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Magazine Web Edition > July/August/September 2009 > Feature Story: Siva's Sanctuary in Tropical Hawaii
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A Stronghold of Saivism

The long-term planning and daily functioning of the temple is managed by the Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order. For Ravi Rahavendran, the monks' involvement with the project is key to his enthusiastic support: "Their presence enables a strong and continuous connection to the inner worlds." As Deva Rajan points out, "Unlike the ever-changing boards of directors that manage most Hindu temples, this monastic order brings to the management a consistency and stability that is free of politics and personal motives."

Ravi is amazed that since March 12, 1973, the monks have been conducting pujas every three hours, 24 hours a day, at the smaller Kadavul Temple, located at the heart of the monastery. That's over 36 years without missing a single puja, eight times a day. For this reason, Ravi states, "One can actually experience divine energy here." By the time this issue of Hinduism Today arrives on the newsstands on July 1, 2009, the monks will have performed 106,069 uninterrupted vigils (three-hour spiritual watches each takes by turn), building up the vibration.

While Iraivan is the jewel of Kauai's Hindu Monastery, several other initiatives upholding dharma are driven by the monks. It is from the monastery that Hinduism Today is published each quarter; books and pamphlets are created and distributed, and the multi-million-dollar Hindu Heritage Endowment is managed as a public service for Hindu institutions worldwide.

Every task--be it looking after the land, tending to the monastery's gentle cows, supervising the building of the temple or publishing books and magazines about the Sanatana Dharma--is an act of devotion by the monks. Gurudeva left in writing: "What makes the San Marga Iraivan Temple, the moksha sphatika Sivalingam, our small and large shrines and publication facilities so special is that they are part of a monastery, or aadheenam: the home of a spiritual master, a satguru, and his tirelessly devoted sadhakas, yogis, swamis and acharyas. Moreover, this Aadheenam is a theological seminary for training monks from all over the world to take holy orders of sannyasa and join the great team of our Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order. From the world over, devotees pilgrimage to Kauai Aadheenam, our headquarters. From here Iraivan's sphatika moksha Sivalingam shines forth."

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