May 2019 Newsletter
Tamil New Year was observed on April 13th followed on the 14th by an early morning homa, a talk, then a flag raising and parade out to Iraivan Temple to mark the beginning of the 4-month season known as the Nartana Ritau. During the last week of April Sannyasins Shanmuganathaswami, Siddhanathaswami and I traveled to Los Angeles, California, and Austin, Texas, and met with members and devotees in these two cities for a variety of events. My Publisher’s Desk for the July-August-September 2019 issue of Hinduism Today was completed. It is entitled “A Mystical View of Sanatana Dharma” with the subtitle “As an emanation of God, each soul has the eternal truths of Hinduism encoded within itself, available through meditation.” To quote the article, “I propose that Hinduism’s eternal essence is possible only if it abides in the intelligence of God. How then does this spiritual knowledge pass from God to man, whose inmost being is also immortal? ...We can picture God as the original cell and each soul as a cell produced by God. Just as the DNA of a yeast cell is passed on to a newly cloned cell, so is the divine intelligence of God, which includes the knowledge we call Hinduism, passed on to each soul.” General contributions for April totaled $105,605, which is more than our minimum monthly goal of $70,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $170. We are grateful to our global family of temple builders for your continued and generous support. Om Namasivaya.
— Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami.
Click here to see Bodhinatha's extended travel schedule. Bookmark the link and return for updates.
Founder of Kauai’s Hindu Monastery, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Gurudeva), 1927–2001
We are happy, serene and stable when we follow good conduct, when we listen to our conscience, the knowing voice of the soul. The superconscious mind, the mind of our soul, knows and inspires good conduct, out of which comes a refined, sustainable culture. Wrongdoing and vice lead us away from God, deep into the darkness of doubt, despair and self-condemnation. This brings the asuras around us. We are out of harmony with ourselves and our family and must seek companionship elsewhere, amongst those who are also crude, unmindful, greedy and lacking in self-control. In this bad company, burdensome new karma is created, as good conduct cannot be followed. This papa accumulates, blinding us to the religious life we once lived. Penance and throwing ourselves upon the mercy of God and the Gods are the only release for the unvirtuous, those who conduct themselves poorly. Fortunately, our Gods are compassionate and love their devotees. The ancient Vedas elucidate, “The mind is said to be twofold: the pure and also the impure: impure by union with desire, pure when from desire completely free!”
Explore Gurudeva's Wisdom
- Study Gurudeva's Master Course, which is filled with philosophical, practical, soul-stirring information potent enough to inspire even a skeptic to change his ways of thinking about life and the ultimate goal of existence on this planet: HimalayanAcademy.com/study/mc/
- Read Gurudeva's books online at: https://www.himalayanacademy.com/looklisten/gurus-talks
- Listen to Gurudeva's inspired talks by visiting: https://himalayanacademy.com/talks/gurudeva
- Explore the teachings in the easy to use Sivasiva mobile app: https://himalayanacademy.com/apps/sivasiva
Sacred Satsang: Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami speaks to members and supporters in a home during his April travels
Beautiful Kauai: This rose-granite map sits in Siva’s Sacred Garden. One of its purposes is to show visitors where they are on our island. The white crystal indicates the exact position of the monastery in relation to the mountains, ocean and valleys.
Top to bottom: The teak flagpole is covered with a white protective sleeve awaiting the sculpted copper cladding; monks gather at the Nandi Mandapam for the formal installation puja; Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami places small gems into the chamber that holds the flagpole, guided by Sannyasin Yoginathaswami, who worked hard for this moment.
Iraivan Temple Progress
This month we witnessed the blessing for Iraivan Temple’s kodimaram, the temple flagpole. You will recall that during March the kodimaram was uncrated, moved to the temple site and temporarily placed with a crane inside the Nandi Mandapam. On April 16th Satguru, the monks, the silpis and devotees arrived at the Nandi Mandapam for an installation puja. Carefully, again with the help of a crane, we positioned the teak wood pole perfectly upright. Then the silpis filled the space around the bottom of the pole with compacted sand. In a delightful twist, the inner sanctum’s teak wood doors arrived at the monastery from India just hours before this event. With the kodimaram permanently in place, the silpis continue work on the Nandi Mandapam stairs and the base of the kodimaram. Three containers of stone arrived from India last month. The crates were off-loaded from the delivery trucks and placed on the ground around the temple—more perimeter wall stones, along with the final upper course of the perimeter wall, and other wonders. Several days were devoted, by our monks and our hired worker, to soda blasting the calcite deposits on the ceiling stones that resulted from mortaring the joints when finishing the temple’s stone roof. Our heavy duty pressure-blaster uses baking soda instead of sand so as not to harm the decorative carving or pit the stone. On April 23 the earthen mound on which Lord Hanuman stands received an upgrade. Concrete walkways were poured and the area was landscaped. A windy rainstorm in February wrought catastrophic damage to the propagation nursery for plants and trees destined for Iraivan Temple’s landscaping. We’re now recreating the destroyed nursery and making it better than it was before. That’s putting into practice Gurudeva’s teaching that everything is a boon, even unfortunate events, if we respond in a high-minded way.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami’s Activities
Satguru returned from Sri Lanka on the first of the month and spent three weeks at the monastery. During that time, he gave wonderful talks and conducted a webinar for students around the planet. His presentation was based on lessons from our book Path to Siva and on his Publisher’s Desk editorial on how to deal with negative events. His talks (Yamas and Niyamas, Remolding our Character and Three Stages of Self Realization) have been uploaded to our website. At the end of the month he traveled to Los Angeles and Austin for satsangs and informal outings with students and members.
