Kauai's Hindu Monastery

September 2016

[Click to see the full newsletter on the web]


At the beginning of August, Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami and I traveled to Maryland for the annual Ilankai Nallur and Kathirkamam Kanthan Festival at the Murugan Temple in Lanham. On Friday morning we attended the initial Ganesha and Murugan homas. Saturday’s program began with groups circumambulating the temple carrying kavadi and pal kudams, followed by an elaborate abhishekam. While the Deity was being dressed I gave a talk on the three worlds and the Personal Deity as a real being. In the final event a large chariot carrying the parade murti was pulled around the temple by devotees while adults, children and youth performed a kavadi dance. Next was a four-day visit to Mauritius. Friday evening featured a temple event in the south attended by nearly 800 devotees. In my talk, I focused on the various ways the temple perpetuates Hindu culture. On Saturday we held an Aloha Dinner for members at the Indian Summer restaurant in Ebene. Sunday featured a Rudra homa and abhishekam at the Spiritual Park, followed by spiritual initiations. From there we flew to Bengaluru, India, to visit the Iraivan carving site and devotees. Our last stop was Colombo, Sri Lanka, for a two-morning opening ceremony for the new Siva Yogaswami Thiruvadi Nilayam. (See the Highlights section on page 3 for details.) General contributions for August totaled $57,275 which is slightly less than our minimum monthly goal of $65,000. Special project contributions for the month totaled an additional $9,145. 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


At our Spiritual Park in Mauritius, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami presides at a Rudra homa and abhishekam attended by shishyas and advanced students.


A closeup of the faces of two silpis moving a large stone with long pry bars shows the realistic detail that bronze artist Holly Young has captured. This is just one of six bronzes that comprise the Temple Builders’ Memorial, which tells the story of how Iraivan was created.

ann1.jpg ann2.jpg ann3.jpg ann4.jpg ann5.jpg ann6.jpg ann7.jpg ann8.jpg Top to bottom: In Colombo, Satguru admires the newly installed base for a marble statue of Yogaswami; in Bengaluru, he stands with a handrailing that will lead up the steps of the Nandi Mandapam; Pranav and Jyoti Patel and Jyoti’s sister Swati, all from Los Angeles, with parents Jayantibhai and Manjulaben visiting from India; Jayanatha and Dayanatha perform the monthly pre-dawn pada puja at Gurudeva’s shrine in Kadavul Temple; Sadhus and devotees of BAPS in front of the amazing Shanmuganatha murti; Siva Rajasikamani Deekshithar and his son Shanmuganandha Deekshithar from Chidambaram; Akshaya, 11, and sister Shreya Venkatesh, 16, from Arizona pose before Ganesha after dancing for the Gods inside Kadavul; temple priest Narayana Viswanathan Ardhanareeswaran poses next to Iraivan’s baby elephant in black granite.


Iraivan Temple Report
Satguru and Shanmuganathaswami visited the temple carving site in Bengaluru in August. They saw first-hand the work on the perimeter wall and the large decorative red pots, in various stages of completion, that will sit atop the wall. While inspecting the work, Satguru clearly saw that the Iraivan Temple carving project within India is rapidly approaching a conclusion.

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's Activities
A video was made and posted online of Satguru presenting his latest Publisher’s Desk editorial from Hinduism Today called “Make Dharma Your Own.” His inspiring talk from June 28, “Accept the World as Is and Take Responsibility for Your Own Sphere of Influence,” was also uploaded to our website. On August 10, Satguru and Shanmuganathaswami began an around-the-world journey to visit devotees in the US, Mauritius, India and Sri Lanka. He was the special guest speaker at the annual Nallur Festival at the Murugan Temple in Lanham, Maryland, and at the two-day opening ceremony for the Sivayogaswami Tiruvadi Nilayam on Vivekananda Street in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It has been the dream of the Trust for many years to have a hall in Colombo dedicated to Satguru Yogaswami. A marble statue of Swami was installed on an ornate central pedestal, and in front of it were placed his bronze sandals for worship and guru puja. Addressing the group, Satguru spoke of Yogaswami’s message that we must turn our everyday actions into worship as well as perform seva to help the needy and improve the temples. While in Mauritius, Satguru visited the Kaala Bhairava Temple on the south coast of the island and gave diksha to long-time devotees. He also met with the architect who is designing three large pavilions that will surround the Pancha Mukha Ganapati shrine at our Spiritual Park center in Rempart. While in India, he visited Sri Sri Jayendrapuriswami, head of the Kailash Ashram, and gifted him a copy of our Tamil edition of Dancing with Siva, entitled Sivaperumanudan Oru Thirunadanam, which was just printed in India.

