The month began with the worship of Lord Murugan through a special abhishekam held on Thai Pusam. Mahasivaratri was celebrated on February 16. It is one of the two festivals of the year when all the monks worship as a group in Kadavul Temple. The event included a recorded talk by Gurudeva followed by a talk by me elaborating on the idea from Merging with Siva: "Siva is the life of the life of all sentient and insentient beings, the sea of prana, ever emanating, mysteriously, from the All of the Allness of His mystery Being, by which all life exists and all happenings happen." In the early morning of February 21, Revati nakshatra, the anniversary of Gurudeva's powerful, three-fold vision of Lord Siva, a puja was conducted at the swayambhu Sivalingam followed by a deep meditation. The month concluded with Ardra Abhishekam to Lord Nataraja. General contributions for February totaled $59,347, which is less than our minimum monthly goal of $65,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $208. As we mentioned in the September, 2014, year-end mailing, if contributions increased by another $60,000 a month, this sacred project could be finished approximately two years earlier than anticipated. We are grateful to our global family of temple builders for your continued and generous support. Aum Namasivaya!
here to see Satguru's extended travel schedule.
Bookmark the link and return for updates.
Inside the sanctum of Kadavul Temple, at the Holy Feet of Lord Nataraja, the clear crystal Lingam is offered yogurt abhishekam on Mahasivaratri
Gurudeva radiates blessings through his golden murti in the moments after this month's Chitra nakshatra pada puja honoring his Great Departure.
Top to bottom: Dawn breaks at the Swayambhulingam during the 40th annual observation of Vision Day; final moments of the homa on Sivaratri night; Lord Murugan receives a milk abhishekam using our own cows' milk; Kaivalyanathaswami poses with the visiting Santhirapala family from the UK; Sadhaka Dayanatha offers sandalwood paste to Gurudeva's feet during the Chitra Pada Puja; Sadhaka Mayuranatha shows new items being laser-etched by the Pillaiyar Kulam; 1,400 newly planted Hawaiian Koa trees on Himalayan Acres, in their protective blue sleeves.
Iraivan Temple Progress
Carving work on the perimeter wall and the elephant yalli handrail for the temple's Nandi Mandapam is progressing well at our carving site in Bengaluru. Here on Kauai, renovation continues on the house where the silpi stone carvers will stay when they return from India in about two years. At her workshop in Hawaii, Holly Young is working on the next in the series of bronze sculptures which illustrate how the South Indian stone carvers built Iraivan Temple. Bobby Page in Colorado informs us that the molds from which the bronzes of Gurudeva and Ganapati Sthapati (Iraivan Temple's chief architect) were made have arrived in Chennai. These are our gift to India's traditional building arts. With them, Selvanathan Sthapati plans to create in India duplicate statues of these two masterpieces by Holly Young for display at the Government College of Architecture and Sculpture at Mahabalipuram. This will honor the legacy of Ganapati Sthapati, who was the head of the college for 27 years. And it will honor Gurudeva's untiring support for Bharat's stone carving guild.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's Activities
Satguru presided over the Mahasivaratri celebration at the monastery. He gave an inspired talk elucidating Gurudeva's message on the nine ways the devotee merges with Siva. In February he recorded a video of his editorial in the recent edition of Hinduism Today entitled, How We Describe Our Deities: "Hindu views of God can seem complex and confounding on first encounter. Here we explore the most important and popular." Satguru took the time to meet with monastery visitors seeking his blessings. With the flow of guests continuing unabated, darshan sessions occur almost daily. Satguru conducted his next webinar for devotees in five countries in February. The topic was Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
Publications and Other Activities
The Ganapati Kulam is working on several Digital Dharma initiatives, spreading on the Web the truths of the Sanatana Dharma in general, and Gurudeva's teachings in particular. This month our team revamped our site's search function, making it painless to find just what you're looking for, be it a certain article in Hinduism Today, a talk by Gurudeva, a piece of Hindu art or a technical topic in one of our books. The publications team is working on a new app, our first, to make the Hinduism Today magazine available, for free, on any mobile device. It is expected to be available within a couple of months. Production of the History of Hindu India movie series (parts two and three) is underway with videographer Sushma Parmar and her team working in India. Sadhaka Jayanatha is creating animations for the movie—a combination of a 3D timeline with icons and maps to depict the various kingdoms, temples and events of the era. Our newest book, Life Skills for Hindu Teens, is in the final editing stage. It depicts mature subjects that are a challenge to this age group....[More]
At the worksite in Bengaluru, an artisan uses a special carbide-tipped chisel to add fine details on one of the two elephant hand railings that flank the steps leading up to Nandi sitting in his elaborate mandapam.
