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 blessings of Lord Murugan awaken wisdom which resides in his chakra. "Pray to Lord Murugan to unravel the great mysteries of the universe." When we get emotional we lose touch with our wisdom. Murugan inspires penance to soften karmas and purify the mind, chitta-shuddhi. If you do kavadi in the right spirit, to get the full blessing, have in mind specific misdeeds, apologize to the deity, learn from it, promise to do your best. Visions are still happening. Feeling the energy of the deity is stronger during festivals such as Skanda Shashti.