A few days ago Brahmachari Vel Mahalingam arrived from Mauritius. He'll be here enjoying nearly six months of taskforce. Vel is always a bright and enjoyable addition to the aaadheenam's Siddhidatta Kulam, helping with the many and multifarious tasks and events that take place here. Welcome Vel! Aum Namah Sivaya
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami reads from Lesson 48 of the Himalayan Academy publication "Path To Siva," discussing the practice of "ahimsa" or non-violence in thought, word and deed.
Once all of the 65 metal pieces are cast, they return to Page Bronze for welding together. It is the job of Bobby Page to do this so perfectly that no one can see where the seams once were.
But first he has to make an armature. This is a framework that will support the statue, which is as we know by now almost entirely empty inside. Bobby used 3" stainless steel pipe for this, making a super-strong structural frame to which the statue will be connected. In the slideshow we show some of this armature.
Piece by piece, Bobby welded the metal sections together, with Gurudeva's photo watching from his workbench just 25 feet away. Every week Bobby sent the monastery some visual updates showing the progress.
One of the questions the monks had was whether the 200-pound model of Iraivan could be held in Hanuman's left hand, or if it would be too heavy. So Bobby's apprentice, Chris, did a test, as the photos reveal.
Bobby completed the welding in early July, just in time for Chapter Seven of our Hanuman's Tail, we mean Tale.
All of our bronze statues have been done in America's most highly regarded community of bronze artisans, in Loveland, Colorado, about 90 minutes north of Denver. We are fortunate to have the most skilled artists.
When last we left Hanuman, the 65 molds had been shipped to Page Bronze. Here Kathy Page took over. She made wax copies of Holly's 65 molds, perfect copies that would be used in the famed lost wax method of casting molten metals.
In all 29 craftsmen and women went to work and in about 8 months created the new masterpiece--a 13-foot-tall bronze Hanuman that is stunningly beautiful. He is a perfect copy of the stone Hanuman in form (well, Holly did add lots of refined details), and like the stone He will last for 1,000 years and more.
Today Hanuman stands in a workshop in rural Loveland, shining with a golden glow. But, as Chapter Six will reveal, that golden radiance is about to be transformed!
After accepting the astonishing fact that Hanuman had split in half, the senior monks met to determine how to make what seemed like a disaster into a boon, something Gurudeva was always modeling and teaching to us--see Siva's Will in all that happens, the good as well as the bad.
In consultation with the Sivacharyas of Tamil Nadu, the temple sthapati Selvanathan Sthapati and the great Pundit Sabharatnam of Chennai, we devised a plan that would meet Gurudeva's wish.
The plan called for capturing the artistry and darshan of the stone and turning it into bronze. It is revealed that the broken stone is a gift, because the bronze Hanuman that will rise in its place is even more remarkable. The stone Hanuman was quite similar to the stone Dakshinamurthi, both 13 feet tall. Having Dakshinamurthi in granite and Hanuman in bronze makes each one more special. And, bronze will also last for 1,000 years. Plus the bronze will have more delicate details, details that were impossible in the granite sculpting. Holly added refinements impossible to achieve with a hammer and chisel. A masterpiece of this scale, in bronze, will be a marvel far into what Gurudeva liked to call "The future of futures."
We flew the master sculptress Holly Young to the island twice. The first visit Holly molded the granite stone on the front side. In April of 2017 she returned after we had hired a giant crane to turn Hanuman over, so Holly could capture the back side. It's a tedious task, requiring extremely careful work so all the future metal parts will fit right. It also requires much chemical and materials knowledge, layers and layers of painting on various coats of goo and waiting for the layer to dry before the next one goes on.
In all Holly made 65 molds which were sent to Loveland, Colorado to a team that is arguably America's greatest bronze experts. That story in Chapter Five.
Each month, during the auspicious day of the Ardra nakshatra, the monks of Kauai Aadheenam celebrate with an abhishekam to Nataraja in Kadavul Temple. Today, Anandan Sivamani visited the monastery to offer his music to Siva.
Satguru's tour around the world is over for now. The monks welcome him and Shanmuganathaswami back home with a short pada puja and arati, first to him and then for him in Kadavul temple.
One day when the monks were out near Iraivan Temple, where He lay on a massive steel pallet, they saw what appeared to be a crack on his ankle. Looking more closely a far more serious realization came: Hanuman had broken in half (perhaps a micro flaw in the original stone), the lower legs and mountain had been completely severed from the main body.
What happened, we came to know, was that the hard white foam (which you can see in this first photo, had grown soggy over the years of exposure to rain and sun and rain and sun again. The top part of Hanuman's body settled, a mere 1/8th of an inch. But the bottom half, with his feet and the mountain) could not move as they were locked down by the supporting crate. That small movement had broken Hanuman in half.
What happens next proves that all things in life are a boon, if we but react and respond to them with higher consciousness.
A belated adventure photo journey from several monks who went up the river after one of our largest storms in recent history. One can see the damage the water did, but also the beauty it exposed.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.