Dasan and Shakti Mahadevan visiting from San Diego sharing some of their plans for the future with Bodhinatha.
Jeremiah and Padmini Umakanthan with oldest son Ramanan and daughter Janani. Visiting the monastery was a surprise 70th birthday gift to dad from the rest of the family. Ramanan, especially, asked some very deep philosophical questions about form and formlessness, mantra and meditation.
Amrita Lamba, a devotee of Jayendrapuriswami at Kailas Ashram in Bangalore. A PhD student at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, she came to present a paper on systems of governance in India at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. She came to see the Iraivan Temple and Bodhinatha on her way back home to Delhi. Very fine questions were put to Bodhinatha concerning destiny and free will.
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.