Yoga’s Forgotten Foundation

About the Author

ONCE IN A GREAT WHILE ON THIS EARTH THERE ARISES A SOUL WHO, BY LIVING HIS TRADITION RIGHTLY AND WHOLLY, PERFECTS HIS PATH AND A BECOMES A LIGHT TO THE WORLD. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001) was such a being, a shining example of awakening and wisdom, a leader recognized worldwide as one of Hinduism’s foremost ministers. ¶As a youth, he was trained in classical Eastern and Western dance and in the disciplines of yoga. Becoming the premier danseur of the San Francisco Ballet by age 19, he renounced the world at the height of his career and traveled to India and Sri Lanka in quest of Absolute Truth. In the caves of Jalani in 1949, he fasted and meditated until he burst into enlightenment. Soon thereafter, he met his satguru, Sage Yogaswami, who gave him the name Subramuniya, initiated him into the holy orders of sannyāsa and ordained him into his lineage with a tremendous slap on the back, saying, “This sound will be heard in America! Now go ’round the world and roar like a lion. You will build palaces (temples) and feed thousands.” While in Sri Lanka, he founded Saiva Siddhanta Church, the world’s first Hindu church, now active in many nations. In late 1949 he sailed back to America and embarked on seven years of ardent, solitary yoga and meditation which brought forth faculties of clairvoyance and clairaudience, culminating in Cognizantability, a collection of profound aphorisms and commentary on the states of mind and esoteric laws of life. In 1957, Subramuniyaswami, affectionately known as Gurudeva, founded Himalayan Academy and opened America’s first Hindu temple, in San Francisco. He formed his monastic order in 1960. In Switzerland, 1968, he revealed Shūm, a mystical language of meditation that names and maps inner areas of consciousness. From 1967 to 1983 he led fourteen Innersearch pilgrimages, guiding hundreds of devotees to the world’s sacred temples and illumined sages. In 1970 Gurudeva established his world headquarters and monastery-temple on Kauai, northernmost of the Hawaiian Islands. Beginning in the 1970s and continuing to 2001, he gave blessings to dozens of groups to build temples in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and elsewhere, gifting Deity images, usually of Lord Gaeśa, to 36 temples to begin the worship. Over the years, he personally guided groups of trustees through each stage of temple development. He thus authenticated and legitimized the establishment of the temple as essential to any Hindu community. His relentless drive to establish Hindu worship in the West was based on his revelatory mystic visions of the Gods not as symbolic depictions but as real beings who guide and protect mankind, with whom we can commune most effectively through consecrated temples. ¶In 1973, after establishing Kadavul Temple, he clairvoyantly read from inner-plane libraries to bring forth Lemurian Scrolls and other esoteric writings to guide his monastic order and revive the centrality of celibacy and sexual transmutation. In 1975, following a powerful vision of Lord Śiva, he conceived the San Marga Iraivan Temple on Kauai as the first all-granite temple established outside of India. In 1977 he intensified requirements for his Western devotees to sever all prior religious, philosophical loyalties, legalize their Hindu name and formally enter Hinduism through the name-giving rite. In 1979 he published Holy Orders of Sannyāsa, defining the ideals, vows and aspirations of Hindu monasticism with unprecedented clarity. That same year, he began publishing HINDUISM TODAY magazine. His international Hindu renaissance tours in the early ’8os revealed that Hindus were not globally connected or organized. Those in India knew little of their brothers and sisters in South America. Those in Fiji had no knowledge of Hindus in Europe or Mauritius. Seeing this need, Gurudeva focused his journal on uniting all Hindus, regardless of nationality or sect, and inspiring and educating seekers everywhere. Also in 1979, he produced the first edition of his Hindu catechism, later to become Dancing with Śiva. ¶His travels in the 1980s brought him face to face with hundreds of thousands of Hindus, most notably in Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and Mauritius, to whom he spread a powerful message of courage and was instrumental in regenerating pride of heritage. In the early ’8os he established the antiquity and legitimacy of monistic Śaiva Siddhānta at international conferences among pundits who had insisted that Siddhānta is solely pluralistic. In 1985 Gurudeva adopted Apple’s Macintosh-based publishing technology to supercharge his prolific outreach through scriptures, books, pamphlets, art, lessons and later through CDs and the world’s foremost Hindu websites. ¶In 1986 he founded a branch monastery in Mauritius, whose government had invited him there to revive a languishing Hindu faith. That same year, New Delhi’s World Religious Parliament named him one of five modern-day Jagadāchāryas, world teachers, for his international efforts in promoting a Hindu renaissance. Also in 1986 he created Pañcha Gaapati, a five-day