To attend worship at Kadavul Hindu Temple make a reservation here
FRONT GROUNDS ARE OPEN DAILY FROM 9AM to 12PM WITHOUT A RESERVATION

Ardra Darshanam 2023

Aum Namah Sivaya

During the recent full moon, our monastics celebrated our annual Ardra Darshanam. The day began with a Siva Homa in Kadavul Temple. This auspicious occasion was a wonderful opportunity for long-time shishya Gaurav and Ripla—who currently are here from Chicago—to take their Vishesha diksha vows after many years of inner preparation and dutiful sadhana.

Following the Homa, the monks finished up some final preparations and then at 9am the puja began. It included our most elaborate abhishekam of the year, as Nataraja is bathed in 108 gallons of milk and many other items, including 108 coconuts which are bought before Him by a human-chain of mathavasis. Hundreds of visitors passed through the temple during the morning to receive darshan from Lord Nataraja. Aum.

Celebrating Ardra Darshanam

"God can be discovered only by God." – Yogaswami

Today is Ardra Dashanam and the monastery is observing an abishekam to Lord Nataraja in Kadavul temple, bathing Him in water, milk, yogurt, vibuthi, honey, chandana, citrus and more. It is a special time once a year when the Moon, Earth and Sun, align with Ardra, the brightest star in Orion (also known as betelgeuse to astronomers). Siva's star is also known as the Dancing Star, due to its constant fluctuations of light. Ardra is a Red Supergiant, and is one of the few that are visible with the naked eye. If it were to be in the center of our solar system, its surface would be at the asteroid belt, fully engulfing Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.

Our Gurudeva had many wonderful words to say about our beloved God Siva, here are just a few taken from Merging with Siva: "Of course, if you love Siva, obviously you have to love everyone else. Love brings forgiveness. Love brings understanding. Love brings feeling. All Saivites of the world love Siva. They love each other, and they love the Vaishnavites, the Shaktas, the Smartas, the tribal Hindus and everyone in the world, because Siva's energy is working through everyone in the entire world--plants, trees, animals, fish, birds. It's so simple. The object of the lesson is to make yourself a very simple, uncomplicated person. Aum Namah Sivaya." - Gurudeva

Happy Pancha Ganapati – Day 5!



December 25, Orange
Nurturing Harmony among All Three Worlds The family sadhana for the final day of Pancha Ganapati is to bring forth love and harmony within all three worlds. Because of sadhanas well performed during the first four days, the family is now more open and aware of Ganesa’s grace, and their love for Him is overflowing. On this day the entire family experiences an outpouring of affection and tranquility from the great God Himself. His blessings fill the home and the hearts of everyone within it, inspiring them anew for the coming year. This exchange of affection between all members of the family and the Lord is invoked and perpetuated through the day by performing five special pujas. These five pujas to Pancha Ganapati (see sidebar below) solicit help from His devas in the home and establish the patterns for improvement in family life. The overflowing love that is felt today will inspire generosity in the year to come, bringing abundance and good fortune in return. All gifts received during the day are placed unopened before Pancha Ganapati.

The Final Day's Five Pujas and Opening of Gifts
The first puja is at 6am. Before the puja, personal offering trays are prepared and placed before His shrine. After the puja, each one gives verbal testimony about prayers that were answered during the past year. Hearing testimonies strengthens the faith of everyone. Then vows of sacrifice can be verbally made. Vows should improve the quality of the life of the individual, such as giving up smoking or swearing or correcting other harmful habits. The second puja is at 9am, and the third at 12 noon. The fourth puja is held at 3pm. The fifth and final puja at 6pm is the long-awaited time. The five sadhanas have been completed. Peace, love and harmony among everyone has been restored. After the puja and before the great feast that follows, Lord Panchamukha Ganapati Himself gives His final darshana and prasada to one and all. Gifts are distributed and joyously opened. Happy children. Happy parents. Happy God. Learn all about Lord Ganesha’s Holiday celebration here: panchaganapati.com Please also enjoy this explanatory video from Ganesha Bhaktars at the Shree Ghanapathy Temple in London.

