Siva's Five Face of Grace

Come on an artistic journey with us.

Many are familiar with the three faces of Siva, called Trimurthi, where He is depicted as Creator, Preserver and Dissolutioner (Yes, it’s in the Fictionary.)

Fewer know the Five Faces of Sadasiva, also called Pancha Brahma. It is a mysterious, profound depiction of the Divine One, which the monks are preparing a major article in Hinduism Today for Twenty-Eleven. The faces are named Isana, Tatpurusha, Agora, Vamadeva and Sadyojata.

This form of Siva adds two faces to the better-known Trimurthi, and two cosmic powers or potencies: Concealing Grace and Revealing Grace. These five faces are often seen on lingams, with four facing the cardinal directions and the fifth facing upward.

These five faces and powers are central to the Agamas’ understanding of the cosmos, a hidden key to worship and puja, and our sculptors in India are just finishing making five of them in metal, to adorn the five niches surrounding the Iraivan sanctum. Here is the architectís drawing of Vamadeva, and the resulting metal murthi.

January 2011 SP Ganesha Homa Mauritius

In Mauritius, usually on the 1st January each year all temples of whatever Hindu denominations of the island are filled up in the morning with devotees as local Hindus feel they are to start the new year with the blessings of God. However, on the 2nd January it's fun and merry making, usually no religious functions. But at the Spiritual Park, the Ganesha Homa held on January 2nd incredibly drew thousands of devotees who were there early morning as they they not want to miss the Blessings of their dear Lord Pancha Mukha Ganapati.

All faces were radiant with love and devotion…

The tent was completely filled up.

Four kulapaties officiated the Homa. Our two new kulapaties, Kulapati Soundiren Arnasalon and Kulapati Yudananda Munian were invited to to officiate the sacred fire ceremony.

Kulapati Yudananda Munian…

One item of the ceremony was the official entrance into the Church membership of one devotee. Here is Saravan koothan from the south, reading his membership vows.

We were honored by the presence of two Indian priests on that occasion.

Kulamata Oomavadee Pallanee…

Little Omvatee….

The priests were invited to chant a few Ganesha mantra at the end of the fire ceremony.

The final arati is about to start…

The whole crowd stood up…

Brahmachari Vel Mahalingum conducting the final arati for the first 2011 Ganesha Homa at the Spiritual Park. Aum Gam Ganapataye Namah!

Remembering Gurudeva

Yesterday was Gurudeva’s Jayanthi Day. He would have been 87 years old. Devotees in Bethesda Maryland remember him. Here is their story.

Ganapathi Thunai.


In 1981 late Mr. Saravanapavan and his wife Pathmini met Gurudeva in Kauai and expressed the wishes of the devotees in Maryland metropolitan area to build a Murugan Temple. Gurudeva presented them with a murthi of Ganesha and told them, “Take Him and pray to Him; you will definitely have a temple. But, Ganesha works very slowly.” This Ganesha murthi arrived their home in Bethesda (Maryland) on Gurudeva’s birthday 05 January 1982 (a divine coincidence). Devotees used their home as a “Temple” for the next five years, and the Ganesha murthi was moved to one of the houses in the land that was purchased in Lanham (Maryland) for the Murugan Temple in 1987. This Ganesha murthi had been installed in the Murugan Temple in the main Ganesha shrine, and Gurudeva attended the Kumbabishekam in May 1999 (17 years after He said “Ganesha works very slowly”). Today, Mrs. Pathmini Saravanapavan arranged a Special Abishekam to Ganesha, celebrating both Gurudeva’s Birthday and also the day the devotees received His Ganesha murthi. Here you see the Ganesha with Gurudeva after the Abishekam. Jai Ganesha. Jai Gurudeva.

With love,
Nigel Siva

Mrs. Pathmini Saravanapavan

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