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Welcoming Sannyasin Mayilnathaswami!

Today is the holy celebration of Vaikasi Visakam, honoring the birth of Lord Murugan. On this day the Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order welcomed its newest swami in traditional ritual.

Thus was born Sannyasin Mayilnathaswami!

In the early morning, as the full moon set over Mount Waialeale, our newest swami, along with Satguru and all the swamis of the order, symbolically conduct Swami's antyesti samskara. These are the traditional funeral rites, which here, betoken the death of the personal self and the birth of the spiritual being. He places the remnants of personal identity, clothing, pulnool or sacred thread and all desires for wealth, progeny and fame into the homa fire, beseeching the permission of Lord Ganesha and heeding the path of Lord Muruga, vowing aloud his renunciation thus: "All that I have and all that I am I now give unto my God, my Gods and my guru. I have no family except the Divine Father Siva and Mother Sakti who dwell in Kailas and on Earth the sangam of Saivite devotees. I have no home except the stillness of Being. I have no possessions except my faith and dedication. I have no desires except my desire to serve and to realize God." The candidate then says aloud three times, "I, wishing for mukti, take refuge in this sacred Order and in God Siva, who created the world, who breathed out the Vedas. The purpose of my life is to cultivate dispassion, to become pure, to attain union with God Siva and be immersed in Divine Love. I do fully and of my own volition accept these Holy Orders of Sannyas, now and for the remainder of my life, and bind myself in the fulfillment thereof to the ancient Order of sannyas, to my satguru, to my Saivite Hindu faith and to the devas, the Mahadevas and Lord Siva Himself. I am the Atman, the non-dual Parasiva, pure and free."

So saying, the renunciate walks around the homa fire, returning to kneel at the guru's feet. He is thereafter dead to the world. The satguru then whispers the Panchakshara Mantra in the candidate's right ear three times, along with personal instructions for meditation.

Yogaswami's words from his Natchintanai:

Hail, O sannyasin, love's embodiment!
Does any power exist apart from love?
Diffuse thyself throughout the happy world.
Let painful maya cease and ne'er return!
Day and night give praise unto the Lord.
Pour forth a stream of songs
To melt the very stones.
Attain the sight where night is not nor day.
See Siva everywhere, and rest in bliss.
Live without interest in worldly gain.
Here, as thou hast ever been, remain.
Then never will cruel sorrow venture nigh.

THE SACRED VOW OF RENUNCIATION: KNOWN IN TAMIL ASAHATTURAVU.

RENUNCIATION IS THE RELINQUISHMENT of world, desire and ego. It is detachment founded in knowledge of the magnetic nature of body, mind and emotion, a knowledge which inclines the soul toward non-involvement with external forms and, in time, summons forth realization of Parasiva, Absolute Reality. Renunciation is repudiation of individual personality and ownership. It is poverty as opposed to affluence, simplicity as opposed to ramification in life. It is self-containment, freedom from worldliness and its concomitant distractions and obligations. In its deeper sense, renunciation is a surrendering of limited identity, ego-sense or individuality known in Sanskrit asahamkara, that the soul may soar to the very depths of Being. It is the beginning of the end of samsara, the wheel of rebirths, the death of the old ushering in a spiritual renascence which will ultimately mature into illumination andmoksha. It is the ultimate ripeness of the soul and mystic marriage to God Siva. It is the Maha Vrata or Great Oath of the Saivite pathfinders and contains within it commitment to the unwritten and even unspoken customs followed by those who have worn thekavifor untold centuries.

In Tamil renunciation for the sannyasin is known asahatturavu, which means "detachment through giving up the sense of I' and mine,'" epitomizing the ideal of this Sacred Vow. Renunciation is not a running away from the world provoked by fear or failure therein. Rather it is an irrepressible drawing into sacred realms of consciousness and being far more subtle and demanding of discipline than anything the world may offer--a state of being that follows fulfillment in the world as the next natural evolution of consciousness. Renunciation is not an opportunity to shun responsibility or to do as one pleases, but carries with it challenges and accountability of an even more formidable, albeit inner, nature. It is not a disgust for this world, but a love of deeper worlds so great that the material universe and its gifts are, by comparison, mean and meager. Though he strives to be affectionately detached, the sannyasin should never become indifferent or so accepting of all that happens that he accepts passively harm to himself, his Order or his religion. The renunciate's life is not one of inactivity, but vital activity directed toward selfless and spiritual ends--an inner consciousness described in scriptures as the giving up not of work but the fruits thereof, whether apparently good or bad. It is not by virtuous acts that the sannyasin attains liberation. They are chains, though wrought in gold. No deed, however altruistic, is without its bearing on the ego of the doer; and thus the sannyasin holds firmly to his detachment even in the midst of his bountiful benevolence.

