At the beginning of April, Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami, Sannyasin Siddhanathaswami and I traveled to Portland, Oregon, for a week. The visit included a Wednesday night satsang at the Portland Balaji Temple and an outing and luncheon with member families. At the monastery, the first two weeks of April were Sadhu Paksha—the time when we quiet the monastery down a bit by not having group and family tours walking through the monastery. Our monthly Ardra puja to Siva Nataraja and Chitra puja to Gurudeva were held, with a few off island guests in attendance. The editing of my Publisher’s Desk entitled “Dance and the Spiritual Path” was completed for the July/August/September issue of Hinduism Today. It presents five ways in which the attitudes of mastering dance and progressing on the spiritual path are similar. The first one, for example, is the attitude toward strengths and weaknesses. A young woman becomes a better dancer not by focusing on her strengths but on her weaknesses.General contributions for April totaled $42,842, which is less than our minimum monthly goal of $65,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $938. 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.
Inside the Maha Mandapam of Iraivan Temple, Yoginathaswami stands beside one of the forty granite pillars. This morning photo was captured by LakshmiGrace Phoenix.
Satguru, monks and pilgrims parade around Iraivan Temple after raising the flag to mark the start of a new season, Nartana Ritau, with an emphasis on planning
Top to bottom: Clockwise from above: Saravananathaswami conducts a homa ceremony in Kadavul, an event that gets each lunar phase off to a strong start; Bodhinatha gazes across the Columbia River during his visit to Portland; Ranna and Rajni Jani, visiting from Fort Worth, Texas, with son Alap and his wife Shreya and grandson Anish who turned two while here; Satguru autographs books for visitors in the Mini Mela on a weekly tour day; the hula halau enjoy a visit to the temple after their dancing; Shun and Tilaka Sunder and family toured the Media Studio recently; 1,300 Koa saplings, properly planted on newly tilled soil and protected from wind and sun by blue plastic tubes.
Iraivan Temple Report
At the carving site in Bengaluru, India, good progress is being made on Iraivan Temple’s 148-meter-long perimeter wall. All of the stone carvers are focused on this job. Here on Kauai we continued to work on the massive landscaping project. Hundreds of special tissue culture plants were put into the ground, and dozens of black stepping stones were placed to create a hillside meditation path. Midway through April we received photos from Bobby Pages’s workshop (see below) in Loveland, Colorado, showing the near completion of the life-size sculpture of two silpis moving an impossibly heavy large stone with just two iron rods and some close coordination of effort. For those new to this project, Gurudeva wanted to create a bronze memorial to the temple builders of Iraivan. Otherwise, he explained, once the carving process is finished, visitors in the future will have no visual idea of the amazingly simple and effective traditional processes that created it. Thus was born the Temple Builder’s Memorial. For several years now the work has continued at the studio of the amazingly gifted and spiritually endowed Holly Young on the Big Island, where the wax is sculpted, and in workshops of skilled artisans in Colorado where the bronzes are forged.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's Activities
At the beginning of April Satguru traveled to Portland, Oregon, with Shanmuganathaswami and Siddhanathaswami for a 4D software conference, satsangs and a presentation at the Balaji Temple. His talk was “Hinduism: A Multifaceted Religion.” After returning, Satguru conducted his eighth webinar on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras with sishyas and advanced students tuning in around the planet.
Publications and Other Activities
In April, the Ganapati Kulam, our publication monks, finished the editorial work on the July-August-September issue of Hinduism Today magazine. You can get the free app here: www.bit.ly/HT-APP. On April 15, when the sun entered the Aries constellation, we marked the beginning of the Hindu Year, Durmukha, 5118, with a morning homa, flag-raising and parade to Iraivan Temple. On April 18, a new Jersey calf was born. We named her Teta, which means innocent beauty. In addition to the many acres of mahogany trees that have been planted on Himalayan Acres, the monastery is continuing with its planting of the revered Acacia Koa tree, also known as Acacia kauaiensis. These are being grown as a living endowment for the future of the monastery. The 700 trees that were planted in December, 2014, just 16 months ago, now stand between 6 and 16 feet tall. Their growth has been phenomenal. When fully mature, they will reach a height of 50-80 feet. This month another 1,300 Koa seedlings arrived from the Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, were planted on Himalayan Acres and already show signs of vigor. These particular trees have been carefully bred to be resistant to a widespread root disease, known as Koa Wilt, that attacks Koa trees grown at lower elevations.
