3-Day Retreat

We are now in a quiet three-day retreat at the monastery. TAKA will next be posted on Friday, November 7, Dasami Tithi.

Skanda Shashthi Festival

Vetri Vel Muruganukku!

Today is Skanda Shashthi, a festival when Lord Murugan rides really close to Earth.

Lord Karttikeya, Skanda, is the first guru and Pleiadean master of kundalini yoga and was born of God Siva’s mind. His dynamic power awakens spiritual cognition to propel souls onward in their evolution to Siva’s feet. He is the God of yoga, of renunciates, of government leaders, and of healing.

It is appropriate that new monks are initiated today, and that His festival comes a day before an important moment for the world.

We began this morning with a powerful homa. Yogi Jivanandanatha was the pujari. Lord Murugan’s vel, from His shrine, was brought forth next to the homakunda, and Murugan was invoked into a large kumbha full of water and herbs, representing the water and other elements that make up the body.

Nandi was decorated with a toranam mala and lamps. He was by far the largest, most imposing devotee present.

After the homa was finished, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami (true to his name) brought the vel up to the Muruga shrine, where it received abhishekam along with Murugan’s lifesize black granite murti.

Milk begins the abhishekam.

Vibhuti abhishekam. Each of the offerings that is poured interacts with the shakti emanating from the murti in its own subtle way. Each thus sends forth a different blessing to those present.

We performed sandalwood abhishekam just as it is done in Swamimalai in Tamil Nadu. The powder is mixed thick so it rests on the stone, allowing everyone to clearly see the contours of Lord Murugan’s remarkably beautiful face. This murti was carved by the renowned Neelamegham Sthapati of Swamimalai, known for the faces on his murtis. Vetri Vel Muruganukku, Haro Hara!

Brave New Postulants Join Muruga's Hosts

Under the auspices of Lord Muruga’s shakti of yogic striving and monasticism, three bright souls joined us today. They have been begging entrance at the wall for many weeks, attuning themselves to the inner vibration of our order.

Bodhinatha reaches up for the power of the Parampara before every initiation.

Acharya Kumarswami carefully guides the process. He reads from our Sacred Vows book along with the three Sivanadiyars.

All are very focused. It is a great moment.

Sivanadiyar Rajan, a cheerful presence and a strong soul in service of Siva.

Sivanadiyar Tandava reads his vows. He has exemplary humility and is a dedicated meditator.

Sivanadiyar Nandi has wonderfully absorbed the refinements of our Tamil Saivite culture, in minute detail.

Bodhinatha listens attentively.

The Vow Books are signed, by Bodhinatha…

… and by the new Postulants. Vel Muruga!

Initiation of Three New Sadhakas

After the vows are taken, it is time for the initiation. Paramacharya Ceyonswami feels the blessings coming forth.

The swamis carefully review the Vow Books. They have been edited very carefully in the decades since Gurudeva started his ministry. Today they are some of the most beautiful texts we have produced.

You can see part of the sannyasin’s vows here.

Bodhinatha keeps both the vibration and our spirits high with his presence.

As is traditional with the Nathas, all new sadhakas will have earrings.

Bodhinatha gives each one a sandalwood mala, a wood evoking compassion and reaffirming their new path of service for humankind. They also receive new robes.

Sandalwood paste is applied on their freshly shaven heads. It is a ritual to confirm they let go of the ways of the world.

They take vows of humility, purity, obedience and confidence, and will strive to shine forth the ideals of Saivite monasticism.

Left to right: Sadhaka Nandinatha, Sadhaka Tandavanatha and Sadhaka Rajanatha.

Welcome to the loftiest path, brave ones.

Jai Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and the Kailasa Paramapara!

Aum Namah Sivaya.

TAKA Adopts WordPress Blogging Platform

We’re not sure, but we think TAKA may have been the first blog, begun on August 16, 1998, ten years ago.
For all these ten years, we have been publishing TAKA using monk-crafted software tools, which have grown to be rather complex. Since the advent and popularization of personal and corporate web logs (blogs), many great platforms for blogging have been created. In an amazingly simple transformation, today we began publishing TAKA using the free WordPress software on our server.
Like every other modern blog, you can now post comments, view posts on their own pages (this is called a permalink; just click on the title above this section, "TAKA Adopts WordPress Blogging Platform" to go to a bookmarkable, URL-emailable page for just the story you want to share), view posts in specific categories or tagged with a given tag.
Enjoy the newly technological TAKA, and let us know how what you think!
Aum Namah Sivaya

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

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