We begin today a series of eight Hanuman Tails, opps, Tales. It's a fascinating story which will unfold slowly in the days ahead.
We begin with Gurudeva's vision of Hanuman, wherein he saw the God as powerful, overwhelmingly so, inhumanly so, divinely so. Thus it was that Gurudeva set in motion having a massive granite stone sculpture made of Lord Hanuman. His instructions were clear: make Him noble and muscular. He must look powerful, strong.
In Hanuman's left hand, held aloft, Gurudeva asked for a small Iraivan Temple. Just as Hanuman brought the healing mountain from the Himalayas to Sri Lanka (see the story at the end of this TAKA), so He would bring Iraivan from India to Kauai. When future generations ask, "How on earth did an Agamic, hand-carved granite Chola-style Siva temple ever end up on this remote island?" we would smile and say, "Hanuman brought it here."
After he departed to his light-filled world, the monks went to work to fulfill Gurudeva's vision. The Doshi family from California, Tushar and Alka, came forward to sponsor it. They are avid devotees of Lord Hanuman and after their visit to Kauai, they wanted to bring Lord Hanuman to the island.
Jiva Rajasankar and his two sons undertook to commission the 13-foot-tall piece at a patarai south of Chennai. Years later it was moved to our worksite in Bengaluru. But Jiva was unhappy with the refinements of the carving and set our own carvers to work for more years, adding intricate details, especially to the back which the first team of sculptors felt was not that important. They were wrong and Jiva did the hard work of bringing Hanuman up to an amazing standard. In fact, we regard this Hanuman as a true masterpiece, perhaps the most beautiful in the world. In all, it took many man years to make. Finally, in early 2013 Jiva shipped the completed stone, weighing some 15 tons, across the ocean, just as hanuman crossed the sea in his adventures. Here ends Chapter One of our tale.
The Traditional Story from the Ramayana
A battle broke out between Ravana's demon army and Rama's animal army. Lakshman was so badly wounded in the battle it seemed that he would die before sun-rise. (In some versions of the story, many monkeys and bears are wounded too.) The monkeys and bears decided that Hanuman must leap to the Himalayas and bring back the healing herb from the Medicine Mountain to save Lakshman's life. So Hanuman leapt over the ocean, and across the whole of India to the Himalayas.
Arriving in the Himalayas, it took a long time to find the fabled Medicine Mountain. Hanuman found it at last -covered with herbs, but he didn't know which was the magic healing herb. So he wrapped his arms around the whole mountain, pulled it out of the ground and lifted it onto the palms of his hand. He then flew with the mountain back to Lanka. (Hanuman carrying the mountain is reproduced again and again in all forms of art.) On the way the sun began to rise. So Hanuman decided to capture the sun under his arm so that he could arrive back before sunrise in time to save Lakshman. The healing herb was picked and given to Lakshman. Lakshmanwas healed and filled with energy.
Enjoy the sight and sound of stones being chipped and placed for Iraivan Temple and its Nandi Mandapam
Over this last week the silpis have installed all 12 of the pillars for Iraivan Temple's Nandi Mandapam. As mentioned in a previous post, each of these pillars represent a full six months of carving. With the mandapam well under way, the team is also making headway with the three stone steps that sit at the entrance to the Temple. It truly is a wonderful site to have Iraivan Temple moving closer and closer to completion with each set stone.
Aum Namah Sivaya. Sivaya Namah Aum
Click here for description and more photos of Padapuja at our Spiritual ParkSri Kaala Bairava Sivan Kovil kumbhabhishekam
Click here for description and more photos of Satguru attending kumbhabhishekam of Sri Kaala Bairava Sivan Kovil
Click here for more photos of courtesy call to acting President of Mauritius.
Click here for more photos
Shanmuganathaswami sends in a large batch of photos.
Aum Gam Ganapataye Namah!
For the last month we've recorded Lord Ganesha each day just following His 3:00am abhishekam and alankaram. Please enjoy these images of this great and powerful Lord of Dharma.
(The text throughout the slideshow are excerpts from the Ganapatyatharsirsham, a translation from Sanskrit by Dr. Vasant Lad)
Three days back a pair of large orange DHL boxes arrived from India and yesterday the monks opened them to find the most amazing collection of bolsters and pillows ever made. Each one a work of art, varying in style and color but radiating a sense of culture and design unique to India.
Every piece was clearly agonized over, from the fabric selections to the sewing, from the wild tassels to the classy way the zippers are hidden. We had to immediately go to the Guru Peedam and install the first one of the four sets sent. Bodhinatha has a nice surprise waiting for him when he returns from Mauritius on July 10th.
The boxes also held ten meditation cushions for Kadavul Temple and a curtain to hang behind Satguru, a red and gold one fit for a raja, or in this case a Satguru.
With our deep appreciation to Jigisha Patel and her talented tailor friend Uma (and her entire team based in Gujarat).
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.