Some might say that Kaua‘i itself is a spiritual experience. It’s easy to see why. As soon as you hop off the plane and onto the red soil you’ll notice the spirit of Aloha is almost palpable. A mixture of relaxed vibes and sunny demeanors, the island is a breath of fresh air to the mind, body and spirit.
Which explains why the Kaua‘i Hindu Monastery (aka Kaua‘i Aadheenam) has been attracting different walks of life for decades. Located in the idyllic back mountains of Kapa’a (about 35-40 minutes from Kukui‘ula), many visitors from across the globe come to pay homage to this serene property. Guests come to meditate and witness firsthand the entirely hand-sculpted, white granite Iraivan (meaning “He who is worshipped”) temple.
What are some benefits of meditation? Meditation is said to help in reducing chronic stress, anxiety, insomnia, hypertension as well as boost your immune system and enhance self-esteem (just to name a few). Visitors of the monastery are encouraged to take time to meditate under the famed banyan tree.
The temple itself was inspired by a vision of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, a founder and leader of the Saiva Siddhanta Church. He moved his ashram to Kaua‘i in 1970 and established the 363-acre Hindu Monastery thereafter. Inside the temple is one of the world’s rarest crystals, a 700-pound quartz crystal, otherwise known as a Spathika Sivalinga.
In the early 1980’s, Subramuniyaswami, had been reported seeing a crystal in his dreams. Unknowingly, a local crystal shop owner on Kaua‘i had been having the same dreams. She traveled from Kaua‘i to Arkansas, with no instructions other than to find the crystal. Which she did in fact find and then had sent back to Kaua‘i! The crystal is estimated to be around 50 million years old.
Today the Monastery is home to Himalayan Academy, Hinduism Today magazine and Hindu Heritage Endowment. At this time there are twenty-two monks living here, from five different regions, maintaining a self-sufficient lifestyle. The temple is open daily from 9am to 12pm. Be sure to dress appropriately (no revealing clothing) otherwise temporary sarongs will be available. For more information visit www.HimalayanAcademy.com.