Happy Pancha Ganapati – Day 4

December 24, green:
The sadhana of day four is to draw forth the vibration of joy and harmony that comes from music, art, drama and the dance. Family, relatives and friends gather for satsang to share and enjoy their artistic gifts. Then all sit together before Ganesha, Patron of Arts and Guardian of Culture, discussing Hindu Dharma and making plans to bring more cultural refinements into the home. More gifts are placed before Pancha Ganapati.

panchaganapati.com/

Happy Pancha Ganapati – Day 3!

December 23, Red Nurturing Harmony Among Associates and the Public

The family sadhana for the third day is to create a vibration of love and harmony among business associates, the casual merchant and the public at large. This is the day for presenting gifts to merchants and customers and honoring employers and employees with gifts and appreciation. An important effort on this day is the settling of all debts and disputes. Gifts received are placed unopened before the Deity.

Learn all about Lord Ganesha’s Holiday celebration here: panchaganapati.com

Please also enjoy this explanatory video from fellow Ganesha Bhaktars at the Shree Ghanapathy Temple in London: Day 3 – Pancha Ganapati Festival (23rd Dec)

The Hindu Festival of the Holiday Season

The holiday season in Western countries can be confounding for Hindu kids and families. So Gurudeva created a five-day gift-giving festival in December. It has found its way around the world, as our ai-generated slideshow proves (OK, intimates)!



Daddy, Do We Get Toys for Christmas, too?

PUBLISHER'S DESK by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
_____________________________

Yuletide is not a Hindu holiday, but we have our own December gift-giving festival called Pancha Ganapati
_____________________________

Daddy, do we have Christmas? What do we do? Don't we get presents, too?" That question was heard in so many Hindu homes some 15 years ago that it inspired us to create a new holiday based on time-honored traditions. In cooperation with swamis, scholars and elders, an alternative for Christmas was conceived and put into action. Pancha Ganapati, a five-day festival celebrated from December 21 through 25, has since become a favorite in homes all over the world. The winter solstice has always been a festive time of year in all countries, religions and among Hindus especially, for it is a traditional season for the worship of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed Lord of Culture and the Arts.

In the Sri Lankan tradition, for example, thirty days are dedicated to Ganesha worship during December-January in the festival called Markali Pillaiyar. In Vedic astrology this time of year marks the end of the sun's southward movement and the beginning of its movement north. Since most Hindus do not celebrate Christmas, they often find it difficult to relate in a meaningful way to those who do. Their children are often embarrassed when asked why they don't receive gifts like their friends. Adults feel the need to give gifts and mail greeting cards as well as accept them from relatives, neighbors, friends and business associates. The five days of Pancha Ganapati offer a Hindu expression of this natural season of worship, gift-giving and celebration.

December 25 and the days that precede and follow it have truly become a special time of year for people of many religions, and for the nonreligious as well. In fact, this season has become so universally popular that it has virtually become a secular cultural holiday in addition to its special observance by certain religions. Recognizing this fact, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Christmas a secular, social holiday. This is because it has become a time for everyone to rejoice, give and share their abundance, each in his own way.

imageDuring each of the five days of Pancha Ganapati, a special sadhana, spiritual discipline, is focused upon by the entire family. Because of the festival's importance as a new beginning and mending of all past mistakes, a shrine is created in the main living room of the home and decorated in the spirit of this festive occasion. At the center is placed a large wooden or bronze five-faced statue of Lord Pancha Ganapati. If this is not available, any large picture or statue of Lord Ganesha will do. Lord Ganesha is often depicted as coming from the forest; therefore, pine boughs (or banana leaves) may be used. Flashing lights, tinsel and colorful hanging ornaments may also be added. Each morning the children dress or decorate Ganesha anew in a different color: golden yellow on December 21, then royal blue, ruby red, emerald green and finally brilliant orange. These are the colors of His five powers, or shaktis.

Each day a tray of sweets, fruits and incense is offered to Lord Ganapati, often prepared and presented by the children. Chants, songs and bhajanas are sung in His praise. After puja, the abundant, diverse sweets are shared by one and all as prasada. Each day gifts are given to the children, who place them before Pancha Ganapati to open only on the fifth day. Gifts need not be extravagent or expensive; they should be within the means of each family. Handmade presents are by far the most precious. Ganesha does not want gift-giving to promote Western commercialism but to further the great Hindu culture. Clearly, killer games should never be given. Greeting cards, ideally made by the children, offer Hindu art and wisdom, such as verses from the Vedas. Now let me explain how the five-day celebration is observed.

