About three years back, Jim and Natalie Levin approached the monastery with their hope to create something extraordinary for the Aadheenam. Their plan was to sculpt a 4-foo-tall bronze of Siva in His form as Sadasiva, with five heads and ten arms. They knew Gurudeva back in the late 90s and have continued to admire and support his mission under Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. Permission was given and an amazing process began. A series of sketches were made by Selvanathan Sthapati to guide her hand and make the work authentic. To begin, Natalie spent about a year sculpting a small version, called a maquette. This 14-inch high piece was easier to make changes on and resolve major engineering issues. About two years ago the Levins invited us to their home in Arizona and presented the finished maquette. With that approved, Natalie moved on to the full size sculpture, working closely with Sadasivanathaswami at each stage.
Natalie Speaks of Her Process:
"The process of creating the Murti of Sadasiva was to strip myself bare and lay vulnerable to the powers of Divine direction. The process took me to places of sublime ecstasy experiencing a divine love so profound and soul changing. But the 2-1/2 year process was not without wrestling with my own insecurity, self-doubt, worry, steep learning curves, and lastly, a sense of victorious accomplishment knowing I stayed the course and did not give up when so many forces seemed as major roadblocks to its completion.
"I knew in my heart of hearts, that if I stayed pure and did puja before showing up for sculpting that perhaps the presence of Siva would help me and provide direction on how to do this supremely complicated form. Nightly, I called upon the devas and Gurudeva asking for their guidance in the deva loka. In daily puja, Id call upon Ganesha to clear away all obstacles and to make the energy free from all interference, as I needed all the help I could get!
Slowly the murti emerged."
Bodhinatha and Shanmuganathaswami left yesterday for a 13-day trip to San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas, Midland, TX returning Kauai on 15th.
After their quick stop in New York, Sadasivanathaswami and Yogi Jayantha made their way over to New Jersey to participate in this year's Hindu Mandir Executives' Conference. Upon arriving in New Jersey, they first stopped by Robbinsville to visit an up-and-coming project by the BAPS Swaminarayan order. Once complete, their "Akshardam West" will be considered the largest Hindu Temple in the United States. After the morning's temple visit our team traveled to the conference. Many representatives from North American Hindu temples were there. This year's theme revolved around how temples can better provide information for both their own communities and also their surrounding communities at large, in order to minimize misunderstandings and hopefully prevent issues like vandalism or hate crimes. It was also a way for temple leaders to network and for new ideas to be shared. Paramacharya gave a talk on different tools that temples can utilize for spreading information, all of which the Aadheenam uses. These include things like information boards, online videos, apps, virtual tours and more. The following day Yogi Jayanatha gave a short presentation offering some ways that Mandirs could upgrade and maintain their online presence. All in all it was a successful event. Aum Namah Sivaya.
After their stay in Boston, Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami and Yogi Jayanatha and were joined by the Boston team for a train ride to Manhattan. Our monks next destination would be New Jersey, so this was a nice stop along the way. A chance to explore a bit of this lively city together.
On September 14th, our monks touched down at the next stop on their journey. They were greeted in Boston with much love and care and were given a wonderful tour and introduction to the city. Part of that included a short boat boat ride out in the harbor on an old sailing ship. While there they also visited several places associated with Rudy Tanzi's important Alzheimer's work, and also had an opportunity to visit the tanzi home for satsang and worship and meditation in their shrine room. Miraculously, Shanmuga Shivacharya from Chennai happened to be in Boston for a few days, so our monks also had a chance to sit down with him. Aum Namah Sivaya
Several Weeks ago, on their second and last day in the Bay Area, Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami and Yogi Jayanatha enjoyed a hike through some redwoods with Bay Area members. The trail led them up into the side of a ridge and then a along a forested trail in the treetops. They then concluded their hike with a picnic lunch.
On the 11th, Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami and Yogi Jayanatha arrived in the Bay Area. On their first full day they visited the Siva Murugan Temple in Concord for a Muruga abhishekam. This temple is a special piece of our history as it was founded by Gurudeva, and this was a perfect day to visit for it happened to be the day of one of the Temple's Nataraja abhishekams which only happen six times a year. Our monks were joined by local shishya as well as temple devotees. A new temple is currently under way and our travelers were shown the plans and the construction site in the adjacent lot.
That evening was a satsang in Walnut Creek at the home of Easvan and Devi Param. Paramacharya gave a talk and everyone asked some goods questions and enjoyed a lovely meal.
Aum Namah Sivaya
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.