Within Saivite Hinduism there are many types of sangams and sabais, reflecting both the many facets of religion and the many areas of interest and concern to is more than three million members. Some sangams focus their efforts at maintaining philosophical and theological education for their members; others support and augment the activities of Saiva temples in their areas. Certain sangams concentrate on educating the children; others devotedly study the humans or teachings of a particular Saivite saint; and still others focus their energies on a particular yogic sadhana or meditative regimen.
With its headquarters in Bhavani, a small city in the ancient citadel of the Saivite religion, Tamil Nadu, and with members in seven towns in the vicinity, the Sathiyathin Sakthi Nilai Sangam is of the latter type of sangam; its foremost activity is the practice of meditation. The name "Sathiyathin Sakti Nilai Sangam" literally means, explained the President of the Sangam, Sri S.S.M. Subramaniam, "Society for Revival of Divine Truth." This Sangam is unique in both its origin an its functioning, as its founding and all subsequent developments were directed by a rishi living in the devaloka, the religious area of the Second World of this planet.
As part of a trip from Tamil Nadu to Vancouver, Canada, Sri Subramaniam, founder and President of Sathiyathin Sakthi Nilai Sangam, and his son, Sri Elango, visited Saiva Siddhanta Church's headquarters on Kauai for one day - October 15th, 1981. In a special interview during that visit, the New Saivite World staff learned more about the Sangam. Sri Subramaniam explained that the Rishi had directed them to form the Sangam about three years ago, in 1979. He also instructed them as to who the nine executive officers should be, where the various centers should be located, along with many other details. Sri Subramaniam and his son identified the Rishi as Isvara, foremost of the Sabtha Rishis (seven rishis). Rishi Ishvara is regarded by them as Lord Shiva. This Sabtha Rishi conveys his messages almost exclusively through the medium of Mrs. Rajammal Balasubramaniam, the eldest daughter of Mr. Subramaniam. The communicative sessions were described to us as follows: "During meditation, she is first able to see the shape of the form of the Rishi, a vision of him. Then, along with the vision, she is able to grasp the words that the Sabtha Rishi is giving. She speaks the words out, and the man sitting next to her keeps writing them down...The messages come in continuous sentences." Usually her husband takes down the messages, but in his absence, Mr. Subramaniam, her father, performs this duty. The communications from the Sabtha Rishi began shortly after Sri Subramaniam and his family were graced with meeting their Guru, Gnana Guru Venugopala Swami from Palani. Mr. Subramaniam explained that "everything happened after we met the Guru. Since that time, the Rishi has given many messages. Three volumes have been produced by the Samgam since 1980, incorporating the teachings gleaned from these transmissions, along with one pocket book on how to meditate. Obviously, the Rishi chose very well this particular group of persons to help in his work; his every word is carefully preserved. Even the details of the printing and publishing of the books were given by the Rishi, including the exact date each volume was to be released. Besides the dictations that come spontaneously from the Rishi, he also avails himself to answering questions. One question at a time is asked to Mrs. Balasubramaniam, then she speaks out Rishi Isvara's reply.
The Sangam has about 500 registered members and another 500 who are less closely associated. The primary focus of the Sangam is meditation. Instruction in meditation is provided by Gnana Guru Venugopala Swami. "He is the guide in how to meditate." Sri Subramaniam and his son explained that they have benefited tremendously from their meditations. The inner strength and peace gained are a continual source of inspiration in their lives. As such, they travel to the various centers, teaching and encouraging the members to meditate twice day, morning and evening, "to taste the power of ourselves through mediation." This is the key to a primary teaching of the Guru, and the Sabtha Rishi - "Know yourself and believe in yourself!" - Each soul is Divine, and a great strength and power resides within each one, a power which can enable us to perform the most challenging tasks if we but believe in ourselves.
As a concomitant to learning the art of meditation, the members each try to contact Rishi Isvara within their meditations. Sri Subramaniam and his son explained that over 100 members "are in vision contact" with the Rishi and about 12 members have received verbal communications and "are able to speak to him."
Sri Subramaniam and Sri Elango did not originally plan to stop on Kauai. The main purpose for their journey was a textile arrangement in Vancouver which they had received instructions from the Sabtha Rishi to undertake. They explained that later the Rishi suggested they visit Saiva Siddhanta Church on Kauai on the return leg of their journey. While at Kauai Aadheenam, Saiva Siddhanta Church's temple/monastery complex, they enjoyed a tour of the facilities and grounds, including Siddhanta Press shop, the San Marga sanctuary and Kadavul Hindu Temple, where an archana for them was performed to Lord Ganesha. They met with Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, and received his blessings. While enjoying the specially prepared South Indian rice and curry lunch, Mr. Subramaniam said that he felt like he was back at home.