Hindu festival celebrated around the time of Christmas. In 1987 he published God’s Money to explain tithing and how it is practiced by members of his Hindu church. The year 1989 saw the culmination of numerous books and pamphlets that later became part of the Master Course trilogy. In 1991 in Bangalore, he ceremoniously chipped the first stone of Iraivan temple and established a small village where craftsmen and their families could live and carve this architectural gem by hand over the next fifteen years. In 1991 he produced the Nandinātha Sūtras, 365 aphorisms outlining the entire gamut of virtuous Hindu living. In 1994 Gurudeva founded Hindu Heritage Endowment, now a multi-million-dollar public service trust that establishes and maintains permanent sources of income for Hindu institutions worldwide. In 1995 he published the final edition of Śaiva Dharma Śāstras, drawing on aspects of the American church system to make his organization socially viable and structurally effective. Therein he finalized patterns for the future, including the extended family structure for his missions, and designated as his successors three of his senior monastics: Acharya Veylanswami, followed by Acharya Palaniswami and then Acharya Ceyonswami. ¶From 1977 to 2001 Gurudeva nurtured a staunchly Hindu, highly disciplined, global fellowship of family initiates, monastics and students, training them to follow the sādhana mārga, the path of yogic striving and personal transformation, and to assist him in his global mission. With this competent team and a sophisticated infrastructure, his Church nurtures its membership and local missions on five continents and serves, personally and through publications and the Internet, the community of Hindus of all sects. It furthers the dual mission of Hindu solidarity and monistic Śaiva Siddhānta, vowing to protect, preserve and promote the Śaivite Hindu religion as expressed through three pillars: temples, satgurus and scripture. The recognized hereditary guru of 2.5 million Sri Lankan Hindus, Gurudeva proclaimed his Church a Jaffna-Tamil-based organization which branched out from the Sri Subramuniya Ashram in Alaveddy to meet the needs of the growing Hindu diaspora of this century. It gently oversees some 40 temples worldwide. Missionaries and teachers within the family membership provide counseling and classes in Śaivism for children, youth and adults. Gurudeva’s numerous books present his unique and practical insights on Hindu metaphysics, mysticism, culture, philosophy and yoga. His Śaivite Hindu Religion children’s course is taught in many temples and homes, preserving the teachings in five languages for thousands of youths. ¶In 1995, in Delhi, the World Religious Parliament bestowed on him the title Dharmachakra for his remarkable publications. The Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders for Human Survival chose him as a Hindu representative at its momentus conferences. Thus, at Oxford in 1988, Moscow in 1990 and Rio de Janeiro in 1992, he joined religious, political and scientific leaders from all countries to discuss the future of human life on this planet. At Chicago’s historic centenary Parliament of the World’s Religions in September, 1993, he was elected one of three Hindus to the Presidents’ Assembly, a core group of 25 men and women voicing the needs of world faiths. Especially in the early ’90s he campaigned for fair treatment of temple priests, namely the same respect enjoyed by the clergy of other religions. From 1996 onward, Gurudeva was a key member of Vision Kauai 2020, a group of inspirers (including the Mayor, county council, business and education leaders) that meets to fashion the island’s future based on spiritual values. In 1998 he responded to President Clinton’s call for religious opinions on the ethics of human cloning. That same year, he spearheaded the 125th anniversary of Satguru Yogaswami and his golden icon’s pilgrimage around the world, ending in Sri Lanka. During these final years he worked daily in the morning hours in refining the Shūm language as his supreme gift to his monastic order. ¶In 1998 Gurudeva began an ardent campaign for the right of children to not be beaten by their parents or their teachers, helping parents raise children with love through Positive Discipline classes taught by his family devotees as their primary community service. In 1999 he traveled to Mauritius to publicly inaugurate his Spiritual Park as a gift to the island nation. In he published How to Become a Hindu, showing the way for seekers to formally enter the faith, refuting the dogma that “You must be born a Hindu to be a Hindu.” On August 25, 2000, he received the prestigious United Nations U Thant Peace Award in New York (previously bestowed on the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa). He addressed 1,200 spiritual leaders gathered for the UN Millennium Peace Summit, with the message, “For peace in the world, stop the war in the home.” Upon his return to Kauai, 350 citizens and county and state officials gathered to herald his accomplishments on the island and beyond. Governor Benjamin Cayetano wrote: “I am especially grateful for