Dandapani in the Garden

At Kauai Aadheenam during our last retreat the Dandapani mound in Siva's Garden was taken apart in preparation for a major overhaul. It had grown dense and needing of resuscitation, as life often is. Sadasivanathaswami was supported by Tandu Sivanathan and Vel Alahan, and the three of them removed all but a few of the plants, getting it ready for new gems.

The mound holds a four-foot-tall Dandapani which came from India in 2006. His name means "One who holds the renunciate's staff, or danda."

He is the deity we draw close to when we wish to meditate, when we want to let go of some small (or large) part of our worldliness, when we are in need of healing, when we wish to undertake special penances and yogas.

At Palani Hills this song is sung to Dandapani:

O Lord of Palani Hill!
O Dandapani!
O Karttikeya, O Muruga!
Salutations unto Thee.

Thou art the younger brother of Ganesha.
The six Krittika Devis nursed you
Thus are you named Karttikeya.
Thou art Nirguna Brahman.
Thou art Siva's sparks of Light Divine,
Thou art the great General
Of Celestial forces,
Thou art the Destroyer
Of Tarakasura and Simhamukha.
Surapadma became Thy vehicle and flag.

Come, O come, Lord Subrahmanya
You blessed Arunagiri.
Now Bless me, O Skanda,
I am Thine, all is Thine my Lord!

The murthi was freshly oiled, awaiting his new forested surroundings that will slowly unfold in the weeks ahead.

Palani Hills Temple

Atop Palani Hill in South India stands one of India's most frequented and potent temples.

The deity is Palani Andavar or Dandapani, a form of Lord Murugan or Karttikeya. He holds the danda, a staff symbolizing his renunciation of the world and his yoga disciplines. He wears nothing but a loincloth, for he owns nothing, wants nothing, is attached to nothing.

The murthi in the sanctum here is said to have been made by Bogar Rishi, who took nine poisons (see the bowls) and mixed them in a magical way to create a stone-hard substance.

His hair is shaven to denote his surrender of worldliness and ego, and he wears a band of rudraksha beads on his head and larger ones in his ears.

Dandapani is said to be the first human being to renounce the world and take the path of the solitary seeker of Truth.

A New Phase Begins with Sun One Homa

National Day of Prayer Observed by Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai

For the past two years, Kulapati Vel Alahan has been the Hindu representative on the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai of which Bodhinatha was a founding participant years ago. Gurudeva and Bodhinatha has always been supportive of Kauai's interfaith groups, which have come and gone through the years. The latest incarnation, the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai, is a small group but has keep up the flag of tolerance and and communication for nearly a decade now. For the past two years Kulapati Vel Alahan was the Hindu representative.

It is a simple but important initiative to keep members of the various faith groups on our small island talking together and to keep sending the message of multi-religious harmony and co-existence out to the larger community.

In 1775 the first continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer and this was signing into law in 1952 under President Harry S. Truman. Click here to read more about this event. This year, one of the activities initiated by the Interfaith Round Table of Kauai was hold a National Day of Prayer event at the County offices. Members of different faiths were invited. The Mayor himself, Bernard P. Carvalho. read the proclamation defining our Nation's Day of Prayer, sang two songs expressing his prayerful solicitations for peace and harmony.

Posters designed by Annaleah Atkinson and printed by the monks, decorated the pavillion with the Golden Rule expressed in different ways by different faiths. The Hindu poster says: "This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you." -- Mahabharata

The Interfaith Roundtable had conducted an essay contest and awarded the winner $100. "What does the Day of Prayer mean to you". We read many essays from school children and all selected Kezya Rego as the winner. She read her essay. Joe McEvoy presented the award. Monroe Richman representing the Jewish Faith was the presenter.

Vel chanted explained the chant "Loka Samasta, Sukhino Bhavantu" "May all beings in all world be happy." And guided the whole group to chant along with him. Vel also introduced the representatives of the various faiths:

Rev Noriaki Fujimori, Waimea Hongwanji, Buddhist
Sistor Carol, St Raphael's Catholic Church
Monroe Richman, Jewish Community
Rev Jim Jennings, St Michaels and All Angels Episcopal Church and Kauai Hospice
Rev Jeannie Thompson, United Church of Christ, Kapaa
Rev Catherine Stovall, Sanctuary of the Children of the Rainbow
Gretel Shanley, Quakers
Patrick Parks and others Bahai and Eckancar

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

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