Riccardo Morano, who is studying the Master Course and considering becoming a Hindu and possibly a monk one day, had little direct experience of our Saiva culture. He lives in upstate New York and we arranged for him to go to Toronto and spend a weekend with the Tamil community there and worship at the Sri Varasiththi Vinaayagar Kovil (Ganesha temple) managed by the Sri Lankan community.
Well, his prarabdha karmas were such that he ended up staying with the two priests from Pillaiyarpatti in the priest’s house. Something we had not planned. Here is Riccardo helping carry Ganesha during the weekly Friday “Vasanda Mandavam Puja.”
Riccardo with the priest Kumaran and Vignesh Markandu who helped facilitate his visit. A short but needed and intensive experience of Saivism.
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.