In the late afternoon yesterday, a new calf was born at the aadheenam. Her name is Mina, meaning "gem."
The generous cow gives milk and cream, yogurt and cheese, butter and ice cream, ghee and buttermilk. The only cow-question for Hindus is, "Why don't more people respect and protect this remarkable creature?" Mahatma Gandhi once said, "One can measure the greatness of a nation and its moral progress by the way it treats its animals. Cow protection to me is not mere protection of the cow. It means protection of all that lives and is helpless and weak in the world. The cow means the entire subhuman world."
In the Hindu tradition, the cow is honored, garlanded and given special feedings at festivals all over India, most importantly the annual Gopashtama festival. Demonstrating how dearly Hindus love their cows, colorful cow jewelry and clothing is sold at fairs all over the Indian countryside. From a young age, Hindu children are taught to decorate the cow with garlands, paint and ornaments. Her nature is epitomized in Kamadhenu, the divine, wish-fulfilling cow. The cow and her sacred gifts—milk and ghee in particular—are essential elements in Hindu worship, penance and rites of passage. In India, more than 3,000 institutions called Gaushalas, maintained by charitable trusts, care for old and infirm cows. And while many Hindus are not vegetarians, most respect the still widely held code of abstaining from eating beef. By her docile, tolerant nature, the cow exemplifies the cardinal virtue of Hinduism, noninjury, known as ahimsa. The cow also symbolizes dignity, strength, endurance, maternity and selfless service. In the Vedas, cows represent wealth and joyous Earthly life. From the Rig Veda (4.28.1;6) we read. 'the cows have come and have brought us good fortune. In our stalls, contented, may they stay! May they bring forth calves for us, many-colored, giving milk for Indra each day. You make, O cows, the thin man sleek; to the unlovely you bring beauty. Rejoice our homestead with pleasant lowing. In our assemblies we laud your vigor." - Fourteen Questions
Recently the monks installed a new wood fired oven, which we currently use a few times a month for pizza and pasta. However it also serves the purpose of an emergency oven, in case of a hurricane for example. Up until now this new oven has been covered by a rather dilapidated tent, but over the retreat our four yogis got together and assembled this Gazebo to cover it. This nice wooden and aluminium structure can be ordered with all the parts pre cut and ready for assembly. After a few days of work the structure was complete and just in time for our monthly pizza night!
Our June 2019 news video covers events in May 2019, including: Recent progress on Iraivan Temple, a visit from BAPS sadhus, the revealing of Iraivan Temple's doors, the celebration of Vaikasi Visakam, and Satguru's attendance of the 2019 London Saiva Conference.
London Saiva Conference:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38kMtzge4Fg
Mayuresh and Arinien are both starting out their stay at Kauai Aadheenam by helping in the Siddhidatta Kulam. That is the group of monks responsible for the care of our gardens, buildings, vehicles and more. Currently the team is working primarily Iraivan Temple construction oversight and on the building of our new greenhouse. Today our two taskforcers enjoyed helping with the greenhouse project.
This week Mayuresh Visswanathan from Carlsbad, CA and Arinien Mootoocurpen from Mauritius have arrive on Kauai to participate in our taskforce program. While here they will come to the Monastery each morning and spend the day worshiping, meditating and performing seva alongside the monks. Mayuresh will be here until August and Arinien will be visiting for up to six months. Aum Namah Sivaya
Each morning at 6:00am, the most important part of our monks' day takes place. It is more sacred and significant than any of the work that they do. It is their commitment to the inner being and nonbeing, from which all else can emerge and flourish. Today we capture a few sneak shots of the monastic meditation. Not pictured here are the monks who perform late night vigils and, of course, the monk behind the camera. Beforehand is a 5:30am Siva puja. As they sit down to meditate the monks recite a chant speaking of the greatness of renunciation and then repeat a chant to our guru parampara. This is followed by an affirmation for the order and its purpose. Here is a translation of the first mantra, from the Yajur Veda, Mahanarayana Upanishad, 10.21-24:
"Immortality is attained not by work, not by progeny, not by wealth, but only by renunciation.
That which recluses attain is laid beyond the heaven, yet it shines brilliantly in the purified heart.
"Having attained the immortality consisting of identity with the Supreme, aspirants who strive for self-control, who have realized the conclusions of the Vedas and have attained purity of mind through yoga, and steadfastness in the knowledge of Brahman, preceded by renunciation, are released into the region of Brahman at the dissolution of their final body.
"In the citadel of the body there is the small, sinless and pure lotus of the heart which is the residence of the Supreme. Further in the interior of this small area there is the sorrowless ether. That is to be meditated upon continually.
"He is the Supreme Lord who transcends the syllable Aum which is uttered at the commencement of the recital of the Vedas, which is well established in the Upanishads and which is dissolved in the primal cause during contemplation."
Today Devagharan, Krishnakumari and Devina Nair, from Euless, Texas, visited the Pillaiyar Kulam and met with Shanmuganathaswami. Swami introduced them to Gurudeva back in 1999. They are on pilgrimage and visiting Kadavul Temple daily while enjoying the island in the afternoons. Devina (left) plans to go to university in August and study to be a doctor. She was home schooled until the age of 16, then attended high school via the local university. Krishnakumari and Devagharan are originally from Malaysia. Krishnakumari is researching how to make Ganesha “Teddy Bears” for Hindu kids.
Today we are enjoying a view of the Wailua River, framed by two flowering albizia trees. Last night was a wonderfully loud lightning storm, and the river is flowing strong.
"One Truth exists. One cannot claim to have seen It; nor can one assert that one has not seen It. It is an open secret. Who can know the knower? Sages have appeared from time to time, said one thing and another, and then disappeared. It remains Itself, ever unknowable, ever new." Siva Yogaswami
We travel about in the Aadheenam and take a look at some of today's varied activities that our monks perform. Aum Namah Sivaya.
Today we find the Pillaiyar Kulam at work around their office. The Pillaiyar Kulam does many important tasks such as managing the Mini Mela, publication distribution, shipping, finances and legal work, taking care of our cow heard and much more. Currently, with the help of Master Carpenter Jeff, we are building an additional portion of the building which will house more public restrooms for our many guests. So far, the area for the foundation has been dug, the plumbing has been laid, and the forms have been prepared to receive concrete.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.