At last, with the blessings of Gurudeva, we had our Iraivan Temple Donor Appreciation Reception in Anaheim, California. Here is Usha Katir, our gracious coordinator and chief decorator, standing beside Ganesha’s and Gurudeva’s shrine at the event.
Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami was the emcee and presented lots of news and photos about what the monastery has accomplished over the past year, with a special emphasis on the progress of the San Marga Iraivan Temple project.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami gave a 45-minute teaching presentation on the yamas and niyamas, good conduct, the goals of life, how to apply basic Hindu principles to our lives in practice, and on moksha. Everyone laughed when he noted that he has a proven way to put an audience to sleep: talk at length about moksha. Most people think that moksha is just for monks. Monks do focus on only two of the four goals of life, dharma (righteousness) and moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth), skipping artha (wealth) and kama (pleasure). So, for a talk to a group of family people, Bodhinatha promised to focus on the path leading toward moksha rather than moksha itself. This path of applying Hindu dharmic principles to our everyday lives is a virtuous and rewarding path for everyone.
Shakti Mahadevan and Sheela Rahavendran
Dasan Mahadevan and Senthilnathaswami
Jeff Weiske, a former (and perhaps soon returning) Kauaian
Chandra & Partab Ramsingghani and Tushar & Alka Doshi
Devotees Ram and Nancy from the Vedanta Society
Everyone was invited to visit with Bodhinatha after the presentations.
Usha and Diksha Katir receive blessings from Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami.
Ravi Rahavendran and daughter Aarthi, and Diksha and Usha Katir
Sathya, Mahalakshmi and Prashanthi Manoharan offering us some good humor
Nalini Ganapati with her fiancee, Prasanna Kodapadi, who just arrived from Bangalore.
Within our Saiva Siddhanta Holy Scriptures the Saiva Agamas explain the basis of temple ceremonies and worship plus yoga and jnana. The Tirukural was considered by Gurudeva to be "the most accessible and relevant sacred text." In it are practical and helpful guidelines for our conduct in every day life. The point of family life is to gain steady improvement, forever, in self control in the midst of responsibilities in the fulfillment of family dharma. Meanwhile, not taking detachment too far but taking it in the sense of spiritually looking for happiness, not outside in other people or possessions, the world, but inside ourselves and then sharing it with family and friends. "We regard the writings of our satgurus as scripture."
Path to Siva, Lesson 20
Tirukural, Introduction and Contents
Tirukural, Chapter 15 Possession of Self-Control
"The temple enables us to feel the presence of God, Gods and devas." We use our inner eyes to see what's going on in the temple, the three worlds. In the temple we're being good dvaitists in the dimfi perspective, focused in bhakti upon God Siva. In meditation we're monists, in the shumif perspective. We claim our oneness with Siva, Sivoham, I am Siva. In surrender, shrinking the ego through devotion, we have a realization that we're not the doer, that Siva is doing it all. Siva's energy comes through our soul.