No Hindu would embark on a task as monumental and momentous as building a temple without the backing of the religion’s leaders. So it is that over the last two decades Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Gurudeva) has received support from countless Hindu leaders. Each one, without exception, has come forward with blessings and support. Gurudeva has also earned the loyalty of the noble Sivacharyas (hereditary priests) of South India. High priest Sri Sambamurthi Sivacharya of Chennai came to Kauai for the ground-breaking ceremony in 1995 (photo right), where he consecrated the site with ancient rites and powerful chanting. He proclaimed Gurudeva the 64th Saivite Tamil saint.

Sri Trichy Mahaswamigal, Kailas Ashram: “Having visited Kauai myself, I can say that the island exhibits all the features of a sacred meritorious pilgrimage center. The Iraivan Temple is going to be to America what the temples of Chidambaram, Madurai, Rameshwaram and other jyotirlingas (light centers of Siva) are to India.”

His Divine Holiness, Pramukh Swami Maharaj: “The dynamic efforts of Gurudeva in arousing international Hindu awareness is indeed commendable. The Iraivan Temple will undoubtedly serve in inspiring aspirants to lead lives of higher nobility and purity.”

Sri la Sri Arunagirinatha, Sri Gnanasambadar Desikar: “Construction of a Hindu temple, that, too, in an alien country far away from our motherland, is not an easy task. Only persons like Gurudeva, having willpower and devotion to his duty to Hinduism, can alone build such temples.”

Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda Mahamandaleshwar: “The immense effort and dedication which Gurudeva puts into this temple will definitely result in divine radiance and fulfillment of everyone’s aspiration.”

Karunamayi Bhagawati Sri Vijayeswari Devi: “There is no doubt that this temple shall become a center for great inspiration for the entire world. Whoever comes to have sight of the Compassionate Lord in this temple of Siva, his or her desires shall be fulfilled and liberation attained.”

H.H. Swami Tejomayananda: “Surely, the Iraivan temple will stand as a testimony of the superb artistry inherent in Hindu culture. May it become a place of worship, reflection and study for all sincere spiritual seekers throughout the world.”

South Indian Abbots: In January, 1991, during a pilgrimage throughout South India, Gurudeva visited Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham to seek the blessings of the three Sankaracharyas for the Island Temple. The then resident Jagadguru, Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati, 98, held and blessed the temple’s architectural plans. His successors, Jagadguru Sri Jayendra Saraswati and Sri Sankara Vijayendra, also gave abundant blessings. Jayendra sanctified with holy ash the temple’s navaratna (nine gems traditionally placed below the main sanctum), which was later placed in the foundation on Kauai. In September, 1998, the pontiff conveyed to Kauai his “choicest blessings for the successful completion of this sacred endeavor.”1Ú4