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Aerial Photos – May 2023

Aum Namah Sivaya

We recently took a short survey flight with our drone, attempting to map out some future improvements along San Marga. While up there we took a few other shots just for fun. From the air, we're continually reminded of how lush and pure our island environment is. A perfect place of prana and a plethora of pretty plants.

"The whole world is an ashram in which all are doing sadhana. We must love the world, which is God's creation. Those who despise, hate and fear the world do not understand the intrinsic goodness of all."

Indian Swamis Visit the Monastery

Six monks and three grihastha devotees reached Kauai's shores after planning a trip for decades. They are from SGVP, Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam, a major Swaminarayan institution based in Gujarat (and around the globe). They are led by HH Swami Shree Madhavpriyadasji Swami, a disciple of P.P.Sadguru Shastriji Maharaj Shree Dharamjivandasji Swami, the founder of ancient Gurukul system in modern era. Swamiji is one of 12 Hindu spiritual leaders governing the renowned Hindu Dharm Acharya Sabha, a leading organization of Hinduism for interfaith religious harmony. They spent two days discovering the Aadheenam and Iraivan Temple, meeting with Bodhinatha, exploring Kauai (yes, helicopters were involved!) and enjoying a bit of downtime from their intense daily service. Such a joy to be with them.

Sivajnani Nagappan arrives for Taskforce

Yesterday Sivajnani Nagappan arrived at Kauai Aadheenam, visiting from Malaysia. He's here for a few weeks on our taskforce program to help the monks with various projects. Welcome to Kauai Sivajnani! Aum Namah Sivaya.

2023 Nartana Ritau Homa and Flag Raising

Happy New Year of obhakta!

Yesterday our monks began the phase with our seasonal homa and a parade out to our flagpole to raise the new dvaja for this spring season and the new year as the Sun enters Mesha (Aries).

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.

Siddhidata Kulam’s New Building Frame Takes Shape

The Siddhidata Kulam's new office and and machine maintenance building frame is quickly taking shape. The contractor team of two put this much together in just five days. It is a metal building, so the work consists of bolting all the pre-fabricated pieces together.

Siddhidata Kulam New Building Parts Arrived

Two flatbed trailers arrived with girders and other parts for the prefabricated metal building. The assembly contractor just finished unloading everything so the trailers can be returned. Dennis Wong is adding gravel around the sides of the foundation, and the Siddhidata Kulam (with new taskforce arrival Thuraisingam Rajasankara) is taking inventory of the many parts to see if everything arrived safe and sound.

San Marga Path Earthwork

For a long time we've had a muddy situation at the end of the First World section where the path is low and there is a gate just before Muruga Hill. When we have heavy rainfall, a stream of water forms over the path, which is untenable in the long run. Our employee Dennis Wong is now terraforming with a bulldozer to lift the path in that section and redirect water to the side. He also just installed a culvert for channeling the stream of water under the path instead of over it. The first photo below shows the small shrine where we'll soon install a Ganesha murti to watch over the First World section.

New Electric People Mover Vehicle

We are thrilled to receive a donation of a new people mover for conveying visitors around the monastery grounds. It is a great leap forward from our previous people mover, both in seating capacity and noise control. In the old one it was difficult to speak with people while driving due to the gas engine. This new one is electric and therefore much quieter. It also seats around 25% more people. A great boon indeed. A fancier tent has been erected to store it.

A Sacred Journey to Kaua‘i Aadheenam

Iraivan Temple

Hawaii Magazine recently published a glowing review of Kauai's Hindu Monastery, highlighting the breathtaking beauty of the temple and the peaceful atmosphere that envelops visitors. The reviewer, who visited the monastery on a sunny afternoon, was struck by the stunning architecture and the sense of serenity that pervaded the entire complex.

She noted the attention to detail and the reverence with which the space had been constructed, and was equally struck by the sense of calm that pervaded this space. She was left with a newfound appreciation for the traditions and spirituality of the Hindu religion.

See the article here:

Vatshalan Takes His Supplicancy Pledge

On January 5th, just following the Ardra Darshanam abhishekam, Brahmachari Vatshalan entered the Guru Pitham to sit before the monastics and take his Supplicancy Pledge. With Satguru currently in India, Vatshalan's Sacred Pledge was sign by he himself as well as by the monastic witnesses present. Having already taken the vow of purity, he now takes on two more vows, the vow of Humility and the vow of Confidence. This pledge declares his intention towards a life of monasticism, as he now begins the final process, by which he will ready himself for the life of the Postulant. From the Sacred Pledge:

"The supplicant's foremost objective is to strive for mastery of the charya marga, or path of service. This begins with the avoidance of wrongful actions and the overcoming of base instincts and emotions as he learns to transmute worldliness into the higher states of devotion and selflessness. At this stage on the path, the Saivite devotee is content not to strive for profound spiritual attainments but to work diligently with the faults and flaws that are stumbling blocks on the path, learning at the same time to depend not only on his own resources but on the limitless abilities of the Gods to resolve all difficulties and dissolve all obstacles. The Supplicancy is a time of profound worship of Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan and Lord Siva and of deepening commitment and service to Saivite Hinduism and to the Church. It is also a time of study, challenge and inner change. The supplicant is encouraged to strive for the perfection of service and for the monastic ideals of humility, industry and responsibility, renouncing personal needs for the benefit of others. In this service, he should strive for transparency, that quality of anonymous virtue in which the premonastic lives in full harmony with others, remaining centered within and not standing out or disturbing the surroundings. It is this ancient tradition of unseen service and unperturbable stability that the supplicant seeks to emulate, realizing that serving in unheralded ways and renouncing the fruits of even good deeds averts the pitfalls of the spiritual ego and nurtures the state of unpretentiousness. By putting great energy into premonastic life and by serving tirelessly for the benefit not of himself but of others, the supplicant opens himself to the inflow of Lord Siva's grace." Aum Namah Sivaya.

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