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.
"Temples with multiple deities can be confusing, especially for today's Hindu youth. For clarity, we need to bring forward a more precise understanding of the different Hindu denominations and how the different Gods are viewed from within each denomination. For spiritual advancement it is best to focus on one deity and get to the vibration that deity. When we hear teachings from various Hindus, it is important to understand and identify which denomination they are speaking from. This will avert confusion when that teaching gets contradicted in a different context where someone is talking about the same subject but from a different philosophical background."
Bodhinatha reviews the main characteristic of Saivite philosophy and practice with an indepth focus on the four stages of religions evolution, chariya, kriya, yoga and jnana. He highlights how this shows that Saiva Siddhanta is unique and quite from the modern practice of Hinduism as Vedanta