Kauai's Hindu Monastery
August 2014 Newsletter
In July, six monastics and I headed for the island nation of Mauritius to host Innersearch Mauritius 2014, with 51 participants from nine countries. This was our 25th Innersearch program. The 12-day event featured an abundance of classes from me and the three swamis on topics including the microcosm of chakras and inner nerve currents, Shum meditation, hatha yoga, character building, effective use of affirmation and an abundance of stories about Gurudeva. The innersearchers joined together with our Mauritian Church members and Academy students for three grand-scale events: the first-Sunday-of-the-month Ganesha homa (with thousands of devotees attending), Satguru Purnima—including a fun-loving parade with dancing and singing—and a grand finale banquet with a variety of skits on the yamas and character building. General contributions for July totaled $44,553, which is less than our minimum monthly goal of $65,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $208. 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.
We are immortal souls living and growing in the great school of earthly experience in which we have lived many lives. Vedic rishis have given us courage by uttering the simple truth, “God is the Life of our life.” A great sage carried it further by saying there is one thing God cannot do: God cannot separate Himself from us. This is because God is our life. God is the life in the birds. God is the life in the fish. God is the life in the animals. Becoming aware of this Life energy in all that lives is becoming aware of God’s loving presence within us. We are the undying consciousness and energy flowing through all things. Deep inside we are perfect this very moment, and we have only to discover and live up to this perfection to be whole. Our energy and God’s energy are the same, ever coming out of the void. We are all beautiful children of God. Each day we should try to see the life energy in trees, birds, animals and people. When we do, we are seeing God Siva in action.
Explore Gurudeva's Wisdom
- Study Gurudeva's Master Course, which is filled with philosophical, practical, soul-stirring information potent enough to inspire even a skeptic to change his ways of thinking about life and the ultimate goal of existence on this planet: HimalayanAcademy.com/study/mc/
- Read Gurudeva's books online at: http://www.himalayanacademy.com/looklisten/gurus-talks
- Listen to Gurudeva's inspired talks by visiting: http://himalayanacademy.com/talks/gurudeva
News From the Home of Iraivan Temple
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and the participants of the 2014 Mauritius Innersearch Travel-Study Program
A jigsaw puzzle featuring our beloved Gurudeva
Bodhinatha and six monks spent the first two weeks of July immersed in Innersearch Mauritius 2014. It was a time of intense classes combined with religious rituals. The daily classes were held at our scenic Spiritual Park on the east coast of the island nation. Pandit Narendra Ragoonanan from Trinidad did the inaugural puja to the eight-foot-tall Pancha Mukha Ganapati who presides over the park. For his first class, Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami focused on guru bhakti. At one point he passed the microphone to innersearch participant Swami Parameshananda, who expressed the message “Let go of life’s burdens and allow God to enter your life!” Bodhinatha summarized the goal of his seminars during his opening remarks: “Hinduism is a path to higher consciousness. It is focused on our state of mind right now, what we are experiencing in the present moment, not on what happens after we die, not on some future event, not on tomorrow or later today. It is focused on living in as high a state of consciousness as possible in this moment, a state of consciousness free from negative emotions such as jealousy, anger and fear.” All of his classes were full of practical advice for achieving that state of mind in one’s own life. During the program, Bodhinatha and students participated in the installation of a Murugan murti at the Somnath temple and goshala near Ganga Talao lake, also known as Grand Bassin. They later paid a visit to His Excellency Mr. Rajkeswur Purryag, the president of Mauritius, at the Chateau de Reduit State House. Towards the end of the program, Sishyas Egambrum and Logavalli Sinsamy as well as Nuckiren Pyeneeandee received mantra diksha while Mrunal and Padmaja Patel received vishesha diksha. Tiviapragassen and Saroja Maureemootoo took arulsishya vows and several youth took their vidyasishya pledge. Back on Kauai, Basanti Mardemootoo of Mauritius signed her vidyasishya pledge in Bodhinatha’s presence, promising to follow the yamas and niyamas and perform a ten-minute vigil every morning.
