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Happy Skanda Shashti

Another Skanda Shashti festival has come and gone. Dancing with Siva defines the festival as "A six-day festival in October-November celebrating Lord Karttikeya's, or Skanda's, victory over the forces of darkness." After two years of no visitors, we once again have a contingent of pilgrims from off-island. Because the six days of this festival immediately follow our late Gurudeva's annual Mahasamadhi puja, most pilgrims who come for that puja tend to stay on for this festival. Every day they were attending the 6am Muruga puja performed by Muruganathaswami, offering soulful singing while the curtain was closed, building the vibration towards the final afternoon puja shown in these photos.

Preparation for Silpis’ Return– Take Two

Three silpi craftsmen from India were supposed to return to Kauai a couple months ago, but could not due to visa issues. The issues have now been resolved and we expect them here shortly, so a team headed today to the house where they stay, for a second round of cleaning and food supplies preparation.

Double Rainbow, and Satguru Jayanti Preparation

On October 5th we were blessed with a double rainbow. Days later, preparations are in full swing for Satguru Bodhinatha's Jayanti event. It is elaborate this year, being his 80th birthday, which means a special homa and abhishekam to the Satguru tomorrow. A Sivacharya priest is coming to perform the pujas.

Books Unboxing and Latest Monk Candidate Arrives

We mentioned him briefly in the last post about visiting Waimea Canyon, but here's a bit more. Lucas Brzozowski, age 18, arrived from Massachusetts just days ago to begin a six-month resident visit because he is interested in monastic life. He also briefly stopped by a couple months ago for one morning while he was visiting from Maui island. Here he is helping Shanmuganathaswami and Vatshalan unpack MC trilogy books to store in the new back room of the Pillaiyar Kulam building. This back room is the more affordable replacement for the warehouse space we were renting on the mainland.

Waimea Canyon Outing with Taskforcers

Our current two taskforce residents, Vatshalan and just-arrived Lucas, have never been to Waimea Canyon and Kokee state park on the drier west side of Kauai. We saw mostly-clear weather on the forecast, so took the opportunity the other day. Besides the standard lookout points, we did the somewhat-strenuous Canyon Trail hike that goes up and down, along the edge of a ridge cliff and ends at a beautiful waterfall and pond area.

Small, Big and Bigger Pumpkin Growth Cycle

The Siddhidata Kulam reports that on June 9th we planted two Atlantic Pumpkin vines and 2 local pumpkin vines ( Japanese Variety). They were harvested a few days ago. The single Atlantic pumpkin on the cart transport is 120 lbs. This variety is usually grown for size competition in state fairs. The local pumpkin produced 211 lbs from about 33 pumpkins.

Ganesha and Murugan Murtis Grace Our Front Entrance

Many years ago a family commissioned these black granite murtis for placing outside their home. Years later plans changed and they no longer needed the murtis, deciding to donate them to our monastery. In discussing where these murtis could call home--at least for the time being--we noted than many general visitors stop by during our closed hours, so enriching the experience at our very front entrance (outside the gate) was felt to be most appropriate. A granite Sivalingam is already there, so now Ganesha and Murugan join Siva. A couple weeks ago when SSC sishya Gaurav and Ripla Malhotra family was here on pilgrimage, they and two Pillaiyar Kulam construction crew, Raymond and Kawika, helped to installed the two Deities.

Ripper-fertilizer gift

Aloha all! Never look a gift horse in the mouth. What is a gift horse you might ask? Perhaps it's a magical horse that gives you whatever you ask for. We don't know what happens if you look into its mouth but we are too scared to find out. The gift horse of today's story is an energy company on Kauai who graciously gifted us a ripper-fertilizer they were no longer using. What the machine lacks for in grace it makes up for with the ability to cut deep into the ground while dropping fertilizer to ensure nutrients reach the roots of newly planted trees. This machine was picked up by two monks from the north island and will be used to plant new noni trees across Himalayan Acres. Aum!!!

Walk Through Wai Koa Plantation

A couple of our monks visited this 500+ acre plantation recently to walk beautiful public trails through its 82,000-tree mahogany hardwood farm, the largest of its kind in the USA. The Wai Koa Plantation was founded in 2006 by Bill Porter, founder of ETrade, and his wife Joan. The plantation also includes multiple food produce farms.

After walking through the mahogany trees, the trail leads to the beautiful Stone Dam and swimmable area above it. The property used to be a sugar plantation and the dam was created to provide irrigation at the time.

BAPS monks visit Kauai Adheenam

We were recently visited by five Swamis from BAPS. These Swamis are stationed at various BAPS centers around the country and always enjoy their visit to Kauai Aadheenam. For two of them, this was their first visit to the aadheenam. Many of them commented on feeling the peaceful vibrations of the monastery. One of the newer monks, who had never met a Swami of another order before, felt it was similar to how man would feel realizing he wasn't alone in the universe, this monk was struck with a similar trepidation and awe upon realizing we are not alone in the monastic universe. Moreover. After pleasantries were exchanged Bhadreshdas Swami formally invited Bodhinatha to the 100th Jayanthi celebration of the late Pramukh Swami Maharaj that will take place in Gujarat late this year. After that a few monks gave the Swami's a tour of the monastery grounds which was especially sweet as two of them had never seen the place before. Aum!

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

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