Special Guests
On August 8 the monastery received a visit from sadhus from the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) order: Sarvadarshan Swami, resident acharya of the BAPS Chino Hills Mandir in southern California, and Harinivas Swami who travels between BAPS mandirs in the Western US. Later in the month we enjoyed the presence of Narayana Viswanathan Ardhanareeswaran a priest at the Siva/Murugan Temple in Concord, California, which was founded by our Gurudeva. Originally from Erode, Tamil Nadu, Narayana has been serving God at the Concord Siva Murugan Temple since 2002. Siva Raja­sikamani Deekshithar and his son Shanmuganandha Deekshithar from Chidambaram Temple in Tamil Nadu also visited the monastery. They were on a tour of the US, teaching Saiva ritual and raising funds to build a permanent facility for their Veda priest training school, which is now in rented facilities.

Publications and Other Activities
The monks enjoyed Sadhu Paksha during the first two weeks of August. This is a period three times a year when the daily early morning puja and group meditation is replaced with wandering the monastery property; meditating under a tree or enjoying the sanctity of Iraivan Temple. While Satguru was traveling, Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami gave the talks following the two weekly homas at the latter half of August. He explored the transformatory concept that, when viewed from higher consciousness, everything is perfect at every moment in time. During August the publications group of monks continued work on Path to Siva, A Catechism for Youth. Now in the final editing and proofreading stages, the attractive 100-page book will go to Sampoorna Printers in Malaysia for printing. Portions will be featured in the Educational Insight in the January/February/March 2017 issue of Hinduism Today.

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Top to bottom: Monks of the Ganapati Kulam bring in 2,000 pounds of noni fruit freshly picked from our orchard across the river. They pour the fruits from 6-gallon buckets directly into the home-made camphor-wood barrel washer for cleaning, then pack it in 30-gallon sealed drums for fermentation; a hexagonal meditation hut, recently built by Nirvani Adinatha, is carried to its designated home near Bali Hai Falls.

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:
Evolve Through Self Control; Follow a Religion - September 18, 2016
Bhakti Displaces Anger, Leads to Light - September 10, 2016
Accept the World, Take Responsibility - July 28, 2016
Awareness, Meditation, Work - July 21, 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)


Second Prakaram Floor Will Include Kolams Designs

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Top to bottom: A floor plan of Iraivan Temple with the second prakaram highlighted in red; a sample of the red granite tile that will make up most of the large floor area; an example of our two-foot square kolam tiles; two of the 32 designs that will be etched into our kolam stones; kolam making at a home in Sri Lanka for Thai Pongal.

One of the last and easier parts of Iraivan Temple is the flooring of the second prakaram, the 4,000 square-foot area between the perimeter wall and the main area of the temple (known as the first prakaram). The plan is to install two-by-two-foot handsome red granite tiles one inch thick. They will have a “flamed” finish, a process that seals the stone and slightly roughens the surface—a critical detail as they may often be wet from our frequent rains. Like the first-prakaram floor, this floor will slope toward drains so water does not accumulate. One of the major projects completed in 2016 was the installation of 12-inch-diameter piping that carries the drain water to southern hill slopes. Inset among the red stones will be 32 white-granite stones made in Bengaluru. Twenty-nine will be 24-inch squares, and three will be 48-inch squares. Each will have a unique kolam design carved on the surface. One has already arrived on Kauai and is pictured below. All thirty-two pieces will be completed at the same time as the perimeter wall. The pavers in the first prakaram, under the temple roof, were set on a bed of six inches of sand. These second-prakaram stones, exposed to the weather, will be set in mortar which cannot wash out in the heavy rain.

