The year 2018 began with special blessings from God Siva as we celebrated our major Nataraja festival of the year, Ardra Darshanam, on the first of January. As you can imagine, the temple was packed with devotees, some coming for Nataraja’s grace and others seeking blessings to begin the new year. It is one of two yearly festivals where all the monastics assist in the puja in one capacity or another (the other festival being Mahasivaratri.) One of the features that devotees attending find impressive is the elaborateness of the abhishekam, especially the offering of the water from 108 coconuts which are passed along a line of monastics up to and out of the sanctum. The vibration was powerful and uplifting to all. This was followed a week later with our monthly Chitra puja to Gurudeva, the 217th since his Great Departure. The third special ceremony for the month was Thai Pusam on January 30, celebrated with abhishekam and elaborate decorations. The extra number of year-end visitors continued through the first week of January with many having darshan sessions with me after the morning Siva puja. A major project for the month was the completion of the study guide for “Innersearch Sri Lanka 2018.” In addition to the daily schedules, it contains outlines for my classes focusing on the teachings of the Kailasa Guruparampara. General contributions for January totaled $73,705, which is more than our minimum monthly goal of $65,000. Special project contributions totaled an additional $314. 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)
Evil is often looked upon as a force against God. But the Hindu knows that all forces are God’s forces, even the waywardness of adharma. This is sometimes difficult to understand when we see the pains and problems caused by men against men. Looking deeper, we see that what is called evil has its own mysterious purpose in life. Yes, bad things do happen. Still, the wise never blame God, for they know these to be the return of man’s self-created karmas, difficult but necessary experiences for his spiritual evolution. Whenever we are injured or hurt, we understand that our suffering is but the fulfillment of a karma we once initiated, for which our injurer is but the instrument who, when his karma cycles around, will be the injured. Those who perform seemingly evil deeds are not yet in touch with the ever-present God consciousness of their immortal soul. The Vedas rightly admonish, “Borne along and defiled by the stream of qualities, unsteady, wavering, bewildered, full of desire, distracted, one goes on into the state of self-conceit. In thinking ‘This is I’ and ‘That is mine’ one binds himself with himself, as does a bird with a snare.”
Explore Gurudeva's Wisdom
Top to bottom: Lord Murugan blesses one and all after the abhishekam on Thai Pusam; prasadam is prepared as an offering to God and the Gods on Thai Pongal; Chola Gardens surrounds Iraivan Temple, inviting pilgrims to explore; containers of sculpted granite arrive from India; many families had the Satguru’s blessings during the year-end season; Nirvani Tejadevanatha and Divyesh Nagarajan harvest and squeeze oranges in preparation for the Maha Ardra abhishekam; a local artist sat for hours capturing the amazing monastery vista on canvas.
Iraivan Temple Progress
Iraivan Temple construction picked up this month with the new arrival of sculpted granite stones from India, one of the last shipments needed. Soon all of the stones will be here on Kauai and the complexities of shipping 40-foot containers will be a thing of the past. Also in this shipment were many hundreds of carbide tipped chisels, their cutting point crafted from the worn out carbide teeth of the huge saw blade used to cut granite at our carving site in India. These new chisels will stay sharper for much longer than the old style chisels and make the chisel sharpening process at the forge completely unnecessary. This will make the stone carvers much more efficient. Our carvers are expected to arrive from India next month to begin the considerable final tasks for the temple’s completion—including the construction of the Nandi Mandapam and kodimaram, the 485-foot-long perimeter wall and more. The year 2018 is going to be an exciting time for Iraivan Temple.
Satguru was in residence here at the monastery throughout the month of January, taking a break from his busy travel schedule. Once a week he continued to make video commentaries on our Path to Siva catechism for youth. Please go to our Kauai’s Hindu Monastery YouTube channel to view his talks on: What Is our Heritage of Gurus, Who Are Our Holy Men and Women, Who Are the Four Great Tamil saints, and a two-part exposition of the yamas and niyamas titled “What Is Our Code of Conduct?”
Dozens of devotees from all over the world came to Kauai Aadheenam to celebrate New Year’s Day, worship Kadavul Nataraja and be with Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. Many were surprised to learn that January first was also Ardra nakshatra, the asterism when all the monks celebrate Ardra Darshanam. The monks gathered along with 100 devotees for a full morning worshiping Lord Nataraja in Kadavul Temple. Our longest abhishekam of the year was performed, bathing the bronze murti with hundreds of gallons of prana-filled offerings. The shakti awakened by this spectacular annual rite was an intense delight. On January 30 we celebrated Thai Pusam, honoring the day that Lord Murugan received His Vel. Monks spent the day preparing 5-gallon pots of milk, yogurt, honey, citrus juice and more for the evening abhishekam. Murugan’s yogic shakti filled Kadavul Temple.
