The extensive first phase of construction in creating a new home for the Siddhanta Press came to a conclusion in July. Just a few months into its new home, the Press has doubled its previous production level, producing thousands of copies of new publications, reprints of San Marga Master Course lessons, and extensive writing, editing and art work for several new publications. The big Heidelberg KORD press, the heart of the shop, has been running nearly continuously since being established in its new home.
Due to monetary requirements, it was decided by Gurudeva to complete the shop in two phases. In the first phase, all the necessary structural work would be done - new concrete floors, new doors, windows, etc., as well as all the electrical wiring and the air conditioning (necessary for printing in our humid, Hawaiian climate). This has now been completed, and work is commencing on the second phase of interior furnishings, carpets, wall decorations, additional electrical work, completion of visitor rest rooms, as well as sidewalks and patios around the building.
For a number of weeks of the project the entire population of the monastery worked on the shop, installing doors and windows, tearing off and then rebuilding parts of the roof, replacing the ceiling, installing air conditioning ducting, reinforcing the roof framing to hold a new (and heavy) tile roof, renovating the bathrooms, repairing and painting the interior walls, putting cedar siding on the exterior walls and numerous other jobs involved with the resurrection of an old building.
Now that this work is complete, we have a functional building, albeit without carpet, shelving, furniture, sidewalks, various electrical equipment, the tile for the roof, a solar water heater, curtains and storage cabinets. The work to be done requires over $30,000 more, even with all of the labor contributed by the monastics. Hired professional work would cost nearly twice as much.
Siddhanta Press is the printing department of Saiva Siddhanta Church. Manned entirely by monastics of the Church, its presses are used solely to advance Saivism in the technological age; it does no commercial work. It prints all of Gurudeva's Inspired Talks, the San Marga Master Course, The New Saivite World, Temple schedules, Church stationary and reports and so on. It also serves other Saivite institutions with its facilities. In the future it will become active in printing 'American English' editions of the ancient scriptures of Saivism, as well as of some modern writings.
The Press has been in operation, in one form or another since 1958 when Gurudeva operated the first printing press himself. Since that time, monastics have been involved in printing almost continuously, producing hundreds of thousands of books, lessons and pamphlets. The first small Multilith press was at the center in San Francisco. After the purchase of the Virigina City, Nevada, property, the printing operation was moved there and expanded with the acquisition of more sophisticated equipment. It was here in Nevada that the On the Path series, the Pathfinders Library and the early editions of the Master Course were printed. After the headquarters of the Church moved to Kauai in 1970, printing was continued in Virginia City for some years. Finally, it became too difficult to run the press at such a distance, and Gurudeva decided to move the equipment to Kauai. This was done in 1979. Our smaller equipment was put into operation, as well as some of the new pieces such as the typesetter, but, due to lack of a place, the large press and other equipment remained virtually idle until now, when all parts of the shop are able to be put into full action.
Over these years of development, the Church has acquired some of the finest printing equipment available, including a Heidelberg KORD printing press and an Itek Quadratek computerized phototypesetter. Nearly all of the work printed by Siddhanta Press is created right within the shop by the monastics, from initial editing to final typesetting and printing. The monastics have been fortunate to receive training from many fine professionals in graphics, typesetting and printing. Today we have skilled monks to operate the shop, able to produce printing which meets very high standards in giving a modern presentation to Saivism.