We hope the joy from this colorful rainbow reaches you wherever you are!
Today the monks end their short, four-day phase and enter into a three-day, full-moon retreat. A time of energy, within and without. As you'll see in the slideshow, we had a brief opportunity provided by the recent hurricane warning. Because of the potential for high winds we took all the tarps off of our tents. That means that for a few days the tarps over Iraivan Temple's entry steps were gone, allowing us a glimpse into the final look and feel of approaching the entryway to this magnificent temple. Aum Namah Sivaya.
A short aerial flyby of Iraivan Temple. Here you can see the progress on the temple's lavarock facing which encircles the foundation plinth
Recently we've been seeing some wonderful progress on the new office extension for the Pillaiyar Kulam offices. In our last post, Jeff had been working on the floor. Here, as you can see, the initial framing for the walls has been completed and the roof has been added. As anyone who has done construction in Hawaii will tell you, it's always nice once the roof is completed because construction isn't effected nearly as much by our constant rains. For those that don't recall, this new extension will house items for the Mini Mela along with all the many shipping and printing supplies that our work requires. Aum.
This week the silpis completed the top step of Iraivan Temple's main entryway. With this complete the siplis are now working on some extra details and joining work. With the front stairs at ready, we were also able to take down the temporary wooden steps at the back of the temple. This gives room for Umut and his Lavarock team to access the full perimeter of the temples foundation in order to do their work. Aum.
Today our team from Innov8 Construction made quick progress on Iraivan Temple's Lava Rock plinth. The upper layers of lava rock along the Temple's east side had been set, awaiting two truck-loads worth of concrete to be filled in behind them. Umut and his team arrived early to set up. Once the truck arrived the first half of the team managed the pump while others followed along making sure that the concrete fully filled in correctly, and also finishing the top in such a way that the next layer of stone could be added correctly. Umut tells us that the final layer of stone will be added with hand-mixed concrete and extra attention to detail. On the West side of the temple, the first layer of stones is now complete. The plinth is a major part of the temple structure and should be completed in a couple of months.
The State is upgrading a section of the ditch which flows from Wailua Reservoir (a short distance from the monastery) and winds its way through the entire monastery grounds. It is a source of water for our cows, gardens, the Rishi Valley ponds and more. It was shut off about two weeks ago to do this work. The engineers decided that the open ditch on the outside slope of the dam was weakening the overall structure by soaking the ground. They decided to upgrade that section of the ditch to a 200 foot section of concrete pipe, connecting to the culvert under Kuamoo Road. The water then opens to the ditch on the University of Hawaii's Agricultural Station adjacent to the monastery and then flows into our streams.
Aum Namah Sivaya
Today our camera-monk takes us out to Iraivan Temple for this week's update of the progress going on there. right now the next layers of the temple steps are being placed and the lavarock plinth is getting higher and higher. Also, join us for a quick detour into our Sacred Gardens.
A few years back, we completed the Temple Builders' Pavilion, the seven bronze masterpieces showing Gurudeva, Ganapathi sthapati and the silpis at work. A kind of workshop where visitors and pilgrims of the future could see the ancient technology used to carve Iraivan Temple.
But during the making of the pavilion (which took some 7 years) something happened. The Bangalore team invented a new chisel. Instead of the thick soft iron chisels that most of Iraivan was made with, these were made of carbide steel. They could be sharpened with a diamond wheel and last 20 times longer than the old-style steel. Plus they have a sharper point, allowing the sculptors to do even more refined work.
Recently we realized that these new-style chisels are not represented in the Pavilion, so we sent one of the carbide chisels to Loveland, Colorado, to have copies made to be placed in the Pavilion, showing something important to future generations (even if they don't fully understand the story).
Yesterday, this envelop arrived at the monastery.
Inside were four copies of the original, made in bronze and looking identical to the original. Then we learned that Bobby and Kathy Page gifted their molding and casting fees, and the forging folks gifted the metal work and Patrick Kipper, the patineur, gifted his application of the colors (amazing achievement of gold color we thought). The entire project was free! Thank you, everyone.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.