[Click to see the full newsletter on the web]
September 2018 Newsletter
In mid August Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami and I departed for a trip that focused mainly on the East Coast of the United States. Enroute we stopped in Boise, Idaho, for a satsang in the home of a longtime Hinduism Today subscriber. We then flew to Montreal for four days of activities with members and devotees: a satsang with pada puja, private darshan sessions, lively lunch and dinner discussions and a boat ride on the St. Lawrence River. Next we drove south through the beautiful countryside of Vermont and upper state New York to catch a plane in Albany for a flight to Chicago. Our first Chicago satsang was for a Sri Lankan group that has ongoing classes for the children. As usual, excellent questions were asked by both the children and the adults present. The second satsang was for members and devotees in the Chicago area and included a pada puja and a spontaneous talk followed by questions and answers. Then off to our publication warehouse in Sugar Creek, Missouri, stopping at a newly formed temple group in Topeka, Kansas. There we gave keynote presentations on four of my Publisher’s Desks—which they had chosen from a list of over thirty. We are grateful to our global family of temple builders for your continued generous support. General contributions for August totaled $52,758, which is less than our minimum monthly goal of $65,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $500. Om Namasivaya,
— Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami.
Innersearch Sri Lanka 2019
From March 14 to 29 we will travel with Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and his monks and an amazing band of seekers. Find all of the details and video compliations of this Himalayan Academy Travel-Study Program by clicking the link below, and reserve your place in history.
Click for more about our next program.
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)
"Sri Ramakrishna, the great Indian saint, compared the mind’s turning inward, seeking to connect itself to God, with the image of a little boy holding on to a rope tied to a post. The little boy swings on the rope and it winds him around and around the post. Then he swings the other way, still holding on to the rope, and the rope wraps him around the post again. The little boy represents man simply having fun and enjoying the experiences of life. He is perfectly safe as long as he holds on to the rope and the rope is connected to the post, for the post is God, and That doesn’t move. The little boy we would call mind. The rope connecting mind to God is the soul, the indomitable will. And so, Sri Ramakrishna went on to say, if man turns his mind inward and keeps his mind looking within, he will see the reality of Spirit and the transient nature of all of the mind’s activity. He may live in and enjoy the activity of the mind and never be hurt or harmed so long as he holds on to that rope, maintains his inward vision constantly and holds himself connected to the permanence of his own Being."
Explore Gurudeva's Wisdom
Raising the Dharmic Flag: Our Quadcopter captures the quarterly changing of the flag, marking the new season on Kauai and a new focus of study and sadhana.
A Sacred Stone: A silpi on Kauai carves nine cubes into a granite stone. In September it was installed in the inner sanctum. It sits beneath the temple murti and will hold gold and the nine gems known as navaratnam.
Top to bottom: Visitors enjoy the darshan of Satguru in the Guru Pitham. The silpis have laid out 12 stones that will be the next layer of the Nandi Mandapam roof. After fitting them on the ground, they will raise each stone into place; drawing shows where these stones will go; a young devotee dances joyously for God Siva in the maha mandapam of Iraivan. A family offers fresh flowers to the Narmada Lingam.
Iraivan Temple Progress
August was the final month of a year-long fund-raising season for Iraivan Temple. Our sincere thanks and eternal gratitude goes out to everyone who has supported this project during the year. With your help we have exceeded the annual goal.
In August the silpi stone carvers set the first three of the 11’ 7”-long perimeter wall segments in place. They also continued to work on the final carving on the lintel pieces that will sit atop the pillars and continued to work on the preliminary fitting in advance of lifting the pieces into place.
Soon a few of the silpis will be doing some decorative carving inside the mukha mandapam above the door into the inner sanctum. In preparation, the monks of the Siddhidatta Kulam installed a scaffolding and temporary lighting inside the chamber.
Master sculptor Holly Young is now working on six bronze stanchions (42”-tall posts) that will hold three 10-foot-long stone chains that will be a unique handrail around the Temple Builders’ Pavilion, which is not far from Iraivan Temple. This will make something that is perfect even better.
Satguru’s travels included a visit with Joe Roche of Outreach Prison Ministry in Vermont. He is advising us on navigating the complex details of distributing our books for free to inmates in various prisons across the country. In August Satguru finished a project that he was working on during the pre-dawn hours— recording an audio version of Path to Siva, a Catechism for Youth. To access the audio files, go here: himalayanacademy.com/view/path-to-siva-audiobook. Satguru continued his commentary on Path to Siva. His latest talks—“Why are we vegetarian?” and “How do we treat the environment?”—are now on the Look & Listen section of our website.
Publications and Other Projects
The monks of Ganapati Kulam have been working on a new book, titled Guru’s Wisdom, which is on its way to the printer in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is an anthology of 52 of Satguru’s best editorials in the magazine.
A new in-browser app has been developed that allows visitors to our website to easily find and enjoy the many fabulous pieces of religious artwork that the monastery has commissioned and collected over the years. This web app is called HAMSA, an acronym for Himalayan Academy Museum of Spiritual Art. (Himalayanacademy.com/hamsa)
The Ganapati Kulam has been involved for many years now with the efforts to get a better representation of Hinduism in the textbooks of middle schools across the country. A lot of energy has been put into this project. Our monks have participated in many public hearings held by the California Board of Education in an effort to make positive changes in future texts. There have been recent developments in California with regard to the middle school textbooks on the history of India and the Hindu religion. One school district adopted a new history textbook by a major publisher but with the stipulation that the chapters on India and Hinduism be replaced with material acceptable to the Hindu community. In preparation for talking with the school district, the Ganapati Kulam has been working with professionals to revise the lesson plans we prepared years ago so that teachers can use chapters one and two of our texts, “The History of Hindu India,” to replace the flawed textbook sections on India.
