On November 15 we had our Northern California Donor Appreciation Reception. Here, K. Suriyakumar (left), a long-time devotee and donor to Iraivan Temple, talks to Deva Rajan, one of our senior members in Northern California.
Left to right: Sahana Devi Param, Adi Alahan, Thamby Kumaran and Satya Palani, all long-time devotees of Gurudeva.
To begin the event, Bodhinatha lighted the kuttuvilakku and Senthilnathaswami performed a short arati to Lord Ganesha, praying for the removal of obstacles so that the event would go smoothly.
The event was held at Dinah’s Garden Hotel and Trader Vic’s in Palo Alto, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was a great venue, with a large built-in screen and projector. Senthilnathaswami gave a modified version of the same presentation he gave at our reception the previous weekend in Anaheim, Southern California.
Easan Katir spoke about the Pittsburgh Venkateswara Temple summer camps he has been teaching at. He uses What Is Hinduism? for all his classes, and he considers it a great textbook for all ages.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami gave a marvelous presentation to the group, teaching about the four purusharthas--dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Instead of boring everyone speaking about moksha at length, he said, instead he focused on the path leading to moksha. He gave practical advice about how to fulfill the other three goals of life in such a way that produces progress on the path toward moksha, liberation.
Half-way through the program we had a catered lunch from Trader Vic’s. The staff did a marvelous job serving everyone.
At the end of the program, devotees streamed through to have Bodhinatha’s darshan, receive blessings and talk about what was on their mind. Here are Chandra and Easan Sankara.
Hindus believe in each individual as a soul, a divine being who is inherently good. We all have a threefold nature: instinctive, intellectual, intuitive. Develop the intuitive/spiritual/soul nature with compassion, devotion, penance. Use the intellect to help subdue the instinctive mind. Guilt is not a part of Hinduism. There is no eternal hell. You have a continuity of consciousness when you transition to the inner worlds. There is no devil, but there are mischievous "asuras."