Here we have a retrospective from Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's recent trip to Texas. On the evening of February 8, Bodhinatha visited the Hindu temple in Flower Mound, north of Dallas. Here are some devotees excited that Bodhinatha is about to arrive.
First, arati for Ganesha
… and all the Gods in the temple, many of whom are still photos and images. Full size Deities are being carved in India for this burgeoning temple in a community with tens of thousands of Hindus nearby.
Bodhinatha blesses everyone as they adorn him with a fine wool shawl (which was much appreciated, given the near-freezing weather!).
Bodhinatha presented his 2010 Keynote presentation for temples entitled "Some Practical Suggestions for Hindu Families and Temples," which covers four topics.
The topics are: (1) Questions from Children and Youth, (2) The Sacred and the Secular, (3) Challenges and Opportunities Facing Hinduism in the Western World, and (4) Home Puja.
Initially about 30 people were in attendance, which we thought was great for a weeknight. By the end there were over 50.
A slide from the Sacred and Secular portion of Bodhinatha's presentation.
After the talk, the priest, who is from Tirupati, gifted Bodhinatha the traditional dakshina tray, with fruits, veshti cloth, betel leaves and all.
And then, the final arati.
Everyone joined in singing the Hindi arati song as Bodhinatha offered the arati to Lord Ganesha.
Thanks to Kewal and Rani Sawhney, who visited Kauai Aadheenam a few months ago, heard Bodhinatha was coming to Texas and invited him to speak to their new temple group. Thanks to everyone at this beautiful little temple. All of us at Kauai Aadheenam send many blessings for the growth and success of your temple.
"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