Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami was the honored guest at Dr. and Mrs. Shun and Thilika Sunder’s home in Lancaster, California, on Saturday evening for a special Skanda Shashthi puja.
Janahan Balasingam, the gentleman who has performed Gurudeva’s annual mahasamadhi puja on several occasions at Kauai Aadheenam, came from Irvine to perform the puja. Part of the way through the ceremony, all the ladies came forth to offer flower petals to Lord Murugan’s vel while chanting the Sri Lalita Sahasranama. After that we all joined in singing the Skanda Shashthi Kavacham, a glorious Tamil hymn in praise of Lord Murugan that is sung at temples worldwide during this annual six-day festival.
Following the puja, Dr. Sunder stood up and introduced Bodhinatha to the group of about 75 souls who had gathered to hear his upadesha.
Bodhinatha gave a Keynote presentation on the yamas and niyamas, on worship, yoga and selfless service.
Everyone was very attentive, and frequent nods from the audience confirmed Bodhinatha’s message was sinking deep.
Dr. Sunder, always technologically savvy, connected Bodhinatha’s computer to his 60-inch plasma TV so that everyone present could see the visually stimulating presentation slides.
Here, Dr. Sunder and his wife, Thilika, come forward to offer gifts and receive vibhuti prasadam from Bodhinatha.
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