Kauai's Hindu Monastery
May 2016 Newsletter
At the beginning of April, Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami, Sannyasin Siddhanathaswami and I traveled to Portland, Oregon, for a week. The visit included a Wednesday night satsang at the Portland Balaji Temple and an outing and luncheon with member families. At the monastery, the first two weeks of April were Sadhu Paksha—the time when we quiet the monastery down a bit by not having group and family tours walking through the monastery. Our monthly Ardra puja to Siva Nataraja and Chitra puja to Gurudeva were held, with a few off island guests in attendance. The editing of my Publisher’s Desk entitled “Dance and the Spiritual Path” was completed for the July/August/September issue of Hinduism Today. It presents five ways in which the attitudes of mastering dance and progressing on the spiritual path are similar. The first one, for example, is the attitude toward strengths and weaknesses. A young woman becomes a better dancer not by focusing on her strengths but on her weaknesses.General contributions for April totaled $42,842, which is less than our minimum monthly goal of $65,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $938. 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.
An ancient Upanishad defines twenty obstacles, upasarga, to spiritual progress: hunger, thirst, laziness, passion, lust, fear, shame, anxiety, excitement, adversity, sorrow, despair, anger, arrogance, delusion, greed, stinginess, ambitiousness, death and birth. Another obstacle is the intellect, which, unguided by intuition, merely juggles memory and reason as a way of life. The experience of these impediments creates reactions that combine with the sum of all past impressions, samskaras, both positive and negative. Residing in the subconscious mind, these are the source of subliminal traits or tendencies, called vasanas, which shape our attitudes and motivations. The troublesome vasanas clouding the mind must be reconciled and released. There are beneficial tantras by which absolution can be attained for unhindered living, including ayurveda, jyotisha, daily sadhana, temple worship, selfless giving, the creative arts and the several yogas. The Vedas explain, “Even as a mirror covered with dust shines brightly when cleaned, so the embodied soul, seeing the truth of atman, realizes oneness, attains the goal of life and becomes free from sorrow.”
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
Inside the Maha Mandapam of Iraivan Temple, Yoginathaswami stands beside one of the forty granite pillars. This morning photo was captured by LakshmiGrace Phoenix.
Satguru, monks and pilgrims parade around Iraivan Temple after raising the flag to mark the start of a new season, Nartana Ritau, with an emphasis on planning
Iraivan Temple Report
At the carving site in Bengaluru, India, good progress is being made on Iraivan Temple’s 148-meter-long perimeter wall. All of the stone carvers are focused on this job. Here on Kauai we continued to work on the massive landscaping project. Hundreds of special tissue culture plants were put into the ground, and dozens of black stepping stones were placed to create a hillside meditation path. Midway through April we received photos from Bobby Pages’s workshop (see below) in Loveland, Colorado, showing the near completion of the life-size sculpture of two silpis moving an impossibly heavy large stone with just two iron rods and some close coordination of effort. For those new to this project, Gurudeva wanted to create a bronze memorial to the temple builders of Iraivan. Otherwise, he explained, once the carving process is finished, visitors in the future will have no visual idea of the amazingly simple and effective traditional processes that created it. Thus was born the Temple Builder’s Memorial. For several years now the work has continued at the studio of the amazingly gifted and spiritually endowed Holly Young on the Big Island, where the wax is sculpted, and in workshops of skilled artisans in Colorado where the bronzes are forged.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's Activities
At the beginning of April Satguru traveled to Portland, Oregon, with Shanmuganathaswami and Siddhanathaswami for a 4D software conference, satsangs and a presentation at the Balaji Temple. His talk was “Hinduism: A Multifaceted Religion.” After returning, Satguru conducted his eighth webinar on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras with sishyas and advanced students tuning in around the planet.
Publications and Other Activities
In April, the Ganapati Kulam, our publication monks, finished the editorial work on the July-August-September issue of Hinduism Today magazine. You can get the free app here: www.bit.ly/HT-APP. On April 15, when the sun entered the Aries constellation, we marked the beginning of the Hindu Year, Durmukha, 5118, with a morning homa, flag-raising and parade to Iraivan Temple. On April 18, a new Jersey calf was born. We named her Teta, which means innocent beauty. In addition to the many acres of mahogany trees that have been planted on Himalayan Acres, the monastery is continuing with its planting of the revered Acacia Koa tree, also known as Acacia kauaiensis. These are being grown as a living endowment for the future of the monastery. The 700 trees that were planted in December, 2014, just 16 months ago, now stand between 6 and 16 feet tall. Their growth has been phenomenal. When fully mature, they will reach a height of 50-80 feet. This month another 1,300 Koa seedlings arrived from the Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, were planted on Himalayan Acres and already show signs of vigor. These particular trees have been carefully bred to be resistant to a widespread root disease, known as Koa Wilt, that attacks Koa trees grown at lower elevations.
