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.
Within our Saiva Siddhanta Holy Scriptures the Saiva Agamas explain the basis of temple ceremonies and worship plus yoga and jnana. The Tirukural was considered by Gurudeva to be "the most accessible and relevant sacred text." In it are practical and helpful guidelines for our conduct in every day life. The point of family life is to gain steady improvement, forever, in self control in the midst of responsibilities in the fulfillment of family dharma. Meanwhile, not taking detachment too far but taking it in the sense of spiritually looking for happiness, not outside in other people or possessions, the world, but inside ourselves and then sharing it with family and friends. "We regard the writings of our satgurus as scripture."
Path to Siva, Lesson 20
Tirukural, Introduction and Contents
Tirukural, Chapter 15 Possession of Self-Control
"The temple enables us to feel the presence of God, Gods and devas." We use our inner eyes to see what's going on in the temple, the three worlds. In the temple we're being good dvaitists in the dimfi perspective, focused in bhakti upon God Siva. In meditation we're monists, in the shumif perspective. We claim our oneness with Siva, Sivoham, I am Siva. In surrender, shrinking the ego through devotion, we have a realization that we're not the doer, that Siva is doing it all. Siva's energy comes through our soul.