Our Island Aumakua

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)
he'e, octopus
puhi, eel
'iole li'ili'i, mouse
'iole, rat
'ilio, dog
pe'elua/'enuhe/nuhe/'anuhe/poko, caterpillar
pohaku, rock
leho, cowry
ao, cloud
mea kanu, plant

Our Mighty Murugan is Celebrated

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.

New Arulsishya Archana Pillay

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.

Siva Smiles Everywhere…

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!

A Trip to Waimea Canyon

Recently Sannyasin Siddhanathaswami, Natyam Mayuranatha and Natyam Jayanatha organized a small trip to the other side of our garden island for our resident taskforcers. Everyone left from the Aadheenam at 7:30am and made there way south around to the dry side of the island. In full, auspicious form a huge rainbow followed them the whole way, ever-present out front the car. Following an all-important stop for some coffee and cocoa, the team drove up the back slope of the mountain. After many twists and turns they arrived at the Waimea Canyon lookout for a spectacular view.

"When we look at the beautiful creations of nature, we see how lovely the mind can be. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

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