May 2018 Newsletter
April began with Sannyasins Shanmuganathaswami, Siddhanathaswami and I continuing our trip on the US East Coast. Satsangs were held on April 1st in Orlando, Florida, and April 7th in Bethesda, Maryland. On April 8th we attended and gave a talk at the Siva Saints Gurupuja Day at the Murugan Temple in Maryland. The event honored some of the Nayanars and Satgurus Yogaswami and Subramuniyaswami. Next, Sannyasin Yoginathaswami and I attend four days of events at the kumbhabhishekam of the Maha Ganapati Temple of Arizona. I gave one talk at the event on Agamic temple worship which included answers to four challenging questions commonly asked by Hindu teenagers: (1) Since God is everywhere, why do we need temples? (2) Do Hindus worship idols? (3) Why are there so many Gods in the temple? I have trouble relating to so many. (4) Why do we make offerings of so much milk and food to the murti? Wouldn’t it be better to give it to the poor? At the end of April, Shanmuganathaswami and I left for London, with stops first in Northern and Southern California for satsangs. General contributions for April totaled $55,764, 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! — Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami.
Click here to see Bodhinatha's extended travel schedule. Bookmark the link and return for updates.
Founder of Kauai’s Hindu Monastery, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Gurudeva)
Visualize a mountain and the path leading to its icy summit. As the climber traverses the lower ranges, he sees the meadows, the passes, the giant boulders. This we can liken to dualism, the natural, theistic state where God and man are different. Reaching the summit, the climber sees that the many parts are actually a one mountain. This realization is likened to pure monism. Unfortunately, many monists, reaching the summit, teach a denial of the foothills they themselves climbed on the way to their monistic platform. However, by going a little higher, lifting the kundalini into the space above the mountain’s peak, the entire Truth is known. The bottom and the top are viewed as a one whole, just as theism and monism are accepted by the awakened soul. Monistic theism, Advaita Ishvaravada, reconciles the dichotomy of being and becoming, the apparent contradiction of God’s eternality and temporal activity, the confusion of good and evil, the impasse of one and two. The Vedas affirm, “He who knows this becomes a knower of the One and of duality, he who has attained to the oneness of the One, to the self-same nature.
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: https://www.himalayanacademy.com/looklisten/gurus-talks
- Listen to Gurudeva's inspired talks by visiting: https://himalayanacademy.com/talks/gurudeva
At the historic kumbhabhishekam in Phoenix, Arizona, Sivacharyas greet Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Sannyasin Yoginathaswami, who are the chief guests.
At the Spiritual Park in Mauritius thousands gather on the first Sunday of each month, this time being sheltered by new open pavilions still under construction.
Top to bottom: At his Arizona home Chellappa Deva offers puja to the Satguru; the newly-arrived silpis at work on Iraivan; the carbide-tipped chisels, an Iraivan innovation, now used exclusively for sculpting the stone, because of their superior performance; satsang with Satguru in Northern California; Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami greets Krishnan Sankaranarayanan and Ayshwarya Srinivasan and sons Sathvik and Krathu from Houston; stones for the Nandi Mandapam are assembled and inventoried; the new rajagopuram in Arizona, blessed by Satguru and attended by some 4,000 devotees.
Iraivan Temple Progress
On March 20 a team of six silpi carvers from the worksite in Bengaluru arrived on Kauai. They were accompanied by the worksite’s assistant manager, Thuraisingam Rajasankara, and his wife Swapna. The Iraivan Temple architect, Selvanathan Sthapati, arrived in early April. Selvanathan, Thuraisingam, silpis and the monks of the Siddhidata Kulam worked together to take measurements to get an accurate overview of the remaining jointing work that needs to be done to finish the Nandi Mandapam. Sthapati also determined the final height of the kodimaram (temple “flag pole”), which will be installed in the center of the Nandi Mandapam in the months ahead. The entire team worked to lay out the 485-foot-long perimeter wall, marking where the stones will be placed on the edge of the four foot tall plinth upon which the temple is built. They also laid out the placement of the concrete footing on which the front steps will be placed. During April, the silpis focused on refining the embellishments at the base of the Nandi Mandapam. The next step is to set in place the 12 ornately carved pillars that support the Nandi Mandapam roof stones. The landscaping around the temple saw the addition of some huge concrete stepping stones. Designing the desert cactus garden at the northwest corner of the temple was begun as well.
