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.
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