Happy 2019 Guru Purnima!!!

Jai Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami!

Today we celebrate Guru Purnima with a parade and padapuja to Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, woshiping the feet of the holy guru. From the Kularnava Tantra:

And Lord Siva said: How can My subtle perfection, which is one, omnipresent, attributeless, indifferent, undecaying, unattached like space, unbeginning and unending, be an object of worship for the dualistic mind? Hence it is that I as the Supreme Guru have entered into the bodies of human Satgurus.
Even My gross aspect, being full of light and energy, is imperceptible to human eyes. For this reason I have assumed the form of the Satguru in the world, and thus protect the race of sishyas.
As Mahesvara, in human body I secretly wander on the Earth in order to favor sishyas. As Sadasiva, I assume the modest and merciful form for the protection of sadhakas. Though remaining above samsara, yet I appear and act in this world as though I were a man of samsara.
When the fruits of sin predominate, Satguru is seen as a person. And when the fruits of virtuous acts prevail, Satguru is seen as Siva. Like blind men deprived forever of seeing the sun, unfortunate jivas are unable to see the real Satguru, the embodiment of Mahesvara, though He is present before their eyes. It is undoubtedly true that Satguru is Deva Sadasiva Himself, for who is it that grants Liberation to seekers if Satguru be not Siva Himself?
O Beloved, there is not the least difference between Deva Sadasiva and Sriguru. Whoever makes a distinction between them commits a sin. For by assuming the form of a preceptor, the Gurudeva severs the multitude of bonds which bind jivas to the state of pasu and enables them to attain the Self, Parasivam.
Om Namasivaya,
Sivaya Namaha.

Unqualified Surrender

Kauai’s Iraivan Temple (#2) by Derick Glaskin

What do we mean by internalizing worship? In external worship we are trying to see God and communicate with God with our two eyes and our physical nerve system. We enjoy His darshan and feel His śakti. In deep meditation, the external worship is deliberately internalized, and we are trying to see God with our third eye and feel God’s all-pervasiveness through our psychic nerve system. Externalizing bhakti is really much easier than internalizing it. But once the externalized bhakti is perfected, it will be easy and natural to internalize bhakti right along. When this is accomplished, the most rigorous hurdles and time-consuming practices of yoga, which often lead the person onto āṇava mārga, will have been side-stepped. ¶To internalize worship, after the pūjā is over sit before the Deity and draw into yourself all the prāṇas you feel around your body. Then draw those energies up the spine into the head. This is done with the mind and with the breath. It is very easy to do. It is especially easy when one is at the end of a major karmic cycle. The bhakti of uncompromising surrender, prapatti, to the God during a temple pūjā awakens the amṛita. The amṛita is the sweet essence from the sahasrāra chakra. It is the binding yoke to the Divine. Bind yourself in the lotus posture after temple worship and simply internalize all the feeling that you had for the God during the worship. That’s all there is to it. The yogī yoked within enjoys the amṛita that flows from the cranium throughout his body. Devotees who want to awaken the higher chakras and sustain that awakening on the safe path will throw themselves into becoming uncompromising bhaktars. Then all the Gods of all three worlds will open their hearts and shower their blessings upon them. ¶What is my advice for those who find such uncompromising surrender hard to imagine but realize it is their next step on the path? Go on a pilgrimage once a year, read scriptures daily, perform pūjā daily, go to the temple at least once a week, if not more often—fulfill these disciplines, known as the pañcha nitya karmas. This is the basic Śaiva Siddhānta sādhana. ¶But on another level, one will not be able to fulfill the pañcha nitya karmas if he or she is not fulfilling the yamas and the niyamas, for these are the character-builders. We must possess a good character to be successful in bhakti yoga. Therefore, begin at the beginning. Right thought produces right speech, which produces right action. Right thought is produced through the knowledge of dharma, karma, saṁsāra and the all-pervasiveness of God. This knowledge correctly understood disallows the devotee from having wrong thoughts. He simply has right thought, and of course, right speech and action follow naturally. ¶Śaiva Siddhānta extols the guru and says that when the student is ready, one will appear. The guru will always restate the dharma to a devotee who is having problems with bhakti yoga practices. He will always direct the mind to the beginning teachings, for it would be obvious that the student does not understand one or more of them. If the devotee is not following the pañcha nitya karmas or the yamas and niyamas, it is obvious that purified knowledge of these four areas—dharma, karma, saṁsāra and Śivaness—needs to be strengthened. ¶Individual practices to advance spiritual unfoldment include prostrating before God, Gods and guru, full body, face down, arms and hands outstretched, and in that act, total giving up, giving up, giving up, giving up. In Sanskrit it is called prāṇipāta, “falling down in obeisance.” What are these devoted ones giving up? By this act they are giving the lower energies to the higher energies. It is a merger, a blending. When one is performing this traditional devotional act, awakening true prapatti, it is easy to see the lower energies from the base of the spine, the mūlādhāra chakra, rising, rising, rising up the spine through all six chakras above it and out through the top of the head. It is transmuting, changing the form of, the base energies which breed conflict and resistance, “mine and yours” and “you and me,” division, insecurity and separateness, into the spiritual energies of “us and we,” amalgamation, security, togetherness. ¶Once the giving up of the lower is total—body and face on the ground, hands outstretched before the image of God, Gods or guru—those energies are surrendered into the higher chakras within the devotee, and it is a blissful moment, into the consciousness of “us and ours,” “we and oneness,” and inseparable love, thus claiming their individuality, not as a separate thing, but as a shared oneness with all. Thereafter, these devoted ones, having been transformed, are able to uplift others, to harmonize forces around them that they work with day after day after day, year after year after year. This total surrender, prapatti, is the meaning of Siddhānta. This is the true meaning of Vedānta. The combination of both, and the pure practice of prapatti as just described, brings out from within the deeper meanings of Vedānta, the Vedic philosophy, without having to depend on the path of words, lectures and debates. My satguru was once heard saying, “It’s not in books, you fool.”