Satguru's Newest Teachings Online
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami 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.
Satguru's weekly talks can be heard on our website:
Click here for a complete index of both Satguru's and Gurudeva's talks on line
Nine Ways to Merge with Siva; the Nature of Liberation (Mahasivaratri: February 16, 2015)
The Summit of All Religions; Regular Meditation (February 13, 2015)
Control of Thought Includes Purifying the Subconscious (January 14, 2015)
Harnessing Reaction; Live in the Box of Dharma (January 7, 2015)
Click here to see Satguru's extended travel schedule. Bookmark the link and return for updates.
Follow our daily activities at Today at Kauai's Hindu Monastery (blog)
On Location: History of Hindu India Film Adventure
Top to bottom: Quadcopter aerial shot of Kailasanatha temple; narrator Raj Narayan at left, videographer Sushma Parmar at right and a member of the crew; Raj readies for his next scene; piloting the quadcopter.
Our efforts to provide authentic history resources on Hinduism and India are bearing fruit. In January, videographer Sushma Parmar, narrator Raj Narayan and their crew spent nearly two weeks filming in Maharashtra and Gujarat for the second and third parts of The History of Hindu India movie series (part one just passed a quarter million views on YouTube as of February 9). In late 2014, the Kauai team worked closely with Dr. Shiva Bajpai to develop scripts for parts two and three, each to run about 20 minutes. When the script was ready, Dr. Bajpai arranged through Dr. B.B. Lal, former head of the Archeological Survey of India, to get official permission for Sushma to film at Ellora, site of the famed 8th century Kailashanatha Temple. This huge temple is unique in having been carved out of a solid granite cliff, from the top down which is hard to even visualize, let alone accomplish. It was not built by joining carved stones together, but by cutting away all the unwanted space—an astounding feat in any era! We even received permission to use a quadcopter to capture the amazing photo shown above and aerial footage for the movie.
In addition to Ellora, the team filmed street scenes in Surat, Mumbai, Pune and in the countryside to illustrate various parts of the two documentaries. Part two covers from 300ce to 1000ce, India's golden age in government, science, arts and religion. Part three covers from 1000 to 1800, an age of determined survival in the face of conquest and foreign domination. Both parts are in production now and should be finished by this summer or early fall.
Can He Give Away His Home and Keep It, Too?
Harjeet, 72, a retired software engineer, enjoyed a successful career in the Bay Area's Silicon Valley. He now lives in a home large enough to welcome family and friends for long and short visits, renewing friendships and strengthening family ties. However, the income he receives from his retirement plan and investments has kept him in a higher than expected tax bracket. His accountant, Bill, knows that Harjeet is generous to Hindu causes. He suggests that Harjeet consider a life estate agreement with the Hindu Heritage Endowment (HHE). "What is a life estate agreement?" Harjeet asks skeptically.
"It's a way for you to give away your home and keep it, too," Bill quips.
Harjeet shifts uncomfortably in his chair. "My home is the center of my social life. It's the place where I welcome family and friends."
"You would continue to live as you do now," Bill assures him. "You would enjoy your home exactly as before."
"What about the 'give away your home' part," Harjeet asks nervously.
That's the part that helps you lower your taxes," Bill says. "Here's how it works.... [click here to read more]
Building Fund Donations
Thanks to Our February Temple Builders in 16 Countries
For the six months of September 2014 to February 2015, our minimum goal was $390,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $438,397.63.
Your support is deeply appreciated!
Donate To Iraivan, Become a Temple Builder Today!
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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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