The Siddhidata Kulam, the group of monks who care for the monastery gardens, spent several days in April removing a 2,500-square-foot clump of a large, yellow bamboo. The site, being prepared for a new hydroponic nursery structure, is ideally situated near water and power lines. They also hosted a group of hula dancers from Maui who had just returned from a Tamil Nadu cultural exchange program organized by Roselle Bailey, a well-known hula teacher and friend of the monastery. They wanted to see Iraivan Temple, a little piece of India in Hawaii. They performed a sacred dance in the Hawaiian style, and offered traditional Hawaiian chants, called oli, honoring the temple.
Left: Master metal artisan Bobby Page poses in his Colorado workshop with the next bronze sculpture; Raguram Murugesan visited the Iraivan worksite and enjoyed watching the silpis carving on the perimeter wall.
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
Jnana. Self Correcting Awareness - May 7, 2016
Mindfulness, Being in the Present - May 1, 2016
Happiness. Purify, remain within - April 24, 2016 Your Self-Concept; You Are a Divine Soul - April 15, 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)
The Monastery Welcomes Our Newest Jersey Heifer, Teta
Newest resident: (top to bottom) Teta on day one; at 12 days bounding about her pasture, easily able to outrun a human; grooming time; sharing a moment with Shanmuganathaswami, who is responsible for the cows
The newest member of our Jersey herd was born April 18, 7am, to Marvelous, who was brought to Kauai two years ago. With the nakshatra Uttarphalguni, the recommended syllable for her name is Te, and thus she was named Teta, “innocent beauty.” The birth was, as is normal for cows, uneventful—it was a matter of minutes from “We’re doing this” to “We’re done.” Out came a beautifully formed, fully functional calf, able within an hour to stand on her feet. She did appear a bit puzzled at first as to just where she was (photo right). But in a day she could run and shortly thereafter had a kick hard enough to, well, wish you hadn’t been kicked (don’t ever step behind a frisky calf).
The monastery kept Toggenberg goats in the 1970s, then in later years brought the first Jersey cows to Kauai. They were less venturesome than the goats and therefore stayed out of trouble (such as unauthorized visits to a neighbor’s garden). And time spent milking a cow is far more productive than a goat. Over the years we switched to Holsteins, but recently opted again for Jerseys, as they are much more docile, like the cows you encounter in India on the street. They provide an abundance of rich milk, which the monastery consumes directly, or makes into yogurt or cheese. Some goes for the daily Siva worship and more for Ardra puja. The milk is entirely organic, free from the various antibiotics and hormones that are given to commercial dairy cows these days.
Cows and cow milk figure prominently in the Lemurian Scrolls’ descriptions of life in previous yugas. Those writings say the cow was brought to planet Earth in an even earlier time, and would be “the sustainer of life on the planet for many yugas.” Our main food in that early human history was fruits, nuts and seeds mixed with milk.
“The animals that ate the vegetables and gave forth milk were valuable to us,” the Scrolls state. “We recognize them to be one of us, caught in the animal kingdom on his way back to human form.” Gurudeva described how he had seen that the soul inhabiting the body of one of our cows had been a disturbed young man killed in an accident, and his inner bodies were recuperating in this cow incarnation until he would again be able to take human birth.
You will enjoy reading (or re-reading) about how cows are treated at one of India’s largest goshalas, located in Rajasthan, in our April/May/June, 2015 issue of the magazine, bit.ly/CowFeature. The Shree Pathmeda Godham Mahatirth in Rehsil cares for 125,000 cows—a far bigger operation than our small herd, for sure!
Community Property or Joint Tenancy:
Why the Way You and Your Spouse Hold Property Matters
Prior to buying a home, talk to your real estate agent about the differences between joint tenancy and community property
In 1969 when Ajit and Inayat bought their California home, a year after they were married, their realtor suggested they hold it in joint tenancy. It turned out to be bad advice.
“It’s more convenient,” he explained. “When one of you dies, the survivor gets the decedent’s half of the home automatically and without probate.”
All the young couple remembered was “without probate.”
Ajit told Inayat that when his unmarried uncle died unexpectedly, the estate was tied up in probate court for a year. He would not want her to be subjected to that kind of delay and expense. Joint tenancy it would be.
Shortly after they celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary, Ajit suddenly died. As planned, his widow received his half of the home without the delay or costs of probate.
With their children raised and the home too large for her to manage, Inayat put the house on the market for $900,000 and received an offer for the full amount within a week, this for a home they had bought decades earlier for under $50,000.
But with the sale came a shock: she had to pay federal and state capital gains taxes on $275,000 of the sale proceeds.
“Why?” she asked her realtor.
“Because you and Ajit held your home in joint tenancy rather than as community property,” he said.
