Update from Chennai

Om Sivaya, everyone,

Jai Ganapati.

Friday was definitely a busy day. We began at Le Meridien hotel (Delhi) with a 7:30 meeting with Shakti Mallick of Abhinav Publications who prints some of our publications in India.

Ramakrishna Mission followed by Chinmaya Mission.

Finally we went to National Manuscript Mission and met with the director and shared our efforts on the Agama digitization.

To airport where our plane was 1 1/2 hours late, flight to Chennai and checking in to GRT Grand in Chennai about 1 AM.

Om
Bodhinatha

Bodhinatha in Haridwar, Bathing in the Ganges

Bodhinatha is in transit in Tamil Nadu and moving into the southern pilgrimage part of the trip, visiting temples there. Sadhaka Nandinatha was able send some photos while they were connected in Delhi.

Here we have fifteen shots from the bathing day of Ram Navami and another 100 photos to come in a slide show of this event later.

Walking to the ghats….

There are hundreds of thousands of people here. Being Ram Navami, this particular is held in high regard by many.

Many shrines and temples line the ghats. Some of them are actually in the water.

With so many devout Hindus offering their prayers amidst the clanging of temple bells, loudspeaker-broadcast mantras chanted by pandits, the presence of thousands of sadhus, one feels especially close to the Divine.

25 March, Our Transit from Haridwar to Dehradun to Delhi

Today was a day of transit, so there's not too much to report. We drove from Haridwar to Dehradun where we then took a Kingfisher Ariline flight back to Delhi. On the way to the airport, one could see hundreds upon hunreds of vehicles on either side of the main road. In the distance, you can see large tents and perhaps you might even be able to make out the wooden-post queue especially designed to more efficiently handle lakhs of pilgrims.

A large murthi of Shiva was on the way, too. Apparently either under construction or repair given all the scaffolding, this huge Shiva is almost exactly like the one in Grand Bassin, Mauritius. The size, facial expression, bodily posture and alankaram is the same.

Still in Haridwar on the road to Dehradun, we saw another large Shiva on the side of the road, this time He was in dhyanam on a hilltop before a temple dedicated to Him.

We spotted this colorful South Indian-style rajagopuram just past the seated Shiva on the other side of the road.

This was an uncanny and serendipitous moment which took us by surprise. Here we are, we made it to the Dehradun airport getting ready to leave for Delhi, and who should arrive to take the same flight? The very guru of Mahamandaleshwar Juna Acharya Sri Swami Avdheshanandji -- Sri Satyanmitranand Giriji Maharaj! We had no idea of this, it was most unexpected.

We had just come back from his disciple, Sri Avdheshanand Swamiji's ashram in Haridwar and heard such marvelous things about him.

Swamiji is 100 years old, yet still very spry and full of vigor.

And whom else should be taking the very same flight and walk in the room just after Swamiji? Sri Sadhvi Bhagavati of Parmarth Niketan of Rishikesh, Sri Swami Chidanand Saraswati (Muniji's) ashram.

We all enjoyed this divine meeting together!

Later that evening, after having arrived in Delhi, Bodhinatha and Arumugaswami met with the staff of Motilal Publishers. They are working currently on reprinting another edition of Gurudeva's Loving Ganesha and the Trilogy.

Bodhinatha and Arumugaswami also discussed reprinting Dancing with Siva's glossary as a separate, small book. We also discussed the nature of Hinduism Today magazine in India, the process of book reviewing, and many other literary subjects.

Details and concepts of printing and layout were discussed, along with potential projects of the future. A fuitful meeting was had by all.

Bodhinatha Leaves Mauritius-2010 Visit

After a fruitful visit to the island of Mauritius, meeting sishyas and paying courtesy visits to various Hindu religious organisations and Government representatives, Satguru Bodhinatha left the island after a short seven day visit. On the departure day, sishyas met in Mahebourg to say farewell to Bodhinatha.

The residence of Brah Vel Mahalingum served as a meeting point for that occasion.

Brah. Vel performing arati in his home shrine to welcome the Guru.

Brahmachari Vel Receiving the holy ash from the Guru.

Everyone made it a must to be a Mahebourg in the far south of the island to listen to Bodhinatha last message.

Before Bodhinatha's talk sishays happily sung natchintanaii as a one minded group focussed on the greatness of the the SivaGuru.

Somandiren led the group…

In His brief talk Boddhinatha showed appreciation for the warm welcome of Mauritius sishyas during this 2010 visit. Regarding plans for 2011, Bodhinatha says one main activity will be focussed on the children of sishyas who are growing so fast and need to be nurtured, as well as other activities for members and regular Master Course students studying with Bodhinatha.

Jai Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami!

Sishyas coming forward to Bodhinatha for Blessings.

Kulapati SK Moorghen….

Awaiting for their turn to meet the Satguru for the holy ash and Blessings…

Ananda Mootoocurpen…..

A souvenir shield was presented to Bodhinatha by the Mauritius Tamil Temples Federation.

Goodbye to all, says smilingly Beloved Bodhinatha. … Thank you Bodhinatha. Aum.

Briefs from Rishikesh

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A brief observation from Sadhaka Nandinatha about a small shrine in Rishikesh and their visit to the Natha mutt there.

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A small shrine exists on the steps of a ghat in front of Ganga near Omkarananda Ashram’s bathing spot in Rishikesh. The shrine is not connected to the ashram, however, it just happens to be there.

It’s Sivalingam in the centre, flanked by Ganapati and Shanmugam, with Amman and Nandi on respective sides. Perhaps this is not phenomenal, but I was surprised to see this shrine set-up all the way up here in Uttarakhand -- including Shanmugam. You always only see Ganapati included with Siva-Parvathi.

Here’s a closer look at Muruga. The other two faces are in the back.

It was interesting. There were huge promotional posters for various swamis, sadhus, sadhwis, centres, missions, etc all over Haridwar and somewhat in Rishikesh. On one of them, which was about 4 meters tall, was a large Balasubrahmanya encircled with head shots of modern saints. It was all in Hindi and we drove past it in a car, so I didn’t get to photograph it.

Another subject: Also, we met with senior swamis of the Adinath Nath Sampradaya in Haridwar. This you’ll see on TAKA sometime hopefully soon. We had a Q and A with them, and through Rajiv Malik as translator I asked if Kartthikeya had any significance in their sampradaya. The most senior swami said that, in their sampradaya, Muruga is considered to have been a contemporary of Gorakshanath and come to the planet Earth some millions of years ago. His purpose was/is to disseminate the teachings of Saivam basically. They do not seem to “worship” Him as such, but He is there in their philosophy and with a more meaningful role than simply Ganesha’s thambi. The question was prompted by one of Muruga’s names in our ashtottara for Him which we use, Haridwarna, translated something as “He who is of Haridwar,” if I’m not mistaken.

I took this photo in the room in which we had darshan with the Adinath swamis. The only depiction I’ve seen of Siva with yellow hair other than our painting. In real life, the hair was more vibrantly yellow.

This is the aforementioned head Swami of the Adinatha Natha Sampradaya in Haridwar. I can’t recall his name, but our HT correspondent Rajiv Malik is sending that to me. Very quiet and deeply content within himself.

We will do more of these photos later when we get home.

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

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