On Friday, September 28, Sadasivanathaswami and Arumuganathaswami flew off to Honolulu. They were invited by the Governor to attend and bless the signing of a Sister-State Agreement between Goa in India and Hawaii in the USA. The agreement will promote trade, tourism, information technology; and exchange of health and wellness, agriculture, culinary art, education and cultural programs between private sector organizations and universities of both states.
It was an important event, insofar as it was Hawaii's first official connection at the highest level with India. A delegation of three flew to Hawaii from Goa for the signing. The swamis were able to do other significant things before and after the mid-morning signing, mostly relating to the monastery's agricultural endeavors and our mission to save a $250,000,000 irrigation system that island farmers depend on, including us.
The slideshow tells the tale. Aum Namasivaya!
Two Kauai painters are putting out a new book on heiaus, churches, Hongwonjis and our monastery. These two works appear in the new book.
These giant logs where recently acquired from the nearby Alexander's Nursery, whose owner we have known for 40 years. They were brought up to the monastery and placed near the wood mill. Each is from a massive Earpod tree that fell down five years ago. Instead of rotting, it will now be given a new life as timber. The wood is much like Monkey Pod, being comprised of a swirl of light and dark colors.
One of our monastics recently captured this shot of our friendly Kauai Cane Spiders. They are rather huge, spanning up to 5 inches across, so its common for people to find them quite scary. However, they are harmless and will likely just run at the sight of you. This male was found in our kitchen. It is actually highly recommended that if you have these in your house, you don't try to remove them. They are beneficial in that they control other insect populations such as cockroaches. Unlike other spiders, they don't weave webs, but rather come out at night to hunt.
Finish up those emails, shut down the computer, clean up the desktop and off to the weekend! Two days a week we monks get to see the sun rise, go out and about and stop to smell the honey. A few shots were taken this past retreat, let's see what they're up to...
Over the retreat, Acharya Arumuganathaswami and Natyam Dayanatha visited the Kauai Island Farm Fair. This fair is the largest farm fair in Hawaii, and the biggest annual event on Kauai with some 35 to 40 thousand people attending (the island population is only 66,000). Brahmachari Vel Mahalingam, Chinnu, and our Iraivan Temple Silpis came along for the event. While there, our group encountered several local SSC members, including Vel Alahan who was stationed at the "Kauai Grown" booth, giving out samples of the monastery's very own Wailua River Noni Juice.
One day when the monks were out near Iraivan Temple, where He lay on a massive steel pallet, they saw what appeared to be a crack on his ankle. Looking more closely a far more serious realization came: Hanuman had broken in half (perhaps a micro flaw in the original stone), the lower legs and mountain had been completely severed from the main body.
What happened, we came to know, was that the hard white foam (which you can see in this first photo, had grown soggy over the years of exposure to rain and sun and rain and sun again. The top part of Hanuman's body settled, a mere 1/8th of an inch. But the bottom half, with his feet and the mountain) could not move as they were locked down by the supporting crate. That small movement had broken Hanuman in half.
What happens next proves that all things in life are a boon, if we but react and respond to them with higher consciousness.
A belated adventure photo journey from several monks who went up the river after one of our largest storms in recent history. One can see the damage the water did, but also the beauty it exposed.
A short visual journey from a small lava tube in the Wailua River up to the majestic, hand-carved Iraivan Temple.
The first tour day of the month went swimmingly. Souls poured in from Vishva Guru's wrenching grip, seeking the light of clarity that Kauai's Hindu Monastery is known for. Most reports are similar in nature: "This place is so calm and quiet, so peaceful."
Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami signed books in Satguru's stead; questions from seekers were framed around "unity in consciousness, consciousness in unity."
Devoting our lives to sacrifice, to service and to understanding the nature of the mind, comes with great burdens and pains--but the end result pales in comparison to any fleeting whimsy of the conscious mind. So what's your sacrifice? What is your burden? What is your meaning? Perhaps you can find joy inside the struggle of learning and come out wiser than before. Grace is then nothing but the manifestation of your hard work, the sum total of your hardship and enduring of the mundane. Maybe grace is just your own darshan beaming backwards into yourself, a reflection from the mirror-like granite murti worshiped in earnest. Who Knows? Somehow, in some mysterious way, the guru unlocks this grace. It is his seva, his dance.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.