Publications and Other Activities
>The monks involved with publications have been busy creating the July/August/September issue of Hinduism Today. Major stories in this issue include an in-depth look at the recent Kumbh Mela (which boasted 240 million pilgrims during a two-month period), the successful Divine Life Society Youth Camp in Malaysia and Satguru’s Publisher’s Desk on how Hinduism resides deep within us. Our forestry initiative continues on Himalayan Acres farm, with another 1,500 mahogany trees planted on six acres. During the first two weeks of April, the monks observed the first of the thrice-yearly Sadhu Paksha periods—two weeks when we enjoy the gardens and paths in the pre-dawn morning, and meditate on our own instead of gathering for our group meditation in the Guru Temple. Sadhu Paksha ended on Tamil New Year’s Day. Now we will observe four months of the Nartana Ritau. One of the themes of Nartana Ritau is looking ahead and planning for future years.
New season: Monks and members parade with Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami to change the flag.
Silpi Murugesan: puts his amazing skill to work as he adds detail to a stone using a carbide-tipped chisel and a small hammer.
Meet Iraivan’s Menehune
Bhuta Ganas: (top to bottom) a gomokai on an Indian temple; Iraivan’s gomukai with Menehune; artist’s conception of Menehune wearing traditional loin cloth and head lei made of leaves; today our bhuta ganas of Iraivan hold up the base course of the inner sanctum (With what, you ask? With their joy.); bhuta ganas of 8th century Vettuvan Koil (literally “sculptor’s temple”) at Kalugumalai, Tamil Nadu, South India
Several of the temple guides are fond of pointing out the small sculpture of a Hawaiian Menehune holding up the gomokai, the water channel and spout which drains from the inner sanctum during abhishekam. When the temple designs were first received, this job had been given to a bhuta gana, one of Siva’s elemental retinue mentioned both in the Vedas and the early Sangam Tamil literature.
They are something of a wild bunch, small figures with pot bellies, most often shown dancing, singing or playing the flute. When Gurudeva first saw the drawings for this particular one holding up the gomukai, he said, “We already have those on Kauai, they are called Menehunes.”
In Hawaiian oral history, the Menehunes were a race of dwarf people standing no more than two feet tall who inhabited the islands, specifically Kauai, prior to the arrival of the Polynesians. They were known to enjoy dancing and singing and were famed for their building prowess which extended to temples, fishponds, canoes and houses. They ate mostly bananas and lived deep in the forest, working only at night. One of their most impressive creations on Kauai is the Menehune (or Alekoko) Fishpond. It is said the pond was built in a single night by a double row of workers 25 miles long passing stones hand to hand. They created a low 900-foot wall, intact to this day and a popular tourist attraction, which cut off a bend in the Huleia stream to create a large pond for raising fish. Some dismiss this as myth, but it is established fact the stones did come from 25 miles away, and the work has been dated by archaeologists to a thousand years ago.
Since they were stone masons, it seemed apt to give them this place of honor in the Iraivan Temple. The gomukai’s Menehune is just one aspect of the temple acknowledging its Hawaiian location. On the temple’s pillars are carved bas relief images of the sacred Hawaiian maile-mokihana, a lei or garland; the taro plant, a main source of food; pua kenikeni, a marvelously scented flower; and the ti plant, used to mark all sacred sites. Most striking of all will be the four-foot-high lava rock covering the four sides of the temple foundation, looking much like the volcanic rock walls of Hawaiian temples or heiaus.
Bodhinatha's Newest Teachings Online
Satguru Bodhinatha is now turning his 15-minute Keynote presentations into movies which can be used for our personal benefit or shared at a satsang of friends. See them here.