December 21, yellow: The family sadhana for the first day of Pancha Ganapati is to create a vibration of love and harmony among immediate family members. The day begins early, and the entire family works together to design and decorate the shrine with traditional symbols, rangoli, lamps and more. Then a grand puja is performed invoking the spirit of Pancha Ganapati in the home. The sadhana of the day now begins. The family sits together for the purpose of easing any strained relationships that have arisen during the year. They make amends one with another for misdeeds performed, insults given, mental pain and injuries caused and suffered. When forgiveness is offered to all by one and all, they speak of each other's good qualities and resolve that in the days ahead they will remember the futility of trying to change others and the practicality of changing one's self to be the silent example for all to witness. Gifts are then exchanged and placed unopened before Pancha Ganapati. As family harmony is important to all Hindus, this sadhana must be taken very, very seriously.

December 22, blue: Day two is devoted to creating a vibration of love and harmony among neighbors, relatives and close friends and presenting them with heartfelt gifts. The sadhana of the day is to offer apologies and clear up any misunderstandings that exist. Relatives and friends in far-off places are written to or called, forgiveness is sought, apologies made and tensions released. Gifts received are placed unopened before Pancha Ganapati.

December 23, red: The sadhana for the third day is to create a vibration of love and harmony among business associates, the casual merchant and the public at large. This is the day for presenting gifts to fellow workers and customers and to honor employers and employees with gifts and appreciation. The sadhana today is the settling of all debts and disputes. Gifts received are placed unopened before the Deity.

December 24, green: The sadhana of day four is to draw forth the vibration of joy and harmony that comes from music, art, drama and the dance. Family, relatives and friends gather for satsang to share and enjoy their artistic gifts. Then all sit together before Ganesha, Patron of Arts and Guardian of Culture, discussing Hindu Dharma and making plans to bring more cultural refinements into the home. More gifts are placed before Pancha Ganapati.

December 25, orange: The family sadhana for the final day is to bring forth love and harmony within all three worlds. Because of sadhanas well performed during the first four days, the family is now more open and aware of Ganesha's grace, and their love for Him is now overflowing. On this day the entire family experiences an outpouring of love and tranquility from the great God Himself. His blessings fill the home and the hearts of everyone within it, inspiring them anew for the coming year.

Quite honestly, however, many Hindus do celebrate Christmas and would ask, "What's wrong with that?" My answer is that it dilutes and weakens our noble tradition and leads children astray. Each religion educates its young in a sectarian way, for religionists believe that to learn one specific path is sufficient and necessary. Therefore, education should not be diluted by taking in all religions under one banner.

Religions are one in their movement toward God, some offering knowledge, others service, others love, attainment and direct experience. At the same time, they are different in their practices and attainments, and most assuredly distinct in their beliefs, the foundation of the attitudes of their members. It is good to love and respect all religions; that is a necessary condition of individual spiritual unfoldment. Following the path given by our religion leads one onward through religious practices and sadhana into Divine Realization.

The success of any person on the spiritual path is reliant upon the depth and strength of his religious roots. A great tree with roots well wrapped around boulders and sunk deep into the Earth can withstand any storm. High winds are nothing more to it than the cleansing of its branches. The individual on the path must be just as firm in his religious foundation in order to withstand raging emotions, depression and elation, confusion and despair. To him, such disturbances will be nothing more than a cleansing of false concepts as he dives deeper into his religion and philosophy.

We can clearly see that religion and tradition are interlocked in the annals of time back many thousands of years, and how tradition moves forward from one generation to the next, setting the patterns for humanity. Every time-honored tradition loyally serves mankind, and by following it through the context of one of the great religions of the world, one cannot go astray. Jai Ganapati! May He lead us always along the right path.

Pancha Ganapati, Day 2

Today is the second of our 5 days of Pancha Ganapati, Gurudeva's new festival created decades ago to allow Hindu kids and families a holiday of gift giving. It has spread around the world.

December 22, Color Is Blue
The family sadhana for the second day of Pancha Ganapati is to create a vibration of love and harmony among neighbors, relatives and close friends and presenting them with heartfelt. Today's sadhana is to offer apologies and clear up any misunderstandings that exist. Relatives and friends in far-off places are written to or called, forgiveness is sought, apologies made and tensions released. Gifts received are placed unopened before Pancha Ganapati.

