Bodhinatha is in Lancaster, California, today. Antelope Valley, where Lancaster and Palmdale lay, is in the high desert about 2,400 feet in altitude. So, when we awoke this morning, it was 34°F outside! Quite a change from our temperate Kauai.
Dr. Shun K. Sunder, our host in Lancaster and a long-time devotee of Gurudeva, took Bodhinatha for a tour of his cardiology clinic. Dr. Sunder came to Lancaster from New York in 1975. At the time, there wasn’t a single cardiologist here. Folks with heart problems traveled to Los Angeles or died here, he told us. Within a few years, Dr. Sunder started his cardiology clinic next to the fledgling Lancaster Community Hospital, slowly introducing all the modern analysis and treatment technologies. Now his clinic is one of the most well-outfitted cardiology clinics around.
Senthilnathaswami is traveling with Bodhinatha.
Here we are standing in front of a state-of-the-art nuclear heart imaging device. Without surgery, this machine can take high resolution movies of a living, pulsing heart at 180 frames per second. These movies can then be viewed on a computer monitor. They are slowed way down so the doctor can clearly see exactly how the heart muscle is behaving, how each chamber and valve is moving, helping the doctor determine what is wrong and what treatment is appropriate.
With Bodhinatha is his office chair and Dr. Sunder in the patient’s chair, we talked about congenital and rheumatic heart disease, angiograms, PET scans, implantable pacemakers and defibrillators and stents.
When we asked Dr. Sunder what role diet and exercise play in his consultations with his patients, he says, “I tell EVERY one of my patients how to eat better and to get more exercise. It is very important at every stage of disease. Unfortunately, the compliance rate is very low.” With fast food and smoking as rampant habits amongst the US population, it’s no wonder that he has so many patients.
Bodhinatha blessed Dr. Sunder’s efforts in South India and his native northern and eastern Sri Lanka, where he has brought modern cardiology technology everywhere from jungle villages and small rural clinics to large charity hospitals, advancing the diagnosis and treatment of heart problems in those countries.
Stay tuned for more on Bodhinatha’s current trip to the US Mainland.
The letter "Ya" in the Panchakshara Mantra, Namasivaya, stands for the soul. Bodhinatha uses the Panchakshara Mantra to show how the soul is initially drawn by Siva's veiling grace, which leads the soul to maturity through experience in the world. Then comes Siva's revealing grace. When we've had enough of the world, Siva's grace pulls us toward God. The mantra also has the simple, two-syllable form. Si- Reflecting on God the Transcendent Absolute, Va-God as the All Pervading Consciousness