Desis In Odd Places Part III

Well color me brown and sit me down, I would have never guessed about a Shaivite Hindu temple smack dab in Kauai, Hawaii, so I guess this qualifies. This is the Iraivan temple and this being the Communications Age, it comes with its own web site, documentary, podcast, and an inspirational tale of how it came to be:

Gurudeva said: "It was in 1959 that my path led me to the Hawaiian Islands for the first time. In 1968 I returned to the islands on a vision quest, seeking and finding a place to move our international headquarters, there to live a contemplative life in harmony with the ultimate attainment of the Self within man. One early morning, before dawn, a three-fold vision of Lord Siva came to me. First I beheld Lord Siva walking in a valley, then I saw His face peering into mine, then He was seated on a large stone, His reddish golden hair flowing down His back. That was February 15, 1975.

"This was the fulfillment of the quest for a vision of what the future might hold, which led me and my followers to the lovely Garden Island of Kauai, held the most sacred of all by the Hawaiian peoples long, long ago. It is alongside the sacred Wailua River, leading to the top of Mt. Waialeale, that this place of pilgrimage is being built, a temple of kaivalya, granting freedom from the past and a vision for the future. The temple's 700-pound 50-million-years-in-the-making crystal icon is a kalpaka (spiritual wish-fulfilling) ever-giving Sivalingam. So many blessings await each pilgrim. None are ever neglected.

Though the current version of the temple is still under construction, it still attracts a steady flow of visitors and I would only expect the number to grow over time. A must visit for our next Hawaii trip (if and when...)

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- March 24, 2007 7:21 PM // Travel