Today was a retreat day at the Aadheenam, a break from our daily routine, and Dr. Thiagarajan joined us for a trip across the river to our agricultural land. For a change of pace from the intensive meetings of the past few days, he had the opportunity to drive our big Case tractor under the supervision of one of the Swamis.
Aran Veylan and Potriyan Sivanathan joined us for the journey. They are members of Saiva Siddhanta Church and have come to the Aadheenam on the task force program which gives them an opportunity to serve and do sadhana along with the monastics.
After our milk cows have served us well and are too old to be bred again for milking, we move them to Himalayan Acres to live out their years. We searched for the cows on the more than 300 acres of land and finally found then close to our equipment tent in a shady grove of trees. Here Potriyan cautiously greets Chaturti.
"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