Our Guru and Monastic Order

What makes Kauai's Hindu Monastery so special is that it is the home of an illumined guru and his tireless, devoted monks who are committed to a selfless life of worship, meditation, service and self-transformation. It is not an ashram or public temple; its rules are stricter and it is not open all day. You may see some of the monks, dressed in yellow, white or orange robes, walking along the paths or at their duties. Only men live here, though you may be guided through the grounds by volunteer hosts, who may be women. The guru and abbot of this monastery is Bodhinatha. He gives a weekly inspired talk in the Kadavul Temple and receives visitors seeking his blessings. Many Hindu families come from all over the world for his darshan each month. Bodhinatha travels extensively. When on Kauai, he trains the monks, leads the pre-dawn meditation, presides at the weekly fire ritual and gives initiation to Church members and monks. The monastic order is organized in five groups, covering the basic areas of service: 1)temples and kitchen, 2)teaching and Church administration, 3)finance and business, 4)buildings and grounds and 5)publishing. They live a strict but joyous life under vows of celibacy, humility, obedience and confidentiality. Lifetime renunciates, called swamis, also have a vow of poverty. The lives of the monks revolve around Kadavul Hindu temple, where they perform morning disciplines and hold three-hour vigils, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Religious gatherings are held to study Gurudevas teachings, chant mantras, sing devotional hymns and learn meditation techniques. Striving for self-sufficiency, the monks grow much of their own food and keep a small herd of cows for milk, butter, ghee, yogurt and cheese. They make furniture from trees grown on the land and manage a nursery to propagate plants for the lush gardens. Working in one-minded harmony, this accomplished, high-tech order (each has his Macintosh computer and iPhone) is effectively helping the island and influencing Hinduism globally in far-off nations. More about the monks...

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