Valli Sendan makes this wonderful contribution today:
Prostrations to Lord Vighna Vinayaga.
Happy Skanda Shasti to You and all of the Mathavasis. Thank you for the wonderful Muruga festival this week.
In September, we visited Markandeya in Chicago, where he moved earlier this year for a new job. One of the highlights was visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, who had a large Indian and south east Asian collection. This first Karttikeya from Andhra Pradesh really had a presence and the second one was very nicely detailed.
There were a lot of other pieces of Ganesha, Lord Siva, and Nandi, which we can forward to Hinduism Today, if they would be useful.
Aran and Valli
Photo: Karttikeya, India, Andhra Pradesh, Madanapalle, Ganga period, c. 12the century, granite
Karttikeya, India, Uttar Pradesh, Mathura region, 2nd century, red sandstone
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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.