On this special Subha Siva Loka Day, and a day Bodhinatha is flying off to the Very Big Island, Hanuman received a new concrete base. It will be His home for a thousand years, so we took time to make it just right. A team of eight worked on it today. Enjoy the slideshow that tells the tale...
This phase the monks are enjoying their final week of Sadhu Paksha, starting their day with the sunsire over Iraivan.
"Keep on analyzing yourself within. Work for the sake of work. You need not worry about profit and loss. You should not even think evil of other people. Don't give a chance for other people even to misunderstand you. The religious life is one in which you live in peace and happiness with everybody." - Yogaswami
The aadheenam is buzzing right now with friends and devotees from all over the world visiting to see Nataraja and the monks. The Ganapati Kulam was fortunate to have the Tanzi family at their morning editorial meeting yesterday.
Rudy Tanzi is to the left of Paramacharya, Lyla and Asha Tanzi on the right. The family has quite the list of accomplishments--too many to list here. For more reading on Rudy, see his Wikipedia page at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolph_E._Tanzi.
Asha, a neuroscientist by trade, and her daughter Lyla are currently working on transforming our most recent publication Path to Siva into a kid friendly version.
Over the retreat, several of our monks joined Chinnu in the kitchen for a short cooking tutorial in his professional style. Our monks plan to have future classes as well. This time, our master chef taught our monks how to make a wonderful Sambar.
Today the monks gathered to update their group and portrait photos. The updated photos will be used for various needs such as our meet the monks page.
In our monastic order, a monk can only take lifetime vows once they become a sannyasin. Until then they are under short term vows that must be renewed every two years on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima. Today our postulants all gathered in the Guru Temple to renew their four vows of humility, purity, obedience and confidence. Below our the introductions to each vow.
HUMILITY IS THE STATE OF profound maturity in which the soul, immersed in the depths of understanding and compassion, radiates the qualities of mildness, modesty, reverent obeisance and unpretentiousness. There is an analogy in the Saivite tradition that compares the unfolding soul to wheat. When young and growing, the stalks of wheat stand tall and proud, but when mature their heads bend low under the weight of the grains they yield. Similarly, man is self-assertive, arrogant and vain only in the early stages of his spiritual growth. As he matures and yields the harvest of divine knowledge, he too bends his head. In the Tamil language this absence of pride or self-assertion is known as pannivu. Pannivu also means "jewel." In the Tirukural it is said that "Humility and pleasant words are the jewels that adorn a man; there are none other."
PURITY IS THE PRISTINE and natural state of the soul. It is not something which the monastic attains as much as that which he already is, and which becomes evident as the layers of adulterating experience and beclouding conceptions are dissipated. Purity is clarity and clearness in all dimensions of being. It is innocence as opposed to familiarity with the ways of the world. It is for monastics the observance of chastity, called brahmacharya. In Tamil purity is given its fullest expression in the term tirikarannasutti, which means "purity in mind, speech and body." These three--also called thought, word and deed--convey the fullness of the ideal of purity.
OBEDIENCE IS THE STATE OF willingness and cooperation in which the soul remains open and amenable to enlightened direction. For the monastic it is an unbroken pledge of trust in and surrender to the satguru, the guru parampara and the mystic process of spiritual evolution. In the Tamil language this definition of obedience is expressed in the term taalvu enum tanmai, which denotes "the quality or state of humble submission." Obedience does not consist in blind submission and yielding to authority, nor in weakening our own will that it may be dominated by the will of another. Yet it is, in another sense, submission to a sacred purpose and the divine authority of the Second and Third Worlds. It is, for the monastic, an inner quality that allows him to remain consciously tractable and responsive.
CONFIDENCE IS THE STATE of trust in which the sacred teachings and sensitive or personal matters are not divulged to others. Spiritual matters must be protected and preserved by those to whom they are entrusted, never wantonly or indiscriminately revealed. When we confide in another, we do so with the assurance that sensitive and serious information will not be inappropriately disclosed. In the Tamil language confidence is known as rahasiyam, meaning "secret or mystery." Confidence as applied to these Sacred Vows does not mean "certainty," "a belief in one's abilities" or "self-confidence." Rather it is a confiding, a trusting and a relying upon. It is the controlled sharing of privileged teachings or information that should not be disclosed, but held in confidentiality. In its most simple form it is the keeping of a secret. Confidence for the monastic may be defined as wisdom in handling information.
Another planting report from our resident garden devas, the Siddhidata Kulam. Today we get a photo story of the clipping and planting process by which most of the grounds plants tend to get their start.
A few day ago, more than 100 people attended the Monastery Public Tour. Shortly after this initial picture was taken even more people arrived so we had to bring out mats for them all to sit on while others preferred to stand. There were quite a few children in the tour group this week as well. Later in the morning, Satguru came to the Mini Mela and signed books and interacted with our guests. Aum Namah Sivaya!
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.