Kauai’s Hindu Monastery

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Place Category: Hindu Temples

  • Kadavul Hindu Temple is a traditional Sri Lankan style Siva temple. It is the spiritual nucleus of Kauai Aadheenam, a 363-acre monastery/temple complex also known as Kauai’s Hindu Monastery. It is the primary temple for the resident monastics, who meet here each morning for Siva puja in the early hours before dawn. The monks rotate in three-hour vigils round-the-clock during which time they worship, meditate, chant, practice Sanskrit and perform personal spiritual disciplines. This sadhana has been maintained in unbroken continuity since the temple was established in 1973, adding to the temple’s profound power which changes the lives of many a visitor, much like the ancient temples of South India.

    Supreme God Siva is enshrined in the main sanctum in the form of Nataraja and a crystal Sivalingam. In front of Siva’s sanctum is a 700-pound, 3-foot-tall, naturally formed crystal Sivalingam (among the largest known sphatika svayambhu lingams in the world) that will one day become the primary image of worship in the hand-carved white granite Iraivan Temple now being built nearby on the monastery property. Six-foot-tall black granite murtis of Lord Ganesha and Lord Murugan (Karttikeya, riding on a peacock and thus called Shikivahana) are installed in two side shrines. There is also an Ardhanarishvara murti and an elaborate silver trident (trishula), symbol of God Siva’s three fundamental powers of desire, action and wisdom. Lining the main walls of the temple is a rare collection of Siva’s 108 tandava dance poses in 16-inch-tall bronze icons covered with gold leaf. The shrine for the temple’s founder, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, affectionately known as Gurudeva (1927-2001), was established to the right of the entry door on the first anniversary of his mahasamadhi. Just in front of the temple stands a lava rock and redwood timber pavilion for Nandi the bull, Siva’s mount and devotee, a giant form weighing 32,000 pounds, carved from a single stone. A small temple tank has a bronze statue of Saint Sambandar, dancing joyously. Kadavul Temple is open to the public everyday from 9am to noon.

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