your efforts to promote moral and spiritual values in Hawaii. May our people forever embrace the message of peace you have so eloquently supported in your gracious wisdom.” In November, 2000, Gurudeva launched Hindu Press International (HPI), a HINDUISM TODAY daily news summary for breaking news sent free via e-mail and posted on the web. In 1999, 2000 and 2001 he conducted three Innersearch journeys, taking devotees to Alaska, the Caribbean and Northern Europe, consecrating new temples in Alaska, Trinidad and Denmark. In 2001 he completed his golden legacy, the 3,000-page Master Course trilogy of Dancing, Living and Merging with Śiva—peerless volumes of daily lessons on Hindu philosophy, culture and yoga, respectively. ¶For fifty years, Subramuniyaswami taught Hinduism to Hindus and seekers from all faiths. Known as one of the strictest gurus in the world, he was the 162nd successor of the Nandinātha Kailāsa lineage and satguru of Kauai Aadheenam, his 458-acre temple-monastery complex on the Garden Island of Kauai. From this verdant Polynesian aśrama on a river bank near the foot of an extinct volcano, his monastics continue to promote the dharma together through Saiva Siddhanta Church, Himalayan Academy and Hindu Heritage Endowment, perpetuating the mission given to Gurudeva by his satguru. ¶Gurudeva departed from this world as courageously as he had lived in it. Learning on October 9, 2001, that he had advanced, metastacized intestinal cancer, confirmed by a host of specialists in three states, all concurring that even the most aggressive treatment regimens would not prove effective, he declined any treatment beyond palliative measures and decided to follow the Indian yogic practice, called prāyo-paveśa in Sanskrit scripture, to abstain from nourishment and take water only from that day on. He left his body peacefully on the 32nd day of his self-declared fast, at 11:54 pm on Monday, Chitra nakshatra, November 12, 2001, surrounded by his twenty-three monastics. Gurudeva consoled them, “Don’t be sad. When I am gone from this world, I will be working with you on the inside twenty-four hours a day.” The rock-solid foundation for the continuance of his work is Kauai Aadheenam and its resident Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order. This group of twelve initiated swāmīs with lifetime vows and nine brahmachārīs, celibate monks, come from six countries and include both men born into the Hindu religion and those who converted or adopted Hinduism—Asians and Westerners—made strong by decades of Gurudeva’s loving but strict personal guidance and insistence on 110 percent performance. In the first weeks of his fast, Gurudeva seamlessly transferred his duties and responsibilities to his chosen successor, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, 59, a disciple for 37 years, declaring, “Bodhinatha is the new satguru now.” Ever concerned for others, even on his deathbed, just days before his Great Union, he whispered in assurance, “Everything that is happening is good. Everything that is happening is meant to be.” He asked devotees worldwide to carry his work and institutions forward with unstinting vigor, to keep one another strong on the spiritual path, to live in harmony and to work diligently on their personal spiritual sādhanas. “You are all over-qualified to carry on.” ¶When notified of Gurudeva’s passing, Sita Ram Goel, one of India’s most influential Hindu writers and thinkers, wrote, “He has done great work for Hinduism, and the recent reawakening of the Hindu mind carries his stamp.” Ma Yoga Shakti, renowned yoga teacher, said, “For more than five decades, Subramuniyaswami, a highly enlightened soul of the West—a Hanuman of today, a reincarnation of Śiva Himself—has watered the roots of Hinduism with great zeal, faith, enthusiasm and whole-heartedness.” Sri Shivarudra Balayogi Maharaj of India said, “By his life and by his teaching, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami has helped make Hinduism an even greater gift to humanity.” From Jaffna, president of Sivathondan Nilayam Arunasalam Sellathurai Swamigal wrote: “The life, mission and mandate of His Holiness Sivaya Subramuniyaswami form an epic chapter in his unending spiritual quest leading him to the founding of the Saiva Siddhanta Church and a monastic order in Hawaii—a magnificent task! This will ever remain a monument to his spiritual fervor, proclaiming worldwide, East and West, in trumpet tones that Swamigal was a trailblazer of Lord Śiva’s choice to glorify the spiritual heritage and the essence of Śaiva Siddhānta.” ¶Gurudeva’s life was one of extraordinary accomplishments on so many levels; but his greatest siddhi, to which thousands of devotees will testify, was his incredible power to inspire others toward God, to change their lives in ways that are otherwise impossible, to be a light on their path, a mother and father and friend to all who drew near. Gurudeva lived so profoundly at the center of himself, so close to the core of being, the heart of Divinity, that everyone he met felt close to him. He personified the pure, blissful soul nature they sought and sensed as the center of themselves.§