“What difference does that make?” she asked, raising her voice.
“About $65,000 in taxes,” he retorted.
His answer was curt but his math correct. Holding their home in joint tenancy meant that when Ajit died, Inayat did not get a full “step-up in basis,” a technical term for a financial favor we do our heirs at death.
When an heir receives a full step-up in basis, the property he or she receives from us upon our death is viewed by the IRS as though they had bought it at its full fair market value. So if they sell it, they may have little or no capital gains to worry about. If Ajit and Inayat had held their home as community property, Inayat would have avoided being taxed on the $275,000, her realtor explained. “That’s not fair!” Inayat moaned. “I know, but it’s the law.” Though fictional, this tale is based on the many painful experiences of married couples living in community property states.
You may have no capital gains to worry about, even if you use joint tenancy. Why? Every home owner has a $250,000 exclusion from capital gains tax when they sell a personal residence, as long as they’ve lived there at least two years. Married couples can combine their exclusions for a total of $500,000. In certain markets, however, even that may not fully cover the gain.
So, if you’re married, should you rush out and change title to your home and other assets (rental property and investments held in joint tenancy have no $250,000 exclusion from capital gains tax) from joint tenancy to community property? Not without legal advice and a financial analysis of your situation.
For information on establishing a fund at Hindu Heritage Endowment, contact Shanmuganathaswami at 808-822-3012 ext. 6 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the HHE website at HHEonline.org.
To learn about this and other tools for spiritual living, study The Master Course trilogy
Help Move Iraivan Forward
You Can Help Sponsor the Perimeter Wall
❏ One pillar section: $15,000
❏ One panel section: $30,000
Building Fund Donations
Thanks to Our April Temple Builders in 16 Countries
Six-Month Eight-Month Summary: For the eight months of September to April, our minimum monthly goal was $520,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $563,860.05. .
|Building Fund Donations|
|Marie & R. Bhanugopan||US$108.00|
|D. Karthigesu Family||100.00|
|Gunavinthan Siva Thirumalai||100.00|
|Thanavinthan Siva T. Thirumalai||50.00|
|Essen Subramanian Valayten||2.82|
|Sri Dhevi Arasaratnam||101.00|
|Ron & Jennifer Burke||50.00|
|Jatin & Priya Kumar||28.00|
|Changam & Kamachi Naidu||50.00|
|Vijayarani & Thiru Satkunendran||25.00|
|Naguleswary & Manickam Senthivel||50.00|
|Thambimuttoo & Thavam Sivagnanam||51.00|
|Sayanthan & Anupama Sivanathan||11.00|
|Sara K. Sivasurier||175.00|
|Nagula & Sutha Suthaker||101.00|
|Cristina Ma Puja Canducci||20.00|
|Arulmani Devi Arumugam||148.40|
|Rathidevi & Veerasamy Batumallah||50.02|
|Arulmani Chandra Kumar & Sujith Arulmani||49.45|
|Sai Janany, Chandran Ramamurthy & Kalpana Devasagayam||37.11|
|Kavin Kirav, Anand Kumar Letchumana & Leena Lakshmi Devasagayam||37.11|
|Annapoorani Ganesan & Family||12.37|
|Yoga Rubini & Chandra Ganth Family||12.51|
|R. Jayakumar & Yoga Bhavani Family||12.51|
|M. Shanmuganathan & A. Kamalambikai||25.02|
|Nanda Kumar & Hema||12.37|
|Amaraysh, Kumutha & Jarry Lai||12.37|
|Rasiah Vallipuram & Pathumanithi Nagalingam||24.72|
|M. Suranthiran Naidu||32.15|
|Supramaniam Ramoo & In Memory of Neelavathy Thangavelu||24.72|
|Jayaraj Kantharaj & Saranraj S-O Jayabalathilagam||14.85|
|B. S. Selvakone||51.00|
|Ambikabathi Shanmugam Pillay||25.02|
|Raja Singam Raja Ratnam & Shreema Rasiah||24.72|
|Roselia Simon - Kulamani Ganesha||82.00|
