Chitra Puja and Happy Pancha Ganapati

Bodhinatha sits deep in samadhi, in a photo from a Satguru Purnima padapuja. Once he told us,

“Satgurus of our lineage are very different on the outside. But during a padapuja or when giving an initiation, we are one.”

And so it is that today we performed a padapuja for Gurudeva, the illuminated master who made all this a reality.

Aum Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswamine namah.

Flowers adorn the guru’s feet. We follow his steps to our true, inner Self.

Gurudeva shines.

Today we also began the first day of Pancha Ganapati. Here is the five-faced murti in Kadavul Temple. This is what Hindu families do today (From Loving Ganesha):

“The family sadhana for the first day of Pancha Ganapati is to create a vibration of love and harmony among immediate family members. The day begins early, and the entire family works together to design and decorate the shrine with traditional symbols, rangoli, lamps and more. Then a grand puja is performed invoking the spirit of Pancha Ganapati in the home.

“The sadhana of the day begins, and the family sits together, easing any strained relationships that have arisen during the year by making amends one with another. When forgiveness is offered to all by one and all, they speak of each other’s good qualities and resolve that in the days ahead they will remember the futility of trying to change others. Gifts are then exchanged and placed unopened before Pancha Ganapati. Aum Ganapataye Namah.”

Last Part of Bodhinatha's Trip To India

Our first stop in Chennai was the Sanskrit College. Here we meet with the head scholar. This college was founded over a hundred years ago and is one of the premier Sanskrit institutions in South India.

There are classes in the various Vedanta philosophies, jyotisha, language and more.

Class in Sanskrit literature.

The astrology of the day.

Another language class.

All the students pray in this shrine at 8:30 each day, and take turns performing the rituals.

Dr. Deviprasad, the principal, presents Bodhinatha with a gift. Shanmugam Sivachariyar accompanied us to the college, where he also studied.

Group portrait in the shrine room.

The is the Kuppaswami Shastri Institute housed in the same building as the Sanskrit College. Bodhinatha is seen with the staff and visiting researchers.

The Institute has a collection of some 1800 palm leaf manuscripts kept in an air-conditioned room.

One of the smaller sets. The Institute also has a library of tens of thousands of books.

Visiting the Ramakrishna Mission’s Universal Temple in Chennai.

We had a lively meeting with the head of the ashram and the editors of their magazines, including Vedanta Kesari.

Like Bangalore, they had a large bookstore. This center is responsible for most of their publications in English, hundreds of titles.

We visit nearby Kapalishwara temple, the famed Siva temple.

At noon, Sri Pitchai Gurukkal arrives to see Bodhinatha. He flew specially from Madurai that morning to see Satguru. We informed Gurukkal of our interest in the Saiva Agamas, in producing English and Tamil versions of the Yoga and Jnana sections. He offered his help in any way needed.

The afternoon was spent in a series of meetings with devotees and others. Here is Gunalan, his wife and family. His wife is interested in teaching Positive Discipline to parents of children at the school her children attend.

Their two girls sing for Bodhinatha.

Meeting with Manivel and his clan. Manivel does a great deal of art for the Aadheenam.

He shows the nearly finished painting of Iraivan. This one is much closer to the actual temple than earlier paintings made during conceptual stages.

Pethuraja and his family meet Bodhinatha after a meeting of the San Marga Trust trustees, of which he is one.

Meeting with Tiru Naguleshawara Gurukkal, priest of Keeramalai Temple in Sri Lanka. He remembered Gurudeva’s visit there in 1983. Today, he says, the temple lies in a high security zone near a Sri Lanka government military base. The army, air force, navy and police forces regularly visit the temple for worship, a demonstration of how the Buddhist Singalese respect the Hindu temples.

Sheela Venkatakrishnan meets with Bodhinatha. Her driver, at left, asked to meet Bodhinatha as well. Many blessings!

Tour Day Guests

The heavy rain has abated, leaving happy plants behind its trail of blessings. But a few days ago a tour day happened while it was still wet. We bring you its photos today.

The silpis blend in with the crowd.

Umbrellas everywhere.

Rain and happy smiles are so common here.

These guests were here two years ago.
They mentioned that the tour at the Aadheenam is a great choice when you can’t go to the beach or see the Napali Coast because of the weather.

This soul took birth just three months; mom and baby are visiting from Oahu.

This family was part of the 41 guests that came.

This young couple visited four years ago and enjoyed a meditation at the Orchid Mandapam at that time.

These guests live on the island, and they said his father used to write articles for Hinduism Today.

Our neighbor Nicole, who visits the temple regularly.

The Other Monks of Kaua'i

Further south on our beautiful Garden Island, Poipu beach is famous for its beauty and its monk seals napping on the shore. This last retreat we monks took a photo of them monks when touring the silpis around the island.

Aloha from Kaua’i!

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