BREAKING NEWS....ABOUT AUGUST DHARMA SUMMIT 2005:....A GLIMPSE OF SUMMIT PAPER ON shiv-DEv WORSHIP IN shiv TEMPLE.......
Posted by Vishva News Reporter on August 10, 2005

 

HOW TO DEFINE A vEDik mNDir

PVAF published the following news item on July 25, 2005:

Dharma Summit 2005 will be held on August 13, 14 and 15 at Rutgers University, Student Center, 126 College Avenue, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.

The objective of this conference is to bring together heads of all Devalayas, spiritual institutions, and Dharmic intellectuals in North America to exchange thoughts and ideas, and share experiences on how to impart spiritual and cultural education to our next generation and remove misperceptions about our faith traditions from the society in order to maintain our Dharmic traditions with dignity.

This conference is being organized with the support, cooperation and involvement of all major Sampradayas and institutions. Also many intellectuals will speak in various sessions.

The discussion will focus on:

  • the future of Dharma in North America.
  • How can our young generation grow with the best values from both cultures?
  • How can they learn the true meaning and concepts of Dharma and take pride in their heritage?

Please click here to read the full news item from the news archive of PVAF's AASHRAM NEWS page....

At the DHARMA SUMMIT 2005 a paper will be presented from HPI based in KAUAI, HAWAII, USA, as has been prepared under the direction of Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami for the Dharma Summit 2005. It is intended to serve as a template model for Hindu Temples in the USA to follow in conveying to the publish what tradition their temple follows.

PVAF presents the first glimpse of the presentation prior to the DHARMA SUMMIT 2005 to give the peoples of vEDik lifestyle an understanding of the operating philosophy of a mNDir (temple) dedicated to shiv-DEv by peoples of southern India.....


veD knowledge sharing by SHRii Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry from his vED library related to this news items:

Peoples practicing vEDik lifestyle believe in ONE CREATOR GOD called bRH`m.

Creator bRH`m was afraid of being alone. And thus manifests HIS iCH`chhaa (desire, wish, will and willingness to solve HIS problem) of not being alone by manifesting HIMSELF as  many creations with many functions and powers to function. Many is defined in vED as infinite number of naam (name) and ruup (form) of creations.

In order to give powers to HIS every naam and ruup of creations to perform infinite numbers of actions and functions Creator bRH`m manifests and resides in each creation  as 33 kror (330 million) HIS inherent powers called shk`tio. Each shkti is named as a DEvtaa meaning normally what humans call god or goddess.

And thus humans have 330 million DEvtaao to worship and believe in as per one's level and understanding of GNaan (TRUE knowledge) of sciences of creation and life which is called vED in sNskRUt language.

 

And in BHgVD giitaa, SHRii kRUSH`AN teaches humanity that:

  • any DEvtaa one will worship is equivalent to worshipping Creator bRH`m HIMSELF;
  • However, worshipping a particular DEvtaa for any personal objective will only reward what the particular DEvtaa is empowered to offer;
  • But taking shrAN (refuge) in Creator bRH`m with the understanding of the meaning of yog through GNaan contained in vED one can get whatever one wishes.

Keeping the above understanding in mind and the absolute need to daily perform svaaDH`yaay (self-study of vED with stsNg of a guru and others practicing vEDik lifestyle) and teaching the GNaan to one's children and others who wishes to have the knowledge please click on the line outside this box to read the understanding of what a temple should be and what a temple should do as believed by peoples of south India who are devotees of temples dedicated to shiv-DEv who is one of the three primary DEv presiding over the 330 million DEvtaao.....

After reading the paper, PVAF would like to hear YOUR COMMENTS/VIEWS, as part of  PVAF vED stsNg, based on YOUR understanding of vED about worshiping shiv-DEv as per the paragraph in the above noted HPI paper:

"Simply put, God Siva is all, and is in all. Souls and world are identical in essence with Siva, yet also differ in that they are evolving."

Please click on the POST A COMMENT button in the header of this news item and share away YOUR knowledge to enrich and expand the knowledge of others....Also read the Wikipedia article by clicking on the Wikipedia  name below....

Lord Śiva. The water flowing from his locks is a depiction of the  River Ganga considered to be a goddess in Hinduism. In Hindu mythology, when Ganga descended from the heavens, the Earth could not bear her flow so Lord Śiva agreed to bear it. Lord Śiva's skin turned bluish as he drank the Halahala poison that came out of the Churning of the ocean of milk.

