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.
The letter "Ya" in the Panchakshara Mantra, Namasivaya, stands for the soul. Bodhinatha uses the Panchakshara Mantra to show how the soul is initially drawn by Siva's veiling grace, which leads the soul to maturity through experience in the world. Then comes Siva's revealing grace. When we've had enough of the world, Siva's grace pulls us toward God. The mantra also has the simple, two-syllable form. Si- Reflecting on God the Transcendent Absolute, Va-God as the All Pervading Consciousness