Bodhinatha and Senthilnathaswami spent a day and a half in San Francisco on their way to Houston.
With a free morning, they visited beautiful Golden Gate Park to visit the Dahlia Garden, which is in glorious full bloom this time of year, to walk a few trails and find some other surprises as well.
The purpose of our visit to San Francisco, of course, was not just to look at flowers and take a walk in the park! If only life were so slow… Quite the contrary. A year ago Bodhinatha urged the monks in the Ganapati Kulam to offload the care of the monastery's information systems to professionals, so that we could remain focused on what we do best as monks--conceiving and creating educational content. We did just that by hiring Joe Russell (center), who was an independent Apple-certified IT consultant at the time. After telecommuting to the monastery's network for a year from his home in The City to help us with everything from server software installations to installing printer drivers on new computers, Joe is now part of a growing firm called Rocket Science Consulting. Now we don't just have an IT consultant, but an entire, professional IT department to draw upon and call our own!
Since our flight was passing through San Francisco on the way to Houston, we stopped to spend a day there to meet with our new IT staff at Rocket and discuss a restructuring of our relationship with them, some new ways in which they will be supporting us, new services they are offering us, and some of the many ways we will be working together more in the future. On the left is Aaron, our Flight Leader, who will handle the overview of our relationship with Rocket and check in with us periodically to ensure that our needs are being met. In the middle is Joe, who will now take the roll they call Mission Specialist, consulting with us on major IT innovations and projects, not just the weekly maintenance and troubleshooting tasks that need to be done. Those will now be in the hands of their team of Mission Engineers.
This is Bruce, the Help Desk Engineer, on call whenever the monks have a problem with their computer systems and need a helping hand. We're so glad to have you on our team, Bruce! And thanks to all of you at Rocket for helping take care of the monastery’s computer systems, which are such an integral part of every area of our service.
Someone sends this photo today of a newsstand in New York City, showing that Hinduism Today magazine is out there, right along with the Bollywood and social periodicals. That might encourage others to get the magazine on the shelves in other communities.
Aum Shri Ganeshaya Namah! We are pleased to bring you the second series of photos of Ganesha Chaturthi ceremony at the Spiritual Park of Mauritius. This festival is the most important one celebrated at the Park every year and Hindus of all denominations pilgrimage to this sacred land on this occasion.
Sivacharya Deva Kumar reciting agamic verses…
A view of the crowd outside from the Mandapam…
The homa (fire ceremony) invoking the inner worlds.
Three youth from our membership, Vamadeva, Sivarathna and Chandrashekaren having a little rest… they have been helping down the Mandapam steps guiding devotees during the rush hours of the morning.
During the ceremony lots of devotees take souvenir photos with their camcorders or cellular phones.
The crowd going by the Himalayan Academy sale booth. A new poster of Lord Pancha Mukha Ganapati was released on that occasion.
Several HA publications were sold too…
Sishya Logadassen at the donation booth where devotees voluntarily contribute to the Park.
Another area near the gate where sweets are distributed by a team of ladies.
Religious items on sale
Basanti at the Mini Mela…
Selna keeping records of sales at the Mini Mela
Mr Mookeswarsing Gopal and his family, friends of the Spiritual Park with Kulapati Manon.
The next part of the ceremony is the visarjana, the immersion of clay Ganeshas into the sea. The home made Ganeshas receive an arati.
A procession is about to start and everyone gets ready…
Beautiful Ganeshas lovingly fashioned by devotees…
The traditional musicians lead the procession. We are posting the third and final series of photos that show the procession and immersion ceremony in our next TAKA. Kindly stay tuned and regards to you all from Mauritius! Aum.
Religion needs to be of the present. Mankind is evolving spiritually; mass consciousness is rising. When we go to the temple, in the right spirit, contributing devotion and prana, being open to the blessings of the Deity; it purifies the mind. The Hindu religion focuses on the mind; purifies it; controls it, subdues the ego, makes us more humble.