We recently received this archival photo from S.Subramania Kurukkal, Chief Priest of the Maha Ganapathy Temple in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, along with the following note:
I am sending you a picture which was taken of Gurudeva's 53rd Jayanti function held in Alaveddy in 1982. In the photo, I am performing the function helped by late Subramania Shastrigal from Nallur.
I wanted to share the story of my meeting Yogaswami: I was maybe the age of nine. After my upanayanam ceremony I was instructed by my uncle to do my daily rituals and pooja for our native Navaly Sinthamany Pilliyar (Ganesha). Then after finishing pooja and prayers I left for home. On the way some gentlemen told me that Swami from Columbuthurai is staying in a house near to our temple, so I was anxious to see him. I went there and looked through the window. I was so scared to see him with his long beard and powerful eyes. Suddenly he turned his head and looked at me and asked me to come inside. I went inside and he instructed me, "don't be afraid, you are a great Gurukkal. You will be a chief priest in Western countries like Canada. Now you can go and play with your friends." I was so happy to hear this news, and I went and told to my uncle. He told me when the time comes it will happen. Do your services to Lord Ganesha."
[Words from the lexicons of all our books]
The Library of Congress requested we send them all the Hinduism Today magazines going back to the first issue of December, 1996 to the present. Fortunately we have boxes of the Hinduism Today Collector's Set, all the issues from 1996 through 2010. Sannyasin Muruganathaswami searched through our collection of back issues at the monsastery and Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami and Natyam Mayuranatha visited our warehouse in Sugar Creek, Missouri for the issues from 2011 to July-August-September of 2017. We were missing only one issue, October-November-December 2014, but Amala Seyon was able to provide us with a copy. Jai Ganesha!
The monks schedule has entered sadhu paksha, a time of year that allows us to wander about in the early morning hours and remain alone and still. There is no mandatory roll-call at 5:30am, instead there is a mandatory call to dive within among the sacred grounds we call home. Before the sun rises, we begin our day's work and rise within the spine up to our highest potential.
This is also a good time for us to test our skills and see how we meditate without a guided group using Shum. After so many years one can use Shum intuitively and use the monthly mamsani at a different pace.
In looking through the archives to make this blog post, it becomes clear that we move so much throughout the year. Activities are never departed from our life and TAKA often reflects the various projects that we are involved in. But what sustains it all? The life-giving force behind our movement is our stillness. Like a battery on its charger, we gain power in the darkness of the morning before the city wakes and then unleash that energy right into the seva we set out to do. This dance, this sankalpa is performed without fail day in and day out, and our mission would not work without an inner fire being roused and fed with heavy loads of guru-given meditation.
So where does your day begin? Do you wake up as late as possible only to rush off feeling incomplete? The wholeness of being must be sought for in the silence within. This Self-expression must be exercised in order to live a life with meaningful permanence. All else is subject to the repetitive dual nature of prakriti. While we can not, and should not, avoid karmic law, we can arm ourselves with the virtuous qualities of the soul. We can wield the soul-nature without inner practice only so much. Eventually we need to become acquainted with our real selves.
In September of 2011 Paramacharya Sadasivanatha and Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami flew to Toronto, Canada, for a rare meeting and interview with Dr. James George, who spent many moments with and was profoundly influenced by Yogaswami in the early 1960s when he was the Canadian High Commissioner to Ceylon. (A lifetime scholar and diplomat, he was at other times the High Commissioner to India and Iran as well.) Here is their tale: We embarked in the morning and ended up in his apartment in a tightly-secured and upper-crust building in the city, an apartment filled with ten thousand artifacts, most of them of a spiritual nature: thankas (old ones) covering the walls, at least the walls not covered with his vast library of religious and spiritual books. We set up to interview him about his time with Yogaswami near a window in his dense office, amongst computers and printers and papers and files. We thought the morning would be a journey into history, capturing his times with Yogaswami. It was that, but far more. At 93, Dr. George is a bright light, capable of imitating Yogaswami's raucous laugh and powerful voice, inclined to take each question we asked and make it a reflection on life and truth and life's search for truth. Our queries would stop him and for a full minute he would look off, not so much into the distance as into the inner sky, then finally he would return with a gem, some insight into consciousness, some delightful comparison of George Gurdjieff, the Russian mystic who stressed the now and the Great I Am. On and on it went, question after question, all captured on our camera for you to enjoy later. Mostly he was thoughtful and faithful to the task of describing his times with the Lion of Lanka (who did roar, he said), but now and again he exploded: his voice rising, his eyes gleaming, his body leaning forward to convey a moment when Yogaswami said something potent to him. It was so evident that those moments are still alive in this wonderful soul, that, as he told it, they changed his life and his family's too. Here is a man who can field the most sophisticated question on consciousness, who can set two spiritual traditions side by side and compare them, who can speak of presence with perfect presence, a kind of soft intensity you rarely encounter, who knows what not knowing is, who believes the universe is ultimately perfect and yet bemoans the "rise of negativity in all spheres." Fun, gracious, "What would you like in your tea?" humble, "I hope your journey here from Hawaii has been worth these small remembrances" generous "Taxi? No, let me take you back to your hotel.." Our interview with Jim, as he insisted we call him, turned out really to be a satsang of kindred souls, of those who explore consciousness and who strive as often as possible, as much as possible, to heed Yogaswami's stern yet utterly simple instructions: "Summa iru. Just be."
What Happened Today at the Monastery?
Shiva's Light Upon Us
The Art of S. Rajam
What Happened Today at the Monastery?
A Day at Kauai Aadheenam: the Movie
Another fresh release from the capital of Saivite video. This is a captivating short movie of the monastery's activities that one of our swamis created recently to share with some members in Malaysia. It was taken on the day that our friend Swami Nirmalanandanatha, sucessor to Balagangadharanathaswami, was visiting the Aadheenam.
Kadavul Temple scenes
A mountaintop perspective of Kaua'i
What Happened Today at the Monastery?
Bodhinatha in Johor, Malaysia
Yogaswami Girls Home, Sri Lanka
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.