On Sunday we had a small contingent of students led by Sarah Hadmack who is a Religious Studies Instructor from Windward Community College and University of Hawaii. Sarah believes coming to Kauai is a wonderful educational opportunity for her students and many more wanted to come.
After giving the group a basic introduction to our Natha Sampradaya we asked if Sivakatirswami could come join us at the Iraivan site and answer some of the more academic questions the students had.
Sivakatirswami has worked extensively with Himalayan Academy students in years past and has a vibrant and very connecting spirit with students. Among much joy and laughter were questons regarding the way in which “yoga” is being taught in studios all over the United States today with all the emphasis on “asana postures” with very little importance being prescribed for the real ancient core practices of yoga and internalized worship.
Other subjects included; the “intellectual misrepresentation” of claims that all religions are one while ignoring the unique differences in core beliefs and goals; how Saiva Siddhantans look at God, the Satguru; and how faith must eventually meet the litmus test of direct experience, and many more. Sivakatirswami came bearing gifts of the new edition of Hinduism Today for all those present and all those left behind in Oahu.
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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.