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.
Within our Saiva Siddhanta Holy Scriptures the Saiva Agamas explain the basis of temple ceremonies and worship plus yoga and jnana. The Tirukural was considered by Gurudeva to be "the most accessible and relevant sacred text." In it are practical and helpful guidelines for our conduct in every day life. The point of family life is to gain steady improvement, forever, in self control in the midst of responsibilities in the fulfillment of family dharma. Meanwhile, not taking detachment too far but taking it in the sense of spiritually looking for happiness, not outside in other people or possessions, the world, but inside ourselves and then sharing it with family and friends. "We regard the writings of our satgurus as scripture."
Path to Siva, Lesson 20
Tirukural, Introduction and Contents
Tirukural, Chapter 15 Possession of Self-Control
"The temple enables us to feel the presence of God, Gods and devas." We use our inner eyes to see what's going on in the temple, the three worlds. In the temple we're being good dvaitists in the dimfi perspective, focused in bhakti upon God Siva. In meditation we're monists, in the shumif perspective. We claim our oneness with Siva, Sivoham, I am Siva. In surrender, shrinking the ego through devotion, we have a realization that we're not the doer, that Siva is doing it all. Siva's energy comes through our soul.