Sannyasin Yoginathaswami and Yogi Adinatha were joined by long time members of Saiva Siddhanta Church, Dohadeva and Nagavati Sanmugam for a five day pilgrimage to the home of our Parampara, the Jaffna District of Sri Lanka.
Jaffna is a peninsula separated from the rest of the island nation by a tiny strip of land called Elephant Pass, and it is here that we begin our tale. There is a tree at elephant pass which has a gnarled root resembling Ganesha. A tiny temple has been built around it and the root is considered a Ganesha murthi. Camphor is burned continuously and tradition has it that this worship has been consistent for nearly 1000 years. It is traditional that anyone entering the Jaffna peninsula by road stop at the Elephant Pass Temple. Gurudeva stopped at this temple when he was first brought to Jaffna by Kandiah Chettiar about 70 years ago, and it is only fitting that we stopped to worship as well.
We entered Jaffna late at night and were up early the next morning to begin a whirlwind tour of temples and other sites throughout the area. It was hard to imagine we packed so much into one day.
We are being hosted at the Kopay Kottam, a children's school run by long time members Rishi Thondunatha and his mother Sivaloshiani. A small group of children waited hours for our arrival so that they could sing for us and get the blessings of Yoginathaswami.
The next day we are up bright and early to begin our pilgrimage. Without having planned it, our pilgrimage has begun on the full moon day of May, sacred to Lord Murugan and the day that Gurudeva was initiated by Yogaswami.