Recently, during the Krittika nakshatra, the monks held their humble observance of Krittika Deepam. This is a time when God Siva is celebrated as an infinite pillar of light, usually by lighting a large lamp. Many Murugan temples observe this festival since Muruga's energies are easily felt during the Krittika nakshatra. In some instances, most notably atop Arunachala, a bonfire is lit to represent the divine and all permeating light of Parashakti. For our version, several of the monks decorated Kadavul temple with many small deepas and then lit a large camphor lamp in front of Kadavul Temple's kodimaram.
"Now have I realized the path of Hara. In the past I sought Him in narrow paths and strayed. Lo! All the while He stood before me like a beacon light in firmament, guiding my voyage across the sea of my soul's longing. The path of Siva is the proven path. It led them to Hara. It is the royal path that renowned souls have walked, the path divine that took the devout to cosmic space. That path do seek, enter and persevere. Still your wandering thoughts, chant the sacred syllable 'Shi' and so persevere on the path of Hara. You shall envision primal light effulgent."
Majestically seated on the manipura chakra, this scarlet-hued God blesses mankind and strengthens our will when we lift to the inner sky through sdhana and yoga. The yoga pada begins with the worship of Him. The yogi, locked in meditation, venerates Karttikeya, Skanda, as his mind becomes as calm as Saravana, the lake of Divine Essence. The kundalini force within everyone is held and controlled by this powerful God, first among renunciates, dear to all sannyasins. Revered as Murugan in the South, He is commander in chief of the great devonic army, a fine, dynamic soldier of the within, a fearless defender of righteousness. He is Divinity emulated in form. The Vedas say, "To such a one who has his stains wiped away, the venerable Sanatkumara shows the further shore of darkness. Him they call Skanda."
The moon, sun and fire are in unison radiating their resplendent effulgence. Radiating the luminous sparks is Murugan, who lights up the world by His peerless light. Kathirgama Purāṇa. KD, 220
Every month during the Ardra nakshatra, our monks perform a puja and abhishekam for Lord Nataraja in Kadavul Temple. While we follow the tradition of not photographing or filming the central shrine, you can at least listen to this audio of the end of the puja, recorded today by a stalwart devotee. The above painting was done by A. Manivelu. It gives an accurate representation of the temple's inner sanctum. Aum Namah Sivaya.
Aum Namah Sivaya
Yesterday the monks observed their monthly puja and abhishekam to Lord Nataraja during the Ardra Nakshatra. This day marks a lunar alignment with Ardra, a massive star in Orion and one of twenty-seven nakshatras or lunar mansions. During this time, Lord Nataraja's energies are potent and easily felt. This short article from Hinduism Today explains more about this special celestial body:
Ardra, the Dancing Star
Ardra is the star that names one of the nakshatras, the 27 lunar mansions of Hindu astrology. It is known as Siva's star, a cosmic representation of His third eye, red and intense.
Called Betelgeuse in the West (a medieval Arabic name), it fascinates and consternates modern astronomers. Though it is one of the most studied of suns, it defies description, as it changes in brightness, size and even shape with rythmic gusto.
Scientists call Ardra "mysterious" and "elusive" in their published works, informally calling this massive orb "the dancing star." Hindus might find the name apt--after all, Siva is Nataraja, King of Dance.
Ardra is part of the constellation of Orion, shining as the brightest red star in the sky. Because of its blazing choreography, there is no certainty about how far it is from Earth, but the latest calculations point to around 725 light-years. Siva's star is colossal. For sake of comparison, if it were the size a football stadium, Earth would be a spec of dust, and the Sun no larger than a mango.
Ardra is nearing a transitional point in its evolution. Tomorrow, perhaps, or several thousand years from now--it will enter a supernova stage. In that act, marking the height of this cosmic performance, Ardra will convert most of itself into light and cosmic rays, sending its energy out to the universe in a blinding flash. When that happens, it will outshine the full moon in our sky for months and be visible even during the day.
After that, Ardra will be a small neutron star, unimaginably dense, spinning incredibly fast. Just a cup of matter from a neutron star's core weighs more than all the mountains of the Himalayas combined.
This morning the monks performed a Guru Purnima padapuja for Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. For those who missed it, here is the full video. Aum Namah Sivaya.
Jai Nandinatha Sampradaya!
Jai Kailasa Parampara!
Jai Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami!
Join our monks tomorrow morning (July 3rd) from 6:00am to 7:00am, Kauai time, for a live-streamed padapuja to Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. Just go to our Youtube channel and, once live, you'll see a live-stream video as the most recent video available. See: www.youtube.com/user/kauaiaadheenam
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