Sri Lanka Innersearch 2018 Grand Finale Post!

The 2018 Innersearch has come to an end. Our hope is that we were able to give you a glimpse into what these pilgrims went through, but to be sure it is like a grain of sand sitting atop an entire beach. Enjoy this final slideshow of work from our long-time church member and Innersearcher Indivar Sivanathan. She has captured some moments in time that can never be forgotten. Sign ups are now open for the 2019 program, less than one year away.

Innersearch Initiations: Saiva Diksha

Initiation, called diksha in Tamil, is an all-important part of the Saiva path. Tirumular speaks lovingly of the potencies created by Siva diksha, of the need for initiation if one ever hopes for progress on the path within. So when students and members were brought before Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami after the puja, it was a highpoint of the Innersearch and a high point of their spiritual lives. The place was a small chamber just in front of a black granite murthi of Kadaitswami, so the parampara was fully present. Past and present. One by one they came forward, touched the Satguru’s feet, made traditional offerings and sat to recite their vows aloud before him. Satguru blessed them and accepted their loyalties and commitment to the path. In all there were ceremonies for six Church members: two vishesha diksha, three vrata shishya and one arul shishya. Vishesha Diksha for Jegadessa & Nalini Chenganna of Mauritius; Vratashishya for Vandana Nathoo, Shanthi Suresh and Rajeshwari Parasivam. Arulshishya vows were taken by Sakuntalai Periasamy of Singapore. Nuckiren Pyeneeandee got his ears pierced.

Sri Lanka Innersearch Day 12: Kadaitswami Mahasamadhi Puja

From 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM the Innersearchers were blessed with our richest, longest, most elaborate temple rites. An amazing Siva homa and abhishekam was held at the Siva temple which has a shrine for Kadaitswami's mahasamadhi. A team of ten priests worked tirelessly (and clearly had been working for days to prepare all of the kumbhas, offerings and conches.) A large crowd of devotees filled the entire temple hallways and drums and nagaswaram played loudly throughout. This temple holds a special place in our hearts. It is where Kadaitswami's body is interned and in 1983 Gurudeva was asked to participate in a kumbhabishekam ceremony here. Sadasivanathaswmi stood by anxiously as Gurudeva climbed a rickety bamboo ladder to the top of the temple vimanam to pour holy water over the golden kalasams. It seemed a dangerous moment. Several of the trustees today recounted that morning today. Siva was taken around the temple toward the end in a small chariot, and hundreds of devotees rushed forward to touch Bodhinatha's feet, or even the hem of his robes, seeing a brief moment of grace. Men held to monks' arms, tears streaming down their cheek, eyes wide open in gratitude. Such a long puja is rare these days, but the power released was equal to the love of Siva present.

Sri Lanka Innersearch Day 11: A Musical Event

Coming back from our temple visit, we were regaled with a rich pre-dinner musical concert. A group of five musicians had gathered a number of instruments on the stage. It began with a Yogaswami Natchintanai followed by six or seven major vina pieces of varying kinds, played to perfection. Then the real fun began. A marvelously gifted musician, Thuvarakan, started with some simple drumming. This gave way to a wide-ranging display of his skills (honed since he was five year old) on every kind of drum, old and new. He was equally adept at all of them.

But then he let loose, picked up a synthesizer and astonished us all with his creative genius and swift and nimble fingers. At one point he played the well known iPhone ringtone, then began to riff on it. Dozens of interpretations and permutations. Quite amazing. Bodhinatha offered them all shawls and they stayed to enjoy dinner with us at the Tinnai.

Here is a short selection...

Sri Lanka Innersearch Day 11: Markanduswami’s Hut and Vedanta Madham

Off we went to Kaitatady where Yogaswami built a thatched hut for his disciple and commanded him to stay there. Markanduswami settled there at age 60 and in 1985 left his body at age 92. He never left the compound all those years.

We entered into the newly renovated hut, made the same size as the original but of fresh concrete and wood. Thondunatha told the story of how Gurudeva asked him to visit here weekly, which he did for 3-4 years.

Markanduswami lived a pure and austere life here, and kept the compound spotless, meditating, singing Natchintanai and receiving visitors. He would never speak from his own knowledge or experience. Instead, he held to the sadhana of saying only what Yogaswami said, nothing more.

We saw two book, old and dusty, in the room. Taking them down, we saw they were two editions of Natchintanai! Not only did he only speak his guru's words, he seems to have only read them as well.

We Visit the Vedanta Madam Off we bussed to one of the important institutions of our lineage. Kadaitswami had a disciple they called Sargaent Swami (since he was of that rank in the Jaffna police). He founded this madam which follows the Tirumular interpretation of Vedanta. We were greeted by the current swami, the seventh in their lineage. He spoke lovingly of Satguru Bodhinatha’s visits (2015 and now), and after Bodhinatha gave a brief discourse and vibuthi blessings to all gathered, swami fed all the Innersearchers, personally filling the monks’ banana leaves. So pure and humble a soul he is.

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

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