At the beginning of April, Satguru visited the Murugan Temple in Washington, DC. At the end of April he traveled with Yoginathaswami to the Maha Ganapati Temple of Arizona, 30 miles south of Phoenix, for the grand opening of the temple’s 54-foot-tall Maharajagopuram. They were happy to meet the priests on hand for the event, some well known to us, including Sundaramurthy Sivacharya, and nonagenarian Thanga Bhattar, perhaps the senior-most priest in the USA. It is interesting to note that our Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, gifted the original Ganesha murti to this temple. In Phoenix, Bodhinatha’s devotees and monastery friends were able to spend quality time with him. Returning to Kauai, Satguru continued his commentaries on Path to Siva, elucidating the lessons “What Is Yoga?” (bit.ly/P2SYoga) and “What Is Sadhana?” (bit.ly/P2S-Sadhana). Those talks can be heard on our website.
Publications and Other Activities
In April our Ganapati Kulam publications team wrapped up the July-August-September issue of Hinduism Today. Interesting stories include an update on the efforts of the Hindu community to improve the textbooks from which Indian history is taught to students in the US. Another story describes how enlightened beings face the end of life and why Hindus do not fear death. Also in April, the publications team produced a Tamil edition of Path to Siva (called Saiva Neri), which was translated by Ramesh Sivanathan of Malaysia. The book is being printed by Sampoorna in Kuala Lumpur in time for its official release on June 3 by Satguru at the Kalamandapam Hall in Brickfields. In farm news, 640 gallons of noni juiced, pressed from 5 1/2 tons of fruit, was sent off for bottling. Thanks to our Taskforcer Chandran, to Gregg Lien and Thuraisingam for helping with this project. On April 15, Kauai’s North Shore was deluged with 49.69 inches (126 cm) of rainfall during a 24-hour period. This was a record for the most rain in US history. Because of its location, the monastery was spared from most of this deluge. We wish to thank everyone for the messages of love and concern that poured in from around the world!
News from Our Mauritius Center
The construction of the three extensions to the Pancha Mukha Ganapati Mandapam at our Spiritual Park is continuing smoothly. Thatch roofs will protect an additional 500 people from the rain and sun during the Ganesha homa on the first Sunday of every month. Thousands visit this monthly event to offer prayers into the homa fire. Thanks to generous devotees for funding this upgrade to the Spiritual Park.
Satguru conducts satsang at the home of the Pattisapu family in Florida
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.
The weekly talks are also live streamed and then save on YouTube. Go to the Kauai Aadheenam channel and scroll down to recent talks (audio has some room echo)
Bodhinatha's weekly talks can be heard on our website: His recent commentaries on the chapters in our new book "The Path to Siva" are marvelous!
Click here for a complete index of both Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's talks on line
What Is Yoga
The Meaning of Sivaratri and Nirvikalpa Samadhi
What Is Sadhana
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)
Award-Winning Selvanathan Sthapati Comes to Kauai
In April of 2018, Selvanathan instructs the silpis on how to proceed with the assembly of the ornate Nandi Mandapam.<>/p>
When Gurudeva first met Selvanathan Sthapati, it was in the late 1970s when the budding artist was a 13-year-old student at the Government School of Architecture in Mahabaliburam, and whose uncle, Ganapati Sthapati, was the principal. Selvanathan recounted the meeting for us in a 2008 interview for Hinduism Today: “Gurudeva applied vibhuti on my forehead and placed his holy palms on my head for few minutes and blessed me. This sacred instance remained in my mind forever. I believe that it is this sparisha, the benediction of Gurudeva, that has paved my way to involve myself with Iraivan temple.”
They were of an august lineage, the 37th and 38th generation of sthapatis from their grand ancestor Kunjar Mallan Raja Raja Perunthachan, the architect for the famed 11th century Brihadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. It was Ganapati Sthapati’s oft-repeated belief that the patron of that temple, King Rajaraja Chola, was Gurudeva in a past life.
When they all first met, the temple building tradition in South India had been in long decline, suffering from the absence of royal patronage, colonial neglect and a government preoccupation with other matters as India struggled to rebuild itself as a modern nation. The sthapatis were discouraged and silpi stone workers sought other livelihoods as temple patrons were few. It was Ganapathi Sthapati’s father, Vaidyanatha, who had set about revitalizing the tradition, training a new generation of silpis in the art of stone carving.
We like to think that Gurudeva’s inspired vision of an all-stone, hand carved temple gave added impetus to this renaissance. The sthapatis and Sivachariyar priests think so, and the fact is that since the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, Hindu temples are being renovated or built anew at a pace unmatched for centuries, and not just in India, but around the world. It is in this creative swirl that Selvanathan Sthapati now finds himself immersed, responsible for projects from the Shiva-Vishnu Temple outside Washington DC, to the rebuilding of the renowned Tiruketheeswaram Temple in Sri Lanka. The latter is a huge project started in 2012 to restore the glory of this famed temple destroyed by the Portuguese Christians in 1589 and only partly rebuilt in 1903. In what may have been his most sensitive assignment, he was called to restore the ancient navapashanam (nine herbs) murti of the Palani Hills Murugan Temple, a task he approached with great trepidation despite his extensive training.
