Rishi Thondunathan writes to us from Sri Lanka:
"When Kadaitswami arrived in Sri Lanka from India, he lived in a little hut on a small island called Mandaitheevu, off the coast of the Jaffna peninsula. He would regularly travel back and forth from Mandaitheevu to Jaffna.
After Kadaitswami's Mahasamadhi, devotees of Mandaitheevu maintained the small hut and performed pujas there. In 1982, I visited the hut.
because of the war the entire population of Mandaitheevu was forced off the island and for two decades is had been all but abandoned. However, a few years ago people started returning to the island to rebuild their lives.
In 2010, I travelled to Mandaitheevu in search of Swami's hut and saw that the land was completely overgrown and the hut destroyed. A few devotees who had returned to the island constructed a small shelter at the site with a coconut leaf thatched roof and had resumed worship.
Each time I return to Sri Lanka, I now visit Mandaithee. I encouraged the local devotees to rebuild the hut and in 2012 we gave a small donation to initiate the project. Though the devotees living in the vicinity are not well off financially, they are rich at heart. They contributed by whatever means they could to successfully rebuild the hut and install the statue of Kadaitswami in the shrine.
On the 30th of September, 2020, we celebrated Swami's 129th Guru Puja (Mahasamadhi anniversary) in the re-established hut at Mandaitheevu. The devotees cooked under the trees and the puja was performed in Swami's shrine. Annadhanam was then offered to all who were present.
It was a soul-satisfying event for us because when Kadaiswami was alive, one of his favorite events was the mass feedings conducted at this very Mandaitheevu hut.
Today the monks end their five-day phase with a celebration of the Ardra nakshatra. This morning, monks performed an abhishekam for Nataraja in Kadavul Temple. This afternoon, we enjoy some relaxing cloud cover and cooling showers. The next few days the monks will be on retreat, working on different projects from their normal kulam duties and having added time for their personal sadhana. Meantime, we share a classic talk by Gurudeva on the Saivite view of the Three Worlds. See you in a few days! Aum.
During the 9/11 attacks Gurudeva spoke to assuage the fears that arose from the senseless killings. People everywhere were thrown into the lower chakras and he urged all to not go there. Instead, he offered that this tragedy would pass. In the meantime, he said we can use this time of outer disturbance to strengthen our inner life and sadhana. Dive deeply within, where we are perfect, calm, fearless. Now the entire globe faces another crisis. It is rare for every household in every township in every nation to be thinking about the same thing, isolating in the same way. It is a shared humanity that arches above differences and touches each one in exactly the same way. It may even have the power to change us as a species, for the better.
In Living with Siva Gurudeva speaks of protection in the home (where many are now secluded):
"When the devas within your home see you performing your sadhana each day, they give you psychic protection. They hover around you and keep away the extraneous thought forms that come from the homes of your neighbors or close friends and relatives. They all mentally chant "Aum Namah Sivaya," keeping the vibration of the home alive with high thoughts and mantras so that the atmosphere is scintillating, creating for you a proper environment to delve within yourself. The fact that the devonic world is involved is one more good reason why you must choose a specific time for sadhana and religiously keep to that time each day, for you not only have an appointment with yourself but with the devas as well. ...
Feel the power of the Gods in the puja. If you don't feel them, if you are just going through ritual and don't feel anything, you are not awake. Get the most out of every experience that the temple offers, the guru offers, the devas offer, that your life's experiences, which you were born to live through, offer. In doing so, slowly the kundalini begins to loosen and imperceptibly rise into its yoga.
That's what does the yoga; it's the kundalini seeking its source, like the tree growing, always reaching up to the Sun. It is up to you to make the teachings a part of your life by working to understand each new concept as you persist in your daily religious practices. As a result, you will be able to brave the forces of the external world without being disturbed by them and fulfill your dharma in whatever walk of life you have chosen. Because your daily sadhana has regulated your nerve system, the quality of your work in the world will improve, and your mood in performing it will be confident and serene. When your sadhana takes hold, you may experience a profound calmness within yourself. This calmness that you experience as a result of your meditation is called Satchidananda, the natural state of the mind. To arrive at that state, the instinctive energies have been lifted to the heart chakra and beyond, and the mind has become absolutely quiet. This is because you are not using your memory faculty. You are not using your reason faculty. You are not trying to move the forces of the world with your willpower faculty. You are simply resting within yourself.
Therefore, if you are ever bothered by the external part of you, simply return to this inner, peaceful state as often as you can. You might call it your "home base." From here you can have a clear perception of how you should behave in the external world, a clear perception of your future and a clear perception of the path ahead. This is a superconscious state, meaning "beyond normal consciousness." So, simply deepen this inner state by being aware that you are aware.
He alone may be called a householder who supports students, elders and renunciates pursuing well their good paths.
The virtuous householder supports the needs of renunciates, ancestors and the poor.
The foremost duty of family life is to serve duly these five: God, guests, kindred, ancestors and oneself.
The posterity of householders who gather wealth without misdeeds and share meals without miserliness will never perish.
When family life possesses love and virtue, it has found both its essence and fruition.
If a man masters the duties of married life, what further merits could monkhood offer him?
Among those who strive for liberation, the foremost are they who live the blessed state of family life as it should be lived.
The householder dedicated to duty and to aiding ascetics on their path of penance endures more than they do.
Domestic life is rightly called virtue. The monastic path, rightly lived beyond blame, is likewise good.
He who rightly pursues the householder’s life here on Earth will be rightfully placed among the Gods there in Heaven
The Scriptures exalt above every other good the greatness of virtuous renunciates.
Attempting to speak of the renunciate’s magnitude is like numbering all the human multitudes who have ever died.
Behold those who have weighed the dual nature of things and followed the renunciate’s way. Their greatness illumines the world.
He whose firm will, wisdom’s goading hook, controls his five senses is a seed that will flourish in the fields of Heaven.
Such is the power of those who subdue the five senses, that even Indra, sovereign of spacious Heaven’s celestials, suffered their curse.
The magnificent ones are they who can dispatch the most difficult tasks; the insignificant ones are they who cannot.
Touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing are the senses—he who controls these five magically controls the world.
Their own subtle sayings reveal to the world the greatness of men whose words prove prophetic.
It is impossible to endure, even for a second, the wrath of those who have scaled and stand upon the mountain called virtue.
Pious men are called the priestly ones, for they are clothed in robes of compassion for all life.
It is the unfailing fall of rain that sustains the world. Therefore, look upon rain as the nectar of life.
Rain produces man’s wholesome food; and rain itself forms part of his food besides.
Though oceanic waters surround it, the world will be deluged by hunger’s hardships if the billowing clouds betray us.
When clouds withhold their watery wealth, farmers cease to ply their plows.
It is rain that ruins, and it is rain again that raises up those it has ruined.
Unless raindrops fall from the sky, not a blade of green grass will rise from the earth.
The very nature of oceans, though vast, would diminish if clouds ceased to take up water and replenish rain’s gifts.
Should the heavens dry up, worship here of the heavenly ones in festivals and daily rites would wither.
Unless the heavens grant their gifts, neither the giver’s generosity nor the ascetic’s detachment will grace this wide world.
No life on Earth can exist without water, and water’s ceaseless flow cannot exist without rain.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.