Kauai's Hindu Monastery

November 2015

[Click to see the full newsletter on the web]


In September Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami and I traveled to Mauritius for a weekend of activities. On Friday we attended the Ganesha Chaturthi celebration at the Sri Siva Subramanya Thirukkovil in Quartre Bornes, where I gave a talk on how Hindu culture comes out of the temple. Saturday we hosted an “Aloha Dinner” for members at the Gold Crest Hotel. My talk focused on our recent educational initiatives, including my bimonthly webinar on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and our new Hinduism Today mobile app. On Sunday morning at our Spiritual Park a Sivacharya conducted a Siva homa and abhishekam, after which I gave vishesha diksha to one member and blessed the vidya sishya vratas for a number of teenage members. Following this was an event arranged by Mrs. Nivedita Nathoo to relaunch a “Baitka” program for villages in Mauritius. Baitkas focus on teaching values and culture to Hindu youth, and she is inspired to reactivate this traditional system. We flew next to the Iraivan carving site in Bengaluru to inspect the work and to visit Sri Jayendrapuriswami of Kailash Ashram. Our last stop was Singapore where we held a satsang. General contributions for the two month period of September and October totaled $141,638, which exceeds our minimum two-month goal of $130,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $13,907. We are grateful to our global family of temple builders for your continued and generous support. Aum Namasivaya!

Recent Happenings


Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Shanmuganathaswami are greeted at the Sri Siva Subramaniya Thirukkovil in Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius


The Ganesha murti in Kadavul Hindu Temple is beautifully bedecked during Ganesha Chathurti on Kauai island.

ann1.jpg ann2.jpg ann3.jpg ann4.jpg ann5.jpg ann6.jpg ann7.jpg Top to bottom: Satguru presides over a Sivalingam abhishekam at the Spiritual Park of Mauritius; Holly Young makes a mold of a temple pillar for her next bronze masterpiece; Acharya Arumuganathaswami and Sadhaka Jayanatha stand in front of the future new home of the Hindu University of America in Orlando, Florida, with Braham R. Aggarwal, chairman of board (between them) and other HUA associates; Natyam Mayuranatha hosts Amma Anna in the Media Studio; Mayuran Muttulingam, an engineer at Spacex in Los Angeles, who took Shanmuganathaswami and Siddhanathaswami for a tour of the rocket manufacturing plant; two leading hula teachers offer a special chant and dance on the land; a new water tank tower is lifted into place in the veggie garden.

Iraivan Temple Progress
This is Kauai Aadheenam’s twenty-fifth year of carving a sacred masterpiece that brings the best of Indian temple architecture to the West in the form of a unique, hand-carved, Chola-style granite temple that has no peer in the US. The work is going well, thanks to the generous donations of our global family of temple builders. And the end is in sight! The carving of the perimeter wall which surrounds the temple, the final piece to be done, is 40 percent complete. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami visited the carving site in India in September to inspect the progress. At the end of Navaratri an ayudha puja was done at the carving site to bless the tools and honor the carvers with gifts. The carving team in India is working overtime to get things ready for the next shipment of four containers in February/March, 2016. Here on Kauai, the landscaping around the temple is also progressing well, with thousands of small plants being added to the east side of the temple. Drainage for the land is in the hands of island engineers, who are working with the designs to prevent erosion for years to come.

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's Activities
Satguru’s September visit to Mauritius and India included a meeting with Pundit Sabharathnam in Chennai to review the progress of his English translations of various Saiva Agamas. These works will be used in the new Saiva Agama Master’s Degree program at the Vedagama Pathasala in Bengaluru, among other uses. A meeting was also held with Gandhi Kannadhasan who is publishing a Tamil edition of Dancing with Siva. Lastly, Satguru and Shanmuganathaswami met with our architect, Selvanathan Sthapati, and his wife Ponni to receive drawings for the future mandapam to be built at the Swayambhu Lingam on San Marga. On Kauai, Satguru gave a two-hour class to our youngest monks, the second in a series on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Satguru is developing his own commentary on the Yoga Sutras with a focus on how they relate to Gurudeva’s writings. At recent weekly homas, he gave talks on “Dealing with the Conscious Mind,” “Bhakti, Devotion, the Key to Meditation,” among other pragmatic subjects. These upadeshas are uploaded to our website.

