Kauai's Hindu Monastery
December 2017 Newsletter
My yearly two-week trip to Singapore and Malaysia with Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami departed on November 15th. The first event took place in Johor Jaya, JB, at the Sri Siddhi Vinayaga Temple. It was a book release keynote presentation introducing Path to Siva, our catechism for youth, which is being translated into Tamil. Next came two events in Singapore—a group lunch at the hotel and a satsang with padapuja in a member’s home at which one youth took her brahmacharya vrata. We then flew to Kuala Lumpur, where we had darshan sessions with a number of individuals, gave an English/Tamil presentation on “Siva as the God of Love” at the Sentul Adishwara Temple, and visited the Dharma Shakti Vedanta Gurukulam. On Saturday we had satsang and padapuja in Klang. The youth greeted us with drums, Natchintanai songs and flower petals. After my talk, several members took vows. Sunday’s event at the Brickfields Kalamandapam was co-sponsored by Artha Nyana Concept Builders and Malaysia Hindhu Dharma Maamandram with support from the Malaysia Hindu Sangam and Hindu Youth Organisation. My keynote, titled “How to Achieve Spiritual Progress,” was well attended. I presented 52 basic practices—drawn from the systems of Saiva Siddhanta, Patanjali’s Classical Yoga, the Tirukural and Atti Chudi—which when consistently practiced over a period of a few years will yield genuine spiritual progress. General contributions for November totaled $91,316, which exceeded our minimum monthly goal of $65,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $657. 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)
From the pinnacle of consciousness, one sees the harmony of life. Similarly, from a mountaintop, we see the natural role of a raging ocean and the steep cliffs below—they are beautiful. From the bottom of the mountain, the ocean can appear ominous and the cliffs treacherous. When through meditation we view the universe from the inside out, we see that there is not one thing out of place or wrong. This releases the human concepts of right and wrong, good and bad. Our benevolent Lord created everything in perfect balance. Good or evil, kindness or hurtfulness return to us as the result, the fruit, of our own actions of the past. The four dharmas are God’s wisdom lighting our path. That which is known as evil arises from the instinctive-intellectual nature, which the Lord created as dimensions of experience to strengthen our soul and further its spiritual evolution. Let us be compassionate, for truly there is no intrinsic evil. The Vedas admonish, “Being overcome by the fruits of his action, he enters a good or an evil womb, so that his course is downward or upward, and he wanders around, overcome by the pairs of opposites.”
Members and well wishers gather at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to wish Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami a safe journey back to Hawaii.
This amazing bioluminescent mushroom was photographed by one of the swamis at night, without a flash. Experts we know said it is the first sighting of this species in the state of Hawaii. Ever!
Top to bottom: Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami are greeted at the temple in Malaysia; Malaysian temple devotees pose with Satguru at the book signing event; Satguru autographs Path to Siva for devotees; two sadhakas perform padapuja for Gurudeva on Chitra nakshatra; seven members are caught on camera during a planning meeting at the Mini Mela; the new monastery facility for processing and storing our Wailua River Noni Juice is complete; Sanjay Puranik family and friends from Chicago meet with Satguru in the Guru Pitham.Trey Defauw paints a small new storage shed during his six-month taskforce period; Natyam Mayuranatha holds an ironwood log of Shitaki mushrooms that he cultivated in a monastery forest grove, our first success at growing our own mushrooms.i>
Iraivan Temple Progress
Two shipping containers full of Iraivan Temple’s perimeter wall stones are at sea sailing to Kauai. The stone carvers in Bengaluru are now crating up remaining stones for shipment after the first of the year. The complicated process of procuring US R-1 Visas for the team of six silpis continues. Their applications have been accepted and soon they will go for scheduled interviews at the Chennai US Consulate. This team will be coming for about two years during which they will assemble the final stones of the temple. Here on Kauai a new once-a-month cleaning routine has been organized for Iraivan Temple. The first of the cleanings was done by Nirvani Tejadevanatha and Natyam Dayanatha using the Genie Boom Lift and a pressure washer.
Satguru Bodhinatha’s Activities
Satguru created a video of his latest Publishers Desk editorial, entitled “Five Suggestions for the SBNR (Spiritual but not Religious.) “The challenge for the SBNR is to make significant spiritual progress without traditional guidelines. The key is to craft your own systematic approach based on a proven spiritual path. And remember, enjoy the journey!” This video can be seen on the Kauai’s Hindu Monastery YouTube channel.
Innersearch Sri Lanka Travel-Study Program
Rishi Thondunathan, longtime devotee of Gurudeva, recently traveled to northern Sri Lanka to make final preparations for the upcoming Innersearches (2018 and 2019) to Sri Lanka. These two-week long travel-study programs (both beginning in February) are being developed for 60 participants and six monastic staff. There will be days of classes and visits to the temples and holy places associated with the gurus of our parampara. See the Innersearch Travel-Study page (under the Live Spiritually tab) on our website if you would like to join us. The 2018 trip is almost fully booked, but there is plenty of room open on the 2019 journey.
Adi Srikantha, from Utah, and Trey Defauw, from Iowa, are here on extended Task Force stays, helping in the Siddhidata and Ganapati kulams. During November, Trey helped with the silpi visas, wrote a small article about Hawaiian sandalwood for the upcoming issue of Hinduism Today and helped to better organize our massive art collection by adding tags to the computer files. Adi has done heavy-duty rock and earth moving to improve the landscaping entryway to Iraivan Temple. He also created giant new flags for each ritau and canvas canopies for our utility vehicles. Thanks to them both for their invaluable service!
