Thousands of people came through our Divali Nagar booth in Trinidad and got to know of our monastery, temple, magazine and books. Here, a gentleman peruses the booklets on display while Dharma and his mother provide guidance. Helpers in the booth also learned a great deal during the week. Dharma’s parents are planning to have him and his brother come visit our monastery after they finish high school.
Ashwinee, in orange, spoke to many people. “interest was high,” she explains. “Many had heard about Hinduism Today or Iraivan or the monastery on Kauai and were surprised to find out they are all the same source. Others recognized Gurudeva’s picture but did not know who he was or what he had done.”
Balkaran Maharaj visits the booth with his four daughters. He was employed at the Port of Spain port in 2000 when Gurudeva came to Trinidad. He was the one responsible for giving the passengers clearance to leave the ship, and met Gurudeva at that time. Ashwinee asked him what was his impression of Gurudeva, and he said, “As I met him I could feel his divinity. I saw the saintliness in him. I knew I was in the presence of a great soul.”
Diwali Nagar is an important national event. And our booth was one of its highlights. Many dignitaries came for a visit. Here is the minister of Legal Affairs, his wife with the president of Pres. of the National Council of Indian Culture, Mr. Deokienanan Sharma.
Ashwinee welcomes the Anand Ramlogan, Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago(left), Deokienanan Sharma, and the president of the NCIC(center) and Joe Ramkissoon, Executive member of the NCIC (right)
They leave the Hinduism Today part of the booth after chatting with Ashwinee, in the background.
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.