The Five Saktis of Lord Ganesa
A Seasonal Doxology by a Saiva Monk

Loving Ganesha! Dear to Siva's men,
Within whose form the world of form resides,
Who earned the mango by a ponderous ken
And made the moon to wax and wane in tides.

Aum Ganesha! Loved by saints and sages,
Whose skillful arms five potent shaktis wield
To guide men now as in forgotten ages--
The seeker's shield, the farmer's fertile field.

Aum! Ganesha's first shakti is home life,
Protection, harmony, fertility--
Respect becomes the man, as love the wife,
Obedience their cherished offspring's glee.

Aum! Ganesha's second shakti's family--
By blood, by marriage and proximity.
Word and thought controlled, like minds agree,
While faithful friends preserve community.

Aum! Ganesha's third shakti's the market,
Where commerce earns the earth stability,
Where forthright, selfless merchants, free from debt,
Conceive, produce, exchange prosperity.

Aum! Ganesha's fourth shakti brings culture--
Refined expression, graceful artistry
In music, dance, in poetry and sculpture
Or common conduct performed consciously.

Aum! Ganesha's fifth shakti is dharma--
Fair merit found in virtue's charity--
Where love of God does conquer ancient karma
And Siva's slaves earn grace's rarity.

Jaya Ganesha! Come, our hearts protect
From discord in the home, from strife with friend,
From business misfortune, from art's neglect,
From soul's dark night--these griefs asuric end.

Sivalaya Deepam

Recently, the monastery held its evening celebration of Sivalaya Deepam, worshiping God Siva as a pillar of fire. This year, deepa lamps were placed throughout Iriavan Temple. Earlier in the day we observed the monthly krittika homa at Iriavan, and into the evening the deepas were lit, setting aglow Iriavan Temple's intricate architecture. After a puja to Mahalingeshvara, special flames were brought out to a pillar of wood, ghee and palm fronds, which was set ablaze. Aum Namah Sivaya. Sivaya Namah Aum.

Skanda Sashti and Supplicant Pledge

We share here a few photos of the Skanda Sashti puja a few days ago (which was also livestreamed), and in the middle of the puja, while Karttikeya was decorated, Brahmachari Shankara Veylan took the six-month Supplicancy Pledge. Having already taken the vow of purity, he now takes on two more vows, the vow of Humility and the vow of Confidence. This pledge declares his intention towards a life of monasticism, as he now begins the final process, by which he will ready himself for the life of the Postulant. From the Sacred Pledge booklet:

"The supplicant's foremost objective is to strive for mastery of the charya marga, or path of service. This begins with the avoidance of wrongful actions and the overcoming of base instincts and emotions as he learns to transmute worldliness into the higher states of devotion and selflessness. At this stage on the path, the Saivite devotee is content not to strive for profound spiritual attainments but to work diligently with the faults and flaws that are stumbling blocks on the path, learning at the same time to depend not only on his own resources but on the limitless abilities of the Gods to resolve all difficulties and dissolve all obstacles. The Supplicancy is a time of profound worship of Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan and Lord Siva and of deepening commitment and service to Saivite Hinduism and to the Church. It is also a time of study, challenge and inner change. The supplicant is encouraged to strive for the perfection of service and for the monastic ideals of humility, industry and responsibility, renouncing personal needs for the benefit of others. In this service, he should strive for transparency, that quality of anonymous virtue in which the premonastic lives in full harmony with others, remaining centered within and not standing out or disturbing the surroundings. It is this ancient tradition of unseen service and unperturbable stability that the supplicant seeks to emulate, realizing that serving in unheralded ways and renouncing the fruits of even good deeds averts the pitfalls of the spiritual ego and nurtures the state of unpretentiousness. By putting great energy into premonastic life and by serving tirelessly for the benefit not of himself but of others, the supplicant opens himself to the inflow of Lord Siva's grace."Aum Namah Sivaya.

Kauai Aadheenam’s 2023 Skanda Shashti Live Stream

Join us on November 18th at 3:00pm (Kauai time) for our 2023 celebration of Skanda Shashti. Each year in Kadavul Temple, our monks perform this special abhishekam for Lord Murugan . Om Skandaya Namah

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

Subscribe to RSS Feed