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.
Satguru's 3 week mainland/Europe mission has ended and his return home is ushered in with a short pada puja at Kadavul Temple. Bodhinatha marches off again on May 28, just a few weeks from now, to visit Malaysia.
The rows of tall trees in the center of this photo (notice a tiny Yogi Adinatha at the base of them) is a small part of our larger koa planting. This endeavor has been quite successful, and we understand ours to be the largest recent planting of koa in the state. Scientists at the Hawaii Agricultural Research Center have bred these trees specifically to be resistant to the infamous koa wilt disease, which is ravaging much of the island's koa trees.
For anyone needing a little natural beauty straight from Kauai Aadheenam, here is a 360 video on the Wailua River. We suggest you use full screen and that you view it at the highest possible quality. Maybe you can have yourself a short, three minute meditation on the River's flowing waters.
"Not hammer-strokes, but dance of the water, sings the pebbles into perfection." - Rabindranath Tagore
Click and drag to pan
After months of visa coordination, on-site clearing, cleaning and preparation, the last batch of silpi artisans arrive on Kauai. Today they are getting settled in to their new home and start orientation tomorrow.
Yoginathaswami reports that the first objective will be to check where we left off all those years ago and measure critical markings on the Nandi Mandapam again so we can establish accurate continuity.
Much more to come from Iraivan in the days ahead. This is an exciting time to say the least.
The monastery was recently gifted a stunning photo on canvas showcasing the beautiful wingspan of a Barn Owl, Tyto alba, mid-flight. The owl is among the many animals in the Polynesian islands lovingly known as Aumakua or "family god, deified ancestor."
According to Wikipedia's definition of the Hawaiian mythology regarding Aumakua, "Aumakua frequently manifested as animals such as sharks or owls. Na aumakua (plural) were worshipped at localities, often rocks, where they were believed to "dwell". The appearance of an animal one regarded as an aumakua was often believed to be an omen of good or ill. There are also many stories of na aumakua in animal form intervening to save their descendants from harm. It was extremely bad luck to harm a manifested aumakua."
Wikipedia continues, "Na aumakua were thus animals, places or rocks, and people. Ancient Hawaiians would have seen no contradiction in a powerful spirit being able to appear as all three, switching from form to form as convenient--as is indeed seen in many stories of gods and demigods.
A symbiotic relationship exists between person and aumakua, the personal guardians of each individual and their family and the ancient source gods from whom Hawaiians were descended.
Aumakua can manifest in nature. The form varies family to family. Whatever its form, the aumakua is only one specific shark, owl, etc. However, all members of the species are treated with respect by family members.
If family aumakua, these manifestations were not harmed or eaten; in turn, aumakua warned and reprimanded in dreams, visions, and calls."
Aumkua could appear as:
honu, sea turtle
mo'o gecko, lizard, or dragon
pueo, owl (on Manoa, Oahu, Kauai and Puna)
mano, shark (all islands)
'alala, crow (Big island)
'io, hawk (on island of Hawaii)
'elepaio, monarch flycatcher(also the goddess of canoe makers)
'i'iwi, honeycreeper (whose feathers were used extensively in featherwork)
'alae 'ula, Hawaiian gallinule (whose cry was considered a bad omen)
'iole li'ili'i, mouse
mea kanu, plant
The monastery recently celebrated Thai Pusam, the Kartikkeya-focused festival practiced around the globe. We enjoy this Mahadeva's shakti force as sweet items are poured over His temporary granite body. With Satguru present, and all the island members and devotees, all felt blessed and fulfilled.
During the previous Sun One puja and talk, Archana Pillay was able to read aloud her new vows as Arulsishya. Satguru, devotees and monks were all in attendance to witness the event. Archana is taking a momentous step forward to becoming a formal disciple of Bodhinatha as a member of Saiva Siddhanta Church.
The monks have noticed happy faces spontaneously showing up on common objects throughout the day for quite some time now. It has been a joyful source of giggling that a few of them have taken photos when they've shown up. Presented here are a few of those happy faces. May they be a charming source of amusement for your day!
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.