Publications and Other Activities
In September, Acharya Arumuganathaswami and Sadhaka Jayanatha travelled to Texas and California. In Texas, Acharya was on stage to represent the Hindu community at the Fifth Annual Interfaith Event in Midland, Texas. In California, they gave an update of our work to improve the presentation of Hinduism and Indian history in school textbooks at the annual fund-raising dinner put on by the Hindu American Foundation. In October, the same two monks flew off to Florida to give the textbook presentation at the three-day conference of the Uberoi Foundation. The conference theme was “Teaching of Dharmic Faiths within Higher Education.” The two monks then travelled to Sacramento, California, where they made a presentation to the Instructional Quality Commission at the California Department of Education. The commission is charged with reviewing the most recent version of the revised history and social science narrative—and the essay which summarizes the major “talking points” used to write the textbooks for the 6th and 7th grades. Our monks gave public comment on specific changes needed in the sections on caste and the Aryan Invasion theory. Other Hindu groups and many students also gave testimony about the deplorable depiction of Hinduism presently in the texts. At the end of September the monastery was visited by four monks from the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) organization. The sadhus had the opportunity to spend an entire day touring the monastery and the island. In October, Holly Young flew to Kauai from her studio on the Big Island to do some preparation for the next (the 7th one) bronze sculpture of the Temple Builders’ Memorial to ultimately be installed near Iraivan Temple. In this sculpture, two silpis are working on a Tara pillar, one marking and the other carving.

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Left: Roshan Sivayogam during his two weeks of service at the Aadheenam; members on Kauai presented Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami with 17 colorful Japanese koi fish on his Jayanti.

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

Recent Talks:
Hatha Yoga, Relaxation, Letting Go - November 12, 2015
The Practice of Contentment - November 6, 2015
Staying in Tune with Superconsciousness - October 29, 2015
Meditation Empowers the Mind with Restraint and Intuition - October 21, 2015

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)

Iraivan Pillars 7 & 11: The Subtle Body,
The Three Phases of Mind and the Self Beyond

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Bodies of man: (top) the outer pillars of Iraivan depict Saivite concepts and principles—pillar eleven in the middle depicts four of the five subtle bodies of man, here we see the mental body; (bottom) this panel shows the subtle body leaving the physical body during sleep.

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States of mind: (top to bottom) the singularity in the circle represents the Self beyond the mind; at right a meditator explores the superconscious mind; a person in the intellectual mind; eating mangos within the instinctive mind.

On each of Iraivan Temple’s four-sided outer pillars are carved ten bas reliefs, two at the base, four half way up and four at the top. The sculptures depict 25 forms of Siva, plus sacred symbols, Saivite theological principles and concepts, Shum language meditations, sacred plants and more. Each of the 240 images is a meditation in itself.

On pillar 11, the middle four panels depict the three phases of mind—instinctive, intellectual, superconscious—and the Self beyond the mind. The instinctive mind, manas chitta, is the seat of desire (such as for food as shown here). The intellectual mind, buddhi chitta, is the faculty of thought and intelligence, shown here as a scholar writing a book. The superconscious mind, karana chitta, is the strata of intuition, benevolence and spiritual sustenance, shown here as a meditator flying high above normal consciousness. Beyond these states of mind lies the Self, Parasiva, God Siva’s perfection of Absolute Reality, which abides at the core of every soul. It is shown here as a disc of pure consciousness with a spaceless point at the center to represent That which is beyond all. The middle four panels of pillar seven depict the subtle body, sukshma sharira, and its components, the mental-emotional, pranic, and cognitive sheaths. On this pillar, the subtle body is shown leaving the physical body, which occurs temporarily during sleep and permanently at death. The mental body is shown as the thinking, mental-emotional mind of ordinary thought, desire and emotion. The pranic sheath is shown as the energy or prana which permeates the physical body and radiates out beyond it a few inches. The cognitive sheath includes the higher functions of the mind: understanding, direct cognition through the third eye, wisdom and creativity.

