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.
"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