Renunciation is the abjuration of the grihastha dharma and the acceptance of the sannyasa dharma, a dharma which will create or resolve karmas according to how it is discharged. Though it disallows personal possessions and upholds the ideals of simplicity known as poverty, renunciation is not a condition of destitution, deprivation or disregard for one's well-being. Nor is it a resignation from life or an abandoning of humanity, but a fulfilling of mankind's highest need and a joyous surrender to That which is the substratum of life. It serves not man, but God in man, not the body but the spirit within the body. Renunciation for the sannyasin may be defined as wisdom in handling of karma, maya and desire. He must strive to free the mind from the thralldom of the senses. He must work diligently to extirpate vanity and selfishness, realizing that the ego, though subdued by the strength of tapas well performed, is never annihilated as long as the soul remains embodied, but is subdued, reserving the potential to rise again should he abandon his sannyas dharma. He must strive, especially at the outset, to quell the forces of pride, pretention and conceit, never allowing himself to feel the flush of self-importance or arrogance. He must guard his modesty as a treasure, never holding himself superior to others, for there is no conceit so tenacious as the spiritual ego. Before he is well-grounded and stable in his realization, he must give up all siddhis that may arise as a natural consequence of his sadhana and unfoldment, neither desiring nor encouraging such powers. He must see the perfection resident within the souls of all men, but remain aware of his own faults and transgressions, however insignificant. He must remain equally indifferent to both praise and blame, never allowing others to extol his virtues, never speaking personally of himself or his past, even when asked. He must never accept personal gifts, however small or well intended. However, he may accept food and minimal travel assistance and receive non-personal contributions on behalf of the monastery, placing them immediately upon the altar, offered to the Lord.

The sannyasin cultivates renunciation through meditation on the transcendent Parasiva and worship of the immanent Lord Hara who removes the fetters which bind the soul. He cultivates renunciation through remaining secure within his inner consciousness and radiating the joy and contentment which are the harbingers of awakening. He cultivates renunciation through living simply, holding the consciousness that Lord Siva has entrusted to him the care of tools and personal items which he uses; such an attitude of custodianship averts any sense of possessiveness. He cultivates renunciation through patiently enduring hardship. He cultivates renunciation through performance of tapas and austerities which keep his will strong and his ego subdued. He abjures personal wants that may arise rather than seeking to fulfill them and casts off all preferences, both likes and dislikes. He accepts in trustful love all that comes, offering no complaint when ostensible needs are not provided. He practices detachment and dispassion, vairagya, consciously remaining calm, kind and quietly strong in the midst of even adverse circumstances. He cultivates renunciation by continued penetration into contemplative states of mind, withdrawing from the vortex of external consciousness into Parasiva, the Self God. He cultivates renunciation by surrendering to the will of Siva in his life, abiding in the knowledge of Sarvam Sivamayam, all is Siva, a mystic insight which will dissolve all concepts of separateness from God and offer in its stead cognition that jiva is indeed Siva. He cultivates renunciation through living on the eve of his departure, always ready to change, to move, to travel wherever he may be needed. He cultivates renunciation through not identifying with name and form, through not attaching importance to title or position. He cultivates renunciation through detachment which evolves from viveka which is discrimination to vairagya which is dispassion to tyaga which is renunciation and finally into kaivalya which is emancipation, blissful independence and moksha. He cultivates renunciation through giving up all fears of death and even desires of anticipated enjoyments of the heavenly realms. He cultivates renunciation through viewing himself as the homeless one, free and unattached, finding security within the recesses of his own being, not participating in the mundane concerns and conversations of the world, nor engaging himself in social life outside of the brotherhood of sannyasins. He cultivates renunciation through non-involvement with his family or former friends. He cultivates renunciation through remembering that this body is destined to perish, that this personality is fleeting, and identifying therefore with nothing ephemeral, but with the only permanence there is--That within which lies beyond time, form and cause. He cultivates renunciation through spurning the life that is death and embracing the death that is life eternal, transcending himself by himself.

