|AHYMSIN newsletter, Issue - September 2011|
Something Magic Happened in Kauai
by Swami Nityamuktananda
Three of us went to the far away island of Kauai; until recently I had never heard of the island. We stayed with a beautiful woman, one of the original people, moreover a decedent of the original royal family. Her ancestors had fled the colonial conquerors to the sacred island of Niihau, where even today only indigenous Hawaiians are allowed (or personal guests of these); they fled at night guided by a sacred white rainbow. Many such beautiful stories unfolded. She lived in a compound with “family members”, of all ages; we were warmly welcomed.
We spent our morning going to Puja in the Hindu Monastery! Yes, not an ashram, but a monastery. The monastery was founded by Satguru Śivaya Subramuniyaswami who studied and lived with his Guru in Sri Lanka. He was the preceptor of the Natha Sampradaya’s Kailasa Parampara (we were very fortunate to have the darshan of his successor, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami). Under their guidance the monastery lives and breathes according to the Shaivite Siddhanta Tradition of India’s South. For me coming from the Northern Himalayan Tradition, it was obvious that here “Ritual and Devotion” met in a unique fashion. Later when I asked some questions, I understood that in this specific tradition the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism meets with the Temple-traditions of the Siddha Tradition of the South. Indeed in ancient times the Rishi Tirumular came from the valleys of Kashmir to South India; from then on the fusion happened.
There were many unique features to me that I tried to understand- but what was/is more important is the palatable spiritual atmosphere, again reaching back to ancient times, to the original sacredness of the location by the Hawaiians. Poised high over a gurgling river, the temple could not be in a more beautiful and powerful place, so reminiscent of the Himalayas and the Ganga. The lush tropical gardens, reaching down to the sacred river, abounded with exotic flowers. Speaking of flowers, the core of the temple is a huge Shiva Nataraj, which every day in Puja gets richly decorated with flowers; flowers and mantras are offered in abundance creating a very sacred space.
We also had the opportunity to converse with the head of the Magazine “Hinduism Today”. More questions; there were only male Swami’s, why? There was emphasis on Hinduism as embracing all parts of Indian religious and philosophical hues, but a strong emphasis on Hinduism – versus other deep wisdom traditions.
Well, then something magic happened! The Swami who was also Pujari and Priest at the time had stumbled over my name. He lovingly brought to our notice that there was a Shrine with a Murti of Baba Nityananda on the island. My jaws literally dropped, as Nityananda of Ganeshpuri plays such a vital role in my spiritual evolution! Of course we went to the cave, poised overlooking the ocean, sacred magic!
Magic – yes and so was Kauai itself- the landscape defies description…the best thing is…go and find out!As for my hosts - all of them - just: Thank You!
For more information about Kauai's Hindu Monastery: http://www.himalayanacademy.com/
For more about Nityananda of Ganeshpuri: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagawan_Nityananda