Enjoying an Extraorditary World

Aum Namah Sivaya.

Our monks are heading into a three-day retreat, so you'll hear from us again on Saturday. We've put together a fun little guessing game for you. Time to peruse through a very small world, and find out just how vast it is. If something so small can be so big, than what we consider big must be huge, right? Yet for all its vast vistas, our beautiful planet is but a speck floating through nearly infinite space, and existing as a short blip in an infinite cycle of time. Surely if time and space are infinite in all directions, it is our awareness and perspective that matter most. With all of that existence "out there," and with a personal evolution spanning untold eons, on untold worlds, in untold dimensions, our inner Self has us experiencing a life that is right here, right Now. It must be rather important, don't you think?

Our Father Visits

Natyam Jayanatha is currently hosting his father Richard, who is visiting from Seattle. Richard is an artist and focuses on photography and architecture. Just like Jayanatha, Richard is a gentle, soft-spoken man who measures each word with precision. It is a pleasure to have him at the Ganapati Kulam morning editorial meeting.

Why Is the Satguru So Important? Path to Siva Lesson 35

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami

Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas - Commentaries on Path to Siva
Why Is the Satguru So Important? , Lesson 35 (November 19,2017) Also available in the SivaSiva App.

The satguru helps his devotees mover closer to God, deeper into themselves, into the sat, the real,the truth. Turn away from the world/asat--that which is not the truth, to find the truth/sat. Sat has no beginning and no end; it is eternal. The world is relatively real, it exists but is constantly changing. That which is absolutely real exists and is changeless. The satguru is trying to help you find that part of us that doesn't change/sat.

Path To Siva, Lesson 35.

Click here to go to an index of all of Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's online audio.

Kadavul's Sevaks

The temple was busy today with incoming devotees and Dasaan Mahadevan helps coral people into the right place and answers the tough questions. Here he is with a smaller devotee who seems to be asking, "Everyday experience tells us that, when something expands, it has to have a medium to expand into, so surely it stands to reason that, if the universe is expanding, then it must be expanding into something?"

Aloha Friday

The six day phase, or six day work week, for the monks has been quite fruitful and we are heading into a three day retreat, or three day weekend. While we are on this break remember to keep Ganesha in your mind, especially when life gets to be a little too much. Ganesha is the Lord of the first world, Earth, and his darshan or shakti force is close to us and available whenever we call. Kadavul Ganesha is in your mind, in our minds and in every open door and opportunity. He is dancing his wildly joyful dance and moving around us at all times. "If you but utter Ganapati, our Lord's name, the gaunt karmic ills that bind us fast will become loose; the Lord of Death himself will in submission raise his hands in worship. Therefore, dutifully utter daily Ganapati's gracious name which will, without fail, your karmic bonds sever." Tirumantiram Ganesha

Just For Fun – Siva's Mystical Mountains

Aum Namah Sivaya. Please enjoy this quickly built 3D adventure through the frozen heights of Siva's Mountains! Follow the beams of light in the sky to reach the 3 shrines in the area. When you reach them you'll hear some of Gurudeva's wisdom, so best to play with sound. The mouse is a little difficult to work with in this online setting, but you'll get the hang of it. This will take a while to load. Eventually our team hopes to release more in this field of 3d-adventure education. This was built using a few pre-built assets and a few hours of work. Enjoy! (If your browser doesn't work, try a different one)
Controls: Space = Jump Arrow keys or W,A,S,D = move move mouse = look around (while looking at something, press W or UpArrow to move towards it) hold shift = run

Our Affirmation of Faith – All-Pervasive Love, Absolute Reality

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami

Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas, Commentary on the Path to Siva, Lesson 18:
" Our Affirmation of Faith - All-Pervasive Love, Absolute Reality" (February 27,2017)

"God Siva is Immanent Love and Transcendent Reality." Devotion is present in each of Saiva Siddhanta's four paths in our relationship to God. When we begin the soul feels God is really far away. As we get closer and closer as in the lover and Beloved, it means a oneness. You alone exist and you are love. Love alone exists, which is Siva, but which is also you. I am Transcendent Reality and Immanent Love.

Path to Siva, Lesson 18

Click here to go to an index of all of Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's online audio.

Ganesha in 3D

For those interested the the future of Virtual Reality and Augmented reality, here is a delightful Ganesha done by 3D artist Francesco Coldesina. You can click and drag this model to move around or scroll to zoom. If you have a VR headset you can click the little headset icon in the bottom-right to view in VR. Models like this can be scanned from real objects and projected into 3D space. Currently this method is being employed to reconstruct and archive some of the world's most precious works of historical art and architecture in 3D.

