After eight years Bodhinatha felt it was time to upgrade our two primary monastery vehicles. His personal car, which we call our guru vahana, is a new Toyota Prius gas/electric hybrid that gets 50 miles/gallon, replacing the Honda Civic Hybrid we had since 2002. The vehicle used for town trips and other monks’ needs is a new Toyota Sienna minivan, replacing an older Dodge minivan.
This afternoon we had the traditional car blessing.
Siddhanathaswami performs the puja, first to Bodhinatha’s new Prius.
Then to the van.
Limes were placed under the wheels. Then Paramacharya Palaniswami drove the car over them.
Break a coconut, final arati, and we are ready to roll. With gas prices continuing to rise, it’s good to get vehicles with better mileage.
The letter "Ya" in the Panchakshara Mantra, Namasivaya, stands for the soul. Bodhinatha uses the Panchakshara Mantra to show how the soul is initially drawn by Siva's veiling grace, which leads the soul to maturity through experience in the world. Then comes Siva's revealing grace. When we've had enough of the world, Siva's grace pulls us toward God. The mantra also has the simple, two-syllable form. Si- Reflecting on God the Transcendent Absolute, Va-God as the All Pervading Consciousness