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On May twenty-third Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami and I traveled to London for eleven days. There were two major events. The first was three mornings of presentations at the Wimbledon Shree Ghanapathy Temple. These were based on our recently published book Path to Siva, covering the key points contained in it and giving those attending a chance to ask questions. The second was attending three mornings of the Enfield Nagapooshani Ambaal Temple’s kumbhabhishekam. The temple went all out for the ceremonies. The main yagasala was four tiers high with thirty-three homa kundas, each with its own priest. The main temple hall features black granite pillars 17 feet tall, each carved from a single stone. Other events included two satsangs, initiations for members and devotees, attending pujas and giving talks at Highgate Hill Murugan Temple, Shri Kanaga Thurkkal Amman Temple, London Sri Murugan Temple, Saiva Munetta Sangham and the London Siva Kovil. The main talks were “The Sacred Temple” and “Siva as Love.” In my keynote address I explained the basic nature of the Hindu temple and how there are many shrines but only one Supreme God in Hinduism. It was composed for the opening ceremony at the Enfield kumbhabhishekam, which was attended by many political and business VIPS. General contributions for May totaled $56,144, which is less than our minimum monthly goal of $65,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $508. We are grateful to our global family of temple builders for your continued and generous support. Aum Namasivaya!
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), 1927-2001
The Hindu is thoroughly convinced that violence he commits will return to him by a cosmic process that is unerring. He knows that, by karma’s law, what we have done to others will be done to us, if not in this life then in another. He knows that he may one day be in the same position of anyone he is inclined to harm or persecute, perhaps incarnating in the society he most opposed in order to equalize his hates and fears into a greater understanding. The belief in the existence of God everywhere, as an all-pervasive, self-effulgent energy and consciousness, creates the attitude of sublime tolerance and acceptance toward others. Even tolerance is insufficient to describe the compassion and reverence the Hindu holds for the intrinsic sacredness within all things. Therefore, the actions of all Hindus living in the higher nature are rendered benign, or ahimsa. One would not hurt that which he reveres. The Vedas pronounce, “He who, dwelling in all things, yet is other than all things, whom all things do not know, whose body all things are, who controls all things from within—He is your soul, the Inner Controller, the Immortal.”
Explore Gurudeva's Wisdom
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami gives a presentation to youth at the Wimbledon Ganesha Temple
Members at our Spiritual Park in Mauritius chant Veda mantras at the high point of the monthly homa-puja to Lord Ganesha
Top to bottom: Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami gives a talk on temple protocols at the Enfield Nagapooshani kumbhabhishekam in London; Satguru is welcomed by the head priest of the temple; the Puneet Agrawal family from Vancouver offer water to the Narmada Lingam as Gurudeva’s murti looks on; Satguru gives a presentation to a gathering of youth at the Wimbledon Ganesha Temple; Indivar Sivanathan and Gananatha Subramanyam join the publications team’s morning meeting; multi-grain sour dough bread right out of the monastery oven; the aloha poster printed for island school kids; the Siddhidata Kulam teams up to prepare a sumptuous lunch for their brother monks; the Temple Builders’ Memorial platform is finished, ready for placing the bronzes; masons put up courses of block on the new Noni building;
Iraivan Temple Progress
At the Iraivan Temple carving site in India the stone carvers are focused on finishing the stonework for the temple’s perimeter wall. Here on Kauai work continued on the foundation of the Temple Builders Memorial near Dakshinamurti, just north of the temple. The 35-foot long oval concrete slab, poured by the monks in April, was clad with gold-hued quartzite stone tiles in May. It is nestled amid a semicircle of mature palm trees on the South and a pond on the North. At its center is the massive, nine-foot-long raw granite stone, quarried from the same mountain as the temple itself, but not carved. This summer the bronzes will take their place here, creating an outdoor workshop that pilgrims can explore to see how the temple was constructed.
Satguru Bodhinatha’s Activities
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami conducted a webinar for his devotees around the planet on May 13, featuring his insights on the centrality of surrender in all yogas, and how to achieve spiritual success. He continued his weekly sun-one commentaries on the lessons of Path to Siva, covering the essential nature of souls and the world and the Saivite Hindu view of evil, hell and sin. (Listen to his talks on our website.) Later in the month he departed for London with Shanmuganathaswami. They were invited as the Saiva swami guests of honor at the dedication ceremony for the new Enfield Nagapooshani Ambaal Temple in north London. During such ceremonies traditional auspicious items are shown to the newly installed Deity. In this case it was a young calf, young children, an elderly couple and our two swamis! Satguru also gave talks at a number of other Sri Lankan Hindu temples and informal satsangs in private homes. He also conducted an interactive morning session for youth at the Wimbleton Ganesha Temple featuring stories from the lives of our gurus from The Guru Chronicles. A small group of close devotees followed Satguru from venue to venue in a nonstop darshan session which included informal one-on-one time with him on walks through the sunny springtime beauty of the Hyde Park rose garden, Kensington Palace, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Publications & Other Activities
The Ganapati Kulam group of monks continued their work on a new version of Mystic Mouse, the illustrated children’s version of key chapters from Merging with Siva. Lion Sage, the new title, will include all new illustrations by Ashley Moore. It tells the Upanishad-like story of a mouse who seeks out a lion guru to guide him on the path to enlightenment. In May, the kulam worked avidly on the new “super app,” called SivaSiva, that will bring Gurudeva’s wisdom to smartphone users in innovative ways. The kulam also arranged to a reprint a thousand 16” x 20” Aloha posters for the island’s school initiatives. In our agricultural endeavors, great progress was made on the new hydroponic greenhouse, with an electrical panel installed to power the irrigation system, and an underground tank put in place to hold the system’s nutrient enriched water. In April the monks conducted a ground-breaking for our new Wailua River Noni Juice processing building, unofficially known as Hale Noni, meaning “House of Noni.” During May, the construction team brought the concrete block structure up to an above-grade floor level. Inside this building, which will include a licensed commercial kitchen, the monks will be able to juice our organic noni fruits with ease, and store needed inventories. Noni juice has been used as a health tonic since ancient times in Hawaii. It was one of only 26 plants (called “canoe plants”) the Polynesians settlers brought from their original home in the southern Pacific islands. So it’s no wonder that numerous shops are eager to market our juice.
