Bodhinatha and Monks at the Melbourne Parliament

Three times during the parliament film crews approached Bodhiantha for interviews, including the largest TV station in Iran. Bodhinatha offered thoughtful insights into the significance of the gathering focusing especially on Hinduism's role here.

Swami Chidanand Saraswati, the very first Hinduism Today Hindu of the Year in 1992, had a number of meetings with Bodhinatha and the team. Here he shares a generous appraisal of Bodhinatha's important message of "Mutual Respect" at the Convocation of Hindu Spiritual Leaders. Swami noted that "You know all of the great acharyas and swamis here offer slokas and blessings, and that is so important. They teach people, but they don't touch people like you do. It's amazing what Hinduism Today does, everything you do is so informed, so beautiful. We all have to learn from you." Swami, it seems, was happy with the Keynote!

Balinese dancers, nine of them, came from Bali to the Parliament, lending a touch of culture that was graceful and oh-so-different. Many present had never seen that color of the Hindu rainbow, so different from the Indian stream. They watched with wonder. The main dancer came up to Bodhinatha afterwards and asked for a photo with him.

Earlier that day, the Religion & Media panel was attended by some 75 participants, a full 80% of them from the religious community, including a few Anglican bishops from the UK. Palaniswami was joined by Christopher Landau from the BBC and Ahmed Rehab from Chicago. Here they are working out a plan for the 90 minutes.

Ahmed is one of the most significant spokespersons for the Muslim commumnity in America. He is the one CNN, FOX and others call when they want a moderate, informed Muslim voice on issues, such as the recent killings on America's largest military base. Ahmed wants to connect more with Hinduism Today and told Palaniswami the Hindus and Muslims don't have enough conversations. He wants to change that.

Christopher is a religion editor and writer at the BBC, one of the few with a theology degree.

His talk was deeply informed by his experiences. One of his key points was that the BBC, being government run and not just in the business for money, often has a more balanced and less sensationalist point of reference when compared to other media. Chris was a bit chagrined when a few minutes later Palaniswami showed an instance last February when the BBC put a horrible photo online of an ash-covered Hindu sadhu with a human skull chewing on a human bone. The HT editors took BBC to task for it, and they changed their policy. Chris made some weak excuses for it.

Palaniswami ran his Keynote from a new iPhone app, something new that worked amazingly well. and enthralled the crowd as well. Ahmed commented the presentation "Was so good I think you could have gone on for hours without losing any of us." Jai to Hinduism Today!

Avudiyar Progress in India

With the casting done sometime ago, work continues on the Avudiyar — base for the Sivalingam of Iraivan.

Polishing and fine tuning metal pieces of this size takes time.

The work is being done to a very high standard

Monastery Twitter Updates for 2009-12-10

  • On the way to lunch with Bodhinatha, we explore this metal hanging sculpture in our hotel.

    http://twitpic.com/svlv0 #

  • http://twitpic.com/svm2i Great photo taken by our own Aussie, Ganga Sivanathan who helped our swamis throughout the Parliament. #

  • We couldn’t help sharing this sign out in front of a bookstore in Sydney CBD today.

    http://twitpic.com/svmku #

  • http://twitpic.com/svmnd
    Our editors met with hundreds in the halls. Here local Hindu leaders, an Indian swami & Vrajvihari from UK. #

  • Here are Ainkaran and Chelvi Krishnarajah who came to meet Bodhinatha last night when we arrived in Sydney.

    http://twitpic.com/svnz1 #

  • Bodhinatha will attend arati and speak at satsang at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Rosehill/Sydney tonight at 7 pm. #
  • We had a wonderful satsang and long conversation with BAPS Sydney sadhus last night. Our Vaishnava brothers are so close to us. #
  • This morning we are taking Bodhinatha on a cruise on Sydney Harbour! #

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Ganesha Homa December 09- Mauritius Spiritual Park

The last Ganesha Homa for year 2009 at the Spiritual Park of Mauritius attracted as usual thousands of dedicated souls from all over the island. Traffic is always held up down the road leading to the Park and one see devotees walking into the property with a loving offering of fruits and flowers in their hands for Lord Pancha Mukha Ganapati.

Devotees singing praises to Lord Ganapati inside the mandapam…

Today bajan is led by Adi Shankara accompanied by Sivarathna Manick on the mrdangam.

Huge basket of written prayers to be sent into the sacred Homa fire.

Devotees seated on the steps of the Mandapam.

Worshipping Lord Siva Dakshina…

Collecting water down the water edge for the Sivalingum..

Devout worshippers at the Sivalingum…

The big crowd inside the tarpaulin tent outside.

Our ladies managing the trays of offerings brought by devotees.

The homa ceremony is at its peak, while the whole crowd of devotees chant the Ganesha mantra.

Some of our Kulamatas…

This is what you see when you stand inside the Ganesha mandapam facing east.

At the small pancha Mukha Ganapati Shrine offerings keep flowing every minute…

One devotee giving a testimony about how one her nephew was helped by Lord Ganapati to obtain his Permanent Resident Permit in Australia.

Kulapati Manon's talk today was from rom Living With Siva Page 162-163 Questions and challenges- Chapter on "Discipline for Self Transformation".

Kulamata Selvon Mardemootoo talked about Pancha Ganapati celebration in the home. Pancha Ganapati is a modern Hindu festival of the Five-Faced (pancha means "five") Maha Ganapati — Lord of Categories. This festival falls during the thirty days of the Markali Pillaiyar home festival and lasts for five days — from December 21 through 25. For more information kindly surf on: http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/lg/lg_ch-15.html

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