On January 5, 1998, Gurudeva and his mathavasis and church members temporarily transformed Kilohana Carriage House into a Hindu temple. Those who attended can attest to the feeling of the sublime vibration that existed in this wonderful space around Gurudeva while we celebrated his 72nd Jayanthi. This is considered the auspicious year for the completion of the vanaprastha ashrama and transition to the sannyasa ashram, or last stage of life For just over three hours, space, time and form were transcended. Aum.
This slideshow offers a photo experience of the evening. You can also click here to read the many messages that came in from great souls around the world wishing Gurudeva a happy 72nd Jayanthi.
It was a surprise to Gurudeva when he was picked up from the Iraivan Temple site at Kauai Aadheenam by helicopter and toured the island for 45 minutes listening to a tape of his sishya singing "Happy Birthday" in English, Tamil and Malay. Gurudeva arrived from the Sivaloka at the Kilohana Carriage House in Lihue, Kauai, and was greeted ceremoniously by festival drums and a crowd of 250 of his mathavasi, grihastha church members and island friends.
Traditional Hawaiian dancers lead Gurudeva's grand procession into Kilohana, singing traditional Hawaiian chants along the way.
Our Kulamatas performed arati for Gurudeva at the entrance to the now "Kilohana Hindu Temple."
Gurudeva began the event by lighting the kuttuvillaku, traditional oil lamp, with the elders of Kauai. The Mayor of Kauai, Maryanne Kusaka, gave Gurudeva a box engraved with his name, 72nd Jayanthi, and on the inside, "Aloha: It's Kauai's Spirit."
Gurudeva and Mayor Kusaka had a cultural exchange dance class: she led him in a Hawaiian Hula dance celebrating our beautiful island of Kauai, and he led her in a traditional Indian Manipuri dance.
After their dance, Gurudeva and Mayor Kusaka released butterflys together. The Hawaiian dancers perform again for Gurudeva while he receives guests.
Kulapati Deva Rajan leds a presentation where Gurudeva's weight in gold is determined using a "Divine Scale." Gurudeva's weight in gold was then calculated into a dollar amount and a check was written and presented to Gurudeva by the Kulapatis representing the money they will raise for Gurudeva's mission over the coming years.
Gurudeva invites to the stage all the elders of the community over the age of 72 and explains the importance of asking for the guidance of our elders. They all receive beautiful hand-made silk shawls from India, garlands, and all the young children come up and touch their feet.
New paintings by renowned Indian portrait-artist-of-the-Gods Sri Indra Sharma were presented by his daughter, Newton, and son-in-law, Dr. Arthur Brownstein, Kauai residents. With much to-do, the final 9 feet by 5 feet life size masterwork was presented, much to Gurudeva's and all the guests' surprise.
A young Tamil girl church member from Germany precisely performs several traditional dances for Gurudeva in the Bharata Natyam style. All the guests were served a tasty vegetarian meal by the local mission members and pilgrims from Malaysia, Singapore, Germany and the US Mainland.