Hanuman Is Coming: The bronze Hanuman masterpiece will arrive on Kauai in early October. In preparation, in mid-August a team of eight hired workers constructed a concrete base for the 13-foot-tall bronze Hanuman statue (photo below). You can see the sacred rudraksha Forest in the background. It is located near the site of the future reception center for Iraivan Temple next to the Rudraksha Forest. The base measures 4 feet by 6 feet and is 4 feet tall. It will be surrounded by a sloping grassy “mountain” that will enable pilgrims to walk up to Hanuman’s feet. Hanuman is being crated up in Colorado, and soon will be on a ship to Kauai.
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.
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
How Do We Receive Guests?
What Is the Ideal Home?
How Do We Treat the Environment?
Why Are We Vegetarian?
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)
Our Latest Issue Is Out!
Malaysia: looking into Batu Caves from the entrance—a small Murugan temple is on the left side.
Cover of the latest Hinduism Today
Everyone will especially enjoy our October/November/December issue of Hinduism Today, full of practical advice and stunning photographs, now available at www.hinduismtoday.com. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami’s Publisher’s Desk offers tested methods of achieving contentment through holding a religious attitude and employing realistic methods of handling our emotions. This is augmented by the Insight section, drawn from Gurudeva’s Spiritual Toolbox, published a few years ago. In it 21 questions are posed, all relating to life’s many challenges, with Gurudeva’s advice on dealing with worry, anger, fear, lack of money, sickness and more.
Peruvian dancer, Ananga Gonzalez, shines in New York
Much of the magazine is a pictorial feast, starting with our cover shot (above) of the Sri Yaganti Uma Maheswara Siva Temple in Andhra Pradesh (one of fifteen Siva temples profiled in Aravind Gopal’s feature story); to Alexandra Radu’s spectacular wide-angle shot of the inside of Batu Caves, Malaysia, one of many she captured of the annual Thai Pusam festival attended by nearly two million Hindus; to Lavina Melwani’s story on Ananga Manjari Malatesta Gonzalez, a superb Peruvian Bharatanatyam dancer who performed this year in New York City.
Our main feature is on the Ayushakti Ayurveda Clinic in Mumbai, which is adapting the ancient healing art to our modern lifestyle, resolving medical issues and solving the time constraints we all face dealing with them through innovative methodologies.
Plus, you’ll enjoy a collection of short stories in Global Dharma, including one on the huge BAPS Swaminarayan conference in Atlanta attended by 10,000 youth; an insightful “In My Opinion” on the experience of darshan of the enshrined Deity; some provocative letters on our July story on the full-time Hindu homemaker; a “Did You Know?” on the age of the universe; and the deep esoterics of the Vyoma Vyapine Mantra from the Saiva Agamas.
Hindu Heritage Endowment
Durable Power of Attorney
When You Do Need to Give Others Control of Your Property
“Are you out of your mind?” So thought Aditya—a well-traveled engineer in his forties with an international client base—when his attorney first suggested he name someone to control his bank accounts, make his mortgage payments and complete and sign his taxes.
Too polite to speak his misgivings, Aditya revealed them in his face. “No, no. I’m not asking you to give away the store,” the attorney assured with a smile. “These powers would spring to life only when you need them.”
“Let’s say you had a serious accident on one of your trips. Doctors confirm you can’t manage your finances for a while. If you have completed a durable power of attorney for property management and finance, someone you have chosen could immediately pay your medical bills and mortgage.”
“And if I haven’t done this, what would happen?” Aditya queried.
“Without it, the court would have to appoint a conservator for you,” the attorney said with a grimace. “That’s called, logically enough, a court conservatorship. In some cases it’s the only solution, but, believe me, you want to avoid it if you can. It’s expensive and unpleasant. After all, they have to discuss your mental competence in public, and in the end they may appoint someone you would not want.”
“‘Power of attorney’ does not imply an actual attorney, does it?
“No. Attorney is used in the broad sense of someone acting in your place and on your behalf, not an attorney-at-law, like me.”
“How important is this document?”
“Well, once after I had given an estate planning seminar and reviewed the tools of the trade, an emergency-room nurse who was in the audience spoke up. ‘Accidents happen. Everyone should have a durable power of attorney for property management, no matter what your age, if you own property and have bills.’”
“Is it a long document?”
“It can be, depending on what you want your representative to do,” the attorney said. “But this is typical,” he added, handing Aditya something that looked like an accountant’s to-do list. It read:
- Make deposits and withdrawals from bank accounts
- Sign tax returns and appoint qualified individuals to represent the principal with the IRS in order to make investment decisions
- Deal with retirement plans, including IRAs
- Have access to the principal’s safe-deposit box
- Create a living trust and fund a previously created living trust
- Revoke or change beneficiary designations
- Vote the principal’s stock
- Forgive or collect the principal’s debts
- Enter into contracts on behalf of the principal
- Make gifts on behalf of the principal
- Disclaim gifts or bequests made to the principal
- Deal with life insurance on the life of the principal
There were a few people, very few, to whom Aditya would give these powers. He did not relish a judge he did not know making that choice for him.
“Let’s get it drafted,” he declared firmly.
For information on establishing a fund at Hindu Heritage Endowment, contact Shanmuganathaswami at 808-822-3012 ext. 6 or e-mail email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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)
Building Fund Donations
Thanks to Our August Temple Builders in 18 different countries
For the twelve months of September 2017 through August 2018, our minimum monthly goal was $780,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $841,168.14.
Your support is deeply appreciated!
Donate To Iraivan, Become a Temple Builder Today!
Click Here to Donate Now!
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.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: