Nana Bhattacharya, his wife Phyllis and daughter Swasti meet with Bodhinatha. Mr. Bhattacharyya worked for Mahatma Gandhi in the 1940’s in his Education Program in Maharashtra. His wife was from Japan and traveled to India as a registered nurse to help at the Gandhi’s Sevagram Hospital. Swasti is an Assistant Professor in Religion at Buena Vista University in Iowa.
Mr. Bhattacharya’s been a lifelong subscriber to Hinduism Today.
Nana gives handwoven cloth art work to Bodhinatha.
Another gift for Bodhinatha.
Meeting with Palaniswami, Nana Bhattacharya shares his early days.
As a young man, Mr. Bhattacharya worked as a helper to Mahatma Gandhi. One of our monks asked him what would be the one thing he would say about Gandhi.
Mr. Bhattacharya shared, “Gandhi was not important because he was the one to make India free. That is a consequence. Gandhi’s importance came from his relentless and sincere pursuit of Truth. Everything else resulted from it, and that is what you felt when you were in his presence.”
Balambagai Rasanayagam, from UK, and her daughter Vasuhi from Deleware. Balambagai met Yogaswami at Nallur Temple when she was a young girl and received his blessings at his ashram in Columbuturai. The met with the swamis and talked with Sivakatirswami about ways to get Yogaswami’s Natchintanai over to the next generation.
Balambagai suggested reaching out to music teacher and those in charge of Sangeetam classes, programs and contests. She says currently they use Thevaram and Thiruvasagam primarily, but there is no reason that Yogaswami’s Natchintanai could not be included in the syllabus of songs to be learned. Young people could chose a Natchintanai if they wanted to, to sing in their annual presentations.
One great value of Yogaswami’s songs is that they contain all the teachings of Saivite Hinduism and the current Natchintanai book released by the aadheenam has an accurate translation of 72 songs along side the Tamil Script and roman transliteration. This is perfect for classes where English may be the first language of some of the young children of Hindu parentage but who are born in America, Canada, UK or Australia.
Any music teachers who may be interested in incorporating Natchintanai into the programs can please contact swami at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate. One of the important points will be to use the same ragam and melody universally for the different songs, so that children in the UK are learning the same tune as children in USA and Australia.
Bodhinatha continues with his weekly series of commentaries on The Path to Siva. In this past Sun One talk, he elucidates the four key beliefs in Hinduism, the three pillars of Sanatana Dharma and Gurudeva's three stages of faith. Primary to Hinduism is the key belief that God is within each of us. To have a well-rounded understanding and experience of Hinduism, to make spiritual progress, adhyatma vikasha, we need scripture, humility, temple worship, devotion. To fully experience God we need the guru to give the spark for meditation and deeper wisdom.