Today we begin a retrospective of photos from the recent trip to India by Sannyasin Yoginathswami and Sadhaka Rajanatha.
Sadhaka is looking bright while transiting through the airport in Honolulu on the way to India.
We have arrived in India after several flights through Tokyo and Singapore. This is the driveway to get into our first hotel in Mahabalipuram.
This beautiful hotel is designed to be like living in a village hundreds of years ago.
At most of the hotels we visited in South India there were large pots holding flowers that float on water, a wonderful greeting when you first arrive.
Our first meeting at the hotel in Mahabalipuram with Selvanathan Sthapati and his wife Ponni. Nellaiappan also joins for the entire trip helping with our contracts and every small detail the meetings will have. He is one of our long time church member in India. Very knowledgeable person in temple handicraft. He is a retired Pompuhar Handicraft joint director.
Selvanathan’s wife was gracious enough to document the whole making of the Avudiar process and put it into a short presentation for the monks.
Here is Nellaiappan listening intently to everything. Without his knowledge of this type of business and his sharp intellect, getting things done in India would be much more difficult.
Ramachandran Stapati is showing us sample of his work. He will be making the silver clading that will go on Iraivan’s sanctum door.
This is one of the five Siva Panchabrahman murti. This will be placed five kosthas around Iraivan sanctum.
A closer look, Yoginathaswami had some suggestions for refinements.
This work was done by Balachandran Stapati. The finishing was delayed for couple years and now he going to begin the work again. It will be polished.
One of the many random deities at this hotel. When in India you are soaked with Hinduism, its part of the culture and the backbone of India. Seeing Siva everywhere is very easy to do here.
One of the hotels many interesting trees. The landscape was serene and contemplative.
A picture of the driveway again, this time with a clear sight of the ocean behind.
In India you will come across this Auto Rickshaw many times. This is the equivalent to Americas taxi. On the road its either the Rickshaw, truck, a small motorcycle or bicycle. The other most popular form of driving is having a personal driver.
The view of the Reception desk of the hotel.
The meeting place at the hotel for our staff and us. Behind this building is a restaurant where we dined. Every morning a man plays the flute for everyone while they eat. Live traditional music in India is a great way to start the day!
"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