The picture of  shiv-DEv above From Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia:

The picture shows the water flowing from his locks which is a depiction of the River gNgaa who is described in vED as a manifestation of Creator bRH`m with powers to absorb and absolve paap (sins) committed by any creation. As per vED, when gNgaa river descended to pRUth`vi--lok from the bRH`maaNd's shell pierced by the toenail of viSH`ANu-DEv, pRUth`vii-DEvii could not bear the impact of her flow. So shiv-DEv agreed to bear the impact on his matt of hair and then let gNgaa river to flow to pRUth`vii-lok.

shiv-DEv's throat turned bluish because he drank the Halahala poison that came out of the Churning of the KSHir saagr (ocean of milk) during the kuARm-avtaar of viSH`ANu-DEv to restore the supremacy of  DEvo who were conquered by asuraao (brothers of DEvo who do not live by DHARm and reside in paataal (one of the 14 lok (domains of existence) in a bRH`maaNd). A bRH`maaNd is the egg born of the union of pRkRUti and purush in which Creator bRH`m provides KSHETR (field) for all his creations to perform kARm and partake kARm-fl (fruits of kARm) in eternal cycles of birth-death called sNsaar. A bRH`maaNd has 14 lok meaning 14 domains of existence of aat`maa (souls) in embodied forms.

 



 

Defining Your Hindu Temple in America

From HPI & HINDUISM TODAY: KAUAI, HAWAII, USA, April 9, 2005:

The following paper was prepared under the direction of Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami for the Dharma Summit 2005. It is intended to serve as a template model for Hindu Temples in the USA to follow in conveying to the publish what tradition their temple follows.

Bodhinatha advocates that each temple clearly define five points:

  1. Mata - The Hindu Denomination;
  2. Agama - The Scriptures;
  3. Archaka - The Priesthood;
  4. Darshana - The Philosophy; and
  5. Anubhava - The Vision.

As well, the temple can provide an introduction with a history and general description.

We reproduce this paper here because this same information should be incorporated in any temple's by-laws. Following is an example write-up of Kadavul Hindu Temple here in Kauai at the home of HPI and Hinduism Today.

General Introduction

Kadavul Hindu Temple is a traditional South Indian style Siva temple. It is part of Kauai Aadheenam, a 458-acre monastery/temple complex also known as Kauai's Hindu Monastery.

As it is the primary temple for the 20 resident monastics, the monks rotate in three-hour-long vigils round-the-clock during which time they worship, meditate and perform other spiritual disciplines. This sadhana has been maintained in unbroken continuity since the temple was established in 1973, adding to the temple's profound power which changes the lives of many a visitor, much like the ancient temples of South India.

Supreme God Siva, in the form of Nataraja and a crystal Sivalinga, is enshrined in the main sanctum. In front of Siva's sanctum is the temporary abode for the 700-pound, 3-foot-tall, naturally formed crystal Sivalingam (the largest known sphatika svayambhulingam in the world) which will one day become the primary image of worship in the hand-carved white granite Iraivan Temple now being built nearby on the monastery property. Six-foot-tall black granite murtis of Lord Ganesha and Lord Murugan (Karttikeya, riding on a peacock and thus called Shikivahana) are installed in two large side shrines.

There is also an Ardhanarishvara murti and an elaborate, full-size silver trident (trisula), symbol of God Siva's three fundamental powers of desire, action and wisdom.

Lining the main walls of the temple is a rare collection of Siva's 108 tandava dance poses in 16-inch-tall bronze icons covered with gold leaf. A shrine for the temple's founder,

Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, affectionately known as Gurudeva (1927-2001), was established on the first anniversary of his mahasamadhi.

Just outside the entryway is a pavilion for Nandi the bull, Siva's mount and devotee, a giant form weighing 32,000 pounds, carved from a single stone.

Mata - The Hindu Denomination

Kadavul Hindu Temple is of the Saivite tradition, the oldest of the four main denominations of Hinduism.

In the Tamil language of South India, our religion is known as Saiva Samayam, or simply Saivam.

As Saivites, we worship the one Supreme Being as God Siva, and Lords Ganesha and Murugan, whom God Siva created to assist Him in the care of His great creation. In Saivism, Shakti is God Siva's power and is not separate from Him.

This is depicted most clearly in the image of God Siva as Ardhanarishvara, whose left side is female and right side is male. Here there is no separate Deity representing Shakti, for in our tradition the Supreme Being is neither male nor female, but encompasses both.

Agama - The Scriptures

Every Hindu temple relies on a sacred text as its source of spiritual ritual, usually an agama.

The Agamas are an enormous collection of Sanskrit scriptures which, along with the Vedas, are revered as revealed scripture.

 Like the Vedas, the Agamas (literally "that which came down") were part of an oral tradition and are as old as 7,000-8,000 years. They are the primary source and authority for ritual, yoga and temple construction.

In the South Indian Saivite tradition, there are 28 Saiva Agamas. As in temples run by the Sivacharyas of South India, the traditional liturgy performed in Kadavul Hindu Temple takes as its spiritual authority the Kamika and Karana Agamas, and their derivative priestly manuals.

Murti - The Deity

We worship the Supreme Being as Siva, enshrined in the main sanctum in the form of a spotless crystal Lingam and a 6-foot-tall bronze murti of Nataraja.

