Master Subramuniya's 53rd birthday celebration at Sivashram, his ashram on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, saw more than 60 devotees from all over the United States and Canada arrive for a 7 day Jayanthi festival from December 31st through the 6th of January. Gurudeva's birthday, which falls on January 5th, begins his 30th year of teaching and being of service to Saivite Hindu souls of both East and West. Jayanthi 1980 marked another very special event however: the end of a very busy Temple-building year which saw the Kadavul Hindu Temple at Sivashram brought to a basic state of completion for the first time. Intense activity and long hours for over six months on the Kadavul Temple, where Siva as Lord Nataraja has been enshrined since 1973, came to a grand finale of last minute fitting of front doors, skylight, roof tiles, and lighting. It was a photo finish, to be sure, and more than a few of the guests who came to enjoy the Jayanthi week found they were welcome to help on some last minute project or another and pitched right in.
There were many highlights of the week's activities, from the daily gatherings with Master Subramuniya in the Guru Temple at Sivashram to the morning and evening Siva pujas, the outings with Gurudeva around Kauai, a special lunch served by the monastics to the many guests and for all of the 60 friends and members of the Church who attended the festival, just being in Hawaii was a treat in itself. But above all we shall never forget Jayanthi itself, the 5th of January, and the Guru puja held in the Kadavul Temple that evening. Many remarked afterwards on the very special darshan and powerful blessings of the puja.
Just prior to the Guru puja two new brahmachari sadaka took their monastic vows for the first time and were accepted into the Siashram monastery. Master presented each of them. Kumar Aditya and Usha Param, with sandalwood beads as a mark of their sadhana. Two Aspirant Brahmacharinis, also just before the Guru puja, took their pledge of purity and received from Gurudeva the mission of living and serving in a gurukulam at Indiashram in Flushing, New York, across the street from the Mahaganapati Temple on Bowne Street. These two, Sitara Badesan and Shama Kumaran, joined a third brahmacharini, Gayatri Devi, in Flushing a few days later.
Special Indian guests at the Jayanthi festival included Dr. K.S. Sripada Raju, who is the President of the Indian Association of Oahu another Hawaiian Island, and a Tamil lady who is a close friend of his, Mrs. S.K. Jagadeswari. She was inspired to read a poem in Tamil in the temple as her contribution to the ceremonies. A third Indian guest was Miss Carolyn Sharma, who lives right on Kauai, having moved from Honolulu only four months before. All three were a great inspiration to the many devotees who had the privilege of meeting them and they were each invited to return often.
No doubt we shall have much to be thankful for during 1980, not the least of which is the completion of the basic structure of Kadavul Temple. If the balance of 1980 is anything like the first week, it is safe to say now that this will be a year to remember.
Article copyright Himalayan Academy.