On November 7, 2008 Shanmuganathaswami and Yogi Jivanandanatha attended the Hindu American Foundation annual fund raising dinner in Santa Clara, California. The Foundation (HAF) has created two endowments with Hindu Heritage Endowment and the two mathavasis went to California to meet some of the directors including Dr. Mihir Meghani, Sheetal Shah and Swaminathan Venkataraman. In this photo they are conversing with California Lt. Governor John Garamendi who is very supportive of the Hindu community. To his left is K. Suryakumar, an ardent supporter of Iraivan Temple and of HAF.
Shanmuganathaswami and Yogi Jivanandanatha chanted some Sanskrit prayers to open the event.
Several of the Golden Gate Mission members were at the dinner to show their support.
The local mayor presents Dr. Meghani with an award. Our planned giving specialist, Phil Murphy, attended the event (seated on the left). He is writing a story in Hinduism Today about the two HAF endowments.
Suryakumar was one of the main presenters on HAF’s accomplishments.
The banquet room was packed. Over 50% of the attendees came for the first time.
The fund raiser was a grand success in spite of the tough economic times.
"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