Iraivan Temple Progress
In Bengaluru, the final stones for the Nandi Mandapam were loaded in shipping containers and are now on their way to Kauai. Only the smaller yeshtis of the front steps of the temple are left to complete. The primary focus of the stone carvers is the perimeter wall. On Kauai, heavy equipment was used to remove underbrush and prepare the ground for landscaping along the entry path to the temple. Bronze artisan Holly Young made good progress on the silpi stone carver memorial. She has completed wax models, almost life size, of two silpis cutting big blocks of stone using nothing but hammers and chisels. These forms now go to the metal foundry in Colorado for casting in bronze. Many thanks to all the generous donors who have helped meet our monthly fundraising goals this year. It is because of you that a magnificent place of religious pilgrimage, for this generation, the next and the next is steadily manifesting on this island paradise.
Welcome to Our New Sadhaka
The monastery’s eight sadhakas, monks in white robes, renewed their two-year vows following the elaborate monthly Ardra abhishekam of the Nataraja Deity of Kadavul Temple. At the same time, Sivanadiyar Girish Samugam, son of a family of Gurudeva’s devotees in Singapore, took the four sacred monastic vows of Humility, Purity, Obedience and Confidence for the first time. Bodhinatha blessed him with new robes, sandalwood beads and a new name—Sadhaka Dayanatha. With all of our love and blessings we welcome Sadhaka Dayanatha as the newest monk of the Kailasa Parampara.
Publications and Other Activities
The monks of the Ganapati Kulam spent the latter part of July pulling together the articles for the October/November/December issue of Hinduism Today. At the same time they made steady progress on the renovation of their Media Studio office space. The Siddhidata Kulam, our landscape and gardening group of monks, took delivery of four new Polaris Ranger electric utility vehicles, replacing an aging fleet of gas-and deisel-powered counterparts, to facilitate maintenance of the monastery grounds and buildings. July was a busy time for visitors, bringing Siva in many of His forms to the monastery. Among them were bharata natyam instructors Anusha Tharmarajah from Sydney, Australia, and Sudha Krishnan from San Ramon, California. While here Sudha was able to fulfill her dream of dancing for Lord Nataraja inside Kadavul Temple.
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
Follow our daily activities at Today at Kauai's Hindu Monastery (blog)
Left: Visitors enjoy the grounds on a weekly tour day..
With over 19,000 hits on YouTube after just a few weeks posted, The History of Hindu India, part one, is off to a quick start. Its inaugural showing at the June 28 “Meet the Publisher and Editors” event in Mauritius was a great success. One young lady in the audience said afterwards, “Wow! I have to tell you this is the first time I have ever seen my religion presented in a way that touched me so deeply. Tonight I feel proud to be a Hindu!” Other comments we have received are “Incredibly well done” from Mihir Meghani; “Great work! Kudos to the Kauai Hindu Monastery!” from R. Unnikrishnan; and “Great job, this will help dispel many misgivings in the mainstream communities and school boards,” from Akkaraju Sarma.
We did learn in the process that while you can watch a movie on YouTube, it is rather difficult to download, even if the publisher allows it—requiring a program that basically hacks the YouTube restrictions. Consequently, we set up a “landing page” for the movie: http://www.himalayanacademy.com/readlearn/hindu-history, or bit.ly/history-hindu-india. This solved the download issue and made it easy to find all the six subtitled versions: Tamil, Hindi, Spanish, French, Indonesian and English, each available in 1080p, 720p and 480p resolution. We would advise, however, that the subtitles—particularly for Tamil and Hindi—are difficult to read in 480p. So it is not practical to view the subtitled version on your smartphone.
YouTube Links to The Hindu History of India Video
Note: Narration is in English in all versions
Our feature story for October, 2014, explores the little-known story of one million Hindus living on Java, Indonesia’s main island. They trace their origins back to Hindu kingdoms that ruled the island up to the 15th century. Now long separated from India, and even from the Hindus of Bali, they have yet managed to maintain their unique heritage.
Our Insight Section this issue is “Humanity’s Diverse Faiths: a presentation of religious beliefs, goals, paths of attainment and ideological comparisons” for the world’s major religions. In his Publisher’s Desk, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, explains how Hindu principles can help develop the refined character needed to move from the lower consciousness of anger and fear to the lofty states of mind which are our soul’s birthright.
