It was about 1977 when Gurudeva went to India and met Mr. Lakshmanan Nellaiappan. At that time he was working for The Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation, aka "Poombuhar". Through Poombuhar, (established on 1973 http://tnpoompuhar.org ) all the artists and craftsmen in Tamil Nadu were supported and found a venue for theirs creations to reach the world.
Gurudeva, besides working for the Hindu Renaissance through his books and Hinduism Today, felt it was important to bring the art of the Hindu tradition, to the west. So it was that the first statues of Tiruvalluvar and Tirumular that are now outside the courtyard where the have meals, were first commissioned and through Nellaiappan help and guiding hand, were brought to Hawaii/America.
Since then he has worked tirelessly for the mission for over 40 years! When our previoius Indian Liason Officer, Mr. Murthi, passed away, Nellaiappan become the official Indian Liason Officer for Saiva Siddhanta Church and Himalayan Academy.
During that time he has helped with countless projects from getting robes shipped for the monks, helping arrange the India programs for Innersearch, sending products for http://Minlmela.com, facilitating communications with craftsmen... the list of what Nellaiappan has accomplished goes on and on.
Paramacharya hosted some special guests yesterday morning, from Russia and Greenland, LA and elsewhere. This first photo is of Ole, a native of Greenland, who says his lineage is akin to the Inuit. It was his 60th birthday and he was happy to spend it in a sacred space.
We learned there are no trees in all of Greenland (though it is fully 50% the size of the United States) as it is 85% covered with ice. Well, there are some trees planted in recent years by botanists, but precious few. The group is doing work to protect the Arctic, including a recent release of their documentary starring Mikhail Gorbachov whom Gurudeva met in 1990 at the Global Form for Human Survival. All enjoyed the story of "the Aum in the Kremlin," and Gurudeva's insight that this helped break up the old Soviet Union, just months later.
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.
A compilation video of our Innersearch 2019 Sri Lanka travel-study program. Fifty participants traveled with Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and four of his monks to Negombo, Jaffna and Trincomalee. They had classes with Satguru, went on adventuresome outings, worshiped at powerful temples and visited holy shrines related to the Kailasa lineage.
On March 26th, with a little time available before the morning class session, the Innersearch pilgrims set out to the deep ocean during the sunrise. Satguru and the pilgrims embarked on speed boats to watch dolphins and whales. On the way, their first stop was below the Koneswaram Temple. Several fishing boats stopped here too before going out for the catch of the day. The Ravana's cleft view is seen from bottom to top and also the huge Siva statue is visible.
On March 25th, Innersearch Sri Lanka pilgrims took a little excursion and study tour to Pigeon Island. Located north from Trincomalee, visitors take a 10 minute boat ride from Nilaveli beach.
Pigeon Island National Park is one of the two marine national parks in Sri Lanka. The island is small with a total area of 471.4 hectares. The rock pigeon colonized the place and gave it its name. This national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka and has been designated a sanctuary since 1963.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami had an enthralled group of students for the day's class, under some of the natural shade. Later, pilgrims and monks went snorkeling to swim among the reef's friendly sharks, sea turtles, many of colorful fish and corals.
Koneswaram is revered as one the Pancha Ishwaram of Sri Lanka. This is the abode of "Kona" (the Chief Lord or God). The presiding Siva deity's name is a combination the words of Kona and Ishwara.
The temple stands distinctly atop Konesar Malai, a high point of land that overlooks the Indian Ocean, near the Trincomalee (Thirukonamalai) District. The original temple is believed to be built around 205 bce, with key features resembling the Dravidian temple architecture, such as a thousand pillared hall.
The temple complex was destroyed by the Portuguese Empire in colonial religious attacks between 1622 and 1624, and Fort was built near the site from its debris. Ruins of the Koneswaram temple are still found underwater, and several murtis have been rediscovered.
Koneswaram is described in the Mahabharata and Ramayana. It is mentioned by Sambandhar and Sundarar Nayannar in Tevarams between 600-630 ce. Another prominent Saivite, Arunagirinathar visited here in 1468. In 1952 the Society for Restoration of Koneswaram did the initial reconstruction work and more renovations were done by local Tamils in 1982.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.