Milestones of His 52-Year Ministry

Enumerating a Spiritual Master’s Many Gifts to Mankind§

Empowered by his Self Realization, his ordination as a satguru and the blessings of Gods and devas, Gurudeva contributed to the revival of Hinduism in immeasurable abundance. He was simultaneously a staunch defender of traditions, as the proven ways of the past, and a fearless innovator, rivaling the ishis of Vedic times in instilling fresh understanding and setting new patterns of life for contemporary humanity. Here is a partial list of his trail-blazing mission and accomplishments.§


There are a few unusual men who have had enough of worldliness and choose to dance, live and merge with Śiva as Hindu monks.

imagehese rare souls follow the path of the traditional Hindu monastic, vowed to poverty, humility, obedience, purity and confidence. They pursue the disciplines of charyā, kriyā, yoga and jñāna that lead to Self Realization. Knowing God is their only goal in life, the power that drives them tirelessly on. They live with other mahavāsis like themselves in monasteries, apart from worldliness, to worship, meditate, serve and realize the truths of the Vedas and Śaiva Āgamas. Guided by Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, successor to Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, and headquartered at Kauai Aadheenam in Hawaii, USA, on the beautiful Garden Island of Kauai, the Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order is among the world’s foremost traditional Śaivite Hindu monastic orders, accepting candidates from every nation on Earth. It is an advaitic Śaiva Siddhānta order, a living stream of the ancient Nandinātha Sampradāya, originally deriving from India, and in recent centuries based in Sri Lanka. Young men considering the renunciate path who strongly believe they have found their spiritual calling in this lineage are encouraged to write to Bodhinatha, sharing their personal history, spiritual aspirations, thoughts and experiences. Holy orders of sannyāsa may be conferred on those who qualify after ten to twelve years of training. Write to:§

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
Guru Mahāsannidhānam, Kauai Aadheenam
107 Kaholalele Road, Kapaa, Hawaii 96746-9304 USA
World Wide Web:

The Hindu Heritage Endowment

imageindu thought and culture thread through almost every civilization on the planet, weaving a subtle tapestry of lofty philosophy and earthy, pragmatic wisdom. Whose life has not been touched? Some have been raised in India and enjoy memories of warm extended families and cool temples resounding with ancient mantras. Others find peace of mind in Hindu yoga practices. Many find solace in the concepts of karma, dharma and reincarnation, which express their own inner findings and beliefs. If you are one who has been touched by Hindu thought and culture, you may wish to further enrich your life by giving back to Sanātana Dharma in countries around the globe and helping preserve its rich heritage for future generations. ¶Hindu Heritage Endowment (HHE) provides such an opportunity. A public charitable trust recognized by the United States government, HHE was created to maintain permanent endowments for Hindu projects and institutions worldwide. Its endowments benefit orphanages, children’s schools, āśramas and temples. They support priests and publish books; and they are designed to continue giving that financial support year after year, decade after decade, century after century. Whether you are inspired to give a few dollars to support orphanages or bequest millions in your will, write, give us a call or look us up on the Internet. Find out how to enrich your life by helping to preserve the treasures of a profound heritage for generations now living or as yet unborn.§


Hindu Heritage Endowment, Kauai’s Hindu Monastery
107 Kaholalele Road, Kapaa, Hawaii, 96746-9304, USA.
Phone: (800) 890-1008; Outside of the US: (808) 822-3012, ext. 228
Fax: (808) 822-3152; E-mail:
World Wide Web:


The Mini-Mela Giftshop

For all our books, visit§

imageDancing with Śiva

Hinduism’s Contemporary Catechism
Book 1 of The Master Course Trilogy
By Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

This remarkable 1,000-page sourcebook covers every subject, answers every question and quenches the thirst of the soul for knowledge of God and the Self. Clearly written and lavishly illustrated, expertly woven with 600 verses from the Vedas, Āgamas and other holy texts, 165 South Indian paintings, 40 original graphics, a 25-page timeline of India’s history and a 100-plus-page lexicon of English, Sanskrit and Tamil. A spiritual gem and great value at twice the price. “The most comprehensive and sensitive introduction to the living spiritual tradition of Hinduism, …a feast for the heart and the mind (Georg Feuerstein).” Sixth edition, 2003, 7" x 10", full color, case bound (ISBN 0-945497-96-2), US$59.95.§

imageLiving with Śiva

Hinduism’s Contemporary Culture
Book 2 of The Master Course Trilogy
By Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

