News from Australia

Our team there has been extremely busy. Bodhinatha’s brief reports detail meetings with swami’s, discussions with Hindus, interview for Hinduism Today with key leaders, morning meditations. Today (the 8th in Australia) is the big day for the Convocation of Hindu Leader who are “unveiling” the Hindu Declaration on Climate change (see below)

Today is the last day of our short 4-day phase.
This edition of TAKA will remain posted
over our coming two-day retreat,
until Dasami Tithi, Sun One, Thursday, December 10th.

Progress on Iraivan's Roof

Today we to for a walk out to Iraivan and take a close up look at the progress of work on the roof.

It’s a spectacular Kauai day, cool bright and Iraivan shines!

Up on the roof two men are laying out sheets of tar paper with a copper surface along the edges. this is yet another layer on top of the former concrete layer.

Bob’s Roofing is a well known small Kauai Company.

This is Robert Kuslo owner and founder of Bob’s Roofing.

These sheets are placed on the roof and “torched down” the underside heated. It looks bright when it comes off the rolls.

The color turns to a bronze patina in the open air. It is a very lovely finish.

This is Paul Cloud, Bob’s nephew who has just graduated from University in California and has come to Hawaii to work for his uncle for six months. What a great job to have!

The gold work on Iraivan has now stood the test of several months of very severe rain and sun. We are happy to say it looks brand new. In fact you can barely look at it in the sun it is so bright!

What appears as a decoration to visitors, as if the temple were in a festive mood all the time, is actually also a bird roosting prevention strategy. The fluttering silver strand keep them from sitting on the gopurams.

Bob and Paul are today working on the edges of the temple roof, having completed the main flat portion.

The material is being torched down along the edge, up and over the top.

Silpis at work on railing and Floor

Down below our silpis are at work on the railing

and the floor… with Iraivan’s roof overhead, they no longer have to work all day in the blistering tropical sun.

Hindu Climate Change Declaration


The big news today from Australia is the Hindu Climate Declaration which we present here in full:

Presented for Consideration to the Convocation of Hindu Spiritual Leaders
Parliament of the World’s Religions, Melbourne, Australia, December 8, 2009

Earth, in which the seas, the rivers and many waters lie, from which arise foods and fields of grain, abode to all that breathes and moves, may She confer on us Her finest yield.

Bhumi Suktam, Atharva Veda xii.1.3

The Hindu tradition understands that man is not separate from nature, that we are linked by spiritual, psychological and physical bonds with the elements around us. Knowing that the Divine is present everywhere and in all things, Hindus strive to do no harm. We hold a deep reverence for life and an awareness that the great forces of nature–the earth, the water, the fire, the air and space–as well as all the various orders of life, including plants and trees, forests and animals, are bound to each other within life’s cosmic web.

Our beloved Earth, so touchingly looked upon as the Universal Mother, has nurtured mankind through millions of years of growth and evolution. Now centuries of rapacious exploitation of the planet have caught up with us, and a radical change in our relationship with nature is no longer an option. It is a matter of survival. We cannot continue to destroy nature without also destroying ourselves. The dire problems besetting our world–war, disease, poverty and hunger–will all be magnified many fold by the predicted impacts of climate change.

The nations of the world have yet to agree upon a plan to ameliorate man’s contribution to this complex change. This is largely due to powerful forces in some nations which oppose any such attempt, challenging the very concept that unnatural climate change is occurring. Hindus everywhere should work toward an international consensus. Humanity’s very survival depends upon our capacity to make a major transition of consciousness, equal in significance to earlier transitions from nomadic to agricultural, agricultural to industrial and industrial to technological. We must transit to complementarity in place of competition, convergence in place of conflict, holism in place of hedonism, optimization in place of maximization. We must, in short, move rapidly toward a global consciousness that replaces the present fractured and fragmented consciousness of the human race.

Mahatma Gandhi urged, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” If alive today, he would call upon Hindus to set the example, to change our lifestyle, to simplify our needs and restrain our desires. As one sixth of the human family, Hindus can have a tremendous impact. We can and should take the lead in Earth-friendly living, personal frugality, lower power consumption, alternative energy, sustainable food production and vegetarianism, as well as in evolving technologies that positively address our shared plight. Hindus recognize that it may be too late to avert drastic climate change. Thus, in the spirit of vasudhaiva kutumbakam, “the whole world is one family,” Hindus encourage the world to be prepared to respond with compassion to such calamitous challenges as population displacement, food and water shortage, catastrophic weather and rampant disease.

Sanatana Dharma envisions the vastness of God’s manifestation and the immense cycles of time in which it is perfectly created, preserved and destroyed, again and again, every dissolution being the preamble to the next creative impulse. Notwithstanding this spiritual reassurance, Hindus still know we must do all that is humanly possible to protect the Earth and her resources for the present as well as future generations.

Calendar Karma Yoga Project

One of our master course students, Kumar, in Europe has thought of a way to help raise funds for Iraivan…

Check out this lovely calendar:


Monastery Twitter Updates for 2009-12-07

  • At Swami Shankarananda’s city ashram dinner, Andrew Cohen and the HT team engaged in a debate about the path to enlightenment. Interesting! #
  • RT @HinduismToday: #pwr2009 is open to the public today. Come one and all. The Convocation of Hindu Spiritual Leaders begins at 8 am. #
  • RT @HinduismToday: Our Big Day at #pwr2009, Bodhinatha speaks to Hindu leaders, two media Keynotes, Hindu Declaration on Climate Change. #

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