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).
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.