In fulfillment of his Sacred Vow of Renunciation, the sannyasin is directed to not involve himself in matters of the world. Should worldly situations arise, whether from within the monastery or without, he is enjoined to remain silent and aloof. Neither shrinking from disturbed conditions nor feeding them by his thought and concern, he must remain ever the witness lest he hasten the harvest of such unseemly karmas. He is enjoined to keep his own personal needs moderate while not requiring the same of others and to hold firmly to his yoga and his equanimity. If he can remain the silent watcher, if he can control the wanderings of the mind sufficiently to be summa, to just be, if he can remain joyous and serene in all circumstances, if he can progressively surrender the sense of "I am the doer" and awaken the perception that "Siva does all," if he can patiently endure all hardship and maintain his tavam, standing apart from the entanglements of sex, money, food and clothes, if he can live in simplicity owning nothing in this world, not even the robes he wears, if he can never, never forget his guru and the goals of service and realization, he will have fulfilled the spirit of this Sacred Vow. May the sannyasin ever call to mind the words of the Tirukural, "Attach yourself to Him who is free from all attachments. Bind yourself to that bond in order that all other bonds may be broken."

Jeyendrapuriswami Visits the Aadheenam


The spiritual head of Kailasha Ashrama in Bengaluru arrived on the island yesterday for a three-day visit. He is traveling with two swamis, the head priest of the Rajarajeshvari Temple, and the manager of their Tiruvannamalai Ashrama. This visit is a significant confluence, as Kailasha Ashrama, initially led by Trichyswami Mahaswamigal and now under Jeyendrapuriswami, was instrumental in the creation of Iraivan Temple in Karnataka, contributing land, workers, assistance with bureaucratic processes, and more.
Their first afternoon involved a walk on the beach, which turned out to be more immersive than expected. Today, they were greeted at the entrance by the monks, chanting the Nakarmana Mantra, garlanding the visitors, and then parading to Kadavul Temple where Swami's feet were washed in traditional style. They paid respects to the Kadavul deities, worshipped at Gurudeva's shrine, and then proceeded to Iraivan Temple for the morning abhishekam.
Stay tuned for more updates as they unfold. Enjoy the slideshow.

May 2024 Chitra Puja

This morning we celebrated Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami with our monthly pada puja during the Chitra nakshatra. In Kadavul Temple Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and his monks gathered with local members for an abhishekam. While the monks chanted Sri Rudram Sannyasin Tillainathaswami and Nirvani Tejadevanatha performed the puja, pouring pranic substances such as milk, honey and citrus over Gurudeva's black granite tiruvadi. Following a final arati, the event ended with each attendee prostrating before the shrine. Jai Gurunathan. Aum Namah Sivaya.

Supplicant Pledge Renewal

Aum Namah Sivaya

Several days ago Satguru returned from his recent trip to California with Sannyasins Shanmuganathaswami and Siddhanathaswami. With Satguru back, today we held the pledge renewal for Sivanadaiyar Shankara. He had to renew his 6-month supplicancy pledge since he has two more month before eligibility to take his formal vows as a Postulant Sadhaka. Aum.

Around the Aadheenam, May 2024

Aum Namah Shivaya!

Today is Sun Five of our 5-day lunar phase (our Aloha Friday in local parlance). Our monk's now enter two days of retreat, working on different projects and enjoying some extra time for Sadhana and a little more rest. Here are some random photos from around the monastery as our week comes to a close. Aum.

2023 Nartana Ritau Flag Raising

Happy New Year of Krodhi!

Recently we bagen our new season and paraded out to our flagpole to raise the dvaja. This season also mark the beginning of the new year.

