Holy Days, Holy Images

On this fifth and final Pancha Ganapati festival day, Aarti Visswanathan has hunted down another collection of images of our Loving Ganesha for all to enjoy as we offer Him our praises and our appreciations for guiding us all on the path of dharma.

Happy Pancha Ganapati!!!

December 25, orange: The family sadhana for the final day is to bring forth love and harmony within all three worlds. Because of sadhanas well performed during the first four days, the family is now more open and aware of Ganesha's grace, and their love for Him is now overflowing. On this day the entire family experiences an outpouring of love and tranquility from the great God Himself. His blessings fill the home and the hearts of everyone within it, inspiring them anew for the coming year.

Today, the monks celebrate the final day of Pancha Ganapati. This evening they will join Bodhinatha for a special meal, for which four monks are spending all afternoon to prepare. Many gifts for Bodhinatha and the monks have been flowing in from Ganesha's devotees. They've been sitting at the Pancha Ganapati's feet for blessings, awaiting the monastery's evening celebration.

The Five Saktis of Lord Ganesha
A Reverent Doxology by a Saiva Acharya

Loving Ganesha! Dear to Siva's men,
Within whose form the world of form resides,
Who earned the mango by a ponderous ken
And made the moon to wax and wane in tides.

Aum Ganesha! Loved by saints and sages,
Whose skillful arms five potent shaktis wield
To guide men now as in forgotten ages--
The seeker's shield, the farmer's fertile field.

Aum! Ganesha's first shakti is home life,
Protection, harmony, fertility--
Respect becomes the man, as love the wife,
Obedience their cherished offspring's glee.

Aum! Ganesha's second shakti's family--
By blood, by marriage and proximity.
Word and thought controlled, like minds agree,
While faithful friends preserve community.

Aum! Ganesha's third shakti's the market,
Where commerce earns the earth stability,
Where forthright, selfless merchants, free from debt,
Conceive, produce, exchange prosperity.

Aum! Ganesha's fourth shakti brings culture--
Refined expression, graceful artistry
In music, dance, in poetry and sculpture
Or common conduct performed consciously.

Aum! Ganesha's fifth shakti is dharma--
Fair merit found in virtue's charity--
Where love of God does conquer ancient karma
And Siva's slaves earn grace's rarity.

Jaya Ganesha! Come, our hearts protect
From discord in the home, from strife with friend,
From business misfortune, from art's neglect,
From soul's dark night--these griefs asuric end.

Many blessing to everyone from Kauai Aadheenam!

A Homa, Vratas and Rainbows

As the title suggests, Sun One was a pretty special day at the Aadheenam. We started with our first Homa in about a month, following Sadhu Paksha. During the homa Aarti and Mayuresh Visswanathan took their brahmacharya vratas and vidyasishya pledges, and Saroja Manickam took hers shortly after in ceremony in the guru peedam. Throughout the morning the monastery witnessed countless rainbows as periodic showers passed overhead.

The vrata includes chastity until marriage, and the in their pledges the youth agree to follow the yamas and niyamas as best they can, while also maintaining a 10-minute spiritual practice on weekdays.

"The first stage of life, brahmacharya ashrama, or studentship stage, corresponds roughly to ages 12 through 24, based on a foundation of training in culture and religion from the time of birth. It is the time for the acquisition of skills and knowledge that will serve in later life. It is a time to learn respect and obedience to teacher and family, loyalty to family and friends, service to humanity, proper manners, good habits, philosophy and culture. It is a time to learn the control of desires and to make a part of one's life our basic religious principles: the yamas and niyamas, the pancha nitya karmas and more. While still pliable, youth are molded by parents and all members of the community to a life of purpose, contribution and duty through a sound system of education. It is also the time of awakening creative faculties, enlivening spiritual aspiration and developing religious attitudes."
-Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

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