On the left, is the priest Venkatachalapathi Samudrala who was trained in Tirupati, and is now serving in Bakersfield, California. He is here on Kauai to perform a wedding and is delighted to come to the Aadheenam with members of the wedding party who are sponsoring his trip.
Venkatachalapathi has the unique distinction of being the first Hindu priest to say a prayer in the US Congress, in September, 2000. At that time he was serving in the Shiva-Vishnu temple in Parma Ohio. He opened a session of the U.S. House of Representatives with a prayer. Representative Sherrod Brown, (D- OH) had invited Mr. Samudrala as a guest chaplain.
Venkatachalapathi has been a long time reader of Hinduism Today magazine which he says is a great inspiration for him, and the felt it was God’s grace that brought him today to visit the Aadheenam and see Iraivan temple
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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