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Kauai's Hindu Monastery
March 2014 Newsletter
In early February, Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami and I traveled to Texas to participate in the “Gateway” weekend of the Hindu Students Association at the Greene Family Camp in Bruceville. After stops in Austin and Houston, we continued on to Trinidad where we held a two-day workshop entitled “Hinduism: Improving Your Day-To-Day Life.” We then returned to Texas for satsangs and keynote presentations at homes and temples in Midland, Fort Worth, Dallas and Plano and returned to the Aadheenam two days before our Mahasivaratri festival. Mahasivaratri is one of the two days of the year when all the monks worship as a group in Kadavul Temple. Everyone who attends has the feeling that they are joining in with the monks in their personal worship. A talk by Gurudeva about Siva was played followed by a talk by me elaborating on the nine ways to merge with Siva. One family shared: “I want to thank you for inviting us to the sacred celebration. It was extraordinary. In all our trips to India, we’ve never experienced Siva worship on such a profound level.” General contributions for February totaled $78,542, which is more than our minimum monthly goal of $65,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $208. We are grateful to our global family of temple builders for your continued and generous support. Aum Namasivaya!
Click here to see Bodhinatha's extended travel schedule. Bookmark the link and return for updates.
News From the Home of Iraivan Temple
Bodhinatha and Senthilnathaswami stand with Swami Prakashananda and resident students at the Chinmaya Mission Ashram in Trinidad
Kadaitswami (left) and other satgurus of our paramparai have arrived on Kauai, carved in black granite in Mahabalipuram, India
Top to bottom:Bodhinatha introduces his workshop at Divali Nagar in Trinidad; Bodhinatha speaks to a gathering at the Dattatreya Yoga Center in Trinidad; Hindu Students Association members participate in a discussion with Bodhinatha at their annual Gateway Camp in Texas; Vijay and Anjali Dhar, and Arun and Bharti Koul of Southern California enjoy darshan with Bodhinatha; Mahaganapati is decorated for the fortnightly chaturthi puja in Kadavul Temple; monks at work in the woodshop; Kanda Alahan assembles shrines that he made for the media studio.
Iraivan Temple News
At the Bengaluru stone carving site, the five bronze Siva statues that will stand in the niches on the outside of the temple sanctum and the 11,000-pound avudaiyar will soon be crated for shipping to Hawaii. The stone carvers are working on the perimeter wall of the temple. The house which serves as living quarters for the stone carvers here on Kauai will soon undergo an upgrade. All the monks participated in a one-day cleanup to begin the renovation. Old carpeting and linoleum tile were taken out. Sinks, cabinets and appliances were removed from the kitchen. The house will be completely repainted and retiled and the kitchen will be entirely remodeled in preparation for our Indian craftsmen’s return.
Bodhinatha and Senthilnathaswami arrived in Trinidad & Tobago on February 13 to a warm greeting by Pandit Narendra and Ashwinee Ragoonanan and family. The next day they visited the Chinmaya Mission ashram, the Dattatreya Yoga Center and the 90.5 FM radio station. The weekend was dedicated to a workshop for the youth. Ten classes were presented covering subjects such as: Learning from Our Mistakes, Using the Power of Affirmation, Comparison of Christianity and Hinduism, Solving Conflicts Through Nonviolent Means, Integrating the Sacred and Secular and Being Hindu and American. In Midland, Texas, on February 19, Bodhinatha joined a Jewish rabbi, a Catholic monsignor, an Episcopal bishop and a Baptist pastor for the fourth annual Permian Basin Interfaith Event. Each of them answered the following questions from the community: Do you actively seek new members? What are your views on gay marriage? What do you say to those who do not believe in a Supernatural World? What about Christian prayer at public events? What do you say about kids who tell non-Christian kids they are going to hell? The clergy group has developed a camaraderie over the past four years that displayed itself in an increased cordiality and respectful banter. See the event here: bit.ly/interfaith2014
Yogaswami’s World Tour Nearing Completion
On May 29, 1997, the monastery celebrated the 125th Birth Anniversary of Gurudeva's guru, Sri Lanka’s Sage Yogaswami. After Guru Purnima, in late July, Gurudeva performed the final arati to a 20-inch-tall, gold-leafed, bronze statue of Yogaswami and sent it off on a tour tracing the diaspora of Sri Lankan Tamils throughout the world. He instructed that no plans or schedules should be devised. Everything should unfold according to the inspiration of devotees along the way. In the past 17 years, the tour has traversed half the globe. Moving from Hawaii, through Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver in Canada; then on to Maryland, New York and Los Angeles in the USA before crossing the Atlantic for Europe, spending most of the ensuing decade in Germany. Wonderful pujas and cultural events have greeted the statue of the sage at every stop. Last December, Yogaswami arrived in Colombo to visit groups of devotees across Sri Lanka. Perhaps it’s his wish to be in Jaffna for his 50th Mahasamadhi Guru Puja on April 10 of this year.
