Jai to Sri Yoganathan of Jaffna!
As you may know, at Kauai Aadheenam we have a small Yogaswami shrine in the corner of the Guru Pitam and meditation hall. This Golden form of Yogaswami resides there, being one of two such images of this great sage. The other statue is in Jaffna. Over the years, the statue of Yogaswami at Kauai Aadheenam has seen the wear of our tropical environment and the gold was beginning to show it. Thankfully we have some resident experts in the task of worshipfully re-leafing sacred images. Having recently re-leafed Gurudeva's murti in Kadavul, Deva Seyon and Tandu Sivanathan worked together do the same for Yogaswami. After moving Yogaswami to the work area they gave him a thorough cleaning. Later, after applying a chemical layer as a base coat, they added a layer of gold leaf. They next day they added the second layer, and now Yogaswami is looking bright and shiny. Tomorrow we'll see if another layer is needed. Following that, an extremely powerful, clear sealant will be applied, ensuring a longer lasting leaf. Once Yogaswami's murti is reinstalled we'll post some final photos. Aum.
"You can go to the top by climbing up step by step. But exceptionally there are some who, with the help of Shruthis, the guru, and their own understanding and experience, can fly like birds." Yogaswami
Aum Namah Sivaya
Recently we installed a granite replica of the amazing Iraivan Temple Crystal Sivalingam. This carving was sent to us along with a previous shipment of temple stones. The Lingam used to be displayed at the carving site in Bengaluru where the silpis could perform a puja to it before beginning work on their sacred task for the day. For several years it has sat next to Iraivan Temple, waiting for a good place to be moved to. The eventual goal is to have it placed at the future Visitors' Center. For now it has been placed next to the monastery entrance where all visitors can see it and get an understanding of the size and shape of the real crystal that is nearby in Kadavul Temple. Om.
Our deepest gratitude to all of our 2020 Digital Dharma Drive Donors. With your help, we reached our $75,000 goal and then went on by December 31st to surpass it by over $57,000! This spirited support will assure that we can continue to inspire, create and renovate a deluge of digital content. We will redouble our effort of bringing Hinduism forward into the information age through our websites, mobile apps, web apps, translations, learning courses, kids' learning resources, digitized books and more. With your help our small team of media-minded monastics can do even more in 2021, whether it be hiring new translators, engaging more coders, commissioning spiritual art, building new sites and apps, or utilizing better plugins and programs to make our work more efficient. Below we'd like to share several comments from this year's donors. Your inspiration adds to our inspiration, by which we hope to inspire even more. It also makes us blush.
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Aum Namah Sivaya
Yesterday, following our Siva Homa, the monks paraded out to the flagpole with Satguru to fly the flag for the new season. The old flag was lowered and the coral-pink flag of the Moksha Ritau was raised. Next, the troupe traveled out to Iraivan Temple for an arati in the inner sanctum. Aum.
From the Saiva Dharma Shastras:
Beginning with Hindu New Year in mid-April, three seasons of the year divide our activities into three great needs of humankind--the learning of scripture in the first season, Nartana Ritau; the living of culture in the second season, Jivana Ritau; and the meditating on Siva in the third season, Moksha Ritau. Thus we are constantly reminded that our life is Siva's life and our path to Him is through study, sadhana and realization. In ritau one, we teach the philosophy; in ritau two, we teach the culture; and in ritau three, we teach meditation.
120 The Third Season: Moksha Ritau
The third period of the year, Moksha Ritau, the cool season, is from mid-December to mid-April. It is the season of dissolution. The key word is resolution. Merging with Siva: Hinduism's Contemporary Metaphysics is the focus of study and intense investigation. The colors of this season are coral-pink, silver and all shades of blue and purple--coral for the Self within, silver and blue for illumination, and purple for enlightened wisdom. High above flies the coral flag, signaling Parasiva, Absolute Reality, beyond time, form and space. Moksha Ritau is a time of appreciation, of gratitude for all that life has given, and a time of honoring elders, those in the sannyasa stage of life. Moksha Ritau is excellent for philosophical discussions, voicing one's understanding of the path through an enlightened intellect. In finance, it is the time for yearly accounting and reconciliation. On a mundane level it is a time of clearing attics, basements, garages, sheds, warehouses, workshops and desks, getting rid of unneeded things, of pruning trees, of streamlining life on the physical plane--of reengineering.
A livestream of Kauai Hindu Monastery's Kadavul Temple. Today the monks celebrate the change of seasons from the fall harvest season to the winter season known as the "Moksha Ritau."
Aum Namah Sivaya
Many blessings from Kauai Aadheenam on this Ardra Nakshatra.
Today our monks began two weeks of "Sadhu Paksha," a time of reflection and quietude before the changing of seasons from our harvest season to our winter season, the Moksha Ritau. For these two weeks our monks enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds them. A sunrise stroll reveals flowers, birds, fish, ancient stones, a bright moon above and a fiery sky. Aum.
"All you have to do is to watch your mind think. Then and only then are you experiencing your perfect state of inner being." Gurudeva
Today we join Chinnu in the kitchen to see what he is serving up for Satguru and the monks today. Each day Chinnu comes to the Aaaheenam kitchen and prepares delicious, healthy food from our many garden vegetables.
For today's rice, Chinnu is making Tamarind Rice. If you'd like to feel like you're having lunch with our monks, here is a Tamarind Rice recipe from our monk's cookbook for you to make today:
2 cups rice
3 tbsp ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
6 dry chilies, minced
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp channa dal
1 tbsp tamarind paste
Soak dal in water for one hour. Steam the rice and set aside. Fry mustard seeds, chilies, curry leaves and dal. When the mustard seeds stop popping, add the tamarind paste, salt and turmeric powder (keep the pan covered until the seeds stop popping). Add enough water to the mixture to make a thin gravy and simmer for about 15 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add the rice to the sauce and stir well. Serves 3
Aum Namah Sivaya
The Aadheenam recently received a small wooden crate from Arizona. Inside we discovered an incredible miniature version of the large bronze Sadasiva statue which currently graces the gardens in front of Kadavul Temple. As you may know, this masterful work was first made in clay by Natalie Levin—a highly skilled and mystically inclined artist living in Tucson. The larger bronze was cast over a year ago and one of two copies was sent to Kauai. This smaller version is a result of a digital scan. When creating a metal work from 3D, the scan of the object is first 3D printed. That printed version is then used to create a mold from which a metal version can be created. This process, coupled with the meditative attentions of the sculptress, allows for unusually intricate details. And that's not the most remarkable aspect, which is the trenchant darshan that radiates from the murti. Sadasiva, as you know, is perhaps the most mystical form of God Siva, with layers and layers of spiritual symbolism that provide a visual summary of Saiva Siddhanta philosophy and theology.
Ever since our last shipment of containers, containing Iraivan Temple stones, we've had this small granite shrine sitting underneath a guava tree, not far from Iraivan Temple. Several days ago, we began the process which will eventually lead to its installation. As you may know, the San Marga path which will guide future pilgrims down to the Swayambhu Lingam square, has several important stops along the way. First, of course, is the Rudraksha forest. Then pilgrims will make their way through a corridor of bamboo. Later they will climb Muruga's Hill to reach his Vel, and finally make their way to the square. But before meeting Muruga, they naturally must beseech Lord Ganesha. This shrine will be his abode, greeting every future guest that travels to Iraivan Temple from near and far. Aum.
Last night's sunset at the aadheenam was quite spectacular and thankfully we took a few photos and a timelapse to share with all of you. Something to keep you connected to the monastery, to your home away from home.
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