Karma, No Escape

The first part of the talk provides an overview of the four schools or "kulams" of the Ashram as it serves young men of the Church community who come to prepare themselves for marriage or monastic life through service.

Then Gurudeva dives into a talk on suicide, what drives teens to commit the act, and what the consequences are. He reaches out to those in the deepest dispare with kindness -- and humor urging those in deep distress to join a group and tell them your problems -- they'll seem much smaller as they'll see that everyone else will have "worser" problems.

Unedited Transcript:

Today at Kauai Aadheenam. October 22, on the beautiful Garden Island of Kauai. (And,) I am seeing you and you are seeing me; we are together.

Today we had a 'Talaivar Meeting'. What is a 'talaivar'? It is the coordinator of a 'kulam', the chairperson, of one of our five schools. All of the five 'talaivars' meet, once a phase or once a week, with each of the other four. These schools are remarkable schools preparing a young man who comes here, for either married life or monastic life. He spends 6 months, sent by families of our Church members from all over the world. They are almost always born in Saiva Siddhanta Church. How does that happen? Well, in 1999, we are celebrating our 50th year. That means, we have three generations and are moving on to the fourth.

The young man goes through each of the kulams for one month or more. First, he goes through the Lambodara Kulam. That is the school that takes care of milk and milk preparation, the cows, raising funds for building Iraivan Temple with the goal of 50000 a month, cooking, feeding everyone, doing all of the pujas and training newcomers in Sanskrit chanting, proper pronunciation and so forth.

The next school is the Ekadanta Kulam. It manages all of the Church and Himalayan Academy, preparation for becoming a member of Saiva Siddhanta Church, maintenance of members, emergency maintenance, and ongoing activity such as festivals. We have two large festivals a year, one in July and one in January and several small ones throughout the year.

The Pillaiyar Kulam is another school that manages all the finance, subscriptions for 'Hinduism Today', selling books, and all the business and purchasing.

The next kulam is the Ganapathy Kulam. It is a very intense school, creates 'Hinduism Today'. It edits and puts together all of our major publications. Big room, filled with computers.

The last school is the Siddhidatha Kulam, which handles the gardens and grounds and hiring of workmen, planning building projects and will be managing Iraivan Temple, when it is finally, stone by stone, put into place. We will be having workers come from Tamilnadu and Bangalore, Karnataka state, India, to live with us for a few years to finish up this beautiful half-crystal temple. You might know that crystal is half of what granite is or granite is half-crystal.

So, this one big family lives in an unthreatening environment. Every room, every office is just like a big comfortable home. Young people grow up and go through these 5 schools and are ready to enter family life, knowing how to run a budget for their home, knowing how to perform proper puja and ceremony with the right pronunciation of Sanskrit chanting, how to cook and take care of animals and also many, many other things.

Also today, our Sannyasin Arumugaswami has sorted out all the books in our library to make room for more, because books are being sent to us daily, from readers of 'Hinduism Today', and we give all the books that we do not use or cannot use to the local Community College, as a gift from our institution to theirs.

On the Island of Kauai, there are two large institutions. One is Kauai Aadheenam and the other is the Naval Base, which we visited recently. Our beautiful Garden Island has got these two institutions; should get together and get to know each other. So, we had an appointment arranged with the Commander of the Naval Base. We found out that they have about 25 or 30 permanent people there and employ about a hundred more. Well, we have 25 or 30 permanent people here at Kauai Aadheenam and we have full-time employees of a hundred more. Only difference is, our employees are in India and other parts of the world. We made a partnership between us and the Naval Base to work on video-conferencing together. So, perhaps soon, we will be able to look at you and talk to you and you will be able to look at us and talk to us. When some big event happens some place in the world, that video-conferencing is a better answer than travelling.