Here follows the passage from Saiva Dharma Shatras about how we should approach this new season:

Nartana Ritau, the season of Dancing with Siva, begins on Hindu New Year. This is the period of creation, the warm season, from mid-April through mid-August. The key word of this season is planning. The colors are orange, yellow-gold and all shades of green--orange for renunciation, yellow-gold for action, and green for regeneration. High above, the main Hindu flag flies the color orange, heralding the Nartana Ritau throughout this season, symbolizing sadhana and self-control. The other colors adorn smaller flags. This is the season of giving special attention to those in the grihastha ashrama. It is a time of awakening, renewal, review. The emphasis is on seeing ahead, planning for future years. It is a time of planning retreats and other activities for youths and adults for the entire year. During this time of looking forward, the Church's six-year plan is updated by the Guru Mahasannidhanam and stewards and another year added. The Saiva Dharma Shastras are studied; and any needed additions in supplementary manuals, representing new growth, are made.

The practical focus is completion of unfinished projects. Secular holidays to observe among the families include Mothers Day in May, Fathers Day in June and Grandparents Day in August. In the monastery intensive cleaning of buildings and grounds takes place. New clothing is issued and old garments mended.

This season of harvest and new growth is also the time to review and reestablish picking and planting routines for the gardens. It is a time for ordering seeds and plants for the year, of planting trees, fragrant vines and the annual crop. Review is made for scheduling the care of all realms of the Aadheenam. Kadavul temple and the Guru Temple are cleaned and renewed during this season, and the adjacent grounds receive special, abundant attention.

The daily sadhana is the Sivachaitanya Panchatantra: experiencing nada, jyoti, prana, shakti and darshana. In Sanskrit, it is a time of learning new shlokas and mantras. Shrine rooms are renewed and redecorated for the year, and the clothing of all is renewed in the Hindu style of the current fashion. It is a time of doing things for others, religious outreach. In the missions, Nartana Ritau is the time of bringing in new students and Church members. It is a time of hatha yoga and philosophical teaching.

The main festival of Nartana Ritau is Guru Purnima. The mathavasis hold special conclave on Vaikasi Vishakham, the full moon day of May.

Historic Time, Historic Floods

On the day of sankalpam preparations for the April 12 Samvatsara Abhishekam (one year anniversary of the opening of Iraivan Temple) Siva showed His tangible presence by offering the island His own abishekam in the form of a massive rainstorm, a tropical downpour that brought 14 inches of rain to the monastery in 12 hours! We have rain guage records back decades, and even back to 2017 and 2010 we only once in 40 years of record keeping went beyond 10 inches in a day. So this was memorable. Then, showing the soft side of His grace, Siva flooded the island with sunshine on the following day, allowing for parades, pradakshina, marvelous dance and more in summer sun. There was, as you will see, some garden damage, but considering the scale of the storm, not that much. Interestingly, it reminded us of the Kadavul Temple kumbabhishekam day, 1984, when another impressive storm struck.

Kodiswara Arrives from Malaysia

Jai Ganesha!
Today Kodiswara arrived on Kauai after many hours travel from Malaysia. He had spend a full 6 months here on our taskforce program in 2016, so he knows the monastery well. Despite the long flight, he was full of energy once at the Aadheenam again.

Kodishwara is already under the formal pledge of an aspirant and is here to pursue monastic life.

"In enjoyment, there is the fear of disease; in social position, the fear of losing face; in wealth, the fear of government; in honor, the fear of humiliation; in power, the fear of enemies; in beauty, the fear of old age; in scriptural erudition, the fear of opposing views; in virtue, the fear of temptation; in body, the fear of death. All the things of this world pertaining to man are attended with fear; renunciation alone stands for fearlessness." Vairagya Shatakam 31

Happy Birthday!

A few days ago our "Aadheenam Protector-in-Training," Bhairava, celebrated his first birthday. Right now he's living in a small walled-off corner of the new Siddhidata Kulam machine shop building, but soon he'll move into a larger home right next to the building which has been dubbed Bhairava Mandapam.

Granite Bell Tower Installation – Part 1

Jai Ganesha!

Over the last few days we've seen the first major steps of the installation of the Redwood Granite Bell Tower that is being built near Iraivan Temple's Temple Builder's Pavilion. For over a year, this hand-carved masterpiece has been in the works as a side project of the Ganapati Kulam and under the oversight of Acharya Kumarnathaswami, who has done most of the woodworking himself.

For those that don't know, this tower hangs a granite bell that was carved on the same stone of Iraivan Temple. When struck with a wooden mallet, it produces a unique evanescence that only reverberating stone could make.

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

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