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What Happened Today at the Monastery?

At home today it was Ashram Sadhana and all the monks were working on cleaning all morning.

In Malaysia Bodhinatha and Shanmuganathswami met with devotees, the Iraivan fund raising team and Dato Vaitilingam of Malaysia Hindu Sangam, our printer there, Sampoorna Printer. Shanmuganathswami is working to set up an official distribution center in Kuala Lumpur. They also paid the Divine Life Society a courtesy call to Swami Guhabhaktananda and then had evening satsang at Kulapati Guhan Sivalingam’s home.

An iPhone Banyan Mandapam Tour

Peppermint Anthurium is one of the showstoppers along the temple path, looking uncannily like someone spattered red paint on a white canvas.

This is an exhibition tent where visitors can get acquainted with the temple project.

It’s called the Banyan Mandapam, because a giant one-million-year-old banyan is nearby (OK, not quite that old, but really big).

Saint Thiruvalluvar greets visitors at the entrance.

And the mighty Lord Ganesha plays a welcoming drum.

There is a lifesize painting of Gurudeva, to let people know the great soul who founded Kauai’s Hindu Monastery.

Displays of the carving, quarrying, and such are all around.

They tell the story of Iraivan.

Nearby is a sandalwood model of how the finished temple will look,.

Behind is our Mini Mela where Gurudeva’s books and teachings are available, along with sacred artifacts. Just today a crew is here working on the foundation for our new Information Center/Mini-Mela.`

Horticulturalist Marty Fernandez came today, and was photographed next to one of our newest residents, the world’s largest Alocasia, which Palaniswami got from the Filipines. It grows BIG, this one is just 6 months old!

Innersearch Asian Odyssey 2008 Retrospective

January 26th: We continue our coverage of the 2008 Asian Odyssey. It’s 4:30am and Innersearchers gather in the hotel restaurant for some tea and coffee before departing to the temple.

Arunachaleswarar temple is absolutely beautiful with its magnificent gopuram.

Today we will be performing the girivalam (hill circumambulation) around the holy Arunachala hill. We gather at the Muruga shrine at 5am to invoke His blessings and strength to perform this nearly 16km walk.

Everybody joins in for this sacred walk led by Bodhinatha

Around the hill are 8 lingams and we stop at each one to worship.

Saravananathaswami and Thurai Rajasankara

Thomas Kelly, our photographer, walks ahead to be in a good position to capture this sacred event.

Here’s a map showing the location of the 8 lingams

Another lingam stop.

This is the Niruthi Lingam shrine.

Bhavani Param poses for a photo with Palaniswami.

Prem Chandiramani from Grenada takes a break with Bodhinatha.

Lots of sadhus live around the holy Arunachala hill. It is so wonderful to see.

Going through a narrow and low doorway to enter one of the eight lingam shrines.

One of the swamis that live in this area recognises Bodhinatha and comes up to say hello.

Palaniswami takes a short break in the shade.

We continue on our walk with the holy Arunachala hill always at our center.

“O Arunachala! Having given up external objects
and having meditated upon You within
by a mind restrained by the restrained breath,
the yogi sees the light. They are exalted in You”
– Ramana Maharshi

We arrive back at the temple a few hours later successfully having completed our girivalam and worship of Arunachala!

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