Yesterday our 2018 Mahasamadhi pilgrims enjoyed a class with Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami. Afterwards that journeyed out to the new Shadkonam Garden to plant a tree. Well.. not a tree exactly, but rather more of a cacti. This beast of a cactus will grow to about the size of an apple tree. Everyone gathered around and Kumar Gurukkal performed a short puja for blessings. After placing the cacti in the ground, everyone joined in to offer fertilizer and water. Aum Namah Sivaya.
Our resident aerial photographer recently acquired these shots of our Shadkonam Garden project. The video has our quad copter doing a fun spiral down to the garden. Try not to get woozy while you watch it!
This image shows the garden in relation to Iraivan
Yes, we are building a desert on our lush island. It is to be called the Shadkonam Garden as the sign says and is shaped like a six-pointed star. Two days back a crew came to pump the concrete paths, and they brought a boon. Their leader, Jim Fain, told Sadasivanathaswami that "Today's labor is free. My team wants to give this gift to the temple project." It went quickly, about three hours and they were done, and by sunset the forms were removed. Enjoy the slideshow.
Yesterday Doug assembled four new picnic tables made of dense recycled plastic which will not rot in the tropics. Here Valli and Savitri are the first to enjoy one, sitting near the Banyan Mandapam.
As you enter the Path of the Satgurus, a new flower greets you. It is the giant orchid Grammatophyllum wallisii. Also called giant orchid, tiger orchid, sugar cane orchid or queen of the orchids, it is native to the Philippines. The spike on this one is about 7 feet long, holding many dozens of large, showy blossoms. There are several of these in the sacred garden, of two different colorations.
Siva will have a new desert garden in the months ahead. It is a 60-foot six-sided star and it will be planted with cacti, succulents and all manner of arid plants. The Shadkonam is an ancient Hindu sacred symbol, the intertwining of Siva and Shakti. It is also the symbol for air and Vayu, the God of Air. Vayu rules the Northwest corner of any vastu space, so of course He has a presence here. The slideshow tells the unfolding story of the Shadkonam Garden in the Northwest corner of Iraivan Temple.
Several days ago our monks began their two-week retreat known as Sadhu Paksha. It is a time when they break from their usual morning routine to do personal sadhana, perhaps walking through or meditating in the sacred gardens, and enjoying the quiet of nature in the early hours of the morning. It is a wonderful time for us to appreciate the aadheenam's vast natural beauty and active wildlife.
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.
Today is the end of the monks' phase. Before heading into a two day retreat, we asked Taskforcer Mayuresh to explore the Aadheenam with a camera. Here is the monastery through his lens. Enjoy!
Aum Namah Sivaya
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