A very special guest graced the week-long Jayanthi festivities for our Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramaniyaswami, at Kauai Aadheenam. Yogi Ramaiah, a native of Tamil Nadu and disciple of Sat Guru Kriya Babaji Nataraja, visited in January 4th and 5th accompanied by his disciples Richard and Arashi ***, their son Kailasa, and Brahmacharini Avai. Yogiar, as he is affectionately called, is a champion of Saiva Siddhanta philosophy and Tamil culture and is a highly regarded yoga teacher, hailing from a lineage of Tamil siddhar saints. Twelve years of sadhana preceded his worldwide teaching mission, bestowed on him by his Sat Guru in 1954, and he now oversees 52 Kriya *** Yoga Sangams worldwide, *** over 1,100 resident disciples. *** managed by its own President and Secretary, the centers are wholy self-sufficient. Of special interest the annual 4-1/2 mile festival parade between the Richville, New York Sangam to a beautiful Lord Muruga shrine in the forest nearby. The shrine was built over ten years ago and its yearly festival is well attended, coinciding with a similar festival at the world-famous Katar*** temple in Sri Lanka. Yogiar explained that his close students receive three or more years training before qualifying for initiation, at which time they may receive a Sai*** name and be trained even further as a teacher.
Yogi Ramaiah spends five months of the year at his Yuma, Arizona center, and generally travels during the other seven. He sponsors yearly of Parliament of Yoga, alternating the site of the conference between South India and western countries every other year. His first such Parliament was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1958 at the express invitation of that city's mayor. Travelling to Jaffna just before the Parliament, Yogiar sought the blessings of the great Siva Yogaswami, our own ***ramaguru, for the event, and has not disappointed. Over 6,000 attended the gathering and it was a huge success.
Yogi Ramaiah's visit to Kauai Aadheenam began with an afternoon four of the budding San Marga acreage, including the six P.M. Lingam Puja. Afterwards, a special *** abhishekham to Lord Muruga was held in Kadavul Hindu temple, bathing the deity and chanting repeatedly His 108 names in Sanskrit. Yogiar is a staunch devotee of Lord Muruga and greatly enjoyed the special puja. He is also an accomplished singer, and he and his disciples chanted for everyone during and after the puja. Some 20 devotees of our own Gurudeva were present as well, and for two hours following the abhishekham, Yogi Ramaiah delighted and informed everyone with a spirited lecture on Saiva Siddhanta and the yoga teachings of the Siddhars. A captivating speaker, he shared many stories, songs and anecdotes, quoting widely from Tirumantiram, Devaram hymns and the songs of Saint Ramalingaswami. In the evening everyone enjoyed an excellent rice and curry meal prepared especially for our honoured guest.
Gurudeva arrived at the Aadheenam the following day at noon with eight of the thirty-three devotees travelling with him on Innersearch India. Yogi Ramaiah met with him briefly, and temple ceremonies took up the rest of the day. A traditional Guru Puja was offered to our beloved Sivaya Subramuniyaswami on his Jayanthi and to our revered guest Yogi Ramaiah, followed by six Namakarana Samskaras.
Gurudeva and the devotees with him left for the airport immediately following the last ceremony to join the main body of the Innersearch pilgrims waiting in Honolulu. Before leaving us, Yogi Ramaiah and his disciples chanted a very special Murugan chant to bless Gurudeva's pilgrimage to India.
Article copyright Himalayan Academy.