Sthapati spent a week on Kauai in April setting up the six-man team of Indian sculptors. He is expected back every six months or so until the project is finished. On April 4, 2018, he received the Craft Council of India’s Kamala Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Preservation of Indian Art, Craft and Tradition.
Iraivan’s architects: Selvanathan and Ganapati Sthapati, second and third from left, stand with Gurudeva and our first team of silpis on the foundation of Iraivan temple in 2001; (right)
Hindu Heritage Endowment
Reflecting on Why the All-Important Will Is Just
One Part of Your Complete Estate Planning Package s
A woman leaves her physical body and is received by her guardian devas in her astral body at the moment of her Great Departure. She is happy that—guided by her estate planning tool kit—her personal and financial affairs are settled.
With fuel and food prices sky high, it’s natural for a family to think about its future financial security. The last place you might think to look for help in such matters is a Hindu monastery. But, in addition to spiritual direction, monasteries around the world offer practical guidance to help stabilize society during changing times. Many of you have supported the monastery for years, and we in turn want to help your family’s future. That is one reason the monastery is happy to provide a free, well-thought-out estate planning tool kit.
A good estate plan will not make high prices lower. But it will protect your family from unnecessary court costs, attorney fees and taxes. These can do real damage, especially at a time when prices continue to trend upward.
One of the most basic but misunderstood estate planning tools is the will. Some people think a will avoids probate, the costly court process that supervises the distribution of wealth to others at death. Not true. Your will is a ticket to probate court. Think of your will as a letter to the judge, telling him or her who gets your estate. The judge supervises distribution following your will, making sure the right people get the right things.
Some think the executor of your will can step in and manage your assets if you are too ill to do so. Not true. The executor has no power until after your death.
Some think wills can direct who gets everything you own. Not true. Some of your assets—life insurance and retirement plans, for example—indicate who gets what through their own beneficiary designations. Wills cannot simply override these designations.
Despite these and other limitations—
costs, delay, and their public nature—wills are a blessing to families who would otherwise watch helplessly as the court distributes their loved one’s estate according to an impersonal formula that might have little to do with the decedent’s wishes.
This is why a will is usually the first document people think of when drafting an estate plan. Even so, 58 percent of adult Americans don’t have one according to a new survey from lawyers.com. Here are some other interesting statistics from the survey’s findings:
• 18 percent of Americans experience problems, due to a lack of or a flawed estate plan, after the death or incapacitation of a loved one.
• Nearly eight percent of Americans without an estate plan say they do not have one because they do not want to think about dying or incapacity.
Most attorneys encourage their clients to consider a living trust, a power of attorney for property management, an advance health care directive and a will. These are all topics covered in the estate planning tool kit.
Strengthen your family’s future and continue your support of Kauai’s Hindu Monastery by downloading the pdf file at www.hheonline.org/tool-kit.shtml.
The Hindu Heritage Endowment wants you to succeed in your estate planning efforts and, through them, both care for your family and remember good causes like the Iraivan Temple Endowment. (For additional information contact Shanmuganathaswami at 808-822-3012, ext. 6, or e-mail [email protected]. 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 HHE, please visit www.hheonline.org. Get the tool-kit (pdf)
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
Eight-Month Summary: For the eight months of September, 2017, to April, 2018, our minimum monthly goal was $520,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $668,737.28.
