Aum Namah Sivaya
April marks the start of our island's swarm season for honey bees. As more and more flowers bloom, wild hives begin to grow quickly. When they get too big, the queen leaves with half the hive to start a new one somewhere else. Since honey bees use a pheromone that smells like to lemongrass oil to mark where "home" is, you can simply set up a box, put some essential oil in it and wait. Before you know it you might just have some free bees! During our most recent celebration of Ardra an auspiciously timed swarm of bees moved into one of our oil-baited bee hives.
While our monks don't have a giant honey producing operation anymore, our affinity for bees remains and it's always nice to have them around. Once this hive grows big enough it will be able to produce honey for our temple. Perhaps to be poured over Lord Nataraja during another celebration of Ardra!
Recently the monastery acquired some large commercial food dehydrators at our Noni processing building. We use them during sunny days when they can fully run off solar power. As a recent experiment we tried drying some of our many green house tomatoes and have made our first jar of "sun" dried tomatoes. Technically the energy that dried them did come from the sun after all. In other areas our monks are having fun baking bread and other tasty homemade edibles on their retreat days. Out in the shop some of our monks are working on important repairs to vehicles and more.
Aum Namah Sivaya.
Last week and this week, our monks have been enjoying the observance of Sadhu Paksha. A two-week period leading up to our change of seasons. This is a time of retreat and personal sadhana. On one early morning stroll, one of our monks caught this glorious photo of Iraivan Temple. Aum.
March 2021 Update — Kauai’s Hindu Monastery is required to follow COVID-19 related restrictions issued by the State of Hawaii and the County of Kauai that apply to all places of worship. These restrictions are independent of travel policies for Hawaii. These rules regarding places of worship require those inside Kadavul Temple to wear a mask when within six feet of those of another household and in general maintain social distancing of six feet of physical separation.
Kadavul Temple’s 9 AM Siva puja has been open to Saiva Siddhanta Church members and active Himalayan Academy students living on the island for some time. Two more categories of those that can attend have now been added. The first is island residents who are not Saiva Siddhanta Church members or active Himalayan Academy students. They are allowed to attend a maximum of once every two weeks. The second category is visitors from off island following an approval process. Observing these restriction, Kadavul temple is open, but with limited capacity (of 14 persons) and a reservation is required. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to make your reservation. Note that the monastery grounds are still closed.
Early this morning, the monks of Kauai Aadheenam began their day with tribute to Paramaguru Yoganathan on the occasion of his 57th annual Mahasamadhi. Yogaswami left his body on March 20, 1964, the following days would see thousands of devotees from the Jaffna community attend his funeral procession and cremation. Ratna Ma Navaratnam wrote of him:
"For about ninety-two years, Swami was like a luminous ray reflecting the radiance of the Saiva saints down the ages. The Jaffna community in whose midst he lived and moved had grown imperceptibly to accept his presence as naturally as the beneficent sunlight, so that his mahasamadhi on March 24, 1964, created an unusual stir and sorrow among all ranks of people who had basked in his lustre from generation to generation. Swami was venerated as an illumined seer of the twentieth century, one who was Gods witness on Earth, a saint in whom the sacred was secret; he was like the Triveni, a confluence where met the streams of past, present and future. He seemed to have held the whole world in the kinship of the supreme will of Siva. The Master Sivathondan blazoned the trail of service and renunciation, by his universal gospel of Sivathondu, service unto Siva. To live every split second as servitors of Siva was his clarion call to the modern man."
Following this morning's Siva Puja in Kadavul Temple, the monks attended a small puja for Yogaswami at his shrine. They then dove within in their daily group meditation, taking to heart Yogaswami's advice of summa iru—"be still."
Aum Namah Sivaya
Recently we took some new aerial photos from our little drone. It was a chance to discover our aadheenam grounds, temples, building and gardens from a new perspective. Our hilly landscape and fascinating species of plants make for quite a picture. It's important to get an overview once in a while to keep the little things in proper perspective. They're just smalls strokes in a grand painting of life. Aum.
Aum Namah Sivaya
Beginning yesterday evening, Kauai received heavy cloud cover. This released countless gallons of rainwater along with booming thunder throughout the night. This morning our plants are very happy and our monks are very much carrying umbrellas. Today marks the end of our phase. Our monks are finishing up their work for the week before they head into three days of retreat. Aum.
"Nothing is lost, nothing is gained. How can we talk of gain or loss? The atma is one-it is all and everywhere. So how can there be loss and gain, coming and going, past and future?" Yogaswami
Every month our monks partake in a full morning of cleaning the monastery. This day is known as Ashram Sadhana day, and it gives each monk time to more thoroughly care for their assigned cleaning area, as well as to touch up areas that don't get much attention. Today the first project was doing some cleaning at Iraivan Temple, followed by office cleaning and then work on individually assigned cleaning areas. If you found yourself cleaning something today, you might just be inwardly aligned with our monks! We hope you're now enjoying more tidy personal surrounding as well. As Gurudeva would say, if you feel that the energy in your life isn't moving, one of the first things you should try is cleaning! Aum.
Recently we had a new work of art commissioned, painted by Kailas Raj in India. After nearly a year of careful correspondence to adjust and perfect small aspects of this painting, it is finally complete. While our temples and shrines are replete with images of Siva, Ganesha and Muruga, another important image is that of Ardhanarishvara. In our tradition Siva and Shakti are not seen as male and female but rather as a one divine being, and in no other form is that more evident as in Ardhanarishvara whose right half is masculine and left half is feminine. This piece of art was created as something that devotees of the aadheenam could use for their shrine rooms at home, and soon it will be made into prints for just that. We'll keep you posted as to when they become available through the Minimela. Aum Namah Sivaya.
After a month of dry weather here at Kauai Aadheenam, we've just received a few days of rain. This means our daily rainbows have returned. Just look to Iraivan between 7:00 and 9:00am and you're bound to catch a glimpse of one. We have so many that we wish we could package them up and send them to all of you, but this photo will have to suffice for now. As we enter into our two-day, half-moon retreat, Satguru and all our monks would like to thank everyone for their generosity to the monastery this year. It hasn't been an easy year for many people out there and those that would have liked to visit us haven't been able to, yet somehow still, you've given generous donations to the Aadheenam. Whether it was to help build Iraivan Temple, support the Digital Dharma Drive, grow the Hindu Heritage Endowment or to simply "feed the monks," we want to offer our appreciation once again. Tonight our monastics will enjoy a few edible treats in celebration of all of you—not just those who donated, but to anyone and everyone who looks to the aadheenam as their spiritual home.
Aum Namah SivayaSivaya Namah Aum
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