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Landscaping of the future entrance to Iraivan is actively underway, as this aerial photo shows, with palms and tropical plants recently added in six new rock terraces;

Bodhinatha's Message

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Namaste and Aloha!

The last twelve months continued the trend of a steady flow of visitors, many of whom enjoyed a personal tour of Iraivan Temple and the surrounding San Marga Sanctuary. They marveled at the recent landscaping, including the area around the Svayambhu Lingam, where Gurudeva’s 1975 vision of Lord Siva took place. Even though Iraivan is currently a construction site and no formal pujas are performed, its sanctity and serenity deeply impress all who pilgrimage to our remote island. So, it’s natural that many who have been here before came back this year to worship, meditate and perform other sadhanas. Many time their visit to attend the popular and powerful monthly abhishekam of Lord Nataraja in Kadavul Temple on Ardra nakshatra.

The last twelve months continued the trend of a steady flow of visitors, many of whom enjoyed a personal tour of Iraivan Temple and the surrounding San Marga Sanctuary. They marveled at the recent landscaping, including the area around the Svayambhu Lingam, where Gurudeva’s 1975 vision of Lord Siva took place. Even though Iraivan is currently a construction site and no formal pujas are performed, its sanctity and serenity deeply impress all who pilgrimage to our remote island. So, it’s natural that many who have been here before came back this year to worship, meditate and perform other sadhanas. Many time their visit to attend the popular and powerful monthly abhishekam of Lord Nataraja in Kadavul Temple on Ardra nakshatra.

Thanks to the generous donations of our global family of temple builders, much was accomplished in the last twelve months. Last year’s goal was $780,000 ($65,000 per month) while actual donations were a little more: $897 255.01. The goal will remain the same for the coming twelve months. Additionally, two major ongoing projects—landscaping around the temple, and the creation and installation of the life-size bronzes in the Temple Builders’ Pavilion—are being funded separately by donors dedicated to those artistic efforts.

I am inspired to share a quote from Gurudeva: “Most importantly, Iraivan, with Lord Siva facing south, is a moksha temple. This means that being in the presence of its sanctum sanctorum brings the pilgrim closer to freedom from rebirth on this planet. The vibration of the temple wipes away the dross of the subconscious vasanas and simultaneously heals the wounds of psychic surgery. It takes away encumbrances and releases the pristine beauty of the soul. As pilgrims leave the San Marga Sanctuary, they are escorted back the way they came, along San Marga and through the Rudraksha Forest with a new self-image and clear understanding of the purpose of life on planet Earth.”

With blessings for a bountiful family life and spiritual progress,

—Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami

Gurudeva's Sacred Vision

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Located in the heart of a traditional Hindu monastery complex reminiscent of ancient mathas and aadheenams of India, Iraivan is more than a temple; it is a pilgrimage destination, a place of sadhana and spiritual rejuvenation. Iraivan Temple is a living edifice that brings ancient tradition into the 21st century, a stable anchor sustaining and strengthening Hindu dharma for our children, their children and generations to come.

Annual Fund-Raising Appeal

Goal for September 2017 to August 2018

The amount needed to keep this sacred project funded in both India and Hawaii is $65,000 per month, or $780,000 for the year.

Progress Update

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(above) silpis apply detail to the perimeter wall stones (note the scriptural panel on the long section to the right of the craftsman in the foreground). (below) Selvanathan Sthapati works on an intricate design to be carved in stone; Kauai’s department of child and family services enjoy a special tour of the temple.

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If you have visited the worksite in Bengaluru, you know that the property is filled with finished granite pieces for the perimeter wall and Nandi Mandapam of Iraivan Temple. These gems represent thousands of hours of effort by the large team of stone craftsmen over the past seven years. Each has been cut and carved according to the master plan overseen by Selvanathan Sthapati, our chief architect. One of the last jobs underway there is the mock fitting of each of the five dozen large wall stones to its adjacent members, a process that will speed up the assembly on Kauai. Also being wrapped up at the Artha Enterpreises’ worksite, under the direction of Jiva Rajasankara and his sons Thuraisingam and Senthilathiban, is the polishing of the 47 red granite pots that will crown the perimeter wall.


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(above)the silver naga, specially made in India, awaits installation of the crystal Svayambhu Sivalingam (below)

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A key worshipful element of the temple arrived on Kauai this year—the pure silver, five-headed cobra, Naga Bushana, (left) which will hover over the crystal Sivalingam in the sanctum sanctorum (see painting on next page). Dr. S. Sabharathanam, foremost expert on the Saiva Agamas, explained that Naga Bushana (literally, “beautiful serpent”) symbolizes yoga shakti, the arisen kundalini force, awakened in the enlightened person by the grace of Lord Siva. The five heads represent the five transcendental Shaktis: Para, Adi, Iccha, Jnana and Kriya. Also ready for shipment are the two ornate inner sanctum doors, clad in metal and showing eight forms of Siva, four on each door.


