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How Monks Make Sushi

Jai Ganesha!

During their lunar retreats (something akin to a weekend), the monks break from their routine meals of lentils, curries, chapatis and chutneys, and branch into other cuisines for their evening meals. Once a month they make some of the best wood-fired pizza in the western hemisphere and the next week you might find them trying to construct the perfect taco. Over this last retreat, everyone enjoyed some vegetable-rich vegetarian sushi. This slideshow gives you a quick introduction to how our monks make their sushi. Try not to get too hungry!

A Rarely-Seen Collection of Artwork Brought to Light!

In the 1990's, Himalayan Academy had commissioned initial series or art of the chapters of the Tirukural, the 2,200-year-old holy text written by the Tamil weaver Tiruvalluvar. That first series is what you'll find in the current publication. Upon seeing that collection of paintings for the first time in the early 2000s in South India, the late S. Rajam was compelled to write to the editors in Kauai. He urged us to give him permission and blessings to do another version of the entire collection, basically for free. With permission, in 2004 and 2005 he executed these intricate depictions of Tamil culture and philosophy. Perhaps someday a future edition of the book will hold these works. For now, you'll see them regularly published on TAKA along with their verses. Currently the pieces of art, with their individual captions, are available for you on HAMSA. You can always find it under the "Collections" menu as "Tirukural." Each piece of art is numbered according to its associated chapter in the book. Feel free to use these pieces in any of your personal projects. Enjoy!

Tirukural – Chapter 2

Chapter 2: The Importance of Rain

Verse 11
In a lush green rainforest of flowers and fruits, birds, bees and various animals, a man is sipping falling rainwater with his cupped hands.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

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

Verse 11

It is the unfailing fall of rain that sustains the world.
Therefore, look upon rain as the nectar of life.

Verse 12

Rain produces man's wholesome food;
and rain itself forms part of his food besides.

Verse 13

Though oceanic waters surround it, the world will be deluged
by hunger's hardships if the billowing clouds betray us.

Verse 14

When clouds withhold their watery wealth,
farmers cease to ply their plows.

Verse 15

It is rain that ruins, and it is rain again
that raises up those it has ruined.

Verse 16

Unless raindrops fall from the sky,
not a blade of green grass will rise from the earth.

Verse 17

The very nature of oceans, though vast, would diminish
if clouds ceased to take up water and replenish rain's gifts.

Verse 18

Should the heavens dry up, worship here of the heavenly ones
in festivals and daily rites would wither.

Verse 19

Unless the heavens grant their gifts, neither the giver's generosity
nor the ascetic's detachment will grace this wide world.

Verse 20

No life on Earth can exist without water,
and water's ceaseless flow cannot exist without rain.

Iraivan’s Temple Lavarock Update – September 20

Aum Namah Sivaya

A quick update to show us the progress on the lavarock wall along the eastern side of Iraivan Temple. To top layer of stones is gradually being completed. Following a taut string, which perfectly defines the top edge, each stone is hand selected to fit just right, and chiseled ever so slightly to get a perfect straight line all along the top of the lavarock face. These top stones have been completed along 1/3 of the eastern side of the temple.

September 2020 Chitra Puja

Jai Gurudeva!

Early this morning our monks gathered in Kadavul Temple to observe the monthly padapuja to Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Yogi Dayanatha and Yogi Haranandinatha performed the abhishekam while Satguru and other monks chanted Sri Rudram.

"Seeking for God in the depths of one's being through control of the mind, control of one's thoughts, feelings and emotions, gives birth to the highest qualities of nature." - Gurudeva

Tirukural – Chapter 1

Part I: On Virtue

Section I: Prologue

Chapter 1: Praising God

Verse 1
The first four letters of the Tamil alphabet are seen here: A, AH, E, EE. This is the dancing Siva who creates. He is shown without ornamentation or man-made things. He is in all of nature, dressed with pearl necklace, simple cotton yarn sacred thread (poolnul. He is dancing over the world of birds, animals, plants and nature in her abundance.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

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

Verse 1

"A" is the first and source of all the letters. Even so is
God Primordial the first and source of all the world.

Verse 2

What has learning profited a man, if it has not led him
to worship the Good Feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?

Verse 3

The Supreme dwells within the lotus of the heart. Those who reach
His Splendid Feet dwell enduringly within unearthly realms.

Verse 4

Draw near the Feet of Him who is free of desire
and aversion, and live forever free of suffering.

Verse 5

Good and bad, delusion's dual deeds, do not cling to those
who delight in praising the Immutable, Worshipful One.

Verse 6

A long and joyous life rewards those who remain firmly
on the faultless path of Him who controls the five senses.

Verse 7

They alone dispel the mind's distress
who take refuge at the Feet of the Incomparable One.

Verse 8

They alone can cross life's other oceans who take refuge
at the Feet of the Gracious One, Himself an Ocean of Virtue.

Verse 9

The head which cannot bow before the Feet of the Possessor of
eight infinite powers is like the senses lacking the power to perceive.

Verse 10

The boundless ocean of births can be crossed, indeed,
but not without intimate union with Infinity's Holy Feet.

Today’s Concrete Pour at Iraivan Temple

This morning several concrete trucks found their way up to the aadheenam to help with the western side of Iraivan Temple's lavarock plinth. Umut and his team have been preparing for this, and today were ready to fill in behind their next layer of stones. These lower layers take the most time and resources to construct, and having concrete pumped from a truck is a great boon for such a large project. Usually Umut and his team mix all their needed concrete themselves, but rarely do they work on projects of this scale.

A Fantastical Flowering

A miraculous happening in Siva’s Sacred Garden this morning. A giant orchid (for the botanists out there it is officially Grammatophyllum scriptum, var. citrinum), has bloomed as never before. It has been in this tree for some 15 years and bloomed in a minor way in the past. But today it is in full glory, with 35 long spikes, each with a couple of hundred lemon-colored flowers. Hence the name “Citrinum,” for citrus. Seeing it makes a pilgrim marvel at Siva’s Creation.

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

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