Satsang with Bodhinatha in Carlsbad

On November 10, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami was the honored guest at the home of Ravi and Sheela Rahavendran in Carlsbad, California.

Ravi bathed the satguru’s feet in the traditional style.

Our Southern California devotees were absorbed in devotion as the puja went on.

Each offering was ended by presenting the flame. Mohan Ekambaram (far left) chanted Sri Rudram and other mantras throughout the pada puja.

Afterward, Bodhinatha gave a wonderful talk to the group, covering many topics. His advice was practical, as always, and seemed to contain a gem that each needed to hear at that moment.

Everyone enjoyed the serene atmosphere after the ceremonies.

It’s time to eat!

After Bodhinatha met privately with various devotees, Ravi and Sheela presented the traditional offering tray as we prepared to depart.

No satsang is complete without the kids having a little fun. Mayuresh Rahavendran enjoys a tickle from Shailesh Trivedi and Dasan Mahadevan.

Chudika Mahadevan and Aarthi Rahavendran, sisters bound together by their families’ love of Siva, Gurudeva and Bodhinatha. (Photos by Shailesh Trivedi.)

Retreat Events and Sun One at the Aadheenam

Bodhinatha has been having a long and fruitful trip to the mainland. Yesterday he flew back to California after a visit to Midland, Texas, and today a donor reception event was held in Palo Alto, California. We will continue to post news of his travel events in the days ahead.

Back here on the homestead, over the retreat two island residents visited, a couple working with seed sharing initiatives that aim to gather and give away food seeds to island residents, so people can become more self-sufficient. The monastery is assisting with their work in simple ways. Palaniswami showed them our little meditation cave, and they took this photo from inside. Looks like something from Lord of the Rings.

Also on the retreat, the YWCA of Kauai held a special luncheon to honor three women who have made a difference on the island.

Palaniswami and Sadhaka Satyanatha were invited to attend. Sadhaka was able to meet our former island mayor and a number of leaders in our community from government, education and business, all of whom know and love the monastery.

Why? Because the monastery had printed 200 brochures for the event as a gift. We received a little ovation from the stage thanking us for our contribution.

It’s a 12-page booklet that honors the founder of the YWCA on Kauai and the three honorees. The monastery gave each of them some plants from the garden.

One is a children’s expert who works with new mothers, the second is a leader in the visitor industry (and a neighbor of the monastery who trades mango chutney recipes with us) and the third is a teacher/recycler who shows kids how to save the planet, one island at a time.

A hula was performed.

And some marvelous Hawaiian chanting.

This morning yogi Jivanandanatha, recently returned from California, conducted the homa.

All in the presence of Ganesha, who got a new Tiruvasi three days back, the golden archway seen here.

It is intricately designed.

Every part a work of art.

Happy Ganesha!

Murugan also got a Tiruvasi, witrh a different design.

Thanks to our beloved and mighty deities for all they do.

While Palaniswami burned notes in the sacred fire…

Sadhaka Nandinatha rang the bell to alert the devas of incoming messages and prayers.

Afterwards Palaniswami gave a short talk on change and changlessness, two major themes in Gurudeva’s teachings.

He spoke of how change is of two kinds: that thrust upon us by external events, and the intentional changes we create through our sadhanas, our will and intent.

Most people only change when outer circumstances intervene, while spiritual souls bring about change on purpose, thus intensifying their evolution.

Swami asked each one present to go home and implement one small change in life, something that they have wangted to do but have never gotten around to: wash the car, clean out a closet, lose one pound, exercise for a long life.

He ended with a story about how Gurudeva had told a visitor that Yogaswami said, “The whole world can be changed by a glance.” That glance was the look Chellappaswami gave to Yogaswami at Nallur Temple, a look that drove Yogaswami into the Clear White Light, a look that transformed his life, and later transformed Gurudeva’s life. Swami said, “All of us here today are on this Precious Path because of that glance, given so long ago, so far away. We are all changing from deep inside because a single man who transformed himself into a holy being, then one day looked graciously upon a seeker in Sri Lanka.”

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