Bodhinatha and Shanmuganathaswami are in Greenbelt, Maryland attending the pujas and festival activities of the annual Ilankai Nallur & Kathirkamam Kanthan Festival at the Murugan Temple of North America. This temple has three endowments with Hindu Heritage Endowment, and this connection with HHE is inspiring Bodhinatha and Shanmuganathaswami to spend some time reviewing the HHE website.
During the homa on the front steps of the temple little Lalitha was given her commencement of learning ceremony, vidyarambha, one of the sacraments of childhood. Lalitha is the daughter of two of Bodhinatha's Master Course students, Mayuran and Amanda Muttulingam.
One of the first activities to begin the Nallur festival was the Ganesha abhishekam. In 1981 Gurudeva gifted a Ganesha murthi to the late Arumugam Saravanapavan and his wife Pathmini, and this was the beginning of the Murugan Temple of North America. A beautiful shrine was built for the Ganesha murthi in the temple, and the shrine has since developed a very powerful vibration. Pathmini created a fund (#39) for the Pillaiyar shrine with HHE to insure the continued pujas and abhishekams for Lord Pillaiyar. The fund provides a grant to purchase milk, honey, coconut water, flowers and other supplies for the shrine. Pathmini created this as a single-donor fund in which only members of her family may contribute. Read this inspired story at the HHE web site: http://www.hheonline.org/reports/2003/oct-nov-dec/
Religion needs to be of the present. Mankind is evolving spiritually; mass consciousness is rising. When we go to the temple, in the right spirit, contributing devotion and prana, being open to the blessings of the Deity; it purifies the mind. The Hindu religion focuses on the mind; purifies it; controls it, subdues the ego, makes us more humble.