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Chola Gardens on Canvas

A serene painting, made by an inspired artist

It flows everywhere.
All things are born from it,
yet it doesn’t create them.
It pours itself into its work,
yet it makes no claim.
It nourishes infinite worlds,
yet it doesn’t hold on to them.
Since it is merged with all things
and hidden in their hearts,
it can be called humble.
Since all things vanish into it
and it alone endures,
it can be called great.
It isn’t aware of its greatness;
thus it is truly great.

The Story of an Unexpected Siva Bhaktar

Aum Sivaya

Over the last month, one of our monks had been documenting the existence of a baby praying mantis, until one day something changed in the life of this unique little creature. Look through the slideshow to enjoy the full story! Aum Namah Sivaya

Our Wild World of Wondrous Plants

A variety of unique specimens from the Aadheenam's jungle gardens.

"Siva's devotees bask contentedly in Siva consciousness, seeing the pure life energy in every person, animal, bird, reptile, fish, insect, plant, tree and even microscopic intelligence as Supreme God Siva Himself. Aum." Gurudeva

Palmtree Timelapse

Over the last year Sadasivanathaswami has been documenting the growth of a large foxtail palm tree that is growing outside of the Media Studio. This palm is also known as Wodyetia bifurcata, named after the Australian aborigine who introduced the plant to cultivators. After taking a photo every few days and stringing them together we now have a nice timelapse for all our plant-minded viewers to enjoy! In this short clip you can see the palm tree bud, flower, fruit, and shed its old fronds. Aum.

Our Morning Rains

Aum Namah Sivaya
Today the Aadheenam received a full 3.5 inches of rain between 6am and noon. A morning of heavy rains and happy plants! Our taskforcer Alexander captures the weather in a timelapse as it flows over Iraivan Temple.

"The Truth is one. The rest is illusion. States of realization are also an illusion. Truth is betrayed by the first attempt at articulation. What else can one say. One may discuss the rains and the harvest and so on... You must realize It yourself. It is wrong even to put it that way. How does one express something changeless and beyond the mind? The whole is the Truth."- Yogaswami

Planting Flower Gardens

Jai Ganesha!

Over the last year, Yogi Dayanatha has spent time gradually adding life and beauty to the area around our monastery's woodfire oven. He's cleared old, shaded foliage and replaced it with rock-encircled mounds of colorful flowers and decorative palm trees. The area now feels open, airy and bright. The array of flowers—which will eventually overflow their beds in polychromatic abundance—include Impatiens, zinnias, marigolds and roses. Aum.

Giant Fishtail Palm

This palm is in full glory, growing just 150 feet East of Iraivan Temple in Rishi Valley. It is astonishingly productive, creating thousands of flowers and seeds in all stages of maturity. It is officially called Caryota obtusa, and is a native of Laos and Cambodia. Enjoy seeing it up close.

The Fungus Amongus

Next to the Aadheenam's primary vegetable garden, you'll find heaping hills of wood chips. These chip are regularly gifted to us by several local tree trimmers who are happy to have a place to offload them. We put these mulch piles to good use as we top vegetable beds and mulch our other gardens. In walking by them each day, one monk noticed the many varieties of fungi growing among the chips, and started recording them all. Some fungi lasted for a few weeks, while others mysteriously came and went in a single day. All we know for sure, is that they absolutely love our subtropical environment (as do we!). Aum.

Did you know?
A fungus known as the honey mushroom is the largest living organism on the planet. It is believed to be about 2400 years old. It covers over 2000 acres, killing trees as it spreads.

Garden Seva

Aum Namah Sivaya

Each week, on Tuesday, a stalwart group of dedicated island devotees adventures together into the sacred gardens around Iraivan Temple. During the morning hours, they plant new plants, weed garden beds and more. Though largely an anonymous instance of seva (and we're sure they'd probably like to keep in that way), we thought it would be nice to highlight these humble sevaks as they make their way through the gardens near and around Dakshinamurti for a day. After their Sivathondu ends around mid-day, the monks take them a South Indian lunch to share under the Iraivan Garden Pavilion. Aum.

Aerials of Hanuman’s Garden

Recently the mound around Lord Hanuman has been given an upgrade. With some new plants and extra upkeep, the area is looking splendid. Not too long from now the fields around Him will transform into the preliminaries of our visitor center. Thankfully these plants still have ample time to grow and flower. Aum Anjaneyaya Namah

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

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