In the same bold, candid style of Merging with Śiva, Gurudeva focuses here on Hinduism’s twenty restraints and observances that when dynamically applied bring order in life and establish a foundation for spirituality, meditation and realization. He addresses frankly and offers sound advice on the various problematic areas of modern living. The book is conveniently structured in 365 daily lessons disclosing how to approach family, money, relationships, technology, food, worship, yoga and karma to live a truly spiritual life. Second edition, beautiful full color art throughout, haha yoga and religious dues resources. Second edition, 2001, 7" x 10", case bound (ISBN 0-945497-98-9), US$59.95.§

imageMerging with Śiva

Hinduism’s Contemporary Metaphysics
Book 3 of The Master Course Trilogy
By Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Here is the ultimate text for the really serious seeker. It may well go down in history as the richest and most inspired statement of meditation and God Realization ever, in any language. Yet, it’s user-friendly, easy to follow, sensible and nonacademic! Merging with Śiva is 365 daily lessons, one for each day of the year, about the core of your own being. It’s about God, about the mystical realm of the fourteen chakras, the human aura, karma, force fields, thought and the states of mind, the two paths, samādhi and so much more. Illustrated with fifty original South Indian paintings. Second edition, 2001, 1,000 pages, 7" x 10", case bound (ISBN 0-945497-99-7), US$59.95.§

imageLoving Gaeśa

Hinduism’s Endearing Elephant-Faced God
By Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

No book about this beloved elephant-faced God is more soul-touching. The Lord of Dharma will come to life for you in this inspired masterpiece. It makes approaching this benevolent Lord easy and inspiring. Learn about Gaeśa’s powers, pastimes, mantras, nature, science, forms, sacred symbols, milk-drinking miracle and more. “A copy of Loving Gaeśa should be placed in every library and Hindu home” (Sri Om Prakash Sharma). Second edition, 1999, 576 pages, 5½" 8½", softcover (ISBN 0-945497-77-6), US$29.85.§

imageHinduism Today

The International Magazine§

Enjoy a spiritual experience with the foremost international journal on Sanātana Dharma, published by Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and the swāmīs of the Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order. Breaking news, ancient wisdom, modern trends, world-class photos, family resources, humor—you’ll treasure every issue! “HINDUISM TODAY is a beautiful example of the positive possibility of the media being fulfilled, a bright ray of light in a darkened world” (Anne Shannon, Portland). Introductory offer (US only): one-year subscription, four stunning issues, for US$35! And yes, the author of this book founded this global magazine and guided it for 20 years. ISSN 0896-0801; upc: 0-74470-12134-3. Visit:§

imageHow to Become a Better Hindu

A Guide for Seekers and Born Hindus
By Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Hundreds of thousands of half-Hindus, having received a first name of a God or Goddess from their yoga teacher or a swāmī, want to enter the religion fully. Because of Hinduism’s liberal doctrine, it is left to the individual as a “do-it-yourself conversion.” How to Become a Hindu explains how the six steps of ethical conversion have enhanced the lives of many in the East and West. Here Americans, Canadians and Europeans tell their stories of passage from Western faiths to Hinduism. The book raises and convincingly settles the debate about non-Hindus entering the religion. “This elucidative book will provide immense help to those who wish to enter the Hindu fold, and also the younger generation of Hindus living outside India” (Puri Shankaracharya). First edition, 2000, 496 pages, 8½" x 5½", softcover (ISBN 0-945497-82-2), US$27.95.§

imageLemurian Scrolls

Angelic Prophecies Revealing Human Origins
By Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Enliven your spiritual quest with this clairvoyant revelation of mankind’s journey to Earth millions of years ago from the Pleiades and other planets to further the soul’s unfoldment. Learn about the ensuing challenges and experiences faced in evolving from spiritual bodies of light into human form and the profound practices followed and awakenings achieved in ancient Lemuria. These angelic prophecies, read by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami from ākāśic records written two million years ago, will overwhelm you with a sense of your divine origin, purpose and destiny and motivate a profound rededication to your spiritual quest. An extraordinary metaphysical book which answers the great questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? First Edition, 1998, 7½" x 10½", 400 pages, beautifully illustrated with original drawings, smythe-sewn and case bound with printed color cover (ISBN 0-945497-70-9), US$29.85.§

imageDancing with Śiva Pocketbook

Hinduism’s Contemporary Catechism
By Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Now, carry the fullness of Hindu Dharma in your shirt pocket or purse. This remarkable little gem brings forward the same 155 questions and answers on contemporary Hindu philosophy, culture and metaphysics that have become world-renowned for the clear, practical way in which they explain the world’s oldest religion to the modern seeker. Interwoven with verses from the Vedas, Āgamas and other holy texts, over 60 original graphics, a summary of Śaivite Hindu beliefs and a 750-plus-term glossary of English, Sanskrit and Tamil. First pocketbook edition, 2003, 3" x 4½", paperback (ISBN 0-945497-89-x), US$4.95.§