Thanks to a vibrant team of transcribers we can hear Bodhinatha's recent talks and read the transcriptions. Click here for all of Bodhinatha's talks.
The weekly talks are also live streamed and then save on YouTube. Go to the Kauai Aadheenam channel and scroll down to recent talks.
Bodhinatha's weekly talks can be heard on our website. Go to Talks Index Recent talks can be also be download on your smart phone via the SivaSiva.app. Go the Listen module and tap of the "Recent Additions".
Yamas, Niyamas - Remolding Our Character
Three Stages of Self Realization
On the Brink of the Absolute
Click here to see Bodhinatha's extended travel schedule. Bookmark the link and return for updates.
Follow our daily activities at Today at Kauai's Hindu Monastery (blog)
Hindu Heritage Endowment, Estate Planning
Easy Gifts that Make HHE Part of Your Life Story
Hindu Heritage Endowment knows that life can be unpredictable. Even though HHE has been important in your life, rising health care expenses, lower returns from your investments and unforeseen events may mean that you aren’t able to be as charitable as you would like to be.
That’s OK! Some of the most meaningful gifts Hindu Heritage Endowment receives are gifts that people give after their lifetimes. Many of these planned gifts can be altered as your circumstances change. Here are easy, inexpensive ways you can enjoy the rewarding benefits of charitable giving that also keep your commitment to HHE flexible:
A gift in your will can be given as a set amount or percentage of your estate or made contingent upon certain circumstances. This gift ensures that you and your family have the resources you need now and that Hindu Heritage Endowment will have the support it needs in the future. For sample language that you can share with your attorney to complete a gift in your will, please contact us.
You can name Hindu Heritage Endowment as a beneficiary of all or a percentage of your retirement plan assets or life insurance policy. All you have to do is fill out the beneficiary designation form, which you can request from your plan or policy administrator. You remain in complete control of these assets during your lifetime and can spend the money as you wish. By naming HHE as a beneficiary, you simply allow for any leftover funds, or portion of those funds, to transfer to HHE after your lifetime.
Contact us to learn more about these flexible ways to support Hindu Heritage Endowment. Strengthen your family’s future and continue your support of Hindu Heritage Endowment by downloading the toolkit pdf file at www.hheonline.org/tool-kit.shtml. Learn more about estate planning and planned giving at www.hheonline.org.
For information on establishing a fund at Hindu Heritage Endowment, contact Shanmuganathaswami at 808-822-3012, ext. 6, or e-mail [email protected].
To learn about this and other tools for spiritual living, study The Master Course trilogy
Help Finish Iraivan Forward
You Can Help Sponsor the Perimeter Wall
❏ One pillar section: $15,000
❏ One panel section: $30,000
Building Fund Donations
Thanks to Our April Temple Builders in 19 Countries
For the eight months of September to April, our minimum monthly goal was $560,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $649,806.82.
|Marie & R. Bhanugopan||US$108.00|
|D. Karthigesu Family||100.00|
|Luckshmi & Logan Siva Nirmalananda||35.00|
|Gunavinthan Siva Thirumalai||100.00|
|Thanavinthan Siva T. Thirumalai||100.00|
|Essen Subramanian Valayten||2.77|
|Ron & Jennifer Burke||100.00|
|Fenulla Jiwani & Rahim Hirji||108.00|
|Changam & Kamachi Naidu||50.00|
|Mr. & Mrs.Pranavan||25.00|
|Vijaya & Thiru Satkunendran||25.00|
|Thambimuttoo & Thavam Sivagnanam||51.00|
|Sayanthan & Anupama Sivanathan||11.00|
|Sara K. Sivasurier||142.76|
|Nagula & Sutha Suthaker||101.00|
|V. Adiyar Vipulananda||745.00|
|Tharsika Chelvarajah Vasanthan||10.00|
|Cristina Ma Puja Canducci||20.00|
|P. Barathi Balasegaran||12.00|
