Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Shanmuganathaswami arrived in Trinidad very early in the morning of the 17th, for a week-long visit. Here they are at at the VIP Lounge, looking very bright considering they flew all night.
They are being welcomed by, from left to right,
Dr. Byam (Chief Protocol officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Pandit Tiwari, and Mr. Ramoutar. Smt. Ashwinee Ragoonanan is also in the welcome party but invisible as she is behind the camera.
Bodhinatha meets with Pundit Ramesh Tiwari.
Shanmuganathaswami chats with Hinduism Today correspondent Paras Ramoutar.
In the evening, Bodhinatha and Shanmuganathaswami attend an evening function at the Chaguanas Edinburg Temple. Here they assist Pandit Tiwari for the puja and havan.
Bodhinatha and Shanmuganatha swami
It is still early in the evening and the devotees are just beginning to gather.
Devotees of the Edinburg Hindu mandir join in performing the havan.
Then Pandit Tiwari introduces Bodhinatha who will do give a Keynote (similar to Power Point) presentatioan on the 9 beliefs of Hinduism
Bodhinatha winding up his presentation. He told us “It lasted about one hour, some bhajans here and there, then a closing arati. Some 250 plus devotees in attendance on a Tuesday night. Group was very attentive for the whole hour. Ashwinee had a table with HA publications and we believe signed up some new subscribers to Hinduism Today. Ashwinee Ragoonanan is a distributor of Hinduism Today for Trinidad and has serviced several hundred subscribers for over ten years (we’ll show her picture soon).
"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