The issue has a rich collection of smaller stories, beginning with the unusual photography project of Manjari Sharma. By divine inspiration, she is motivated to professionally dress up human models in the image of the Gods—Hanuman, Shiva, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Saraswati—each in an appropriate setting. Shiva, for example, is dancing in a ring of fire; Hanuman landing with Dronagiri Mountain held aloft in His left hand. The gallery-circuit results do indeed bring the Deities to life.
Next is a seven-page review by Koenraad Elst of the recently released Encyclopedia of Hinduism. With his keen insight, expertise, humor and a dash of attitude, the Belgium scholar ultimately pronounces the 25-year effort a success.
“Thirteen Days of Mourning and Release” by Kathmandu-based Sally Acharya and photographer Thomas Kelly is a poignant and educational look into the rituals of death followed at a mourning site at Pashupatinath temple. Two youth articles round out the issue. The first covers the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha youth convention of 2013, which had nearly 10,000 participants. The second explores the programs and challenges of the nascent Hindu Students Association.
Each year the Katir family in California creates hundreds of clay Ganeshas for Ganesha Visarjana, with proceeds going to Iraivan temple. They started this in 2005, taking over and expanding upon the work of Satya Palani who for 20 years made clay Ganeshas for the local Church members.
The molds are made from bronze Deities and cast with biodegradable clay in two sizes. It is a slow process, taking two months to make 450 of the small statues. The large ones sell for $10 the small ones are $5. The family organizes creative and fun painting parties for local Hindu children, which are always a big hit. The unpainted Ganeshas are also sold online here, in bulk to temples and through direct personal orders.
Three Types of Fund Raising: Annual, Major & Plannedry now and then we are asked by trustees of a temple in the USA that is newly formed or just a few years old whether they should start an endowment fund at this time or wait till later. The concern is that raising funds for an endowment will compete with what are viewed as the more pressing needs of paying down a major loan or funding the next phase of temple construction. These are reasonable concerns, but professional fundraisers tell us that this is not an issue if the various fund-raising programs are properly presented and administered.
• Annual gifts, such as the year-end appeal for general support, are made from disposable income.
• Major gifts, such as for temple construction, are funded from savings or other assets such as appreciated stock or real estate.
• Planned gifts, such as for an endowment fund, usually take place in the future, are part of the donor’s estate plan and utilize lifetime accumulated assets of all types.
To check on this concept, planned giving professionals have done research and found that more than 70 percent of people who have already made planned gifts also continue to make annual gifts to the organizations they have named in their estate plans.
A compelling reason for a new temple to start an endowment fund as early as possible is that more of the founding core group of donors is still living in the area and participating in the temple. They are the natural group to contribute to the temple’s endowment fund. Historically, endowment has been simultaneous with construction of many Hindu temples, either by a king or a Hindu community with gifts of land for shops or for agriculture. These deeply interested parties wanted to make sure the edifice they built would be sustained in perpetuity.
The concept of making charitable gifts in your estate plan to your favorite charities is commonly referred to as “Leaving a legacy.” For example, if you are donating $5,000 a year to a Hindu temple, a gift to their endowment of $125,000 would continue to provide that $5,000 a year (assumes a grant of 4%). Potential donors may raise the objection, “I have children and relatives. Shouldn’t I leave my entire estate to them?” This is perhaps the number one cause for reluctance when making a bequest. However, part of making a charitable bequest is demonstrating your values and beliefs to your family, reinforcing what you have done during life.
Making a planned gift to an endowment should not be done as an independent action. It should be part of a comprehensive estate plan. Professional advisors should be consulted to help the donor understand the various ways to give as well as decide the question of what to give—which addresses the complex realm of the “tax consequences” involved in giving different types of assets.
For additional information contact Shanmuganathaswami at 808-822-3012, ext. 244 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about planned giving options to provide immediate tax and income benefits to you and your family, while also providing a future gift to a temple, please visit the Hindu Heritage Endowment website at hheonline.org.
