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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Religion needs to be of the present. Mankind is evolving spiritually; mass consciousness is rising. When we go to the temple, in the right spirit, contributing devotion and prana, being open to the blessings of the Deity; it purifies the mind. The Hindu religion focuses on the mind; purifies it; controls it, subdues the ego, makes us more humble.