Digital Dharma Drive–Day Three

Kauai's Hindu Monastery has as a principal mission bringing seekers onto the Great Path, guiding them as they unfold and providing the tools for continuing evolution as life looms, to be faced.

The website is the instrumental cause of this mission, and its reach is significant. We Googled the single word Hinduism this morning, to find our site #2 in the world, just behind Wikipedia. Not bad, especially with such giant challengers!

In New Delhi last year we learned that india is one of the world's most active online communities, more than a million on Facebook and 20 million tweeting. Since that nation has one of the youngest populations (average age is 29), there is immense potential for young Hindus to begin discovering their faith and their traditions online. It's already happening.

With that, today we take joy in announcing the beginning of our 2016 Digital Dharma Drive, which will last for 60 days. Wish us luck! Or better yet.....

Here is the editors' appeal in full that all may understand the need and the goal.

November, 2016

For nearly thirty years Gurudeva and a small team of monks met each day between 3 and 6 or 7pm. He called it "the editing team" and loved to work near the ocean with the whales and green turtles just offshore. They would drive down each afternoon, park a little Rialto recreational vehicle (specially outfitted for editing with computers) near the water's edge and work on what was to become his life's legacy of writings. It was a self-imposed appointment he rarely missed, and one he gave full focus to, going over every word, every phrase of every publication himself, often dozens of times before he would say to the monks. "That's good."

Though raised in an era of chemically processed film, hand-set type and sheet-fed presses, Gurudeva easily embraced technological changes. One afternoon in 1984, though he had never seen or even heard of a Macintosh, he encountered one in a small Apple store in Kapaa. After playing with MacPaint and MacWrite for fifteen minutes, he walked out with a Macintosh 128K under his arm. Later, when the Internet swept up on Kauai's shores in 1997, he urged the monks to begin a daily blog of monastery events, and "Today at Kauai Aadheenam" was born (issued almost daily since that day).

Gurudeva would love where we have come today. He would love the ease with which the books are available, at no cost, to everyone who owns a mobile device anywhere in the world. He would love the lack of massive investment costs that were traditionally required for major books to be put on the presses, tens of thousands of dollars. Then there are the inventory costs, the shipping, the returns. All of that has been rendered unnecessary in the age of digital publishing. In our case, we are doing both, printed editions of the magazine, for instance, and then digital editions based on the elegantly designed PDF pages. The best of both worlds. And he would often say, with smile, "Get the best and forget the rest."

Gurudeva would love that we don't have to charge struggling Hindu students for the spiritual teachings, but can make them available for free. In the last decade our resource-building efforts have shifted massively toward the web, following the fast-evolving world of communications and publishing. It takes a deft team to gather and sculpt the needed tools and stories for Hinduism Today and our Web resources. Creating and sharing an articulate and graphically elegant repository of Hinduism is neither easy nor without costs. Hindu youth are learning their spiritual ABCs online, and millions of seekers are discovering Hinduism digitally. What they encounter should be thoughtful, lucid, elegant and authentic. That's what compels our annual fundraising campaign. It's a chance for you to help us to help explain and share Hinduism globally.

Yes, we could meet our costs by charging for the online books and magazine, but we are determined not to do that. We ourselves are seldom motivated to pay for online information. We like it when needed information is available without cost. But free to the world is not free to us. We have significant costs in running our websites. The needs are modest, but they are real.

Among those needs has been a work space conducive to creative thinking and collaboration. For four decades the publishing team worked in a dim space, not exactly a hovel, but not much to inspire, either. The marvelous renovation of the Media Studio has changed the team's environment dramatically, and part of this year's contributions will help pay for this costly transformation into a "temple of the mind" worthy to be the headquarters of Hinduism Today and Himalayan Academy Publications.

In order to provide information without charging for downloads, without showing advertisements on our sites, without commercializing our mission, we turn to you for help.

The goal for this year is the same as last: $70,000. Our two-month-long Digital Dharma Drive will end with the year, at midnight on December 31. We hope you will join in helping us meet our goal. In the right hands, and leveraged by the unsalaried work of the monks, these funds will have a profound impact on the future of Hinduism around the world. Please make a donation today.
With much aloha and warm greetings during the holiday season,

The Editors
Kauai's Hindu Monastery
Himalayan Academy Publications
Click here to donate

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