God can be discovered only by God. – Yogaswami
Aum Namah Sivaya
A while back, Natalie Levin, who did the artwork for Gurudeva’s Seven Dimensions of the Mind created this wonderful sketch of Yogaswami of Jaffna. Upon sharing it with T. Sivayogapathy in Toronto (who had personally known Yogaswami), he had this to say:
First of all, Mikka Nanri for sharing our Parama Guru’s New Sketch,
which looks very Natural, as to how our Parama Guru was in his latter stages while in this World!
Especially, how exactly, he was looking like,
from the time he had the physical fall in the Cattle shed, up until his Body departed from this World!
The sketch really reflects how His Holy Face showered His Blessings of
GURU ARUL, to All his Devotees! It was something Great,
beyond Our thoughts!
Aum Siva, Siva!
Aum Parama Sivam! Aum Shanthi!
Today we received wonderful news from Kopay Kottam in Sri Lanka. This is the place where Gurudeva established the Shanthi Lingam back in the 80s and where the two Innersearches visited in 2018 and 2019. Here is the letter from Thondunathan that tells the tale.
A few months ago, I received a phone call from a lady in the United States who told me that she obtained my phone number from my friend who is a Buddhist monk. She introduced herself as a Sinhalese Buddhist originally from Sri Lanka and now living in the USA. Recently, she had a dream in which she saw a meditating Siva sitting next to a waterfall. She now had this desire to install a Siva statue in the hill country of Sri Lanka and she asked my help to find a Sthapati who can create the statue for her out of cement.
I approached Purushothaman Sthapati who is a well-known sthapati from India and has been building temples in Sri Lanka for the past 15 years. He agreed to create the statue, and within two weeks he made a beautiful, 6-foot tall statue. Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, we couldn't transport the statue right away to the hill country, so Sthapati brought it to our Sri Subramuniya Kottam for temporary housing. We sent pictures to the lady from USA who had ordered the statue.
A month ago, I received a phone call from her telling me that she now feels that the Siva statue should remain gracefully in our Sri Subramuniya Kottam and this is a gift from her to the Kottam. Everyone, especially our Kottam boys, are overjoyed with this generous gift.
We decided to build a rock mountain (Kailas) on which to place the Siva statue. During the mountain construction, Sthapati suggested that traditionally, when you build a meditative Siva statue, you also install four meditating sages in front of the Siva statue.
I suggested that instead of making the four sages, we could make statues of four of the gurus in our lineage--Kadaitswami, Chellappaswami, Yogaswami and Gurudeva--and place them in front of Siva.
Sthapati and his team successfully completed building the rock mountain and the statues, on July 24th, the auspicious Guru Purnima Day. We ceremoniously installed the statues on the rock mountain.
We never planned to have a Rock Mountain and Siva statue at our Kottam. Truly, it feels like this was Siva's will.
May God Siva and the Kailasa Paramparai Gurus grace flow through Siva's Mount Kailas in Kopay.
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
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