Here on Taskforce

Yesterday Dr. Maruthu Darmalingam arrived at the aadheenam for two weeks of taskforce. Perfect timing to enjoy the special guru puja which will take place in a few days during Guru Purima

Mauritius July Ganesha Homa

Click here for more photos of the July homa at our Spiritual Park

Temple Cleaning

Recently Nirvani Tejadevanatha and Yogi Dayanatha spent a morning pressure washing Iraivan Temple. With a combination of the stone carving, the soda blasting and some red-dirt dust from the surrounding landscaping, the temple has been wanting a little extra attention. Aum Namah Sivaya

July 2019 Chitra Puja

Yesterday afternoon we celebrated this month's chitra nakshatra with a abhishekam to Gurudeva's Tiruvadi. Yogi's Mayuranatha and Adinatha performed the padapuja.

Ending the Phase

Today marks the end of our monks' five day week. Every week on the last day of the phase, many monks do cleaning in their offices. Here we find the Siddhidatta Kulam monks doing some housekeeping. Such a routine keeps the energies flowing. Having an unkempt environment can have a negative impact on our work. Aum Namah Sivaya.

A New Calf is Born!

In the late afternoon yesterday, a new calf was born at the aadheenam. Her name is Mina, meaning "gem."

The generous cow gives milk and cream, yogurt and cheese, butter and ice cream, ghee and buttermilk. The only cow-question for Hindus is, "Why don't more people respect and protect this remarkable creature?" Mahatma Gandhi once said, "One can measure the greatness of a nation and its moral progress by the way it treats its animals. Cow protection to me is not mere protection of the cow. It means protection of all that lives and is helpless and weak in the world. The cow means the entire subhuman world."

In the Hindu tradition, the cow is honored, garlanded and given special feedings at festivals all over India, most importantly the annual Gopashtama festival. Demonstrating how dearly Hindus love their cows, colorful cow jewelry and clothing is sold at fairs all over the Indian countryside. From a young age, Hindu children are taught to decorate the cow with garlands, paint and ornaments. Her nature is epitomized in Kamadhenu, the divine, wish-fulfilling cow. The cow and her sacred gifts—milk and ghee in particular—are essential elements in Hindu worship, penance and rites of passage. In India, more than 3,000 institutions called Gaushalas, maintained by charitable trusts, care for old and infirm cows. And while many Hindus are not vegetarians, most respect the still widely held code of abstaining from eating beef. By her docile, tolerant nature, the cow exemplifies the cardinal virtue of Hinduism, noninjury, known as ahimsa. The cow also symbolizes dignity, strength, endurance, maternity and selfless service. In the Vedas, cows represent wealth and joyous Earthly life. From the Rig Veda (4.28.1;6) we read. 'the cows have come and have brought us good fortune. In our stalls, contented, may they stay! May they bring forth calves for us, many-colored, giving milk for Indra each day. You make, O cows, the thin man sleek; to the unlovely you bring beauty. Rejoice our homestead with pleasant lowing. In our assemblies we laud your vigor."
- Fourteen Questions

The Importance of Rain

It is the unfailing fall of rain that sustains the world. Therefore, look upon rain as the nectar of life.

Rain produces man’s wholesome food; and rain itself forms part of his food besides.

Though oceanic waters surround it, the world will be deluged by hunger’s hardships if the billowing clouds betray us.

When clouds withhold their watery wealth, farmers cease to ply their plows.

It is rain that ruins, and it is rain again that raises up those it has ruined.

Unless raindrops fall from the sky, not a blade of green grass will rise from the earth.

The very nature of oceans, though vast, would diminish if clouds ceased to take up water and replenish rain’s gifts.

Should the heavens dry up, worship here of the heavenly ones in festivals and daily rites would wither.

Unless the heavens grant their gifts, neither the giver’s generosity nor the ascetic’s detachment will grace this wide world.

No life on Earth can exist without water, and water’s ceaseless flow cannot exist without rain.

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