Publications and Other Activities
sIn January our Ganapati Kulam Media Studio monks finished the April/May/June 2018 issue of Hinduism Today magazine. The main stories in this issue cover everything about sandalwood, insights on the chakras and a piece on sports and spirituality. The first Russian language edition of Hinduism Today magazine has been published. It is a gorgeous reproduction of our October 2017 issue. You can see it here: bit.ly/HToct2017RussianTranslation. When Shashikala Raja, of Michigan, visited the monastery in December, she learned that we had Satguru’s Publisher’s Desk editorials translated into a number of Indic languages, but not yet in her native Kannada. She volunteered to be our translator, and upon returning home quickly submitted the first one, “One God, Many Divinities.” It is now online and can be read here: bit.ly/PubDeskKannada. Kannada is the native language of nearly 40 million, most of whom live in Karnataka state, where our Iraivan Temple carving site is located. In the farming area of life, what was an empty field April 27th of last year today heralds a fully equipped processing facility for our noni juice harvested from our certified organic orchard across the Wailua River from the monastery. This 24 by 56 foot building is one of the few that we have built from the ground up at the monastery. It is a perfect place to clean, ferment, press and store what becomes Wailua River Noni Juice. Paramacharya Sivanathaswami performed the blessing rites for the new building at a “ribbon cutting” ceremony presided over by Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. Our thanks to architect Thamby Kumaran (who did the building plans as a donation), to Easvan Param (who installed the electrical wiring), and to all who helped.
Appa Richard Waits flew from Washington state for a week to be with his son, Natyam Jayanatha. His photography skills can be seen on page two—Satguru’s portrait was taken by him; Large stepping stones are being created at the southern entry to Iraivan.
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
Who Are the Four Great Tamil Saints
What Is Our Code of Conduct - Yamas
What Is Our Code of Conduct - Nayamas
What Are Our Five Core Practices
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)
Iraivan’s Pillar Art: Four Principles of Saivism & Three Worlds
Each outer pillar of Iraivan Temple has ten bas-relief carvings depicting sacred symbols, plants and themes of Saivite philosophy, such as the Vedas, states of mind, limbs of yoga and the types of karma. Lower pillar panels display 24 forms of Siva and 12 meditations in Gurudeva’s mystical Shum language.
Four panels on pillar 20 depict the three worlds. The physical world is represented by a contemplative rishi scribing insights on palm leaves. The Sivaloka, or world of the Gods, is portrayed by a bas-relief of Siva’s profile with prominent crescent moon, gold earring and rudraksha necklace. The Antarloka, or second world, is depicted in two panels, one for the higher second world showing a evolved deva, and one for the narakaloka showing a demonic figure.
Pillar 18 displays four central principles of Saiva Siddhanta: guru, Lingam, sangam and valipadu (worship). The guru panel shows a devotee touching the feet of his spiritual master. The Lingam panel shows an elliptical stone that represents God, adorned with three stripes of holy and tilaka, being bathed with water. Sangam, the like-minded fellowship of devotees, is represented by four hands clasped together. Vallipadu, ardent worship, is depicted as a devotee offering a lighted lamp before a Sivalingam.
Hindu Heritage Endowment
Understanding The Charitable Lead Trust
Yash has received a generous inheritance from his parents and wants to provide future gifts to his son Darpan when he is old enough to manage money responsibly. He also wants to support the construction of Iraivan Temple now. Is there any way for him to meet these two seemingly irreconcilable goals?
Yash put this problem to his accountant brother-in-law, Smaran, one weekend while helping him move some furniture into his new home.
After struggling with a queen-size box spring which they finally got to the second floor bedroom, the two men took a break. “Have you considered a charitable lead trust?” his brother-in-law asked.
“What in the world is that?”
“Let me explain,” Smaran said.
“Let’s start with your goals. I understand you want to give Darpan about $100,000 when he’s 35. Is that right?”
“Yes. I feel he will be able to handle money by then. He’s only twenty now.”
“But you also said you want to support the Iraivan Temple in Hawaii beginning this year.”
“That’s right,” Yash answered.
“Here’s what you can do,” Smaran volunteered. “Place $100,000 into an irrevocable charitable lead trust and direct the trust to pay $4,000 a year for 15 years to support the temple. After that, the trust passes all remaining fund assets to Darpan.”
“Why would I go to all that trouble?”
“Here’s why. First, you’ve set up an instrument that provides steady support to the temple. The temple will get $4,000 a year from the trust almost automatically.”
“That would be great.”
“Second, Darpan will get about $100,000 tax-free in 15 years.”
“Do you think the trust can earn 4 percent a year?” “Sure,” said Smaran. “I know of some tax-free muni bonds that pay 4 percent. And as an important third benefit, you get an immediate $47,000 gift tax deduction. This limits the damage that the future gift to Darpan would otherwise do to your estate tax exclusion.”
“Well, estate tax is not likely going to be a problem for me,” Yash said. “My main purpose is to make sure Darpan gets the $100,000, but not before he’s mature enough to care for it. And I want to start supporting the temple right now. If I can give the temple $60,000 and still have the $100,000 for Darpan, that would be ideal.”
“Then talk to your accountant about setting up a charitable lead trust.”
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@example.com. 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.
To learn about this and other tools for spiritual living, study The Master Course trilogy
Building Fund Donations
Five-Month Summary:For the five months of September 2017 to January 2018, our minimum monthly goal was $325,000. Excluding contributions directed toward special projects, we received actual contributions of $472,613.87.
Thanks to Our January Temple Builders in 17 Countries
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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