Thanks to Our April Temple Builders in 17 different countries
|D. Karthigesu Family||100.00|
|Luckshmi & Logan Siva Nirmalananda||35.00|
|Gunavinthan Siva Thirumalai||100.00|
|Thanavinthan Siva T. Thirumalai||50.00|
|Essen Subramanian Valayten||2.86|
|Ron & Jennifer Burke||50.00|
|Niranjan & Jayanthi Nadarajah||1,000.00|
|Changam & Kamachi Naidu||50.00|
|Santosh & Priyaa Prasad||185.85|
|Ashish & Kamni Rao||25.00|
|Dharmalingam & Mangai Selvarajah||50.00|
|Thambimuttoo & Thavam Sivagnanam||51.00|
|Sayanthan & Anupama Sivanathan||11.00|
|Sara K. Sivasurier||133.81|
|Nagula & Sutha Suthaker||101.00|
|Cristina Ma Puja Canducci||20.00|
|P. Barathi Balasegaran||12.66|
|Hemakheshaa Naatha Batumallah||12.66|
|Rathidevi & Veerasamy Batumallah||39.68|
|Yoga Rubini & Chandra Ganth Family||12.66|
|R. Jayakumar & Yoga Bhavani Family||12.66|
|M. Shanmuganathan & A. Kamalambikai||25.31|
|Nagaretthina Ammal Kuppusamy||50.00|
|Ambikabathi Shanmugam Pillay||25.31|
|Saraswathy & Ramesh Sivanathan||12.79|
|Amrit Singh Jaypal||7.14|
|Seedha Lutchmee Moonesawmy||2.86|
|Naden Seeneevasen Pillay||1.43|
|Prekash & Sabita Baladien||15.00|
|Vaiyapuri Kamala Devi||50.00|
|Hannah & Vasaant Krishnan||60.00|
|Sivakumar, Lavanya & Easan Saravan||400.00|
|Gary & Radica Asha Yee-Fong||25.00|
|Benevity - Divya Mangudi||2,500.00|
|Kapalua Partners LLC||500.00|
|Network For Good||15.00|
|Golden Gate Mission||60.00|
|P. & J.P. Amuluru||108.00|
|Palani K. Aravazhi||105.00|
|Chitrammal & Sangarapillai Asokan||100.00|
|Rao L. Atluri||25.00|
|Virender & Sushma Bhardwaj||1,350.00|
|Ajay & Jamuna Chalasani||501.00|
|Haasya Sai & Archana Choppari||600.00|
|Kaika & Nilufer Clubwala||101.00|
|Shyamadeva & Peshanidevi Dandapani||54.00|
|Janakbhai R. Dave||50.00|
|Bhadresh & Kusum Desai||100.00|
|Chellappa & Bhanu Devi Deva||25.00|
|Krishna K. Devarajulu||108.00|
|Amarnath & Latha Devarmanai||101.00|
|Toshadeva & Kamala Guhan||36.00|
|Kriya & Sharyn Haran||125.00|
|Usharani Iswaran Magana||20.00|
|Srinivas & Shanthi Karri||40.00|
|Saravanan & Vasavi Kasthuri||4,009.00|
|Siva & Jana Kesavan||1,001.00|
|Anil & Devajyothi Kondapi||108.00|
|S. & Manjula Krishnamurthi||200.00|
|Halekote N. Kumara||251.00|
|Sarma R. Kunda||108.00|
|Mukund M. Kute||101.00|
|Gerard & Zhena Linsmeier||54.00|
|Srinivas R. Madaboosi||200.00|
|R. & K. Mahadevan||101.00|
|Laura Devi Marks||108.00|
|Inder & Aileen Mirchandani||108.00|
|Shailesh & Jyoti Mistry||101.00|
|Palani & Selvarany Nadarajah||15.00|
|Nitya & Becky Nadesan||150.00|
|Sriram & Revathi Naganathan||101.00|
|Manish M. Naidu||11.11|
|Varsha & Dilip Naik||1,008.00|
|Sanjaya K. Nath||11.00|
|Debi Prosad Nayak||501.00|
|Emma & Narendra Nemivant||25.00|
|Easvan & Devi Param||101.00|
|Janaka & Bhavani Param||25.00|
|Vinay & Hansa R. Patel||101.00|
|Rama Pemmaraju Rao||108.00|
|Prabhanjan & Shwetha||108.00|
|Ramegowda & Shyamala Rajagopal||251.00|
|Deva & Gayatri Rajan||1,001.00|
|Mohan Deepak Ram||11.00|
|Jeyashree & Venkat Ramakrishnan||50.00|
|Rajesh & Yatra Raman||11.00|
|Partab & Chandra Ramsinghani||27.00|
|Bhaskar & Tanuja Reddy||251.00|
|Annie & Mark Ruiz||108.00|
|Cliff & Kathy Runge||50.00|
|Gita & Dhushy Sathianathan||300.00|
|Aran & Valli Sendan||25.00|
|Deva & Amala Seyon||51.00|
|Vishu N. Sharma||108.00|
|Aseem & Suhag Shukla||2,001.00|
|Iraja & Nilani Sivadas||108.00|
|Homa, Hotri, Hridaya & Tejasinha Sivalingam||5.00|
|Lakshana Chetana Sivananda||51.00|
|Nathan & Sulena Sivananda||108.00|
|Tandu & Uma Sivanathan||100.00|
|Kuppe & Sarala Srinivas||21.00|
|Joseph W. Steelman||100.00|
|Yasotha & Thevarajah Subarajan||51.00|
|S. & Sumathini Subramaniam||50.00|
|Nandi Deva Sundaram||50.00|
|Phani Kumar Sureddi||7.00|
|Sivam U. Thillaikanthan||40.00|
|Mangala & S. Venkat||101.00|
|Tsajon & Kamalia Von Lixfeld||100.00|
|Jinny Petcharat Wonwong||11.11|
|Total Building Fund||55,656.69|
|Iraivan Temple Endowment|
|Amey Surendra Gangal||11.00|
|Total Endowment Funds||107.00|
|Special Project Donations|
|Total Special Project Donations||208.14|
Your support is deeply appreciated!
Donate To Iraivan, Become a Temple Builder Today!
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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 19 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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