Friday, April 11, 2014

Rudraksha



The final destination of my trip to Kauai was the "Sacred Forest."  This forest is owned by the Hindu monastery but on a different part of the monastery grounds than the temple.  Our group had a lovely lunch and then I got a chance to wander and take some photos.  The trees in this forest are called Rudraksha, or blue figs.  The curvy roots on these trees were fabulous and as if that weren't enough the seed pods from these trees are bright blue! When I looked up Rudraksha I loved what Wikipedia had to say:

"The word rudraksha is derived from two words - rudra (रुद्र) and aksha (अक्ष).

A. Aksha means eye. Rudra and aksha means the one who is capable of looking at and doing everything (for example, the third eye). Aksha also means axis. Since the eye can rotate on one axis, it too is known as aksha.

B. Rudra means the one who weeps. A (अ) means to receive and ksha (क्ष) means to give. Hence, aksha (अक्ष) denotes the ability to receive or give. Rudraksha is the one that has the ability to wipe our tears and provide happiness."

Wow, that is quite a name!... and in my opinion well deserved.
 

A statue of Ganesha greets everyone who enter the forest. I can definitely see why Ganesha is guardian of these trees.... the roots of these trees so closely resembling his trunk.


And in return Ganesha is offered the beautiful blue seeds.  When the seeds dry up they are used to make malas (prayer beads on a string or chain).



After enjoying my walk around these old giants it was time to meditate.  I found a nice spot nestled among the roots and settled in to one of the deepest meditations I had had yet, utterly dissolving into the forest.  That is until the rain started falling... lightly at first and then building to quite a downpour.  Although our stay was cut short, visiting the sacred forest was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.  And whenever I feel like Kauai is a world away all I have to do is close my eyes and I am back in Ganesha's magical forest of blue eyes and grey trunks.

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