Faith Group Seeks New Path as Stone Is Moved

June 21, 2010

Author: Michael Tsai

Source: The Star Advertiser

Papia Sengupta said she and her fellow members of the Lord of the Universe Society (LOTUS) are not going to dwell on matters beyond their control, but the tears on her cheeks yesterday seemed clear-enough indication that the loss of the group's central object of worship was still fresh.

Members of the Hindu group had spent 22 years as adopted caretakers of the so-called Healing Stone of Wahiawa, in which they discerned the presence of the god Shiva. In recent years, the group had worked in loose partnership with a group of Hawaiian nationalists who valued the stone's historical significance as a kapu marker for the sacred area of Kaukonahua. Last week, the Hawaiian group removed the stone from the marble temple on California Avenue that LOTUS had built for its protection.

Tom Lenchenko, kahu of Kukaniloko, said the stone would eventually be repatriated to Kukaniloko, the venerated birthing site of Hawaiian alii where it had spent the early part of the last century.