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New Vratashishya

Jai Ganesha!
Jai Kailasa Parampara!
Aum Namah Sivaya!

Currently, Madan Ganesan is visiting Kauai Aadheenam from Bengaluru. He's here with his wife Sumathi and their son and daughter. For several years now Madan and his family have been very focused and devoted in furthering their association with our guru parampara. This is their first time for the whole family to be visiting here together, so it made for a very auspicious occasion. Today both Madan and Sumathi took their vratashishya vows in front of Satguru and the Kailasa Pitham.

"I believe in You, the one Supreme God, Lord Siva, and the Gods of our Saivite faith, and in the Saiva Dharma. In love and trust I recognize Your goodness in providing for my every material and spiritual need. I affirm that the twelve beliefs of our Saivite Creed, and our Affirmation of Faith, fully and unequivocally express my own beliefs, and I wholeheartedly vow to uphold and preach them as an authoritative, distilled formulation of our venerable faith. I understand the importance of beliefs, which have the power to create our attitudes, which shape our actions and reactions throughout life. I appreciate that our Saivite Creed serves to maintain the continuity and purity of the Vedas and Agamas and give strength and guidelines to individuals seeking to understand life and religion."

“In humility and gratitude, having received the blessings of Lord Siva through these spiritual vows, I promise, now and for my entire life, to be an ardent, dynamic, responsive, loving, grateful, loyal vratashishya of Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, serving as a member of his global Saiva Siddhanta Church among my kulapati’s extended family.”

From Lanka to Kauai

Today Sinnathamby came with his family for a first-ever visit, along with his wife Devika, son Aravindran, daughter Sandya and her spouse Praveen. They are of course enjoying the temples and pujas and came over to the Media Studio to say hi. Some sweet time was spent talking story.

Our Beloved Yogaswami

As we learned yesterday, this year marks the 60th since Yogaswami took his Great Departure on March 20, 1964. We opened The Guru Chronicles to visit that day and other moments in his remarkable life:

One morning a man came to share his life's sorrows with Swami, complaining that he had several daughters and could not afford the dowries that would be required to get them married. Now one had received a pro-posal. Wordless, Yogaswami reached into his veshti (into that hip pocket that is really just the cloth folded in upon itself) and handed the man ten thousand rupees for the dowry. Other fathers he told not to worry, that men would marry their daughters based on their merits. Invariably, it came to be. S. Shanmugasundaram recounts how Swami once called upon other devotees to assist a man with his daughter's dowry:

"Yogaswami's heart was full of love and compassion for everyone. Whether he smiles at you or scorns you, whether he embraces you or kicks you, every act of his is an act of love and grace. Without any outward show, he would shower so much compassion on all beings. The care and concern he had for those in need was immeasurable. He never disappointed any sincere devotee who approached him with a problem.

One fine morning, Yogaswami was seated in his hut with two devotees in front of him. He was chatting on various topics. An old man came there and stood outside the hut. Swami summoned him inside and asked, "How is everything going with you?" Without uttering a word in reply, the man broke down crying and sobbed for two or three minutes.

"Then Swami spoke, "Don't worry. Siva will show you a way out of your difculties. You may now go home in peace." The man left as directed and Swami addressed the two devotees who remained, "He is a good-hearted man. He is experiencing some difculty in giving his daughter in marriage. She is 26 years old, and a cousin of hers is willing to marry her if the father will at least provide her with the minimum jewelry. Why don't one of you help him?"

Immediately A. Thillyampalam offered to do the needful. Excusing himself, he ran after the man and got his name and address. The next day he went to his house and presented him with a gift of Rs. 5,000. The man was overjoyed. Without any delay, he got all the necessary jewelry made and gave the daughter in marriage.

Sishya Rajen Manick on Taskforce

Longtime Saiva Siddhanta Church formal sishya, Rajen Manick from Mauritius, has arrived on Kauai for his first in-person visit to his Guru's home. He'll be staying with us for a few months to finally experience Kauai Aadheenam in depth and continue his service of translating the Master Course trilogy books into French. He also has extensive experience with conveying our teachings to seekers in Mauritius, so he will gather more resources and skills for that.

Siddhidata Kulam New Maintenance Shop Updates

Following are some of the specific progress steps taken over the last weeks.
During their final days here, the silpis crafted a beautiful granite sign for the new maintenance shop, storage and office building, called Hale Hana.

The concrete "apron" around the building cured and is ready to use

Mobile tool storage units with work counters were assembled.

A simple bathroom indoors was completed

The storage rooms are all painted and lit, with trip along the base of walls.

Trim was installed around all the doors, and some windows placed.

From Singapore

Our two traveling Swamis had a delightful evening at the Sri Sivan Temple in Singapore, of which more details are coming. Meantime, a poem that summarizes the satsang part of the event. Sadasivanaathaswami was sharing with the members how ChatGPT4 is helping the publishing team to proofread and organize/summarize long articles. He asked Chat to write a poem about the swamis meeting the members in the temple, as an example of the AI's amazing talents. In less than one second, this unedited poem was composed based on a simple prompt of three sentences. It describes some of the traits for which the nation/state is known, multiculturalism, promptness, cleanliness, innovation and fines for everything. To manage public cleanliness, Singapore has banned gum and even on the plane it was announced it is illegal to bring gum into the country! Enjoy the poem.

In Singapore where punctuality's "key,"
A group meets Tonight with joy and esprit.
With swamis from far isles,
And Sivaya Subramuniya's styles,
They find "Light and Love," blissfully free!

