Bodhinatha sends this report on events yesterday as he and Senthilnathaswami are wrapping up on on their way home.
“Saturday we flew from Midland back to Houston . In the afternoon we had darshan sessions for three families, including Gaurav and Ripla Malhotra who flew down from Chicago.
Evening was the Krishna Janmashtami event in one of the large rooms of the downtown convention center. It started with 6 Pm parade from the entrance up on the stage to a small altar followed by Agamic Vishnu puja conducted by a priest from Meenakshi Temple. Then started the children’s and youth events. During the presentation by the older youth, I was interviewed privatlye by a local newspaper. Back at the gathering a famous Hindi singer performed. After his presentation I gave a short talk and we helped give out some awards. Then there was a Jai Jagadisha Hare style arati.
Cultural activities continued on into the night. We had a booth there with our literature. The young men volunteers manning the booth said there was a lot of interest. We met many devotees throughout the event who had been to Kauai.
"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