At 1:31pm on Friday, January 25th Lord Hanuman's feet touched down on a small mountain near the sacred Rudraksha Forest at Kauai Aadheenam, where they will remain firm for a thousand years. This brought to an end a more than decade long project set in motion by Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, who asked us to honor the God that brought us Iraivan Temple. After preparing the ground and spending several day's making sure Lord Hanuman's base and metal bolts were in alignment, we we're able to conclude with an effortless lowering of this 13-foot-tall bronze master piece, thanks to our skilled crane operator Larry Conklin. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, monks, members and a few spontaneous pilgrims arrived at the site to witness this rare event.
To support Hanuman, His concrete base is drilled with deep holes in which the large stainless steel bolts attached to Hanuman's frame are placed. Hanuman was carefully lowered into place over the base and lifted just enough for the monks to quickly add a fast-drying cementing compound. As this compound fills the holes and dries, it expands, creating a strong and lasting installment. After being set down, the crane harnesses were removed from Hanuman and He was draped with a shawl followed by offerings of incense, fruits, coconut, flowers and an arati.
Aum Anjaneyaya Namah!
Emails are already buzzing with word of the installation. Here follow several testimonials describing the grandeur and craftsmanship of this truly remarkable Hanuman murthi, one the monks regard as the most graceful and artistic in all the world:
"So glad that this next increment is being completed for the San Marga Sanctuary. When we were last there in November, we walked all around the finished bronze castings, marveling at the refined details of the workmanship. One cannot find any traces of the welded joints connecting the many, many pieces, all in perfect alignment with the decorative detailing chiseled into them. The patina work is beyond belief and description.
Much gratitude and appreciation to all of the team who created the vision, sponsored the work and then brought it to this pinnacle of craftsmanship and art manifestation. I have been to most of the great museums in the world and spent a year in Florence, Italy, where they say, you can find the greatest examples of bronze casting ever.....until now.
This Hanuman surpasses or equals any great work of art on the planet that one can name, in my opinion.
Deva Rajan (California member with a background in sculpting)
I want to thank you so much for the photos from the installation today... I have been most worried about the surface patina going such a long distance without damage... but from what I can see, Lord Hanuman looks great..... My heart was ecstatic when I saw the bronze upright and how good He looks in your tropical lighting. So thank you, thank you, thank you! I want to tell you from the bottom of my heart that I am so happy and honored that you chose me to apply the patina finish. And even happier you like how Hanuman looks.
You are in our hearts always,
Pat and Nancy Kipper
Good morning, Bobby (Bronze Artisan)
You asked about the challenges we faced with the Hanuman installation yesterday. The challenges were only to keep our feet from lifting off the ground as this 10-year project came to a profound conclusion.
The entire process was uncannily easy, due in large part to the precision placement of your large bolts at the base, and the template you sent me on the plastic sheet. I had transferred that to plywood for engineering the six 24" deep holes in the foundation that now solidly hold the rods. The Kauai concrete team, led by Jim Fain, was super precise, knowing what was at stake if the holes were not plumb (that would have been a nightmare). So credit them as well.
The six 18-inch-long stainless steel rods were in near-perfect alignment the first time I took the template and did a test run while Hanuman was lying down. Only one required a half inch nudge to have them all centered. I used a 6' long heavy pipe and bent it slowly, 1/16" at a time til it was perfectly aligned with its 2-inch wide hole.
I had cut the rods such that each was about an inch shorter than the next, so that we could deal with one rod at a time as they were lowered into the 2" diameter holes. But that proved unnecessary. When the crane operator lowered the 2,400-pound bronze Hanuman, all six rods slipped into place the first time, without a tweak of any kind! It happened so fast. The power of caring craftsmen and over preparation at work.
Or maybe we should credit Lord Hanuman for a good landing.
Watching this manifest brings joy and the deepest appreciation to All involved, including our dear Lord Hanuman who has carefully and lovingly been crafting Iraivan and now stands as a once-in-many-lifetimes only One in the world beacon directing seekers to San Marga. Many are the lessons in His story of arriving at Kauai Aadheenam – a chronicle which is nothing short of a modern day miracle declaring the Saiva path is alive today as in the days when first documented on Ola leaves. What has been created will be looked upon reverently for thousands of years – mikka mahalos for this lesson in love, precision and mountaintop consciousness. Gurudeva is surely beaming from the inner worlds.
It is more than remarkable to see Lord Hanuman standing there now for the world to see. His orange shawl waving in the wind. The wisdom and insight to put him at the beginning of San Marga and standing alone are now profoundly clear – profoundly clear. His towering presence takes up ALL the space around Him . . . extends out for acres . . . It is a massive presence. And the most mystical part is Lord Hanuman wasn’t going to come to Kauai without a message. His initial stone image laying on a pallet, in the beginning, was only a small start. It could be that this is the real miracle that imbues Him with so much power and there is no doubt about it – His presence is overpowering. Lord Hanuman brought with Him to Kauai, as His grace to us, a life lesson, maybe one of our biggest life lessons that we all face in our darkest hours. Now that took the help of a profound training, initiation, insight, fortitude and sheer willpower of our monks to manifest, but it did happen – it has happened. Out of the ashes of our heartbreak, our deepest regrets and losses – laying flat on our face and looking up – Lord Hanuman will always signal to the countless pilgrims that will come to San Marga – Don’t lose heart! Truth can emerge from the ashes of our losses, our failures our deepest disappointments in life. We can’t truly walk the San Marga all the way to the end without knowing that – so He tells us at the beginning of the path. He lets us know before we start. Jai Dear Lord Hanuman – thank you, thank you.