Artwork by A. Manivelu
Chebulic Myrobalan is a tree in the Combretaceae family, found wild in the forests of India and surrounding countries at high altitudes. It produces a fruit known as a myrobalan which has many medicinal uses.
Nandi, Siva's Mount
Nandi is the bull on which Siva rides. His name means “joyful one.” Though powerful, he kneels humbly in front of Iraivan Temple, ever at the feet of his Lord, Siva.
Sadasiva, meaning Ever Graceful, is a form of God Siva with five heads and ten arms. In Saiva Siddhanta it is one of the most significant images, full of mystic meanings. The five faces also appear in the niches of the vimanam of this temple.
Here is the leaf and flower of the golden champa (Michelia). Its fragrance makes it valuable for offerings, women’s hair ornaments, incense and perfumes. We have several trees here at the monastery.
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The noose, called pasu, signifies control and is used by the Deities to rein in the instinctive mind, to give us control.
Here we see the monks’ clothesline, with their khadi-kavi robes, hand spun and hand loomed, drying in the Hawaiian sun.
The traditional earrings, kundala, are shown here.
Sacred ash, vibhuti, is used to mark parts of the body, a symbol of Saivism. Pujaris will carefully make these three-line markings each day.
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This is the form of Siva known as Lingodbhava, with His face carved in the stone Lingam.
This is a traditional form of God Siva as Siva Rishi
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