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Path of the Saiva Satgurus

The 1300-foot ‘Path of the Satgurus’ winds around seven pond and several small waterfalls. Along the way, one will discover eight exquisitely carved black granite murtis of the known Satgurus of the Kailasa Parampara lineage.

Walking the path, quietude and retrospect comes unbidden. The faculty for paying attention and slowing down to be the observer may engage involuntarily.

When you stop to read each sign the Nandinatha Sampradaya will be rekindled as you stroll the path in spiritual bliss. Along the way, you can soak in the natural greenery of flora and fauna in fresh, clean air. Each plant on this post or flower are described with its scientific name.

The images of the granite Murtis below are shown cropped from its full size. The sepia tone removes background distraction for this photo story purpose.

The Waterlily or Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea is an aquatic plant. The roots anchor into the mud of the pond floor below. Many species of fish appreciate the shade these floating plants provide.

Maharishi Nandinatha is shown here blessing—with his right hand held in the abhaya mudra which engenders protection, reassurance and the dispelling of fear. He wears the large earrings (kundala) typical of the Natha lineage, two strands of sacred rudraksha beads and the ascetic’s simple loin cloth.

Maharishi Nandinatha

Maharishi Nandinatha is the famed Guru of Patanjali, Vyaghrapada and Tirumular. Read about here from the Guru Chronicles

Bulltongue arrowhead (Sagittaria lancifolia)

Rishi Tirumular is shown here using an iron stylus to scribe his yogic verses in the Tamil language on a palm leaf, the original paper.

Rishi Tirumular
Tree Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)

Rishi is shown here seated in padmasana, the yogi’s meditation posture, with his hands held in the Buddha mudra and wearing the tripundra, three lines of holy ash, on his forehead. Behind him, carved in a symbolic Himalayan mountain, are a few of the 155 satgurus who came before him and whose names remain unknown.

Rishi from the Himalayas
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)

Siddha Kadaitswami, who lived from 1804 to 1891, is shown here in a pose that his disciples painted during his life. He was a tall man, fully six-foot-six, somewhat gangly but with a gracefully handsome face. He wore a hand-woven white cotton veshti around his waist and would throw the shawl that normally covers the chest over his shoulder.

Kadaitswami
Indian clock vine (Thunbergia mysorensis)

Satguru Chellappaswami, who lived from 1840 to 1915, is shown here as the unpretentious and solitary sage he was. Dressed in a disheveled, even tattered, veshti, he intimidated most and was sought out by rare souls who glimpsed his greatness. He lived the simplest of lives, owning nothing.

Costus speciosus

Sage Yogaswami, who lived from 1872 to 1964, is shown here in the meditative pose that he so often assumed, spine ramrod straight, eyes turned within, mind absorbed in God. Unlike the swamis before him, Yogaswami was always perfectly dressed in a wrinkle-free, pure white veshti, with his long white hair kept in a neatly tied topknot.

Giant swordfern (Nephrolepis biserrata)

Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami [1927–2001] is shown here seated in lotus with his right hand held in the jnana mudra, the gesture of wisdom and spiritual knowledge. His left hand holds a conch shell. When visiting temples or Hindu communities, this shell would hold holy ash (vibuthi). He would bless each devotee who came forward, touching his right thumb to the ash and softly rubbing it on the forehead. He wears the golden pendant, symbol of the aadheenam master.

Orchid Grammatophyllym elata

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, born October 15, 1942, is the successor to Gurudeva. He is shown here with his hands held in anjali mudra as he honors the Divine in all of creation. He wears the kartar pendant, signifying his spiritual leadership of Kauai Aadheenam, and on his right wrist the golden Namasivaya bracelet which Gurudeva gave him when he became the satguru.

Torch ginger (Etlingera elatior)

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Hail to the pure ones who know the Unknowable and hold Truth in the palm of their hand!

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Created By
Raj Manickam
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Photos: © 2021 Raj Manickam | Content: Kauai Hindu Monastery