Aloha One and All,
Continuing with our progress on Iraivan Temple, a crane was recently brought into the monastery to lift tens of thousands of pounds of heavy granite tiles up from the ground onto the foundation in readiness for the August-October installation. The foundation is currently bare concrete, but when the lengthy and much more complex than you think process of fitting the stones is complete, there will be an elegant red granite floor where pilgrims will walk. We look forward to showing you (and seeing for ourselves) its completed form!
Aum Namah Sivaya
Greetings fellow Siva Bhaktars! Over the retreat we had an impromptu visit from a kolam artist named Divya. For those of you who don't know. Kolam is a traditional art form of South India in which multi-colored rice flower is used to draw elaborate, ephemeral arrangements in fronts of homes and temples. Divya created multiple kolams in and around Kadavul each increasing in complexity as she approached Nataraja. The design lasts for a day or so and can easily be cleaned as it is only made from rice flower. Aum!
Aloha all! Today the first 28 of some 50 pallets of floor stones from China arrived today at Iraivan Temple. These are one-inch thick, red granite slabs up to two feet by two feet square. They will go on the second prakaram, the floor area between the temple building and the outer perimeter wall. They're first being set on the ground in front and beside the temple, where they will wait patiently to be raised up to the floor near the Nandi mandapam. We'll soon be meeting with the tile setter, Brian Oliver, to figure out how best to organize the 1800 individual tiles which are in about 70 different sizes. A real-life, very expansive puzzle! Precutting all the pieces allows for more uniformity in the final floor, and also makes the tile setters' job easier—if they can keep track of which tiles go where! Aum Namah Sivaya
Every weekend our SSC sishyas conduct online satsang, which Satguru joins partway through to give a presentation. Recently one of the attendees shared a nice testimony, which sishya Jiva Rajasankara in Bangalore heard. He got inspired to connect with the man to find out more about him. His name is Madan Ganesh, with wife Sumathi and two children. It turns out they also live in Bangalore, just a half hour drive away.
Jiva learned that Madan's family found Gurudeva's teachings online a couple of years ago and are now formal students of the Master Course and supporters of Kauai Aadheenam activities. Jiva invited the family to visit the carving worksite to meet in person and see the last two container's worth of temple items being shipped to Kauai. They were inspired to the point of deciding to sponsor the gold earring for Iraivan Temple's new Nandi, and also expressed their wish to become formal sishyas of our parampara some day. Here are a few photos of the family.
Today was Ashram Sadhana Day for the Mathavasis. That's our day every month when we spend extra time cleaning in around the monastery. The monks started their day as a group cleaning up around Iraivan Temple mainly moving unused stone in preparation for future landscaping around the base of Iraivan. Following that they continued with their various assigned cleaning areas. It must be a good time for cleaning! The monks are doing so, after all. Maybe something in your life needs some cleaning too? As Gurudeva would say, cleaning allows the energies in a space for flow freely again. If it feels like an area of life isn't moving forward, one of the first fixes to try is to do a major cleaning of your work and living spaces. Give it a try! Aum Namah Sivaya.
Today is the final day of the phase and after a three moon circumgyration shortage of sky-water, it has begun to spill again. Luckily the rain stopped for a few hours during the day and we were able to finish our gold leafing protection project. The Kodimarams at Kadavul and Iraivan Temple are covered in a gold leafing and therefore very susceptible to Kauai's climate. Thus, to prevent having to re-gild them again, they are sprayed with a special solution that prevents the growth of mold and other microorganisms. Also there is a new photographer today so if you have any tips on how to take better pictures please comment below. Have a great week! Om Sivaya Om Sivaya Om Sivaya.
The team in Bengaluru has been working hard to bring all the pieces together for the last shipment to Kauai. A few days back you saw them making the solid crates that will protect the sculptured stones during their 8,000-mile voyage. This slideshow is historic, since there will be no further containers coming from India for Iraivan. We thank the Rajasankara family for documenting this, not easy when you are in the middle of complex packing and moving. Enjoy the slideshow, and this short movie.
Lots of lumber and labor go into preparing Iraivan Temple's completed stones for their journey to Kauai. In the past few days two more containers are being readied in Bengaluru (we think they are the last). Teams of carpenters and silpis are joining in the effort to be sure the precious cargo arrived unscathed after its 8,000-mile voyage. In this slideshow we get a glimpse of what it takes, even after years of carving complete, to safely crate the stones. They know what they are doing, having sent almost 100 containers to Hawaii in the last 23 years. Good job, everyone!
Even in normal times, getting complex things done in India is, to be gentle about it, challenging. With the expected return of our silpis to Kauai in October, it has become critical that the last two containers be loaded and shipped. Trouble was, the craftsmen making key items for Iraivan Temple were dragging their feet. Promising but not performing. When Jiva and his sons, Thurai and Senthil, realized the urgency, they went to work, using the willower Gurudeva instilled in them for decades.
They took a three-day jaunt to Kumbhakonam, where the metal shop is located, and told the sthapatis they would not leave until Iraivan's items were finished. It worked! After three days all was in readiness to be shipped to Bengaluru. In this slideshow we see the results of their persistent push to get things done (remember, India is in the midst of a COVID rise).
Devotee Rishi Thondunathan reports from Jaffna, Sri Lanka--
"We, the devotees of the Sri Subramuniya Kottam, dedicate the year 2022 (January 5, 2022 - January 5, 2023) as the Year of the Nandinatha Sampradaya for the following, very special reasons:
The 150th birth anniversary of Paramaguru Siva Yogaswami
The 80th jayanthi of Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
The 50th anniversary of Satguru Bodhinathas initiation by Gurudeva in Alaveddy, Sri Lanka
The 50th anniversary of the installation of Pasupatheswarar Siva Lingam in the Sri Subramuniya (Ashram) Temple in Alaveddy, Sri Lanka
The 40th anniversary of Gurudeva's installation of the Sri Shanthilingam with his own hands in Kopay, Sri Lanka.
For these auspicious reasons, we plan to have celebrations all through this year and are also planning several charitable activities to mark these special occasions.
Above all, our main focus will be completing the "Sri Subramuniya Temple Project," a spiritual sanctuary to preserve our beloved Gurudevas legacy in Sri Lanka."
Rishi also noted that Satguru Bodhinatha's sannyas initiation day and Sivaratri fell on the same day this year. "We had a wonderful Maha Sivarathri and initiation day at our Sri Subramuniya kottam. Nallai Adheenam Karthar, Jaffna Chinmaya Mission Swami, Vethantha Madham swami, kilinochi Chinmaya Mission Brahmachari and Dr. Aru Thirumurugan are the special guests along with the local devotees.
Here with I'm enclosing a few pictures.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.