Here we have the President of the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) Mr. Deokienanan Sharam (left), his son Dr. Pravin Sharma, his grand sons Arvinda(back) and Akshay(front), sister Shanti(in saree) and daughter in law Rachael(extreme right). Mr. Sharma is responsible every year for choosing the theme for the Diwali Nagar. Diwali Nagar started in 1986 and since then has grown into a national event.
The festival is now over and Ashwinee shares this report with us. “In the final analysis, this was our most successful year at the Diwali Nagar. We shared knowledge of Hinduism through Himalayan Academy publications, we showed many what is available from the monastery’s website, we introduced people to Gurudeva and Bodhinatha, showed them the making of Iraivan temple, and distributed a lot of free literature. Visitors numbered between 200 -- 500 each night and at least 1000 on the last night.” Here we have a family that isn’t Hindu, but was so impressed with the literature that they bought Dancing with Siva, What is Hinduism? Mystic Mouse, and were given various booklets. They were so enthusiastic, we are sure they will be back.
Here, dedicated volunteers Keith and his son, Dharma (in their Hinduism Today t-shirts), explain the contents of Himalayan Academy’s Mystic Mouse to some youth. “Our staff learned more than the visitors. It was a most successful project,” concluded Ashwinee.
"Temples with multiple deities can be confusing, especially for today's Hindu youth. For clarity, we need to bring forward a more precise understanding of the different Hindu denominations and how the different Gods are viewed from within each denomination. For spiritual advancement it is best to focus on one deity and get to the vibration that deity. When we hear teachings from various Hindus, it is important to understand and identify which denomination they are speaking from. This will avert confusion when that teaching gets contradicted in a different context where someone is talking about the same subject but from a different philosophical background."
Bodhinatha reviews the main characteristic of Saivite philosophy and practice with an indepth focus on the four stages of religions evolution, chariya, kriya, yoga and jnana. He highlights how this shows that Saiva Siddhanta is unique and quite from the modern practice of Hinduism as Vedanta