On the night of December 4th at “the largest Hindu Temple in the Southern Hemisphere” eight swamis from India, Europe and a little-known tropical island spoke on the Parliament of the World’s Religions
The swamis told stories, chanted slokas and blessed some 400 devotees who had come for the event. Palaniswami took these photos from the podium before he spoke. Hence the blurriness.
Bodhinatha abandoned his written notes when the organizers asked the speakers to adjust the ten minutes they were originally alloted to four or five. His spontaneous talk proved full of humor coupled with relevant tales from his own experiences, all illustrating the themes of the parliament, including environmental stewardship.
Palaniswami shared how the 1893 Parliament was indirectly responsible for our presence, all because Swami Vivekananda stopped in Sri Lanka in 1897 on his way back from the USA. A 19-year-old Yogaswami attended three talks Vivekananda gave in Jaffna and was inspired by the Indian monk and his unflinching message.
Perhaps this pushed the teenage seeker toward the path of renunciation and realization. If so, then Gurudeva’s initiation derived from that decision and that made Bodhinatha’s initiation possible, and that led to our presence at the Siva Vishnu Temple on this night. Whew, life is certainly an amazing web!
Palaniswami challenged the Melbourne Hindu community to get together and develop a Hindu advocacy group, a Public Relations and think tank facility, seva initiatives and such. In all, it proved a night of great messages and sweet satsang and darshan.
"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