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.
"Temples with multiple deities can be confusing, especially for today's Hindu youth. For clarity, we need to bring forward a more precise understanding of the different Hindu denominations and how the different Gods are viewed from within each denomination. For spiritual advancement it is best to focus on one deity and get to the vibration that deity. When we hear teachings from various Hindus, it is important to understand and identify which denomination they are speaking from. This will avert confusion when that teaching gets contradicted in a different context where someone is talking about the same subject but from a different philosophical background."
Bodhinatha reviews the main characteristic of Saivite philosophy and practice with an indepth focus on the four stages of religions evolution, chariya, kriya, yoga and jnana. He highlights how this shows that Saiva Siddhanta is unique and quite from the modern practice of Hinduism as Vedanta