The 32 kolams (rangoli in Hindi) were selected from our large set of designs that the Ganapati Kulam has collected and created over the years. Kolams are traditional Indian decorations created during festivals or weddings, using plain or colored rice powder, pulse grains or flower petals (as in the photo below). Like the sand mandalas of Tibetan Buddhists—though nowhere near so complex—they are meant to be kept for just a few days. Iraivan’s kolams in stone will be a good deal more permanent!

Help Move Iraivan Forward

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You Can Help 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 August Temple Builders in 14 Countries

Twelve Month Summary: For the twelve months of September 2015 through August 2016, our minimum monthly building-fund goal was $780,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special project expenses, we received actual contributions of $799,872.40.

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.)


To learn about this and other tools for spiritual living, study The Master Course trilogy


How a Marital Bypass Trust May Save Thousands in Taxes


Dhaval and Radha’s attorney warned them to protect their $5 million estate with a marital bypass trust.

“What’s a marital bypass trust?” Radha asked during their first visit to his office.

“It’s the same as a credit shelter trust or an A-B Trust.”

“Yes, but what is it and what does it do?”

“Look at Dhaval,” the attorney said gesturing toward her husband. “Imagine him carrying a sack marked ‘$2 million’ over his shoulder. Dhaval dies. Not only he passes from this life, but so does that $2 million, unless you have a marital bypass trust.”

“But I thought on the death of the first spouse the surviving spouse got everything,” Dhaval said. “That’s true,” the attorney answered. “And if the surviving spouse is a US citizen, he or she gets everything free of federal estate tax. But that $2 million is not $2 million in cash or property; it’s a $2 million exclusion from estate tax.”

“But why do we need estate tax protection if everything passes to the surviving spouse tax-free?” Radha asked, wondering now why all this was so complicated.

“Because the day of reckoning has only been postponed, not eliminated,” the attorney explained.

“On the death of the second spouse, the estate becomes vulnerable to estate tax. Without a marital bypass trust, you will have lost one-half of the estate tax protection you have as a married couple.”

“So what should we do?” Dhaval asked. He had begun to tally in his mind the tax on $2 million of their estate that could be transferred tax-free.

“Here’s what I propose,” the attorney offered, looking up from his yellow legal pad where he had roughed out the $800,000-plus tax savings a marital bypass trust would provide. “I’ll write your estate plan so that the surviving spouse may either take the entire estate directly or choose to place part of the estate into a marital bypass trust. The choice will be yours, and you can make it depending on the size of your estate at that time and the current laws.”

“Since I have coronary artery disease, the bypass trust will be well named,” Dhaval quipped.

“Yes,” the attorney mumbled with a weak smile.

“Puns aside, the bypass trust will eventually pass to your children, but in the meantime the trust assets are invested exclusively for the surviving spouse who receives all the income and can invade principal if his or her health, education or welfare is at stake.”

Leaning toward the couple for emphasis, he added: “The fact that the surviving spouse does not directly own what’s in the marital bypass trust preserves the decedent’s $2 million exclusion from estate tax, or whatever that exclusion is at time of death.”

“But what if the trust grows beyond exclusion amount?” Dhaval asked.

“It doesn’t matter. The full amount in the trust, whatever it ends up being, is completely protected.”

Leaving the attorney’s office, Dhaval and Radha felt slightly woozy. Why, they wondered, did so much of their children’s inheritance depend on such obscure points of law? Still, it was helpful to have such sophisticated options.

Visit the HHE website at HHEonline.org.

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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