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.
"Temples with multiple deities can be confusing, especially for today's Hindu youth. For clarity, we need to bring forward a more precise understanding of the different Hindu denominations and how the different Gods are viewed from within each denomination. For spiritual advancement it is best to focus on one deity and get to the vibration that deity. When we hear teachings from various Hindus, it is important to understand and identify which denomination they are speaking from. This will avert confusion when that teaching gets contradicted in a different context where someone is talking about the same subject but from a different philosophical background."
Bodhinatha reviews the main characteristic of Saivite philosophy and practice with an indepth focus on the four stages of religions evolution, chariya, kriya, yoga and jnana. He highlights how this shows that Saiva Siddhanta is unique and quite from the modern practice of Hinduism as Vedanta