The Monks of Kauai’s Hindu Monastery

The Monks of Kauai’s Hindu Monastery

Kauai Aadheenam is the spiritual home and theological seminary for a small band of monks, all under vows, from many nations. They are the ministers of Saiva Siddhanta Church, overseeing an international religious mission while living a strict lifestyle of daily religious worship, meditation, yoga and service. Morning worship begins before dawn in the temple with rites to Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan and then Lord Siva.

Following their daily worship, at 6:00am the monks sit together for a one-hour guided meditation. This daily spiritual activity is the anchor for the coming day of service to dedicated spiritual seekers and the Hindu world at large.

The monks are involved daily with Kadavul Hindu Temple, which is the center of their life, performing three-hour vigils 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in its sacred precincts since 1973. Classes, seminars and training take place throughout the week as they study together the philosophical and metaphysical teachings of the founder, chant Sanskrit mantras, sing traditional devotional hymns and celebrate the festivals of their lineage.

Self-sufficiency is a prime principle for Hindu monastics, and thus each monk is called upon to help with the daily chores of the monastery, whether in the kitchen, the gardens, the temple or the offices. Young, single men under 24 years of age (under 23 if outside USA) who are interested in traditional Hindu monastic life can explore our How to Become a Monk page.

Now we introduce briefly the founder of Kauai’s Hindu Monastery and the dedicated band of initiated monks who now carry on the spiritual work of his lineage.

For over five decades Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, affectionately known as Gurudeva, taught Hinduism to Hindus and seekers from all faiths. In the line of successorship, he was the 162nd Jagadacharya of the Nandinatha Sampradaya’s Kailasa Parampara and the founding Guru Mahasannidhanam of Kauai Aadheenam (also known as Kauai’s Hindu Monastery), a 382-acre temple-monastery complex on Hawaii’s Garden Island. Gurudeva’s mission, received from his satguru, Siva Yogaswami of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, was to protect, preserve and promote the Saivite Hindu religion as expressed through its three pillars: temples, satgurus and scripture. That mission is now carried forward by his monastic and family communities. A longer biography of Gurudeva can be read here, and the full story of his life can be read in The Guru Chronicles.

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