ago. That is a long time to remember back. But, I have been taking Ginkgo Biloba. So, I can remember some things!

Loni: In fact, that was one of my questions. How do you keep so healthy? Share some secrets with us.

Gurudeva: We eat really well. We grow most of our own food at the monastery. All the natural things that are grown easily on Kauai - breadfruit, taro and cooking bananas. We also put our medicine right in the food, all those wonderful Indian spices. We actually have the best Indian restaurant on Kauai. Everyday, wonderful food. Everybody here is very, very healthy.

Loni: Does everybody cook?

Gurudeva: Most everybody can cook a little bit ... yes, indeed.

Loni: Oh, my goodness! So, you are vegetarian?

Gurudeva: We are all vegetarians.

Loni: I guess, you attribute also meditation and just the whole life style?

Gurudeva: We are up in the morning early at four o'clock, meditating in the temple after beautiful ceremonies, sometimes a fire ceremony and at other times, other kinds. Everybody, about 27 of us, sitting there without moving for about 45 minutes or an hour. Occasionally one nods off, but he is getting better.

Loni: He looked at you!

Gurudeva: Well, we have here today all of our young monastics. Our youngest one here, just arrived from Malaysia with his Daddy. He is going to be with us for a year. He is 13 years of age, going on 18.

Loni: Oh, I see.

Gurudeva: He is a little bit tall for his age.

Loni: He is. He is very tall.

Gurudeva: Very intelligent young man.

Loni: Yes. Is everyone from different countries or different areas of the United States?

Gurudeva: {pointing to each monastic} He was born in Malaysia, but educated in Australia. He is from America. He is from America. America and Malaysia.

Loni: Malaysia, oh my! So it is very international.

Gurudeva: Very international. We also have, from Sri Lanka, and from the country of Mauritius.