Another Day Glistening with Gold

Sun Two was another, literally golden day at Kauai Aadheenam. Light morning showers were followed by sunlight and everywhere light was glistening, but nowhere as brightly as on top of the Iraivan temple.

This is our wonderful team from the Gilders’ Studio who are here all the way from Olney, Maryland. You can find out more about their fabulous work by clicking here to check out their very well designed web site.

Front to back in the photo: William Hayden, Michael Kramer, founder and president of Gilders’ Studio, Jill London and Dennis DaSilva in the back.

Today we take a brief look at the gilding process. Earlier this morning the sizing (type of varnish) was applied and allowed to dry to just the right tackiness.

Here is William showing us what is called the gilders’ roller. It actually has two rollers, one is for a roll of goldleaf on paper backing and the second looks like small painting roller.

The gilder presses the strip of goldleaf down with his hands as he moves the roller along the surface.

The gold leaf sticks to the size and comes off the paper backing and is left “flapping in the breeze”

William is laying down the gold leaf.

Dennis is using a super-soft brush to burnish the gold leaf down to stick onto the sizing.

Jill is monitoring “touch up” where inevitably small spots are not covered with gold. She will find each of these, and paint a fresh coat of sizing on them and mark them with small tags of blue tape

If you look closely you can see the small blue flecks indicatings spots where gold leaf will be applied again.

Here she found a small ungilded area, she paints it with sizing.

She then puts down a small blue tape-tag to mark the spot that needs to be gilded. It takes a very sharp eye to see the difference between the gilded and ungilded yellow mica primer.

Ooops! this is an area 4″ X 8″ that was missed. The team jokingly refers to these as “Holidays”… if they missed a really large area, they call it a “vacation” (smile)

Covering every square millimeter is important as ultraviolet sunlight cannot penetrate the gold, but any area that is missed will allow the light to penetrate an break down the underlying layers of primer and sizing.

In the background, Jill is training Deva Rajan and Tandu Sivanathan to look for and spot areas requiring touch up.

Meanwhile down below our silpis continue work on the temple floor and railings

Dr. Thiagarajan, Sanskrit Master, Visiting from India

Dr. Thiagarajan Rajagopalan arrived from Chennai yesterday and is our special guest for a week. Saravananathaswami is hosting him today with a grand tour. Here they are up on top of the temple watching the gold leaf work in progress.

A retired professor who was head of the Sanskrit department at Presidency College Chennai, we hired him to produce quality recordings of our Ganesha puja and other chants which can now be found here:

He had a strong desire to visit Kauai Aadheenam, so instead of taking cash payment for the recordings, we sponsored his ticket to Kauai.

He’s been on a mission to help revive Sanskrit and Vedic chanting, producing dozens and dozens of audio CDs of beautiful chants.

Many of his CDs can be found at

Hinduism Today magazine reported on his efforts.
Click here to read the article on his life’s work.

Fourth Annual Saivite Retreat in Southern California

The Fourth Annual Memorial Day Saivite Retreat was held in Corona, California this past Memorial Day weekend.

Twenty-five participants of all ages attended this three day Retreat which was conducted by Rishi Thondunathan.

Events included classes for children, philosophical discussions for adults, Hatha Yoga, group meditation, games and field trips.

The Study Guide for this retreat was prepared by the monks of Kauai Adheenam.

This Study Guide, based on the booklet “Know ThySelf” which in turn was based on an early edition of the Master Course, has 14 daily lessons from Gurudeva’s mystical teachings.

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

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