Bodhinatha’s presence brings with him the power of the Parampara, the blessings of the guru and great philosophical conversations.
Bodhinatha was explaining recently how our order is very related to the Agamas. Gurudeva says that while the Vedas are the uniting thread among all Hindus, we Saivites gravitate with equal reverence around the Saiva Agamas.
The Agamic view of Siva, Bodhinatha stressed, reflects our understanding of the Supreme God and Absolute Reality better than the depiction of Siva in the Vedas. Iraivan Temple, which is purely Agamic, will reflect that.
The Agamas seems to be the most vivid topic here at the monastery these days.
The Agamas contain all the rituals used for invoking divine energies in a temple. They also explain at length the beautiful metaphysics of the worship.
Here Paramacharya Ceyonswami, after the main puja of the day, offers the arati flame to Lord Siva as Ardhanarishvara.
This is Lord Siva in androgynous form, male on the right side and female on the left, indicating that: 1) Siva (like all Mahadevas) is genderless; 2) Siva is All, inseparable from His energy, Shakti; 3) in Siva the ida (feminine) and the pingala (masculine) nadis (psychic nerve currents) are balanced so that sushumna is ever active.
In the unity of Ardhanarishvara all opposites are reconciled; duality is reduced to the single source.
No matter how high we reach, we are also trained to stay connected to solid ground. Moving from mysticism to finance, the PK team receives the visit of Arumugaswami to talk about budgets.
The PK is perhaps the most precise of all kulams. They regulate and manage the flow of our funds to the right projects. Their commitment is so impressive that auditors, we hear, find our accounting books a welcome break from their convoluted corporate work.
Shanmuganathaswami, the Pillayar Kulam’s Talaivar, is in charge of subscriptions and the distribution of Hinduism Today. He makes sure that all of Gurudeva’s and Bodhinatha’s books find their way to bookstores, temples, ashrams, schools, libraries and individuals around the world.
He also coordinates his team to handle the administrative and business activities of the monastery and of Hindu Heritage Endowment. But these last days, one could find him with a chainsaw in hand, clearing the area for our hydro power turbines.
Muruganathaswami manages all of the incoming funds, a very important job. He also coordinates many sales and helps with monastic travels.
Yogi Jothinatha is also a member of the PK, but the TAKA photographer missed him today. He is the able advertising manager for the magazine and a great Public Relations for Himalayan Academy.
Yogi Jivanandanatha is in charge of more numbers than you can imagine — an easy task for a bright mind.
"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