|Hemakheshaa Naatha Batumallah||12.00|
|Rathidevi & Veerasamy Batumallah||24.00|
|Yoga Rubini & Chandra Ganth Family||12.00|
|R. Jayakumar & Yoga Bhavani Family||12.00|
|M. Shanmuganathan & A. Kamalambikai Family||24.00|
|Ambikabathi Shanmugam Pillay||24.00|
|Shree Saroja Devi Doorgiat||2.77|
|Kunal & Sanyogeeta Ghurbhurn||2.99|
|Amrit Singh Jaypal||6.93|
|Seedha Lutchmee Moonesawmy||2.77|
|Naden Seeneevasen Pillay||1.39|
|Prekash & Sabita Baladien||15.00|
|Sivakumar, Lavanya & Easan Saravan||400.00|
|Kavitha Darshini & Amitpal Singh||39.78|
|Gary & Radica Asha Yee-Fong||25.00|
|Georgiana Lukshmi Dorothy Barnes & Theeba Ragunathan||200.00|
|Clive & Puvaneswary Roberts||175.00|
|Aetna Foundation Inc||68.04|
|Northrop Grumman Charity Trust||260.00|
|Golden Gate Mission||20.00|
|Vel & Valli Alahan||25.00|
|P. & J.P. Amuluru||108.00|
|Palani K. Aravazhi||105.00|
|Kaika & Nilufer Clubwala||101.00|
|Shyamadeva & Peshanidevi Dandapani||54.00|
|Janakbhai R. Dave||50.00|
|Amarnath & Latha Devarmanai||101.00|
|Ramya Subramani & Rajesh Ekambaram||211.00|
|Suketu & Mita Gandhi||51.00|
|T. A. Gnanasundaram||25.00|
|Ritha & Kandavar M. Gopa||101.00|
|Toshadeva & Kamala Guhan||18.00|
|Winona & Gary Havin||501.00|
|Vasudev R. Kamath||301.00|
|Srinivas & Shanthi Karri||90.00|
|Saravanan & Vasavi Kasthuri||3,456.00|
|Gerard & Zŋhena Linsmeier||54.00|
|Usharani Iswaran Magaña||20.00|
|R. & K. Mahadevan||101.00|
|Chandra S. Malladi||25.00|
|Laura Devi Marks||108.00|
|Shailesh & Jyoti Mistry||51.00|
|Palani & Selvarany Nadarajah||15.00|
|Nitya & Becky Nadesan||150.00|
|Manish M. Naidu||11.11|
|Sanjaya K. Nath||11.00|
|Satya & Savitri Palani||21.00|
|Easvan & Devi Param||101.00|
|Hansmukh & Pratima Patel||100.00|
|Ketan B. Patel||101.00|
|Ramesh B. Patel||51.00|
|Vinay & Hansa R. Patel||101.00|
|Vinod M. Patel||25.00|
|Salik & Sanjia Pathak||51.00|
|Deva & Gayatri Rajan||1,001.00|
|Mohan Deepak Ram||11.00|
|Rajesh & Yatra Raman||11.00|
|Nagarajan & Shobha Ramesh||121.00|
|Partab & Chandra Ramsinghani||27.00|
|Rama Pemmaraju Rao||108.00|
|Cliff & Kathy Runge||50.00|
|Kumar M. Saran||250.00|
|Silver Vel Satsang||15.00|
|Aran & Valli Sendan||25.00|
|Deva & Amala Seyon||51.00|
|Sivakami Shanmugasundaram Family||200.00|
|Iraja & Nilani Sivadas||108.00|
|Dharshi & Sivasothy Sivakumar||150.00|
|Homa, Hotri, Hridaya & Tejasinha Sivalingam||10.00|
|Lakshana Chetana Sivananda||51.00|
|Nathan & Sulena Sivananda||108.00|
|Yasotha & Thevarajah Subarajan||51.00|
|Nandi Deva Sundaram||50.00|
|Phani Kumar Sureddi||7.00|
|Vidhya Sagar Tanneem||101.00|
|Sivam U. Thillaikanthan||40.00|
|Hemant & Swati Warudhkar||101.00|
|Richard Bosworth & Kerri Watts||101.00|
|Jinny Petcharat Wonwong||11.11|
|Total Building Fund||105,519.17|
|Iraivan Temple Endowment|
|Amey Surendra Gangal||11.00|
|Total Endowment Funds||86.00|
|Special Project Donations|
|Total Special Project Donations||170.00|
Your support is deeply appreciated!
Donate To Iraivan, Become a Temple Builder Today!
Click Here to Donate Now!
Personal checks in certain currencies can be accepted by our bank (Euros, Pounds, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars.)
Iraivan Temple is a punya tirtha, a sacred destination for devout pilgrims. The vision of Lord Siva on San Marga that Gurudeva was blessed with in 1975 is sustained and made manifest by the daily sadhanas of 19 resident monastics from five nations. Kadavul Hindu Temple and the many sacred areas of San Marga are available to Hindus for worship, meditation, japa and quiet reflection. It is best, if you are planning to come to visit us, to email us in advance to make sure the days of your visit coincide with our open times. And, if you want to have darshan with Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, to check if he is in residence and to make the necessary appointment. Please see our visitor information pages for more details.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: