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Tirukural – Chapter 35

Chapter 35: Renunciation

Verse 350
A devotee clutching a Sivalingam with loving attachment is soaring in the air, while another, clutching material possessions, is bound to the earth.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 341

Whatsoever a man has renounced,
from the sorrow born of that he has freed himself.

Verse 342

The greatest gladness in the world comes after renunciation.
Let men desiring that rapture renounce early in life.

Verse 343

The five senses must be subdued,
and every desire simultaneously surrendered.

Verse 344

The ascetic’s austerity permits not a single possession,
for possessions draw him back into delusion.

Verse 345

What are life’s petty attachments to the man who seeks severance
from future births, when even his body is a burden?

Verse 346

One who slays the conceit that clamors “I” and “mine”
will reach a realm above the celestials’ world.

Verse 347

If one clings to his attachments, refusing to let go,
sorrows will not let go their grip on him.

Verse 348

Those who perfectly renounce attain the highest peak;
the rest remain ensnared in delusion’s net.

Verse 349

Birth ceases when all attachments are severed;
until then, one only sees life’s impermanence.

Verse 350

Attach yourself to Him who is free from all attachments.
Bind yourself to that bond so all other bonds may be broken.

Foundation Pour Then and Now

In August of 1999 the foundation of Iraivan temple was poured. At the time, the lead engineer exclaimed: “This hasn’t happened for 2,000 years! It’s historic. Not since the Greeks and Romans has such a massive placement of concrete been completed without a single crack. Not even a hairline fissure.” Dr. Mehta’s joy spread throughout Kauai’s Hindu Monastery and the island. The 117′ 6″ by 56′ by 4′ foundation weighs over 4 million pounds and took exactly 108 cement trucks to place. Founder and Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, who had declared it must last 1,000 years, now knew that it would.

This pioneering project was made of a special mix that reduces Portland cement about 40% and replaces it with the pozzelon coal fly ash. Dr. Mehta noted that this makes a superior concrete, stronger, more durable, harder and even cheaper. It’s adoption by nations and industries could radically reduce the greenhouse global warming problem, for which cement production worldwide is responsible for an astonishing six percent.

Pumpkins, Birds and Bamboo!

If you've ever been to Kadavul Temple, then you may have noticed that off to the right side of the temple there is a little bamboo gate and fence that separates the cloistered area of the monastery from the area that guests may enter. After years in the elements this fence was in need of a rebuild. This last week the monks of the Siddhidatta Kulam teamed together to create the new and improved gateway.

In other news our monks have been growing some wonderful pumpkins in the garden, and while our current patch has been slowing, more have been planted. Today Chinnu made a wonderful pumpkin dish for lunch.

As a sure sign of spring, the monastery's cockatiels have successfully raised a new baby bird for the first time. These little parrots have been overjoyed to have their new family member and just yesterday he peaked his way out of his nesting box for the first time. Aum.

Shum Maps of Meditations – Part 5

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami gives part five of a series of talks which give insight and elaboration into a variety of fascinating concepts revealed in the Shum language of meditation. Here, Satguru gives special attention to the 54 mambashum—important areas of the mind detailed by Shum.

Tirukural – Chapter 34

Chapter 34: Impermanence of All Things

Verse 338
A chick breaks out of a shell, leaving it behind as he discovers the world. Nearby a woman meditates on her own attachment to the physical body, a shell which she realizes she will one day leave.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom

Verse 331

There is no baser folly than the infatuation
that looks upon the ephemeral as if it were everlasting.

Verse 332

Amassing great wealth is gradual, like the gathering of a theater
crowd. Its dispersal is sudden, like that same crowd departing.

Verse 333

Wealth's nature is to be unenduring.
Upon acquiring it, quickly do that which is enduring.

Verse 334

Though it seems a harmless gauge of time, to those who fathom it,
a day is a saw steadily cutting down the tree of life.

Verse 335

Do good deeds with a sense of urgency,
before death's approaching rattle strangles the tongue.

Verse 336

What wondrous greatness this world possesses--
that yesterday a man was, and today he is not.

Verse 337

Men do not know if they will live another moment,
yet their thoughts are ten million and more.

Verse 338

The soul's attachment to the body is like that of a fledgling,
which forsakes its empty shell and flies away.

Verse 339

Death is like falling asleep,
and birth is like waking from that sleep.

Verse 340

Not yet settled in a permanent home,
the soul takes temporary shelter in a body.

Our Spiritual Park in Mauritius

This morning, when Rajen Manick sent us the photos you are about to see, we could hardly believe our eyes. There was the Spiritual Park that Gurudeva founded in 1986 (Yes, 35 years ago). But it was not the land we have grown accustomed to in our mind's eye, a bustling seven acres full of hundreds and thousands of devotees plying the paths, lighting the lamps, offering their love and flowers. That space suddenly was silent, calm, somehow eternal. And so architecturally rich. The members and donors have spent the last few years building three major mandapams, all wood and thatch, spaces for classes on Saiva Siddhanta, for festivals and dance recitals and musical moments. Some of the monks (really, this happened) saw the images on our Big Screen and asked, "Where is that place?" so different it seemed than our memory. We offer you a 27-slide view of the Spiritual Park, Covid-19 style. You can explore more about its founding and mission here:

A Morning in High Dynamic Range

Aum Namah Sivaya.

Recently, one of our monks has been enjoying his morning walks accompanied by some iPhone-photography. He took these HDR photos which combine three images, at dark, medium and light exposures, thus giving us color and detail in the shadows, midtones and the highlights. A beautiful way to see a beautiful aadheenam! Aum.

April 2021 Chitra Puja

Jai Gurudeva!

At the end of the previous lunar phase, our monks enjoyed their monthly puja and abhishekam to Gurudeva during the Chitra nakshatra. Our annual Mahasamadhi celebrations to Gurudeva take place close to when the nakshatra coincides with the new moon, making for a quiet and mystical observance. This recent puja was the astronomical opposite of that, coinciding with the full moon, making for a powerful ceremony of palpable love and blessings. Aum.

Awareness Wandering in Meditation

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami gives his weekly Upadesha, discussing the focus of awareness during meditations and the practice of samyama.

Samyama is a continuous meditation on a single concept to gain revelation on a particular subject or area of consciousness. Cognizantability defines it as focusing the mind on three facts or points about the subject of meditation. As explained by Sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras, samyama consists of dharana, dhyana and samadhi.

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

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