“As it is in Heaven, so shall it be on Earth” aptly fits Kauai’s Hindu Monastary. Peaceful. Tranquil. Secluded. In his 1933 novel Lost Horizon, James Hilton described a mystical, harmonious valley called Shangri-La. It does exist here in Kauai.
Kauai’s Hindu Monastery, founded in 1970 by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), is under the spiritual direction of his successor, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. . It is part of the Saiva Siddhanta Church founded in Sri Lanka in 1949. Its spiritual heritage derives from the Nandinatha Sampradaya, which goes back to 2,200 bce.
Kauai’s Hindu Monastery is a 353-acre sanctuary, and also a theological seminary,
publishing center, home of Iraivan Siva temple, and a destination for Hindus
who come on pilgrimage from around the world.
America’s only all-granite Hindu Sanctuary. Iraivan Temple is a living ediface that brings ancient tradition into the 21st century. The temple is still under construction and is accepting donations for its completion.
Temple building tools. Each stone on the rose granite floor received pillow-edge contouring to create a soft earthy feel for devotees walking in the sacred space.
A peaceful yet vibrant energy can be felt throughout the Monastery grounds. The granite temple exudes its own magnetic quality. Our retreat members got up close to insert a hand into the mouth of this stone symbol, to find a round rock inside.
The Goddess Union
We gathered to be part of a special ceremony to celebrate Mother Earth’s feminine spirit and to join as one circle of women. Before we moved to the Sacred Forest, we cleansed at a beautiful nearby beach so that we would enter the sacred space with a pure heart.
The Kava Ceremony
The end of the day brought a special surprise — a Kava Ceremony to our group at Hale Luana. In Polynesian customs, kava (also called “grog”) is part of the fabric of life, drunk nightly by families and also used for important political and social events. The importance is not so much physical, but a uniting event where stories are told and jokes bantered and also as a peace pipe ceremony.