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The life-size bronzes of the temple sculptors were installed just north of Iraivan; left: Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Kauai’s Hindu Monastery.

A major focus this past year on Kauai has been the Temple Builders’ Pavilion (pictured above). The finished bronzes were formally installed on October 17th with blessings and puja by Kumar Gurukkal. The site is next to the Dakshinamurti just north of Iraivan. Created by sculptor Holly Young of the Big Island, this magnificent collection of sculptures depicts the main processes in stone construction and honors the craftsmen who created Iraivan. A bronze of Gurudeva giving instructions to architect Ganapati Sthapati stands in the center on a massive block of raw granite.

Around them, clockwise from lower left, silpis are 1) cutting a rough stone to size, 2) marking and chiseling intricate designs on a pillar, 3) moving a large block with steel bars, 4) heating iron chisels in the forge and 5) sharpening and tempering the tools. In the coming months, two 10-foot-long stone chains will be added as ornamental handrails.

Much has happened this year in the landscaping around Iraivan, primarily on the south side of the temple (Photo at the top of this page) . Dozens of large palm trees were transplanted from our nursery into six large terraced areas defined by rock walls. The temple’s steps will ultimately rise between these terraces, guiding pilgrims to the entrance. Work is still underway as we write, planting thousands of tropical plants among the trees and establishing ground covers. Gurudeva’s hope was that when opening day arrives, the natural surroundings of Iraivan will be as beautiful as the temple itself.

Iraivan Carving Team in India

Back in Bengaluru, plans are underway to pack, load and ship to Kauai several containers of stones for the perimeter wall and Nandi Mandapam. As early as January, 2018, six silpis—Adaikkalam, Anjanamurthi, Karuppaiya, Gnanavel, Manikandan and Murugesan—will be flying to our island to assemble them. They are a highly skilled group, averaging 15 years of working on Iraivan alone; some have over 30 years of experience in their craft. They are adept at all aspects of stone craftsmanship, from cutting raw stone to precision trimming for paper thin joints, to ornate embellishment and fine polishing.

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Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami at the worksite in August with all the silpis

The teams’ first task will be to complete the Nandi Mandapam, including installing the dramatic 40-foot-tall kodimaram (flagpole), made of teak and clad in copper. They will then proceed to construct the low wall that surrounds the temple plinth. This entails carefully fitting and assembling seventy-three large panel and pillar sections. They also have work to do on the entry steps and the second prakaram granite flooring tiles.

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Silpi Adaikkalam at work in Bengaluru—he will soon be on Kauai

Future Highlights

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A super-wide-angle photo of the main hall inside Iraivan Temple

With the team of six silpis arriving in early 2018, temple assembly will resume on Kauai after seven years. The remaining containers of stone are scheduled to arrive early in the year as well, filled with stones for the Nandi Mandapam and the perimeter wall. Also among the contents is a charming granite Ganesha shrine to replace the old wooden structure that pilgrims visit on the right side of San Marga shortly after leaving the Rudraksha Forest. The black granite scriptural panels that adorn the perimeter wall will be carved in Bengaluru next year: 45 panels, roughly one foot tall and four feet wide (see photo below). Verses from the Vedas, other scripture and the teachings of our lineage are being selected to encapsulate the Saiva philosophy for centuries to come. Landscaping efforts will move to the west side of the temple where the soft plan is to create a cactus garden with walking paths, somewhat like the garden near the Media Studio, but larger in scale. And as a special bonus, we are taking advantage of the skilled workforce in Bengaluru to create ornate, black granite cladding to adorn the surface of the plain base of the large Nandi and Kodimaram in front of Kadavul Temple.


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The 200-foot-long Bamboo Corridor (above) along San Marga was inspired by a dramatic entryway at a temple in Kyoto, Japan ((below)

14_bamboo_entry_Kyoto On San Marga, a long corridor of the world’s tallest bamboo (Dendrocalamus brandisii) was planted three years back as an entry onto the path right after the Rudraksha Forest. As the photo below shows, it is growing quickly towards its 100-foot mature height.



LET’S WORK TOGETHER TO COMPLETE IRAIVAN

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Kauai’s department of child and family services enjoy a special tour of the temple.

With the main edifice nearing completion, Iraivan Temple needs your support now more than ever. Be generous and click to send your special year-end contribution today.