In temples where "Cleanliness" reigns,
They cast off their worldly chains.
With moksha in sight,
On Siva's San Marga Path of Light,"
They transcend their earthly pains.

A "Multicultural" crew,
From backgrounds not just a few.
Chinese, Malay, and more,
All come through the door,
In search of a spiritual view.

In the land where "Innovation" survives,
They seek out enlightened lives.
From the MRT's speed,
To spiritual need,
Each soul like a lotus thrives.

So here in this small city-state,
Where everything's efficient and "great,"
They've found what they seek,
With spirits unique,
And joy that's first-rate!

In Singapore, a "fine" city, indeed,
Where laws are observed to a "T."
For litter or speed,
Or jaywalking, take heed!
You'll get fined so fast, you won't even see!

"Adaptability's" their forte,
Learning from Gurudeva each day.
Two Hawaiian swamis, too,
Bring a wisdom to the brew,
On their quest to find the right way.

Saiva Siddhanta Church Sishya Family on Pilgrimage

Roshan and Vandana Nathoo, with their sons Tarun, Kavish and Kapil, are visiting Kauai Aadheenam for the first time. They live in Mauritius on the other side of the globe. A long journey indeed, both travel-wise and after nearly three decades of studying Gurudeva's teachings, passing along those teachings to new seekers, attending, supporting and serving tirelessly at our Mauritius Spiritual Park, and sharing Hinduism Today magazine with friends.

A couple days ago, Vandana received Vishesha Diksha, the second of two dikshas that Saiva Siddhanta Church sishyas prepare for. Below is the description from Gurudeva's 1995 Saiva Dharma Shastras book, slightly updated for the current context.

Vishesha diksha,"distinguishing" initiation, marks the sishya's formal entrance into the Sri Subramuniya Rishi Gotra, our lineage's select assembly of followers, affectionately known as chelas. After this initiation, the devotee is obligated to personally, daily perform the Saiva Atmartha Puja, which now has new power. This worship is performed during the early morning, followed by scriptural study and 108 repetitions of the Panchakshara Mantra. The puja obligation of vishesha diksha is not fulfilled by attending the puja performed by the head of the house in the shrine room. Each member who has received this initiation performs the puja privately (the long, medium or short version) and then attends the family puja as well. Vishesha diksha is also the empowering to perform yoga, to worship internally and undertake serious austerities. This diksha opens access into inner realms heretofore not accessible. As part of the diksha, the sishya voices and signs the following solemn vow binding herself and her family line to the Sri Subramuniya Rishi Gotra. Vishesha diksha brings the devotee more deeply into the study of Shum, my magical language of meditation, through the Shum Tyaef Lexicon.

Vishesha Diksha Vrata
"Prostrations to the holy feet of Lord Ganesha! Aum Sivaya! I pledge my loyalties to the Saiva Swami Sangam of Saiva Siddhanta Church, to the monistic Saiva Siddhanta theology of Rishi Tirumular and, most importantly, to the holy feet of my satguru in this life, Bodhinatha Veylanswami, as I enter the Sri Subramuniya Rishi Gotra. In doing so, I rededicate myself to the Santana Dharma and now bind myself to the congregation of devotees of Saiva Siddhanta Church, those who uphold the Saiva Dharma--Dancing with Siva: Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism and the Creed for Saivite Hindus--and seek to remold the Saiva karma by doing penance for the entire Saivite world as it moves from an agricultural into a technological era and on into a new age of space. As I sit before Guru Mahasannidhanam and the Saiva swamis and the gotra of devotees, I bow before the holy feet of Lord Nataraja, pledging my allegiance as a soldier of the within and a silent minister, emissary of duty to be well performed. I have enjoined my three bodies--soul, mental and physical--to propel new members into our fellowship and make them comfortable in our congregation. May Lord Ganesha bless me, may Lord Murugan bless me, may Lord Siva bless me. May Satguru bless me in this and from inner worlds as I join for all time as a Sivathondar the great congregation of Saiva Siddhanta Church and irrevocably blend my karma with its dharma. Anbe Sivamayam Satyame Parasivam." -------------------------

After the diksha, Kavish and Kapil read and signed pledges to perform the "Ten-Minute Spiritual Workout" and follow the yamas and niyamas to the best of their ability.

The eldest son, Tarun, will be staying on to serve with the monks for five or six months before embarking on university studies.

Pillaiyar Kulam Storage Space Blessing

Construction finally wrapped up on what is affectionally known as the "Way Back Room," which is attached to the previously constructed "Back Room," which itself is attached to the longstanding Pillaiyar Kulam administrative desk space rooms. A few days ago they help a simple puja to sanctify the new spaces, wrapping up about six years of extending the original building to add storage rooms for holding most of our publications and Minimela inventory. Next they will begin moving items in here and reorganizing all the rooms to make everything categorized properly and easily accessible.

Our Spiritual Park

Activities at the Spiritual Park in Mauritius are moving forward dynamically, with classes, catalyst training, translations, satsangs and physical improvements at the seven-acre sanctuary where the river meets the ocean. Additionally, preparations ar underway to receive our two swamis in September for five days, a rare visit by Sadasivanathaswami and Tillainathaswami.

Sadhaka Vatshalanatha Performs Atmartha Puja

One of the requirements for a new monk is to learn and then perform the Saiva Atmartha Puja (home shrine puja) in front of Satguru and all the monks. Sadhaka Vatshalanatha recently did this at 5:30am in place of our normal puja for the monks. This accomplishment is a stepping stone towards him next learning the parartha puja (established temple puja), which he will eventually perform for Ganesha and Murugan Deities in Kadavul Temple.

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

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