|Hitesvar Sivanathan & & Rishitaa Sivanathan 12.37|
|Saraswathy & Ramesh Sivanathan||12.77|
|Mohana Sundari & Sivasekaran||24.72|
|A. Sockalingam & Chandrasekari||24.72|
|Devi & the late Selvadurai Subramaniam||12.37|
|Remalah & A. Thinathayalan||12.37|
|A. Vickneswaram K.||25.02|
|Vikneswaran A. Vinsent||24.72|
|Darrshan Letchumanan & Yuvan Letchumanan||49.45|
|Shree Saroja Devi Doorgiat||2.82|
|Amrit Singh Jaypal||7.04|
|Seedha Lutchmee Moonesawmy||2.82|
|Siven Barlen Mootoosamy||1.41|
|Vimaley Chellen Mootoosamy||1.41|
|Naden Seeneevasen Pillay||1.41|
|Prekash & Sabita Baladien||15.00|
|Anil Ananda Badhwar||10.00|
|Fremont Lawrence & Toshadevi Nataraj||61.00|
|Vaiyapuri Kamala Devi||50.00|
|Sivakumar, Lavanya & Easan Saravan||400.00|
|Kavitha Darshini & Amitpal Singh||74.62|
|Anjeli Soopraya Patten||600.00|
|Gary & Radica Asha Yee-Fong||35.00|
|Shree Vishna Rasiah & Sharmila Harry||24.72|
|Clive & Puvaneswary Roberts||175.00|
|Golden Gate Mission||99.50|
|Vel & Valli Alahan||25.00|
|Harjot Singh Attri||25.00|
|Dharam & Madhu Bahl||54.00|
|In Memory of Late Mr. Kanaiyalal P. Bhavsar||404.00|
|Uma & Kumar Chandrasekaran||251.00|
|Kaika & Nilufer Clubwala||101.00|
|Brian P. Cooke||51.00|
|Shyamadeva & Peshanidevi Dandapani||51.00|
|Janakbhai R. Dave||51.00|
|Banu Devi & Chellappa Deva||25.00|
|Amarnath & Latha Devarmanai||101.00|
|Anjali Monga Dhar||1,008.00|
|Suketu & Mita Gandhi||51.00|
|Hiranya & Sarasvathi Devi Gowda||515.00|
|Toshadeva & Kamala Guhan||36.00|
|Rajesh & Kalaivani Gunnalan||1,008.00|
|Kriya & Sharyn Haran||120.00|
|James L. Haynes||100.00|
|Shakti Shanti Hee||101.00|
|Usharani Iswaran Magaña||100.00|
|Sreenivasulu & Udayarka Jaladanki||101.00|
|Srinivas & Shanthi Karri||40.00|
|Anil & Devajyothi Kondapi||51.00|
|Ganesh & Jaishree Krishnamoorthy||101.00|
|Gerard & Zhena Linsmeier||54.00|
|R. & K. Mahadevan||101.00|
|Kishin & Varsha Mahbubani||151.00|
|Laura Devi Marks||108.00|
|Tapas & Uttara Mazumdar||50.00|
|Palani & Selvarany Nadarajah||15.00|
|Nitya & Becky Nadesan||141.00|
|Manish M. Naidu||11.11|
|Rama Chandran & Rema Nair||1,001.00|
|Prasad & Sucheta Nallamothu||101.00|
|Sanjaya K. Nath||11.00|
|Nagar S. Nayak||25.00|
|Emma & Narendra Nemivant||25.00|
|Satya & Savitri Palani||21.00|
|Easvan & Devi Param||202.00|
|Janaka & Bhavani Param||25.00|
|Allie, Shivani, Shruti & Shreya Patel||100.00|
|Ashit & Sonel Patel||251.00|
|Himanshu & Hiteshri Patel||108.00|
|Jayshree Dinesh Patel||101.00|
|Mukesh R. Patel||251.00|
|Mukund & Jyotika Patel||201.00|
|Vinay & Hansa R. Patel||101.00|
|Seetharamarao & Rukmini Poruri||501.00|
|Richard Henry Pratt||100.00|
|Raman & Uma Purighalla||2,000.00|
|Deva & Gayatri Rajan||1,001.00|
|Mohan Deepak Ram||238.00|
|Jeyashree & Venkat Ramakrishnan||50.00|
|Kasi & Vidya Ramanathan||101.00|
|Partab & Chandra Ramsinghani||27.00|
|Ashok & Dorothy Roychoudhury||101.00|
|Annie & Mark Ruiz||108.00|
|Cliff & Kathy Runge||50.00|
|Darmaguhan & Shivali Satgunasingam||100.00|
|Silver Vel Satsang||45.00|
|Aran & Valli Sendan||25.00|
|Deva & Amala Seyon||102.00|
|Sivakami Shanmugasundaram Family||111.00|
|Dharshi & Sivasothy Sivakumar||300.00|
|Nathan & Sulena Sivananda||50.00|
|Tandu & Uma Sivanathan||200.00|
|Nandi Deva Sundaram||50.00|
|Anthan @ Sayini Sunder||25.00|
|Nirupa & Nagamany Thayalachandan||108.00|
|Sivam U. Thillaikanthan||40.00|
|David & Shelah Young||51.00|
|Total Building Fund||$42,286.93|
|Iraivan Temple Endowment|
|Rama Pemmaraju Rao||108.00|
|Total Endowment Funds||$555.50|
|Special Project Donations|
|Anil Ananda Badhwar||619.83|
|Total Special Project Donations||$938.19|
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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