Sri Lanka Innersearch Day 10: Pasupati Sivan and Kumbhalavalai Pillaiyar Koyil

Pasupati Sivan Koyil
This morning our buses made their way through a series of villages and rural byways that one of the monks thought looked like a movie. Fields of paddy and tobacco, farmers harvesting rice and growing bananas and papayas. When we arrived in Alaveddy, hundreds were waiting at the gate. Nandi flags fluttered in the mild wind and radiant faces welcomed the Innersearchers to this site, so important in Gurudeva's life and history.

This was the compound where stood Kandiah Chettiar's house where Gurudeva stayed in 1949, where he absorbed the culture of pure Saivism and did his sadhanas in preparation for meeting Yogaswami. In subsequent years the home was razed and Gurudeva had this small Siva temple erected. All entered to enjoy an hour-long puja and abhishekam. Dozens of small children, perhaps 7 years of age and all born after the end of the conflicts here, were brought by their teachers to have Satguru Bodhinatha's blessings.

Above the sanctum large photos of Yogaswami and Gurudeva radiated. Aru Thiru Murugan, one of our trustees of this land, spoke of its history and importance, though small and humble in many ways. Some of our swamis were initiated into Sannyas on this very spot.

Kumbhalavalai Pillaiyar Koyil
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami lead a long procession from the Pasupatiswara Temple to the Kumbhalavalai Pillaiyar Koyil. Amazingly this one village has five major Ganesha temaples, and this one was visited often, almost daily, by Gurudeva when he lived with the Chettiar family. For nearly a mile we walked along the narrow lanes Innersearchers singing Namasivaya and locals on scooters stopping, pulling over to the side to let this holy procession pass.

A long and marvelous puja ensued, and Ganesha abhishakam. The priest had a heavenly voice and his Sanskrit was beyond beautiful. We captured some of his mantras and songs. The largest team of tavil and nagasvaram played in the stone chamber, their music reverberating, their powerful rhythms uplifting the hundreds who had come for darshan. Then followed the famed Panchamukha Ganapati arati, with five priests surrounding the murthi, each offering a large camphor lamp to one of the faces. This is, in fact, the very place where Gurudeva conceived the idea of a large Panchamukha Ganapati for his Spiritual Park. We had returned to the source.

In a nearby hall all the Innersearchers and hundreds of others were served prasadam on banana leaves. The afternoon was open for Innersearchers to return to temples, shop for friends back home or rest, as the schedule has been intense and full in every way.

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