Planned Giving to HHE Charities


What is planned giving? A planned gift can be any kind of gift, large or small, and can be for any purpose. While gifts of cash are the largest source of charitable gifts, planned gifts are typically not outright cash gifts. Rather, they are sizeable asset gifts, such as life insurance, real estate, stocks and bonds or mutual funds to be used in the future. Charitable remainder trusts, gift annuities and other gift-planning arrangements are regularly funded using assets other than cash. Another definition of planned giving is the process of making a charitable gift of estate assets to one or more nonprofit organizations, such as Hindu Heritage Endowment.

The most common example of a planned gift is through a will. A revocable Living Trust resembles a will, and setting it up is more involved, but it may have advantages for some people. Another example is a charitable remainder trust. During the life of a person, he or another person receives an income from the trust and when the donor passes on the remaining assets would go to one or more charities. In 2005 the Iraivan Hindu Temple Fund, HHE fund #2, received over US$1.3 million from a charitable remainder trust.

Life insurance policies provide the means by which a donor can make a large charitable gift at a modest out-of-pocket cost. There are three ways to give through life insurance: 1) the charity is the beneficiary of the policy; 2) the charity is the owner and beneficiary of the policy; and 3) the life insurance policy is a replacement for donated assets. Several HHE endowments are beneficiaries of life insurance policies.

A popular deferred gift is the charitable gift annuity, which is a lifetime contract between the donor and the charity. It is relatively simple to understand and establish. The donor can also name someone else as the annuitant to receive the annuity payments. The donor gives a gift, $50,000 for example, and receives a set amount of money every year for the rest of his or her life.

Some planned gifts, such as a charitable gift annuity, are irrevocable. Others, such as will bequests, can be revoked. Depending on the country of the donor, an irrevocable gift can generate an immediate income-tax charitable deduction, whereas revocable gifts do not. A planned gift requires careful thought on the part of the donor, considering his or her overall estate plan. Legal documents, created with the help of planned-giving professionals, are often required. Planned gifts are usually arranged now and fulfilled later. There are numerous professional advisors in the charitable gift-planning field: certified financial planners, estate planning attorneys, life insurance professionals, certified public accountants and trust officers.

In the US, the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning is the primary association linking planned-giving officers and allied professionals, with more than 108 planned-giving councils representing 10,000 members. For the council nearest you, call 317-269-6274 or visit www.pppnet.org. In Canada, the Canadian Association of Gift Planners represents 1,100+ gift planners throughout the country. Their website is http://www.cagp-acpdp.org.

The Charities Aid Foundation in the UK is committed to helping donors give in a tax-efficient and easy way. Visit their website at http://www.cafonline.org/individual/ and download their guide to savvy charitable giving. CAF also has offices in Canada, India, Australia, Bulgaria, Russia, South Africa and the US.

New to planned giving and want to learn more? Please visit HHE’s planned giving link at plannedgiving.hheonline.org. Here you can read all about providing the security you seek from your investments while eventually providing much-needed gifts to one or more of the 75 HHE endowments and their charities. To download an Estate Planning Tool Kit visit http://www.hheonline.org/toolkit.shtml.

For information on establishing a fund at the Hindu Heritage Endowment, contact Shanmuganathaswami at 808-822-3012; x 6 or email hhe@hindu.org.

Visit the HHE website at HHEonline.org.


You Can Help Sponsor Iraivan Temple's Perimeter Wall

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Sponsor the Perimeter Wall

The second prakaram wall is 3.5 feet tall, two feet thick and 475 feet long. It comprises 45 short pillars (the section with the pot on top) and 44 panels (the long section between the pillars). Each pillar and panel pair require 544 man-days to carve, even with the massive granite slabs being sawn to size by machine. Each panel will be inscribed (inside the ornate border shown in the photo at right) with verses from scripture and the philosophy and history of the temple.


❏ One pillar section: $15,000

❏ One panel section: $30,000

Donate here!

Building Fund Donations

Thanks to Our July Temple Builders in 18 Countries

2-Month Summary: For the two months of September to October 2015, our minimum monthly goal was $130,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $141,638.69.

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.)

Pilgrimage to Iraivan

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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