Publications and Other Activities
The glossary for the Spanish edition of Dancing with Siva was translated and added to the web and ebook versions of the book. Kanda Alahan came to help with the Media Studio construction for a week at Mahasivaratri time. He assembled two African Mahogany shrines that will grace the entryway of the building. The Ganapati Kulam worked this month milling slabs of wood from a giant mango tree to create desks for the Media Studio. The Siddhidatta Kulam is building new raised beds for the vegetable garden and clearing brush from the fence line of the monastery’s new Siva Pannai parcel of land. The Pillaiyar Kulam swamis have opened minimela.com distribution centers for Gurudeva’s books in Canada and Australia to eliminate the expensive shipping costs from the USA to those countries. The Lambodara Kulam redecorated Kadavul Temple with new tombais.
Top to bottom:Monks harvest the daily fresh veggies from Annapurna Garden, organic greens for lunch; a new kind of snap bean is being experimented with in the garden. A monk holds the first harvest in the palm of his hand.
Follow our daily activities at Today at Kauai's Hindu Monastery (blog)
Deep within the Himalayan Academy website is a most amazing recorded resource: more than one thousand talks by Gurudeva and Bodhinatha, 56 Sanskrit chants, 456 Saiva songs and 18 Shum language chants—300 hours of recording in all. We’ve just made it much more accessible at: himalayanacademy.com/looklisten/talksindex. Any file can be downloaded for listening offline by clicking on the title. For many talks by Gurudeva and Bodhinatha, a transcript is included. At present, Gurudeva’s talks from 1998 through 2001 are available. More will be added over time. The titles are instantly inspiring: “Tools of the Mind,” “Willpower and Change,” “Unfailing Law of Karma,” and “Take Time Out for Reflection.”
Bodhinatha’s talks start from 2001 and continue through today—a powerful sign of our sampradaya’s uninterrupted continuity. His talks are mostly from his talks given after the weekly homa ceremony in the monastery’s Kadavul Temple. Titles include: “The Magic of the High Eee,” “Becoming Centered,” “Karma Management,” Ahimsa in Speech” and “The Need for Religion.”
The Sanskrit chants include the entire Siva and Ganesha Atmartha Pujas, along with useful chants, such as the Shanti Mantra and Mantra Pushpam. The songs section is comprised of renditions of Saivite songs, including traditional bhajan, Tirumurai and the Natchintanai songs of Satguru Yogaswami. They are easy to learn for home bhajan.
Reflecting on Why the All-Important Will Is Just One Part of Your Complete Estate Planning Package
With fuel and food prices sky high, it’s natural for a family to think about its future financial security. The last place you might think to look for help in such matters is a Hindu monastery. But, in addition to spiritual direction, monasteries around the world offer practical guidance to help stabilize society during changing times. Many of you have supported the monastery for years, and we in turn want to help your family’s future. That is one reason the monastery is happy to provide a free, well-thought-out estate planning tool kit....[Click to read the full story]
New DevaTrek Card Deck Release!
A new edition of the popular DevaTrek Card Deck has been released. The latest edition now has 52 playing cards which include, in addition to the Yamas and Niyamas, an additional fourteen cards, seven pairs, one pair for each of the seven chakras with fabulous artwork -- an outstanding fun way to learn and memorize these key elements of Hindu thought and practice.
Building Fund Donations
Thanks to Our February Temple Builders in 18 Countries
SUMMARY:For the six months of September to February, our minimum monthly goal was $390,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $404,691.93.
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 21 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.
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