The Founder of the Monastery

Exploring Kauais Hindu Monastery, you will hear much about Gurudeva, the brilliant soul who established this sanctuary and enriched uncounted lives. He was a shining example of awakening and wisdom, recognized worldwide as one of Hinduisms foremost masters. His prodigious genius, flare and inspiration permeate this spiritual oasis and continue to guide the lives of the men he trained and initiated. Gurudeva was born in California and grew up near Lake Tahoe. Orphaned at age 11, he was raised by a family friend who had spent years in India and who brought him into the culture and beliefs of Hinduism. Trained in classical Eastern and Western dance and in the disciplines of yoga, he became the premier danseur of the San Francisco Ballet Company at age 19. Then, at the height of his career, he suddenly renounced the world and in 1947 sailed to India in quest of Absolute Truth. In a remote Sri Lankan cave, he fasted and meditated until he burst into enlightenment. Soon after, he met Siva Yogaswami, who gave him the name Subramuniya and initiated him into Hindu monasticism. From then on, the great truths flooded through him like a torrent. The nature of reality, metaphysical principles and methods for facing lifes challenges were obvious to him. What philosophers struggle to explain in complex theories, he articulated in simple language from his own experience. Ultimately, the cream of his inspired talks became the 3,000-page trilogy of Dancing, Living and Merging with Siva, the first cogent, comprehensive expression of monistic Saiva Siddhanta in the English language. A powerful purpose drove his every effort like the rhythm of a vigorous dance. He traveled widely to uplift Hindu communities on every continent, represented his religion at global conferences and helped establish 37 temples worldwide. An extraordinary mystic, Gurudeva had many visions of the Deities. He read clairvoyantly from inner plane scriptures and created his own language, Shum, to map for others the profound states he encountered in meditation. Gurudeva was loved by all who met him. Hindus, leaders of all lineages, island neighbors and ordinary folks adored him. He saw the Divine in every person and taught them to see the Divine in themselves. To devotees everywhere, the graceful, six-foot-two, white-haired guru was the embodiment of Lord Siva Himself. From the inner world, Gurudeva continues to guide, in magical ways, all who embrace his teachings. His light lives on in their spirit and their striving for Truth. More about Gurudeva...

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