The Siddhidata Kulam, the group of monks who care for the monastery gardens, spent several days in April removing a 2,500-square-foot clump of a large, yellow bamboo. The site, being prepared for a new hydroponic nursery structure, is ideally situated near water and power lines. They also hosted a group of hula dancers from Maui who had just returned from a Tamil Nadu cultural exchange program organized by Roselle Bailey, a well-known hula teacher and friend of the monastery. They wanted to see Iraivan Temple, a little piece of India in Hawaii. They performed a sacred dance in the Hawaiian style, and offered traditional Hawaiian chants, called oli, honoring the temple.
Left: Master metal artisan Bobby Page poses in his Colorado workshop with the next bronze sculpture; Raguram Murugesan visited the Iraivan worksite and enjoyed watching the silpis carving on the perimeter wall.
The Monastery Welcomes Our Newest Jersey Heifer, Teta
Newest resident: Teta on day one; at 12 days bounding about her pasture, easily able to outrun a human; grooming time; sharing a moment with Shanmuganathaswami, who is responsible for the cows
The newest member of our Jersey herd was born April 18, 7am, to Marvelous, who was brought to Kauai two years ago. With the nakshatra Uttarphalguni, the recommended syllable for her name is Te, and thus she was named Teta, “innocent beauty.” The birth was, as is normal for cows, uneventful—it was a matter of minutes from “We’re doing this” to “We’re done.” Out came a beautifully formed, fully functional calf, able within an hour to stand on her feet. She did appear a bit puzzled at first as to just where she was (photo right). But in a day she could run and shortly thereafter had a kick hard enough to, well, wish you hadn’t been kicked (don’t ever step behind a frisky calf).
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 here. Read the transcriptions on line. Click here for all of Bodhinatha's talks.
Bodhinatha's weekly talks can be heard on our website:
Click here for a complete index of both Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's talks on line
Jnana. Self Correcting Awareness - May 7, 2016
Mindfulness, Being in the Present - May 1, 2016
Happiness. Purify, remain within - April 24, 2016 Your Self-Concept; You Are a Divine Soul - April 15, 2016
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)
To learn about this and other tools for spiritual living, study The Master Course trilogy
Building Fund Donations
Thanks to Our April 2016 Temple Builders in 16 Countries
Eight-Month Summary: For the eight months of September to April, our minimum monthly goal was $520,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $563,860.05.
Your support is deeply appreciated!
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Community Property or Joint Tenancy:
Prior to buying a home, talk to your real estate agent about the differences between joint tenancy and community property
Why the Way You and Your Spouse Hold Property Matters
In 1969 when Ajit and Inayat bought their California home, a year after they were married, their realtor suggested they hold it in joint tenancy. It turned out to be bad advice.
“It’s more convenient,” he explained. “When one of you dies, the survivor gets the decedent’s half of the home automatically and without probate.”
All the young couple remembered was “without probate.”
Ajit told Inayat that when his unmarried uncle died unexpectedly, the estate was tied up in probate court for a year. He would not want her to be subjected to that kind of delay and expense. Joint tenancy it would be.
Shortly after they celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary, Ajit suddenly died. As planned, his widow received his half of the home without the delay or costs of probate.
With their children raised and the home too large for her to manage, Inayat put the house on the market for $900,000 and received an offer for the full amount within a week, this for a home they had bought decades earlier for under $50,000.
But with the sale came a shock: she had to pay federal and state capital gains taxes on $275,000 of the sale proceeds.
“Why?” she asked her realtor.
“Because you and Ajit held your home in joint tenancy rather than as community property,” he said.
“What difference does that make?” she asked, raising her voice.
“About $65,000 in taxes,” he retorted.
His answer was curt but his math correct. Holding their home in joint tenancy meant that when Ajit died, Inayat did not get a full “step-up in basis,” a technical term for a financial favor we do our heirs at death.
When an heir receives a full step-up in basis, the property he or she receives from us upon our death is viewed by the IRS as though they had bought it at its full fair market value. So if they sell it, they may have little or no capital gains to worry about. If Ajit and Inayat had held their home as community property, Inayat would have avoided being taxed on the $275,000, her realtor explained. “That’s not fair!” Inayat moaned. “I know, but it’s the law.” Though fictional, this tale is based on the many painful experiences of married couples living in community property states.
You may have no capital gains to worry about, even if you use joint tenancy. Why? Every home owner has a $250,000 exclusion from capital gains tax when they sell a personal residence, as long as they’ve lived there at least two years. Married couples can combine their exclusions for a total of $500,000. In certain markets, however, even that may not fully cover the gain.
So, if you’re married, should you rush out and change title to your home and other assets (rental property and investments held in joint tenancy have no $250,000 exclusion from capital gains tax) from joint tenancy to community property? Not without legal advice and a financial analysis of your situation.
For information on establishing a fund at Hindu Heritage Endowment, contact Shanmuganathaswami at 808-822-3012 ext. 6 or e-mail email@example.com.
Visit the HHE website at HHEonline.org.
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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