Each tour group brings a special presence and personality with their visit. You never know what questions will come up, but it is their questions that make each tour unique and meaningful for all of us. Many questions this week about how the monks come to be monks, how they enter the monastery. Others included, are the Hindus in Bali similar to what you practice here? How do Hindus look at political conflict, what is the difference between Buddhism & Hinduism? What do you do inside a Hindu Temple? Do the monks see Gurudeva walking on the property now that he has made a transition? (Then added that he has!) How do Hindus look at family life and can they also reach these goals of merging with God?
This is a beautiful family from Michigan (3 daughters). They are devotees of Chinmayananda and were amazed at the progress since their last visit. They met Gurudeva the first time they came and then Bodhinatha came to their mission in Ann Arbor..
Citrus laden trees demonstrate the self sufficiency of the monastery gardens.
Wailua River from the Ritau Flag Pole.
Jack fruit are beginning to ripen!
They are getting huge!
These beautiful children came with grandparents, and parents. Three generations sharing this experience.
Iraivan comes into view. It is always a mesmerizing experience.
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.