The Future of Our Monastery

The Aloha brunch talk, ending the Mahasamadhi observances, was about the future, giving a general outline of future activities, projects and festivals at the Aadheenam, Bodhinatha's travel plans next year to Malaysia in January, Mauritius for Ganesha Chaturthi again, possibly Sri Lanka for a Hindu conference and the India Innersearch beginning in December 2003.

Unedited Transcript:

We are very fortunate because you have zero minutes for my talk. The event officially ends right now. So, I will keep it brief but I wanted to mention one thing first for my official talk.

There were some wonderful descriptions of Kauai Aadheenam and the monastery and how unique its spiritual vibration is and one of the ways we describe that, is we call it, a microcosm entered through the state of Hawaii. It is not really Hawaii, you know you go there, "This is not Hawaii, it is entered through the state of Hawaii." Certainly a unique vibration, more like India and Sri Lanka than any other place. But even different than that. It is very, very powerful and we are very fortunate to live there and enjoy it 24 hours a day.

I just had a few thoughts which is good, considering the time. This event was focussed very much on looking at Gurudeva's life and mission through stories, wonderful stories shared by Paramacharya Palaniswami and the wonderful video that the Ganapati Kulam prepared. I am sure everyone has gained a new appreciation and a few more details about Gurudeva's life than when you came. Also the beautiful photo album, I even learned a lot, looking at photos I had never seen.

It has been wonderful in that regard. But I thought to balance that out we should look a little bit at the future. Again fortunately I only looked 14 months ahead, not 14 years. Thinking the final two months of this year and all of next year, what are some of the major and wonderful happenings that will take place in furthering Gurudeva's mission into the future?

In our publishing realm, 'Merging with Siva' is just about finished in Malaysia, the color edition, hardcover edition, just like 'Living with Siva'. It is almost done just a couple of more weeks and we will have copies. This will be wonderful. One of the reasons is I am sure, you have the same problem that I do, my current book fell apart! It is such a big book it does not work in that binding. So if you use it enough, it eventually falls apart and you need to buy a new one. We have solved that problem with this new edition, guaranteed not to fall apart.

We have 'Dancing with Siva' to look forward to. Palaniswami mentioned it just has ten more days of work within the Ganapati Kulam before they will be able to send it off to Malaysia and start that process. It takes a few months to print it, maybe 3 or 4 months. In 4 or 5 months we will have 'Dancing with Siva' in the new edition as well and then we will really have a wonderful Trilogy of Gurudeva's core teachings and the books themselves will come up to the standard of the words for the first time. Gurudeva was very happy with this design and looked forward to seeing his core teachings go out to the world and this very beautiful edition for many, many years.

We have an ambitious Innersearch planned, India Innersearch coming up 13 months from now. We have not had an India program for 6 years, so far we have 72 people have said they want to go. So we will have to get a very, very big bus. So yes, we have lots of people who want to go and I am sure there is more than 72 who want to go but that is the number who have told us so far. "Yes, please put me on your list." It is a very nice program we have worked out and we look forward to the challenge of an Innersearch in India but it is going to be very, very nice. Those of you who have not been will really appreciate the temples that we are going to take you to and the cultural performances and the teaching program we have in mind. So we are all looking forward to that.

Coming up next summer of course we have Satguru Purnima and we are going to have to work hard. We certainly can not have a lesser festival than this, we have to keep expanding. So we will have to think of some special pujas and special activities to make it a wonderful event for those of you who are able to come.

Of course, one of our big accomplishments scheduled for next year is finishing the Sanctum of Iraivan Temple. On the current schedule that Shanmuga Sthapati has given us, it is scheduled to be finished in September. Of course, all of this depends upon the continued generous donations of our temple builders. We cannot do it without them. But if everyone is as generous over then next 14 months as they have been this year, then we will be able to do that. We will have a Sanctum standing there that we will be very proud of by the end of the year. Certainly a very major accomplishment to look forward to in Gurudeva's mission.

We are starting to travel more and there is more demand for travel. So one of our journeys, the first one coming up, is to Malaysia. We have coordinated it in a wonderful way. This came together so that the two events we wanted to attend ended up scheduled on the same day. Originally they were scheduled 2 or 3 weeks apart. Somehow they ended up on the same day! That is a short story.

The first event, the Malaysia Hindu Sangam is holding what they call a Hindu Renaissance event, which is an event designed to combat some Christian Fundamentalist conversion programs, which are using the tricks you see in the television, I mean in the movies. Healing people that are not sick, you know, the same blind person in five different cities regains sight. You know the things you see in the movies? That is going on in Malaysia. So they are having a Hindu rally and they want us present as one of the speakers. Then, that evening we are having an Iraivan Day, the members there are going to have an event to promote Iraivan Temple. That is for January 26, we are looking forward to that.

There is a lot of interest in our going to Toronto. As you know, this beautiful magazine was produced there and will be circulated around the world. They had an event there yesterday at the Richmond Hill temple, conducted by the Sivathondan Nilayam of Canada in honor of Gurudeva's Mahasamadhi. We hear a rumor that Thondunatha was a guest speaker. So he is there, an unconfirmed rumor and they had a special message from me and I will just give the essence of the message rather than reading it, which was educating the children. To really think about educating the children in religion was the context of it. The importance of passing on the religion in terms of explaining the beliefs and practices of Saivism clearly to the children. That is very much needed and also suggestions as to the benefit of forming youth committees and giving the children responsibilities at the various festivals, making them feel like this is their temple and not just a temple for adults. "This is our temple too", by giving responsibility. So a few suggestions like that. Suggesting they teach the Yamas and Niyamas as part of their fundamental teachings. So we talked a little bit about that.

Mauritius. We are planning to go there for Ganesha Chaturthi again. We went last year, many of you saw it on TAKA. We had a few thousand people come to the event. Everything there is on a large scale. Since you have five hundred thousand Hindus on the island instead of fifty, it happens in a grand way. We are planning to go back again and the members there are all looking forward to that. It gives them a whole year to plan almost. So we will expect another event with a few thousand people. A very nice time in Mauritius coming up.

Then, there is also the possibility of a trip to Sri Lanka. We have not decided because we have not found out many details. But they are having a Hindu conference there. The country is peaceful enough and the government is functioning in a way so that the Hindu ministry there is sponsoring a Hindu conference in May. So we are considering the possibility of going there as well.

That gives us a sense of Gurudeva's mission and how it is going forward in terms of some major wonderful accomplishments to look forward to for the next 14 months.

Just as a final thought, we really appreciate all of you coming to this ceremony. I think as Palaniswami said so nicely, we could not have done it without you, it is built on the devotion of everyone present. That is what makes it work. So, it worked quite marvelously and sets a new standard, definitely for our festivals. We are so happy to have the nadaswara and tavil players here from Canada, it added a very, very nice traditional touch.

So in the spirit of trying to end not too late, overtime. Aum Namah Sivaya!