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Building Fund Donations
Thanks to Our July Temple Builders in 15 Countries
SUMMARY: For the eleven months of September to July, our minimum monthly goal equals $715,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $716,293.95.
|Building Fund Donations|
|Ramudu & Marie Bhanugopan||US$108.00|
|Subramanaim & Malathy Nirmalananda||101.00|
|N. & Neelanthi Panchalingam||44.92|
|Essen Subramanian Valayten||3.23|
|Sri Dhevi Arasaratnam||100.00|
|Rajesh K. Bali||525.76|
|Ron & Jennifer Burke||50.00|
|Naguleswary & Manickam Senthivel||50.00|
|Azam & Loganatha Shivam Torkian||60.00|
|Pai Shrikrishna Family||51.00|
|Thambimuttoo & Thavam Sivagnanam||51.00|
|Sara K. Sivasurier||123.77|
|Nagula & Sutha Suthaker||101.00|
|The Harilela Foundation Limited||2,500.00|
|Luckshmi & Logan Siva Nirmalananda||201.00|
|Shanno Devi Saxena||101.00|
|Vennila Mardemootoo & Sivaneswaran Sockanathan||50.00|
|Shaolin Wahnam Institute||351.00|
|Thanesh Kumar & Leelawathy Aianarappan||15.00|
|Arulmani Devi Arumugam||89.10|
|Thinageri & Kumaresh Batumalai||31.00|
|Rathidevi & Veerasamy Batumallah||72.82|
|Arulmani Chandra Kumar & Sujith Arulmani||29.69|
|Chandran Ramamurthy, Kalpana Devasagayam & Sai Janany||44.55|
|Leena Lakshmi Devasagayam & Anand Kumar Letchumana||44.55|
|Yoga Rubini & Chandra Ganth Family||31.45|
|Yoga Bhavani & R. Jayakumar Family||31.45|
|Uma Dewi & Dinesh Kumar Jayaram||9.00|
|M. Shanmuganathan & A. Kamalambikai||62.90|
|Amaraysh, Kumutha & Jerry Lai||14.84|
|Ramesh Murthi, Bathmavathy Batumalai, Deevesh & Likel||14.84|
|Wasantha Devi Murugan||31.45|
|Rasiah Vallipuram & Pathumanithi Nagalingam||29.69|
|M. Suranthiran Naidu||59.42|
|Kaveta Supramaniam Ramoo||59.42|
|Supramaniam Ramoo & In Memory of Neelavathy Thangavelu||29.69|
|Puvana Ratha Krishnan||15.75|
|Jayaraj Kantharaj & Saranraj S-O Jayabalathilagam||17.80|
|B. S. Selvakone||51.00|
|Ambikabathi Shanmugam Pillay||62.90|
|Raja Singam Raja Ratnam & Shreema Rasiah||29.69|
|Roselia Simon - Kulamani Ganesha||82.00|
|Saraswathy & Ramesh Sivanathan||15.77|
|Mohana Sundari & Sivasekaran||29.69|
|Chandrasekari & A. Sockalingam||29.69|
|Devi & The Late Selvadurai Subramaniam||14.84|
|Remalah & A. Thinathayalan||14.84|
|Thanavinthan Siva Thirumalai||15.63|
|Vikneswaran A. Vinsent||29.69|
|Darrshan Letchumanan & Yuvan Letchumanan||29.69|
|Roubee Devi Bookun||3.23|
|Shree Saroja Devi Doorgiat||3.23|
|Amrit Singh Jaypal||8.06|
|Seedha Lutchmee Moonesawmy||3.23|
|Sheela Goindamah Moothoosawmy||3.23|
|Siven Barlen Mootoosamy||1.61|
|Vimaley Chellen Mootoosamy||1.61|
|Naden Seeneevasen Pillay||1.61|
|Prekash & Sabita Baladien||15.00|
|Gary & Radica Asha Yee-Fong||35.00|
|Anil Ananda Badhwar||54.00|
|Fremont Lawrence & Toshadevi Nataraj||61.00|
|Sivakumar, Lavanya & Easan Saravan||400.00|