Worship of the Sivalingam in India dates back to the very beginning of the Saivite religion, millennia ago. The Lingam is the most prevalent emblem of Siva, found in virtually all Siva temples. It is the simplest and most ancient symbol of God representing Absolute Reality, beyond all forms and qualities, Parasiva.


Śiva lingam. Srinigar

shiv-ling in Shrinagar, Kashmir, India

 

Nataraja, "King of Dance," is perhaps Hinduism's richest and most eloquent symbol, representing God with form, known as Parameshvara, the "Supreme Ruler" or Primal Soul. The dance of Siva is the dance of the entire cosmos. Within the symbolism of Siva's dance we find His five shaktis, or powers:

1) creation, or emanation;

 2) preservation;

3) destruction, dissolution or absorption;

4) obscuring grace, the power which hides the truth, thereby permitting experience, growth and fulfillment of destiny; and

5) revealing grace, which grants knowledge and severs the soul's bonds. Temples with prominent Nataraja images are rare and are found primarily in South India, most notably at Chidambaram.

Archaka - The Priesthood

As Kadavul Hindu Temple is part of a monastery, the mathavasis, or monastics, naturally form its primary priesthood.

The monks' potent spiritual disciplines make the temple powerful, its vibration pure.

The monks perform pujas every three hours in Kadavul Temple, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The primary daily puja is held at 9:00am.

Under the aegis of the late Sivashri Dr. T.S. Sambamurthy Sivachariar, head of the South India Archaka Sangam, Adisaiva priests came to Kauai's Hindu Monastery in the mid-1980s to train qualified monastics in the art of parartha puja, "worship for the benefit of others," to be performed daily in the Aadheenam's established temples. Up until this time, only Saivite brahmins of the hereditary Adisaiva priest lineage were entitled to conduct rites in Agamic Siva temples. Kadavul Temple brings adept Adisaiva priests from South India or elsewhere for special ceremonies, such as kumbhabhishekams and other major events.

 Sometimes we also have unmarried Adisaivas help with the daily pujas in the temple and provide additional chanting and pujari training to the mathavasis.


Darshana - The Philosophy


The philosophy followed and taught at Kadavul Hindu Temple is the non-dualistic Saiva Siddhanta (Advaita Siddhanta) of Rishi Tirumular and his guru, Maharishi Nandinatha (ca 250 bce), which proclaims that God Siva is Love, both immanent and transcendent, both the creator and the creation. He is the totality of all, understood in three perfections:

  • Parameshvara (the Personal Creator Lord),
  • Parashakti (the energy which permeates all form) and
  • Parasiva (Absolute Reality which transcends all).

Simply put, God Siva is all, and is in all. Souls and world are identical in essence with Siva, yet also differ in that they are evolving.

This philosophy differs from the dualistic form of Saiva Siddhanta propounded by Meykandar (ca 1250 ce), which teaches that God is Lord and Creator, but He remains ever separate from man and the world.

For more information about the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy, see Gurudeva's book Dancing with Siva, Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism.

Anubhava - The Vision

It is said that the most powerful temples are those founded by the Gods themselves through visions. Kadavul Hindu Temple is such a temple.

Gurudeva describes his vision and the events leading up to the temple's founding:

  • "At Mahasivaratri time in 1973, in the jungles of Kauai, our Kadavul Nataraja Deity, Lord of the Dance, arrived at Kauai Aadheenam and was placed in the gardens overlooking the sacred Wailua River, where it was spontaneously decorated, bathed and worshiped.
  • That night the exact location of the Deity's installation was chosen by Lord Muruga Himself when He appeared to me in an early morning vision, upturned His glistening vel, His scepter of spiritual discernment, and powerfully pounded its point three times on the cement steps at the Aadheenam entrance, marking the precise spot to place the Deity.
  • " This mystical vision marked the founding of Kadavul Hindu Temple.
  • Shortly after the installation of the Nataraja Deity, Gurudeva received what he called "a magical boon" of reading clairvoyantly from inner-plane manuscripts, which he then dictated to his monks over a two-year period.
  • These writings from the devas and Mahadevas formed the shastras, spiritual instructions, that now guide his monastic order.
  • During the same time, Gurudeva received devonic directions that written prayers could be sent to the inner world devas by being burned in the sacred fire inside Kadavul Temple.
  • On auspicious days, hundreds of prayers from all over the world are offered into the temple fire. The magical happenings and answers to these petitions have become part of the temple's renown.
  •  Writing and delivering prayers to the Devaloka through the sacred fire is an ancient Natha Sampradaya practice.
  •  Today this method of communication is still employed in Shinto and Taoist temples in Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia and other areas of Southeast Asia.
  • The prayers are written down and placed in the temple fire. As the paper burns, the astral double of the prayer appears in the Devaloka. The prayer is then read by the devas, who proceed to carry out the devotee's requests.
  • These temple devas are fully dedicated to assist all who come through the temple doors with their emotional, mental and physical problems.
     



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