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!
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"
Some of our monks recently took a journey to the other side of the island and up into the mountains to Koke'e State Park. One of the unique things about the Hawaiian Islands is their temperate diversity. Drive a few hours and you can find a totally different climate. Up atop the mountain, instead of heavy, humid jungles, you'll find yourself in a climate much akin to Northern California or Oregon on a perfectly cool, sunny summer day.
One of our favorite hikes is called the Berry Flat trail. As you may have guessed, it isn't too strenuous, but it does offer berries and bountiful beauty. This unique trail boasts thousands of 40-150 year old redwood trees—an unexpected site on our island. This happened to be the perfect time of year too. Nearly the entire area was full of blooming ginger flowers, called Kahili Ginger. For those that have never experienced them, they smell kind of like tulips. So if you can imagine being submerged in the scents of tulips and redwoods, then you can get a pretty good idea of the experience.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.