|Kavitha Darshini & Amitpal Singh||232.79|
|Ramalingum Moodley Family||200.00|
|Shree Vishna Rasiah & Sharmila Harry||29.69|
|Clive & Puvaneswary Roberts||175.00|
|Darmaguhan & Shivali Satgunasingam||100.00|
|Golden Gate Mission||3.50|
|Hotranatha & Punita Ajaya||25.00|
|Adi & Asha Alahan||25.00|
|Vel & Valli Alahan||25.00|
|Manula & Easwaran Balasubramanian||202.00|
|Amitabha & Meena Banerjee||101.00|
|Arvind & Urmila Bhakta||51.00|
|K. R. Channarasappa||30.00|
|Kaika & Nilufer Clubwala||101.00|
|Shyamadeva & Peshani Devi Dandapani||51.00|
|Banu Devi & Chellappa Deva||50.00|
|Amarnath & Latha Devarmanai||202.00|
|Ramesh U. & Pramila U. Dugel||101.00|
|Jim & Margie Fischer||25.10|
|Suketu & Mita Gandhi||51.00|
|Hiranya & Saraswathi Devi Gowda||515.00|
|Toshadeva & Kamala Guhan||36.00|
|Prabodh & Jean Gupta||100.00|
|Kriya & Sharyn Haran||105.00|
|James L. Haynes||50.00|
|Usharani Iswaran Magaña||100.00|
|Vasanthi S. Iyer||50.00|
|Srinivas & Shanthi Karri||40.00|
|Anil & Devajyothi Kondapi||50.00|
|Dora Kovacs & Rudy Tanzi||108.00|
|Gerard & Zhena Linsmeier||54.00|
|Kishin & Varsha Mahbubani||151.00|
|Ramesh & Shubh Malhan||100.00|
|Laura Devi Marks||108.00|
|Rohini & Vijay Mashettiwar||101.00|
|Dave & Cindy McGonagle||25.00|
|Chandra Mohan Mehrotra||51.00|
|Inder & Aileen Mirchandani||1,008.00|
|Palani & Selvarany Nadarajah||15.00|
|Nitya & Becky Nadesan||141.00|
|Manish M. Naidu||11.11|
|Varsha & Dilip Naik||105.00|
|Sanjaya K. Nath||11.00|
|Emma & Narendra Nemivant||25.00|
|Easvan & Devi Param||101.00|
|Janaka & Bhavani Param||25.00|
|Magan & Sharda Patel||1,201.00|
|Vinay & Hansa R. Patel||101.00|
|Yatin & Bhavini Patel||122.00|
|Mr. & Mrs. Pranavan||25.00|
|Richard Henry Pratt||100.00|
|Deva & Gayatri Rajan||1,001.00|
|Jeyashree & Venkat Ramakrishnan||50.00|
|Rajesh & Yatra Raman||11.00|
|Partab & Chandra Ramsinghani||54.00|
|Annie & Mark Ruiz||108.00|
|Cliff & Kathy Runge||50.00|
|S. & Pushpa Satkunaratnam||251.00|
|Karthikeyan Senthil Nathan||21.00|
|Praveen Y. Sharma||101.00|
|Iraja & Nilani Sivadas||108.00|
|Siva C. Sivagnanaguru||5,001.00|
|Dharshi & Sivasothy Sivakumar||150.00|
|Nathan & Sulena Sivananda||50.00|
|Raja & Anita Srivastava||101.00|
|Nandi Deva Sundaram||50.00|
|Shanthi Suresh & Sures Ramamurti||101.00|
|Sivam U. Thillaikanthan||40.00|
|Rohini Krishnan & Kartik Venkatesh||100.00|
|David & Shelah Young||51.00|
|Total Building Fund||$43,821.25|
|Iraivan Temple Endowment|
|Victoria Lynne Johnson||11.00|
|Total Endowment Funds||$732.00|
|Special Project Donations (Gold Leaf)|
|Gail La Mar||108.00|
|Srinivas R. Madaboosi||100.00|
|Total Special Project Donations||208.00|
Your support is deeply appreciated!
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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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