Publications and Other Activities
During November, the monks and devotees joyously celebrated Skanda Shasthi with six days of special Muruga pujas. Rishi Thondunathan was sent to Mannar in Sri Lanka to Interview Selvanathan Sthapati (our Iraivan Temple architect) on the progress of the Thiruketheeswaram temple restoration project which Sthapati is heading up. Our New Delhi correspondent, Rajiv Malik, was sent to Bengaluru to interview experts for an upcoming story on the sandalwood industry. Our Agama translation project continues in Chennai, India. Our translator, Dr. S. Sabharathanam, has completed the first part of the Kamika Agama and is half way through the second part. In farm news construction of Hale Noni, a 24’ x 56’ building with a commercial kitchen and storage areas has been completed. It will help our processing of noni fruit into pure, organic noni juice. In November the monks harvested twice in our orchard across the Wailua River, bringing back 2.5 tons of ripe, health-giving fruit. Our new hydroponic greenhouse is now fully operational. About one-third of our fresh vegetables are being grown there. Another success story is that the monks, after months of trial and error, have established a system to successfully grow Shitake mushrooms on the surface of hardwood logs. Shitake mushrooms have many great health benefits as well as being quite tasty!
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
Karma, Fate, Destiny
What is Dharma?
What is Reincarnation?
How Do We Prepare For Death?
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 SivaSiva App Is Ready for Download!
After years of development and a substantial investment of Digital Dharma Drive funds, our omnibus SivaSiva app has been released for iOS and Android platforms.
“Siva Siva” is a revered mantra from South India naming the Divine within all. It is often carved, in Tamil, above the entry door to a Siva temple. The SivaSiva app is a portal to the ancient, profound wisdom and rich culture of the Saivite Hindu tradition, retooled for the 21st century. It seeks to reach today’s mobile generation who want to explore Eastern metaphysics, find their spiritual roots and attain authentic spiritual experience.
The SivaSiva app falls in the category of what sometimes is called a mega app, a giant digital super mall that serves multiple needs, each of which might be addressed by a single small app. It is a mall, with many stores inside. In our case, the mega app provides structured mobile access to the vast resources on our primary websites—himalayanacademy.com and hinduismtoday.com. It seeks to put all of those resources in your pocket.
SivaSiva offers inspirational quotes to uplift your day, awesome photos and art, access to an extensive audio library, YouTube videos and tools for spiritual practice and study. Learn the basics of Saivite Hinduism by diving into the Path to Siva book, which is resident in the app even if you are offline. Read the daily Master Course lessons and the current issue of Hinduism Today, while a journal tracks your history and a tap records favorites to come back to tomorrow. Have fun with the word-puzzles and learn key concepts at the same time. Unlike our websites, this app uses a strong “push” model that offers access to the culture and teachings without requiring users to search for things. It also offers in-app content that the user can access offline. Especially popular so far is instant access to Satguru’s latest weekly talks and Gurudeva’s remarkable 1970 audio Master Course. Audio can be downloaded for listening offline. Use the Journal feature for quick accsss to your favorite content.
The SivaSiva app is a curated approach to content delivery, tailoring access to the needs of a mobile generation. Janani Jananayagam says, “I have the SivaSiva app working, it is mind-blowing. The first talk I listened to was from Gurudeva’s 1970 audio course, his talk on The Mind of Light, and while I often listen to upadeshas on the website, both Bodhinatha’s and Gurudeva’s, this took me to a whole new place.” So there it is, a lifetime of transformation available in the palm of one’s hand!
SivaSiva will be continually improved in future versions. Visit our “feedback” option to share what we can add to enhance your personal life, practice, spiritual and cultural growth. You can download the app here:
Hindu Heritage Endowment
HHE is Celebrating
A Big “Thank You” to Our Digital Dharma Drive Donors!
Our Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, envisioned all the resources and knowledge on our websites, and now our new mobile apps as well, to be available for free. It was his wish that every seeker in every nation, no matter how poor or wealthy, could access his spiritual teachings in their fullness. It is an ideal we have always followed. However, to upgrade and expand our digital initiatives we do incur significant costs and professional fees. To cover these expenses we follow the Wikipedia model and ask for donations only during the last two months of the year. For seven years running, our goal has been met, including this year’s drive which will end December 31, 2017, and has a goal of $70,000. Such support provides sufficient funds for our talented team of monks to continue enhancing the sites, and also building the HHE endowment which will ultimately fund these sites forever.
The lion’s share of last year’s contributions went toward Hinduism Today and Himalayan Academy site improvements, app developments, library digitization, art for the Lion Sage book project, foreign language translations, and virtual tour upgrades, YouTube publishing, educational films, advancing our monastery virtual tour initiative. Ten percent of all donated funds is set aside each year for a permanent DDD Endowment that, in the far future, will take the place of this annual fund-raising effort. Today the Digital Dharma Drive Endowment stands at $117,000 after seven years of fundraising. This endowment will provide an ever-increasing income for decades to come, protecting the digital future of Hinduism, your religious heritage.
“From TAKA to the Online books, through the Mini Mela and onto the Panchangam, I am on your website most days.”
Ganga Sivanathan, Australia
“I visit the websites almost daily. This is a small way to say thanks.”
Ravichandran Ramachandran, Malaysia
“Each visit is like a life-giving drink of water while in the desert— refreshing, quenching, fulfilling.”
Usha Katir, CA, United States
“No other organization is doing it this well. My pranams.”
Kathirasan K., Singapore
“Having access to the website keeps us connected.”
Denise Coso, CA, United States
To learn about this and other tools for spiritual living, study The Master Course trilogy