Bodhinatha in Texas

As we write Bodhinatha and Senthilnathaswami are attending a Krishna Janmashtami celebration in Houston.

Bodhinatha reports on yesterday’s events:

Friday began with an excellent Siva Mrityunjaya Homa at the Midland temple. The priest is Vighnesh Gurukal from Bangalore who served for five years at the Flint Kasi Vishvanath Temple. He met Gurudeva there. This was followed by my presentation on Hindu Tools for Success.

Next a padapuja at the home of Mrunal and Padmaja Patel followed by a short talk.

We went back to the temple in the evening. Senthilnathaswami gave a 20-minute presentation on Hinduism Today. Then I gave one on Passing on Our Hindu Traditions: Will there be a Third generation? We were told both presentations were well received.

New Natchintanai Book Ready for Release

After several years work, Sivakatirswami has completed the new book of 73-Natchintanai. All songs contain an easy to follow transliteration for those whose first language is not Tamil, along with a literal translation. Rishi Thondunathan is on pilgrimage to Kauai. He was instrumental in proof-reading the book.

He and swami discussed the next phase of a long term project to move the songs forward to the next generation. Completion of this book was phase 1, phase 2 will be promotion, phase 3 will be to document the melodies and put these into notation form, phase 4 will be to make English and other language lyrical versions. Thondunathan made the good suggestion that the best channel to make Natchintanai popular will be through the existing music and dance teachers and their classes. Fans of Yogaswami’s songs, stay tuned for the official release of this first edition in the weeks ahead. The first version is only 50 copies, hand printed and bound here at the Aadheenam and is expected to sell out almost immediately.

Silpis Meet Congressman Neal Abercrombie

Arumugaswami took the silpis to our annual farm fair yesterday. They encountered Congressman Neil Abercrombie, who is campaigning for governor. He presently represents Hawaii’s 1st district in Washington and was instrumental, along with other congressional representatives, in getting changes made to the US Religious Worker Visa Program that allowed the silpis to come to Kauai under the R-1 visa to work on the temple. He was happy to meet the group, asked how to say “hello” in their language and then greeted each with “Vanakkam.”

Ganesha Chaturthi 09- Mauritius Spiritual Park (Part 3)

We are posting the final series of photos for the 2009 Ganesha Chaturthi celebration at the Spiritual Park of Mauritius for you to enjoy.

(Left) Kulapati Parmesh Pallanee carrying the Ganesha murthi for the Spiritual Park.

Ganesha Chaturthi Message from Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami to Mauritius:

“In all our lives, there are times when everything is going smoothly. And there are times when we are faced with numerous difficulties and challenges. And it is human nature in facing these difficulties in life to sometimes become negative, despondent and discouraged. ….

“However, fortunately Hinduism gives us many tools we can use to rise above these negative states of mind and emotion and face lifeís challenges in a positive, courageous and wise way.

Certainly one of the most important tools given to us is the worship of Lord Ganesha. ”

Devotees leaving the Spiritual Park to enter La Pointe village.

“Sometimes devotees choose to focus on Ganapati solely as the remover of obstacles. And when they pray to Him for a certain result and then find that result blocked by an obstacle, they conclude that their prayer is not being answered and become even more discouraged. However, this is not the deepest perspective.”

“As Gurudeva explains, Ganesha is the Lord of Obstacles, Vighnaraja, and in this role both removes and places obstacles in the devoteeís path. Obstacles may be encountered because the devotee is proceeding in the wrong direction. A simple comparison is to a mother raising a young child. To the child, the mother is the Lord of Obstacles.”

“The most common way she exercises this authority is by placing an obstacle in the way of the child to prevent the child from getting hurt by a sharp object, falling down stairs, and so forth. The mother places each obstacle in the childís path to protect the child.”

“Therefore, when we pray to Lord Ganapati for a certain result and then find that result blocked by an obstacle a good response is to consider that we are proceeding in the wrong direction and look for alternative approaches that have a better chance at succeeding.”

“When is a good time to worship Ganesha? Of course His annual festivals such as Vinayaga Chaturthi are the best days of the year for His worship. His monthly chaturthi days area also special days.”

“What is an effective way to petition Lord Ganapati with our needs in life. A good method recommend by Gurudeva is to sit or stand in front of his sanctum at the temple and send your thoughts to Ganesha through the top of your head. Imagine them rising up through your head until they reach Lord Ganeshaís realm. Pray in exactly the same way you would if you were writing down your prayer on a piece of paper. In other words, be very clear and organized in stating your request.”

“Gurudeva also gives some specific advise on how to word your prayer to Ganapati. He tells us to give options. For example, in seeking help in finding employment, you might suggest three places you would be content at, indicating your first choice, second and third. This is because if you only give one choice, if it is not possible in your karmic pattern, then Lord Ganesha and his devas will not be able to help it manifest in your life. Therefore, it is wise to suggest two or more alternatives when making a request”

“When you are praying in this way to Lord Ganapati for help in your life, it is good to attend a temple once a week to worship Him and make your petition until it is answered. It is also good to choose a temple where you feel Ganeshaís presence is particularly strong.”

“Saivite Creed or Sraddha of twelve core beliefs that he composed. ìSivaís followers all believe in the Mahadeva Lord Ganesha, son of Siva-Sakti, to whom they must first supplicate before beginning any worship or task. His rule is compassionate. His law is just. Justice is His mind. Aum.î

The vibration is very strong as the procession is nearing the the main gate of the Spiritual Park after a round in the village.

Bajans are at their peak with Ananda leading with the drum.

Packed but happy on the steps of the newly built Spiritual Park waterfront. There has never been so many devotees at this place before.

Down the waters edge devotees will get on board small boats with their clay Ganeshas.

Now off for a sandy shallow sand bank further off….

The boats gone, devotees on the little wharf feel content and happy, but a little sad though that the ceremony is about to be over….

Jai Ganapati! Everyone has their eyes over the estuary.

The boats are now very far and the Ganeshas are being immersed into the ocean. It was would be a memorable moment for all those who attended. Glory to Lord Ganapati! Aum!

Lotus Petal on a Pond

Visitor Cosibella Cristenas wanders the sacred grounds with her camera. She found this lotus petal floating on the Narmada Pond, its waters turned ink black by the magic of lighting.

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