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.
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 About Evil, Hell and Sin?
Who is Lord Ganesha
Who is Lord Murugan?
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)
Hinduism Today July/August/September 2017 Is Now On-Line
Our latest issue has gone to press and is now available online free of charge at www.hinduismtoday.com. You can also download our free Hinduism Today app and get the magazine on your mobile device at bit.ly/HT-APP.
Our 16-page Insight section unfolds the rare life and profound teachings of Sri Nimbarka Acharya, the founder of Radha-Krishna worship. Author Brahmachari Vrajvihari Sharan translates the traditional tales of the founder of one of the earliest of the main Vedanta schools, a saint who renewed the faith of millions back in a day when other faiths were seeking Hindu converts. Illustrations were created for this article by famed artist Maniam Selven of Chennai. In January, 2017, just as this article was being created, the 48th head of the lineage, Shriji Maharaj, had his Mahasamadhi in India. In a ceremony observed by 200,000 devotees, 31-year-old Swami Shri Shyam Sharan became the 49th Jagadguru.
Our feature story this issue delves deeper into the culture and countryside of Assam, a state so varied in peoples and cultures it is called a miniature India. Our journalist focuses especially on the unique institutions, called satras, that protect and promote Hinduism in this state. There are thousands of these community centers. We also take a ferry across the amazing the Brahmaputra River to visit the world’s largest river island.
In his Publisher’s Desk editorial, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami speaks of self-surrender, but not just the devotional kind. He declares that surrender is an important practice in all the yogas—bhakti, karma and raja—marshalling lucid arguments for this insight.
Ever heard of SBNR? It’s an acronym for “Spiritual But Not Religious,” which has become so prevalent that it is printed on Pew survey forms, presenting an option when asked about religious affiliations. This is the fastest growing religious category in America. Its blossoming is good news for Hindus, who find kindred spirits in those who reject structured Western-style religions for a more organic spirituality.
For years we have known about the amazing way Hindus in Mauritius observe Sivaratri, and have longed for the day we could publish that story. Well, here it is, one writer’s delightful take on the disciplines, celebrations and multi-day treks that engage almost the entire country for several days in February/March.
Empty nest. It’s a way of describing what happens when children grow up and leave the home. Vermont resident Vatsala Sperling takes her own experience as a cautionary tale for all families, offering sagely advice on how to prepare for what is, in the West, an inevitable and unenviable day. In India this experience is, at present, less frequently confronted; but in the West, Hindu families face it every day.
Years back, in the 1950s, a 30-something Tamil artist, musician and dancer moved to New York City, bringing the fullness of her early training in South India. She lived in Manhattan the rest of her life, creating and sharing her art. NYC writer Lavina Melwani tells the story of Y.G. Srimati in the context of a new exhibition at the Met museum on her life accomplishments.
The issue includes the story of a Pakistani Hindu couple traveling in the West giving voice to the issues there; Quotes & Quips uplifts the spirit with fun ideas and a cartoon that may puzzle you at first; Global Dharma reports on some important recognition for Hinduism in Spain and Switzerland.
Hindu Heritage Endowment
For Ways to Help this Year with Tax-Smart Gifts
Start planning now for how you want to make an impact in 2017. There are many ways to give to Hindu Heritage Endowment, several of which offer attractive benefits for you while supporting our important work. Here are four popular ways to help this year:
1. Give Cash
Cash is the simplest way to give to support HHE’s current needs. To document a cash gift of any amount, you must have a dated receipt from us, so make certain you receive one. A canceled check is only sufficient for gifts less than $250.
2. Give Appreciated Stock
When you give appreciated stock, we’ll sell it and you’ll eliminate all the capital gains tax you would have paid had you sold it. Your gift will be deductible at the day of delivery’s full fair market value (assuming you have held it for more than one year).
3. Donate an Insurance Policy
A gift of a life insurance policy you no longer need makes a perfect year-end gift. For your gift to qualify as a tax-deductible, Hindu Heritage Endowment must become the policy owner. For most types of insurance policies, your tax deduction is usually the cost basis or the fair market value of the policy, whichever is less.
4. Make a Gift from Your IRA
If you are 70½ or older, you can transfer any amount up to $100,000 annually directly from your IRA. The transfer doesn’t generate taxable income or a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your tax deductions.
Contact us for helpful tips about getting the most from your gift this year. It is wise to consult with your tax professionals if you are contemplating a charitable gift under the extended law.
For information on establishing a fund at Hindu Heritage Endowment, contact Shanmuganathaswami at 808-822-3012 ext. 6 or e-mail email@example.com.
Visit the HHE website at HHEonline.org.
Building Fund Donations
Thanks to Our May Temple Builders in 18 Countries
Nine-Month Summary: For the nine months of September 2016 to May 2017, our minimum monthly goal was $585,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $713,698.38.
Your support is deeply appreciated!
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Personal checks in certain currencies can be accepted by our bank (Euros, Pounds, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars.)
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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