Today the monks begin their new phase, continuing their unified routine of worship, meditation, and their seva. Following a few days of retreat, the phase begins as usual with the weekly homa. Attended by monks, local members and visiting guests, this ritual of offerings and prayers culminated in that passing of flames and was followed by an inspired talk by our beloved guru. Bodhinatha discusses, in very clear terms, the nature of our karmas and our responsibility in their creation. He also gave practical advice for the mitigation of heavier, negative karmas, in a talk which will be online soon.
Here is a look into the importance of this yajna, this ancient fire ceremony, from the first verses of the Yajurveda:
Be vibrant as the winds and thank the Lord
Creator, Savita, for the gifts of food and energy, light
and life, for the body, mind and soul. Pray that you
dedicate yourself to the noblest action, yajna, and play
your part in the service of the Lord. Be blest with the
best of health and wealth in plenty, cows, healthy, strong
and fertile, sacred, not to be killed. No thief to rule over
you, no sinner to boss over you! Growing in power and
prosperity, be firm and loyal to this Lord of the land
and protect the wealth and honor of the yajamana
Yajna is sacred. It is the light of the sun, the life
of the earth, the breath of air, the holy warmth of life
that sustains and sanctifies existence. Go on, expand
and raise the joy of life to the heights of heaven. Neglect
not yajna. May the Lord of yajna never forsake you.
Yajna is the sustainer and purifier of countless
worlds. It is the sustainer and purifier of the universe in
countless ways. May the lord creator Savita sanctify
yajna. May the Lord purify and sanctify us with yajna
and the knowledge of the Veda. What message do you
hope to receive?
Yajna: it is the life of the world. It is the science
and structure of the universe. It is the law and sustenance
of the system. It is the very act of the Lord of Creation.
I stand by it fast and firm with the light of knowledge
and the joy of life.
Lord of the fire of yajna, Lord of Law and vows
of faith, I take to the vow of commitment to truth and I
give up the untruth. Bless me that I may be able to keep
the vow. Bless me that I may realize it.
Our monks heard this miraculous story during their travels in India in November, and thought to share it on this day, as we approach Maha Ardra
You all know about the 11,000-pound Avudaiyar that was made for Iraivan, the five-metal base that will ultimately hold the crystal Sivalingam in the sanctum, the one that arrived on Kauai two months back. It seems to have some magical and mystical powers.
The masterpiece was made in Swamimalai, South India, by the great artisan Kubera Sthapati. He and his wife had remained childless, to their great dismay. But as soon as he began to work on the massive peedam, his wife, who was 48 years old at the time, became pregnant.
The avudaiyar took nine months to design, cast, carve and finish. On the day it left his workshop for Kauai, his wife delivered a baby boy. Sthapati regards this as his blessing for working on one of the most sacred parts of Siva's Citadel in Hawaii. He said his life was forever changed in that moment.
Click here to see a video of the Avudaiyar's creation
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