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.
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.