Brahmacharini Shama Kumara hosts Umapathi and Geetha Cattamanchi who have arrived from Chicago on their first visit to the Aadheenam and will also happily remain here for Mahasivaratri. They are longtime subscribers to Hinduism Today which they thoroughly enjoy.
Geetha and Umapathi rest briefly overlooking the Wailua River. They both feel the “peacefulness of this sacred place and are so happy they came,”
Umapathi remembers meeting Gurudeva when he visited Chicago in the 1970’s. At that time there was some indecision regarding the type of Hindu temple within that community. They wisely sought Gurudeva’s advise. He graciously gifted a granite Lord Ganesha to them, and now they have a magnificent temple “Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago.”
Visiting pilgrims, Gaurav and Ripla Malhotra arrive back after visiting the Iraivan Temple. Their baby son, Aran, however is catching up on some sleep after his long journey from Chicago. They have come regularly these past few years and little Aran has been getting an annual dose of Siva Shakti. Lucky boy!
More pilgrims arrive to celebrate Mahasivaratri. On the right is Ashit and Sonel with daughter Aasha who flew in from Portland, Oregon to be with Ashit’s parents (Praful and Jayshree Patel) who arrived from Canada yesterday. Also visiting during this auspicious time is Dr. Manoj Kulkarni and his wife Meera Deo from Irvine, CA
The letter "Ya" in the Panchakshara Mantra, Namasivaya, stands for the soul. Bodhinatha uses the Panchakshara Mantra to show how the soul is initially drawn by Siva's veiling grace, which leads the soul to maturity through experience in the world. Then comes Siva's revealing grace. When we've had enough of the world, Siva's grace pulls us toward God. The mantra also has the simple, two-syllable form. Si- Reflecting on God the Transcendent Absolute, Va-God as the All Pervading Consciousness